What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is a combination of two words: ayur (life) and veda (knowledge)
Simply put, Ayurveda means knowledge of life. Ayurveda is a philosophy over 5,000 years old, originates in India and is known as one of the oldest systems of medicine on Earth. Ayurveda focuses on how we live, what we eat, what medicine we use and what we apply on our skin. According to this ancient philosophy, human beings are an integral part of nature and we need to learn to live in harmony with our mind, body and surroundings.
The Three doshas
Assuming that people are inseparable with nature, we can distinguish three types of energies, or doshas, ruling our body.
These forces are responsible for forming our mind and body. Each person possesses all three doshas, however usually one or two dominate. The dominant one creates our personality, look and cravings. Even if only one of the elements is unbalanced we can encounter problems. For example, let’s take the Pitta dosha. Someone with balanced Pitta is friendly, disciplined and has no skin issues. The same person with an unbalanced Pitta is often irritated, has problems with digestion and gets skin inflammations. If you want to learn about them in depth, visit our guide on the three Dosha in Ayurveda.
I first heard about Ayurveda while living in Hong Kong. During a routine lunch break with my colleagues, I ranted about my ongoing struggles with humidity and uncontrollably frizzy hair. Anyone who has ever visited this part of the world would agree with me that the humidity can be unbearable. I tried several brands of haircare products, but nothing seemed to work properly. A couple of Indian colleagues advised me to try Ayurvedic products, and shared with me their everyday hair care tips. Traditionally Indian women have long, strong and well maintained hair, so I listened carefully. Coming from a predominantly western hair and skin care routine, I was fascinated to discover this new treasure trove of information called Ayurveda. Hair oiling techniques, mixing oils with herbal and fruit extracts to apply on hair, and combining them with a head massage were things I had never considered before.
Ayurveda: Then and now
Not so long ago, young Indian generations treated Ayurveda as something old fashioned and only fit for the older generations. However, recently Ayurveda is making a come back. The Ayurvedic diet and Ayurvedic cosmetics have been flooding the Indian market. We can see a blossoming market for Ayurveda labeled products and services. Food, cosmetics, massage parlors and even doctors are now specializing in this ancient medicine. Once again, Ayurveda is becoming fashionable and has gained a young, fresh following.
During my stay in India I had a chance to get a closer look at the Ayurvedic world. I decided to educate myself, not only on skin care but also about a correct diet and lifestyle philosophy. Since then, I have been searching, reading and mixing (cosmetics) and created ChicChiq to share my journey and my discoveries with you. Ayurveda is one of the oldest and still existing philosophies of medicine in the world, but is it worth it to switch to these exotic mixes of herbs, roots and powders? We certainly hope you do.