Dr. Svoboda’s original work on the constitutional types in Ayurveda has been considered a classic for many years. His new revision and expansion of the subject comes after much further research and practical experience. Dr. Vasant Lad points out: “The healing science of Ayurveda is based totally upon the knowledge of “prakriti”, the individual constitution. If every individual knows his own constitution, then one can understand, for instance, what is a good diet and style of life for oneself. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Therefore, to make one’s life healthy, happy and balanced, the knowledge of constitution is absolutely necessary.” (Dr. Vasant Lad is the author of Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing, and co-author of The Yoga of Herbs.)
Ayurvedic medicine is a system of healing that originated in ancient India. In Sanskrit, ayur means life or living, and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda has been defined as the “knowledge of living” or the “science of longevity.” Ayurvedic medicine utilizes diet, detoxification and purification techniques, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and massage therapy as holistic healing methods. Ayurvedic medicine is widely practiced in modern India and has been steadily gaining followers in the West.
According to the original texts, the goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body’s own capacity for maintenance and balance. Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or along-side conventional therapies. Ayurvedic physicians claim that their methods can also help stress-related, metabolic, and chronic conditions. Ayurveda has been used to treat acne, allergies, asthma, anxiety, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, flu, heart disease, hypertension, immune problems, inflammation, insomnia, nervous disorders, obesity, skin problems, and ulcers.
Ayurvedic physicians seek to discover the roots of a disease before it gets so advanced that more radical treatments are necessary. Thus, Ayurveda seems to be limited in treating severely advanced conditions, traumatic injuries, acute pain, and conditions and injuries requiring invasive surgery. Ayurvedic techniques have also been used alongside chemotherapy and surgery to assist patients in recovery and healing.