Acknowledged as the oldest among the different streams of medicine in the world, Ayurveda has become very popular with the tourist visiting Kerala in the recent years.
Ayurveda, literally means the science of life and is more than 3500 years old. Traditionally the knowledge of Ayurveda was passed on through the 'Gurukula system'. i.e. one master teaching a group of selected students. It was common to have the students residing in the masters' house and working for the upkeep of the house. When the master felt them fit to practice medicine he would let them start practicing on their own. Now the traditional knowledge has been improved through scientific research and is taught in various Ayurveda colleges in Kerala. For a doctor to graduate in Ayurveda it takes 5 years of studies in college besides 6 months of internship and is considered on par with doctors of general medicine.
Ayurveda is based on the vedic philosophy of healthy living as prescribed in the Atharvaveda( a vedic normal text on Hindu philosophy). It is a system of preventive medicine which provides remedies for various illnesses and prescribes ideal lifestyles to prevent the onset of sickness and disease. The majority of Ayurvedic medicines are not produced in bulk, as Ayurveda treatment is based on the premise that every person has an individualised constitution and medicines have to be tailored to suit the individual. According to Ayurveda the human body comprises of three constituents known as ' Tridoshas' . They are ' Vathas' , ' Pitha' and 'Kapha'. Though these constituents vary from person to person, one of the 'Tridoshas' predominates over the other two. This predominant trait can be identified by the physical and emotional characteristics of a person ( ' Personality types ' ). Accordingly 2 people suffering from the same ailment may be prescribed different medicines to suit their constitutions.
To stay healthy, the Tridoshas need to function in harmony with each other as well as the five basic elements of the universe, Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Ether. Most illnesses arise due to imbalance in functioning of any one or two of the Tridoshas which leads to malfunctions of the internal organs. Ayurveda strengthens the body's immune system to fight disease or infection.
The more popular Ayurvedic programs among the tourists are Rejuvenation therapies (oil massages, herbal baths etc.) and yoga.
There are many Ayurvedic centers and resorts offering these programs. Some of the important Ayurvedic centers are .
Somatheeram and Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Resorts in Chowara near Kovalam.
Sree Sankara Ayurvedic center in Changanacherry.
Cochin and Annakara near Vandanmedu.
Auguestya Panchakarama center Changanassery
Kariali Ayurvedic health resort at Kodumbu, palakkad dist.
Asthamudu resorts at Kollam.
Keraleeyam in Aleppy.
Ayuryogashramam in Vadackkanchery.
Raja Ayurvedic Hospitals at Chavakkadu (Trichur dist.)
Kootanad Palakkad dist.
PS Warriors AryaWaidya Shala at Kottackal.