Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing systems in human history. The practice was formed 3,000 years ago in India to combat health issues through a unique emphasis on total wellness. Unlike modern healing systems, the main goal of Ayurveda is to promote good health, not fight disease. The United States considers Ayurveda as a complementary and alternative medicine, although it hasn’t fully realized its use in the cosmetics and beauty industry.
When trying to understand Ayurveda, it’s important to know what the term “Ayurveda” even
means. It is a Sanskrit term that translates to “knowledge of life”. Ayurveda is based on the
intricate, interwoven web of life, and it tries to harmonize our internal and external realms. It is believed that our five senses serve as portals between these internal and external worlds.
In the practice of Ayurveda, there are three basic types of energies (doshas) that are present in everybody and everything. These energies don’t have direct translations into English, so instead we use the Sanskrit words Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha to describe them. When we are born, these energies are perfectly balanced, but as we go through our life, we may experience events that cause them to become unbalanced. This unbalance can lead to disease, negative thoughts, or just general unwellness.
Everything that we come across during our life, including emotions, substances, or thoughts
have certain qualities. In Ayurveda, these qualities, called “gunas”, have been classified into 10 pairs of opposites (heavy vs light, etc). This means that there are 20 different qualities total. When one of these qualities becomes excessive or deficient, this leads to imbalances in our doshas (the three energies), which then can lead to disease and unwellness. Trying to restore this imbalance and to maintain an equal balance is the goal of Ayurveda.