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Sri Lankan Ayurveda.

The history of Sri Lankan Traditional Medical System was ancient as the civilization of the Island goes back to 30,000 years. Sri Lanka has developed its own traditional medical system based on a series of verbally from generation to generation over a period of 30,000 years called as Hela Vedakama.  Indigenous medical practitioners historically benefited a noble position in the the country. 

The ancient king, who were also outstanding physician, King Buddhadasa (398AD) wrote a comprehensive medical manuscript “Sarartha Samgraha”, which is currently use in Sri Lankan Ayurveda. Ancient inscriptions on rock surfaces reveal that organized medical services have existed within the country for centuries.  Well planned hospital was built in Mihinthale. Sri Lanka claims to be the first country in the world to have a full-fledged hospital during that era.  Old hospital sites symbolize the traditional sense of health promotion, prevention and cure of diseases which was prevailing at the ancient time. The hospital Still can be seen, Due to the proximity, Sri Lanka was influenced by India to alter its history. The health system of Sri Lanka was integrated with Ayurveda Medicine after the arrival of the Buddhism from India. (According to chronical)

Sri Lankan Traditional Medical System is generally called as Hela Vedakama among the people. Sri Lanka has developed its Indigenous Medical System Hela Vedakama with the other traditional medical systems prevailing in Asian subcontinent.  At present the Sri Lankan Indigenous Medical System is a mixture of the Sinhala Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homeopathy and Acupuncture and Hela vedakam.



Ayurveda science of life. Ayu = Life,  Veda = Science. Ayurveda - is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in all around the world.

The word of Ayurveda historically belongs to India, still this system is applicable anywhere in the world. This science of life has been practicing everywhere in the world in according to their tradition and customs. This healing system is not unique to the ancient Indian Medicine: The Yin and Yang theory in Chinese medicine and the Hippocratic theory of four humors in Greek medicine are also very similar.

Ayurveda is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.




Ayurveda Concepts

According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe - living or not - is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness.

For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Some things that can cause a disruption include:

  • Genetic

  • Injuries

  • Climate and seasonal changes

  • Age

  • Emotions

How your body works to keep you healthy and balance your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body's constitution, or prakriti.(Body type) Your prakriti (Body type) is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:


  • Earth

  • Water

  • Fire

  • Air

  • Space


These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. The three doshas are:


  • Vata dosha (space and air)

  • Pitta dosha (fire and water)

  • Kapha dosha (water and earth)


Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. One dosha is usually more dominant. Each dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of your doshas.


Vatha  Air and Space

Vata is the principle of movement in all living organisms and is a combination of the elements: air and space. Vata is closely related to the nervous system.

According to Ayurveda, the main characteristics of Vata in any person are:


Can appear in the body as:


Generally quick actions, fast walking and speech, restless eyes, likes travelling and often has mood swings.


Dry body (including skin, hair and lips), an inclination towards constipation as a result of dryness.


Dislike towards cold weather, generally cold feet and hands, an inclination towards poor blood circulation.


Generally underweight, thin physique (bones and muscles), light sleeper.


Rough and cracked skin, nails, hair feet and hand. Cracking joints.

Some of the bodily functions ruled by Vata are:

Ø physical movement

Ø respiration

Ø starts activities and processes in the body

Ø stimulation of Agni (digestive fire)

Ø excretion

Ø development of the embryo

Ø sensory perception

Ø speech

Ø hearing

Ø enthusiasm

Ø creativity

The imbalance created by excess Vata can be exacerbated by:

Ø stress, over-exertion, or pressure

Ø irregular daily routine or irregular mealtimes

Ø going to bed late

Ø raw, cold or dry foods

Ø coffee, tea, carbonated drinks or cigarettes

Ø long journeys

Ø cold, windy weather, especially in autumn or winter

Vata can be balanced by:

Ø a regular daily routine, including sleep and meal times

Ø regular relaxation

Ø warm nourishing foods with sweet, sour and salty tastes

Ø moderate alcohol intake

Ø keeping warm in cold weather

Ø Ayurvedic massages


Pitha Fire and Water

Pitta is the principle of transformation in all living organisms and is a combination of the elements fire and water. Pitta  is closely related to the digestive system, metabolism, enzymes and glands in the body.
The main characteristics of Pitta  in any person are:



Can appear in the body as:


Good appetite, strong digestive fire, body temperature is higher than normal, dislike of heat, early greying of hair.


Oily skin which is soft. Dislike of oily food.


Excess sweating, passing of excess urine, loose stools tendency towards diarrhoea, excess thirst.


Acidity, teeth sensitive towards sour fruits, excess salivation. Sour eructation.


Accurate memory, sharp teeth and sharp facial features with a pointed nose and penetrating eyes.


Burning sensation on skin, including eyes, throat and stomach. Feelings of anger and hatred.


Spread of any infection of the body e.g. a rash, acne etc. Tendency towards desiring fame.

Some of the bodily functions ruled by Pitta are:

Ø digestion

Ø metabolism

Ø vision

Ø heat and energy production

Ø skin lustre

Ø hunger

Ø thirst

Ø intelligence

Ø courage

Ø anger

The imbalance created by excess Pitta can be exacerbated by:

Ø anger

Ø extremes of sour, salty and spicy food

Ø coffee, tea, alcohol, cigarettes

Ø loud aggressive music

Ø too much direct sunlight/ heat especially in summer


Kapa Water and Earth

Kapha is the principle of stability and maintenance in any living organism and is a combination of the elements water and earth. Kapha is closely related to the lymphatic and immune system in the body and is responsible for the growth of the individual. The main characteristics of Kapha in any person are:



Can appear in the body as:


Deep voice, tendency towards obesity, large and heavy body, bones and muscles.


Cold skin, tendency towards attacks of cold, slow metabolism leading to reduced appetite and thirst.


Soft skin and hair and tendency toward soft tender nails. Loving, caring and kind attitude.


Oily body including skin, hair, nails, stools. Flexible and mobile joints.


Tendency towards excess intake of sweet foods and drinks. Good anabolic state of the body.


Patient and relaxed attitude. Firm decisions. Likes sedentary activities like reading, watching television etc.


Excess salivation, thick slimy secretion when suffering from a cold. Thick joints with good mobility.

Some of the bodily functions ruled by Kapha are:

Ø strength

Ø maintenance of health

Ø maintenance of the joint functions (synovial fluid)

Ø smell

Ø taste

Ø anabolism and growth

Ø potency

Ø stability

Ø nutrition

Ø absorption

Ø immunity

Ø satisfaction

Ø tolerance

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