Ayurveda

Ayurveda dates back to the Vedic period. Vedas are the oldest recorded documents of human civilization. Ayurveda is the life science and also the oldest authentically recorded science in existence today. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, and when translated means “the science of life” or “a natural way of living”.  The objective of Ayurveda is to achieve the highest goal of life: the inner and outer dynamic harmony. The dimensions of health are defined as bodily, sensorial, mental, and spiritual health. Traditional and indigenous knowledge has been used for centuries by indigenous and local communities following local laws, customs and traditions.
 
Nepal has a great tradition of Ayurveda, and it is considered to be part of the cultural and scientific heritage of the country. Traditional makers of ayurvedic medicines still carry on their practice using outdated tools. There is an Ayurvedic Hospital in Nardevi in the heart of Kathmandu. For researchers there is a huge amount of data on Ayurveda preserved on leafs and manuscripts in the National Archives. There is a wealth of knowledge here that has long been ignored and neglected.
Ayurveda, is thought of as a life science, and includes yoga, meditation and the natural and spiritual sciences. Ayurveda sees every person as a unique individual, and seeks to understand and to correct the existing imbalances and restore the innate intelligence and harmony of the person. 

The objectives of Ayurveda are the development of awareness which leads to a state of desirelessness; the promotion of health and the achievement of longevity; the prevention of disease; and the curing of disease. The Ayurveda practitioner will first ask a series of questions to identify the person’s type. Only after this has been determined, is it possible to diagnose the problem and suggest a series of activities and practices to go with the Ayurvedic medicines.

In order to understand Ayurveda in depth, one should be treated by an Ayurveda practitioner or simply meet with various practitioners to understand the philosophy on a more intellectual level. Excursions can be organized to visit practitioners, to meet rural people who collect herbs, and to meet traditional healers such as Shamans or Jhankris as they are known in Nepal.