Kerala Ayurveda : The alternative treatment method of Ayurveda is more than 5000 years old and is claimed to have almost no side effects. Ayurveda is more a preventive medicinal system than to be opted as a curative science and involves a simple, practical science of life. The word ‘Ayu’ means ‘life’ while ‘Veda’ means ‘knowledge’, thus, ‘Ayurveda‘ means ‘knowledge of life’. The treatment of Ayurveda basically includes internal medicine, external medicine, surgical treatment and psychotherapy that have been categorized into ‘tonification’ and ‘reduction’ that nurture insufficiency in the body and decrease excesses in the body respectively. The reduction therapies have been further categorized into ‘pacification’ and ‘purification’. While the former involves the use of herbs, fasting, exercise, sunbathing and exposure to wind, the latter is a special form of therapy requiring oleation and sweating.
Ayurveda believes that human body consists of three primary life forces known as biological humors such as Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. The tridoshas or a balance among these life forces is essential for proper health. The Ayurvedic treatment aims at smoothening any imbalance among the tridoshas that are said to be the cause of the unhealthy state. Kerala has developed its own Ayurvedic treatment modalities like Dhara, Pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Elakizhi, Sirovasthi, Thalapothichil and others. These modalities are said to be highly effective and successful in reducing and elimination several diseases such as motor neuron diseases, arthritis, skin diseases, heart diseases, peptic ulcer, asthma, peripheral vascular diseases and gynecological disorders.