When we think of our health there are so many qualities of health to consider, and under the lens of Ayurveda, the science of life, they are all equally important.
Rasāyana literally translates to path (āyana) of essence (rasa) and describes what most people would associate with good health, a longer lifespan.
Traditionally, this describes the alchemical side of Ayurveda; using foods, herbs and also metals to help restore the body to optimal wellness. Modern Western medicine identifies most with this approach to health, if you aren’t feeling well, you can take something to make you feel better… Problem solved?
A newcomer to Ayurveda frequently asks what herbs they can take for a condition without regard to how the condition came to be. When we keep repeating the same behaviors that led to the condition in the first place, it doesn’t matter how powerful the herb is, the condition will keep coming back. Ayurveda is the science of LIFE and there is much more to our lives than our chemical components.
We train our bodies through experience, and when starting a path of treatment, first our body has to unlearn the things we have taught it to do. The magic here is that when we purify our body, we also purify our mind which is the seat of our behaviors. This is what makes Ayurveda such a powerful, transformative tool.
The science is finally catching up to what we have known all along, that our gut feelings are valid, but only to the extent of what is in our gut. This is why Ayurveda places so much importance on doing Panchakarma, which translates to five actions, or methods of detoxification, on a yearly basis.
We can feel victimized by our desires. We want to lose weight but the craving for sugar or salt is too much! Like increases like: the sugar you had yesterday makes you want more sugar today. If you take a break, even for just a few days, the voice grows quieter and eventually imperceptible. We detoxify our bodies not only for improved health but also to reach higher states of consciousness, a place where we can recognize the difference between our innate wisdom and a chorus of candida asking for sugar.