With its roots in Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda is derived from ayu and veda; it is the knowledge to science of life. Principles of Ayurveda medicine were first documented in the Vedas some 2000 year, but it may even have been practiced centuries earlier.
Ayurveda sees the would as have an intrinsic order and balance. It argues that we possess as three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha. Known together as the thidoshas, deficiency or excess in any of then can result in disease- an excess of vata may result in dizziness and debility; as increase in pitta may lead to fever, inflammation and infection. Kapha is essential for hydration.
Ayurveda treatment aims to restore the balance, and hence good health, principally through two methods: Panchakarma and massage. The herbs used for both grow in abundance in Kerala’s moist climate, and every village has its own Ayurveda pharmacy.
Having an occasional Ayurveda massage, something offered at tourist resorts all over Kerala, is relaxing, but you have to go in for the long haul to reap any real benefits-usually 15 days or longer. Expect a thorough examination followed by an appropriate Ayurveda diet, exercises and a range of treatments, as well as regular massages.