September 3, 1998

AYURVEDA, application of its principles to the manufacture of toiletries.

An Overview.


What does Ayurveda mean? Well, `Ayur’, in Sanskrit means `life' or ‘Longevity' and `Veda' can mean `Science' or `knowledge’.

"The Science or knowledge of Life or Longevity…"

Ayurveda, an ageless Holistic system of Science, though having its roots in India, is a practical discipline whose principles and practice are universally relevant today as it was some 5,000 years ago. As such, it can be established that Ayurveda is a time-honored and ageless science.


Ayurveda includes herbal medicines, oil treatment, Hatha Yoga(exercises), nourishment (dietetics), surgery and psychology. It also extends to include the deeper knowledge and understanding of spirituality and not any dogmatic concept.


Similar to the application of herbal oils externally for therapeutic and beautification program, such combinations of herbs, spices and flowers can also be combined in such a way as to manufacture toiletries. With the application and understanding of all ingredients natural, we can therefore formulate, combine and marry ingredients acceptable and compatible to each other according to precepts of this ageless Science of Ayurveda.


The Human Constitution:


Ayurveda is so designed as to promote good health, happiness and creative growth, within and without one's self. The five basic elements, namely Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth exist in all matter. As such these five elements are also present in Man, being an integral part of nature.

According to this science, there are three primary life forces or biological humors and termed as Doshas' in Sanskrit, meaning that which causes decay or spoiled. In combination with the five elements, they play a vital part in the well being of Man.


This three Humors or`Tridoshas' are classified as;

`Vata' (Wind/Ether), `Pitta' (Fire/Water) and `Kapha' (Earth/Water).


These three principles of the combination of the 5 primary elements govern all the biological, psychological and physio-pathological functions corresponding to the body, mind and consciousness (spirit).

These act as the basic constituents and a protective barricade for the body in its normal physiological functioning's. When in balance it manifest good and vibrant health but when out of balance, contributes to the onset of disease and ill health.


The basic constitution of each individual is determined at conception. This is termed as Prakruti' in Sanskrit, meaning the `thirst creation, "nature" or "creativity". During one's lifetime, the basic constitution remains unaltered, as it is genetically determined. However, due to changes in the environment, the combination of elements that rules the continuos physio-pathological changes in the body alters, in response to these changes.


Understanding `TRIDOSHA’S:


Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the Tridoshas or three biological Humours are unique in Ayurveda. A clear understanding of the attributes and concepts of these are essential to the awareness of our strengths and weakness.

Constitutional Evaluation:


The proportion of these humors varies according to the individual. One humor will usually predominate and its nature will make up our physical and other dispositions. A state of good health exists when these three humors are in a state of equilibrium. When any of these systems is disturbed, the disease process begins and becomes responsible for physical and psychological pain and suffering. From the Ayurvedic perspective, the first step is in determining the predominant biological humor.


***If you are keen in knowing and understanding your personal `Prakruti' or nature, please email veerapan@pacific.net.sg

Written and complied by: Mani Maran

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