Kerala can be surely called the Mecca of Ayurveda. Inspired by a 5000-year-old system of healing, the Kerala Ayurveda experience is beneficial as well as refreshing. Known the world over for its time-tested therapies, age-old traditions, medicated massages, steam baths, and herbal diets, Ayurveda is the favorite health care amongst inlanders and foreigners alike.
Being greatly in demand, Ayurveda has ushered in high demand for herbs and other medicinal plants that form the base for Ayurvedic medicines, massages, and baths. These magic leaves hold the key to many diseases and disorders of the modern generation. A part and parcel of every household at one point in time, the herbs that had slowly disappeared have now proudly found their way back into homes, spas, resorts, and other therapy centers. This slow but sure return is playing an important role in the balance of life and the ecosystem.
Much before the world embraced Ayurveda, Kerala welcomed it with open arms. The state’s favourable climate along with the natural treasure of medicinal plants and herbs make it the ideal home for Ayurveda.
Perfecting nature’s healing touch
Kerala is probably the only place on earth where the system of Ayurveda is practiced to perfection. Ayurveda, the age old system of medicine bestows Kerala with the most natural and holistic means to wellness. Ancient books prefer Monsoons as the most effective period for Ayurvedic treatment. The cool but sometimes humid weather opens the pores of the skin to an optimum, making it more responsive to Ayuvedic medicines and oils.
Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana Chikitsa)
This therapy helps to firm up the skin and to refresh and fortify the body tissues so as to attain perfect health and long life. It also increases primary vigor (Ojas) and significantly improves mental alertness (Sattva). This process increases the resistance of the body as a whole. The therapy consists of stimulating head and face massages with medicinal oils and creams, body massages by means of hand and foot with medicated oil or powder, and internal rejuvenating medication rounded off with herbal or medicated steam bath.
Body Immunization and Longevity Treatment (Kayakalpa Chikitsa)
This helps in increasing the immunity of the system. An all-inclusive treatment for slowing the process of aging and stopping the degeneration of body cells, it involves complete and comprehensive body care routines. It includes the intake of specially made Ayurvedic medicines and diet called Rasayana.
Body Sudation (Sweda Karma)
The therapy is highly advisable for pain in general and for the treatment of certain rheumatic conditions in particular. Medicinal steam baths remove impurities from the body, enhance skin tone and complexion and arrest fat accumulation. Valuable herbs and certain herbal leaves are boiled together and the steam is allowed to pass over the body for 10 to 20 minutes every day. Herbal oils or herbal powders are thoroughly massaged by hand. This improves the circulation of blood and tones up the muscles.
An Ayurveda diet consisting of herbal juices aids in slimming. Medicated massages with herbal powder and herbal oils form another integral part of this program.
Beauty care therapy
Treatments like herbal face packs, herbal oil massages, and herbal tea intake enhance the complexion immensely and also aid in body beautification.
Mental and Physical well-being (Meditation and Yoga)
Well-researched mental and physical exercises are included to achieve good health and peace of mind through techniques such as:
- Disciplined behavior (Yama)
- Self-purification (niyama)
- Body postures like padmasana
- Control of breathing (pranayama)
- Control of the senses (pratyahara)
- Mind fixation on a selected object (Dharana)
- Meditation (dhyana)
- Samadhi – the restful state in which you experience absolute well-being
Overall Fitness (Panchakarma Treatment)
A five step treatment that refines the body, organs, mind, breath, nerves, and blood and ensures complete physical and mental well-being.
Therapy for chronic headaches, insomnia, mental stress, cases of hysteria, hallucination, insanity (Dhara)
The therapy involves the pouring of herbal oils, medicated milk, or buttermilk and decoctions on the forehead in a specialized fashion. The other related treatments include Oordhwanga Dhara for eyes, ears, and skin, Takra Dhara for severe headaches, loss of memory, and insanity, and Sarvanga Dhara which is good for both head and body.
Treatment for alleviation of osteoarthritis, leukemia, etc. (Snehapanam)
The treatment involves the intake of medicated ghee which is gradually increased over a fixed period of time.
Treatment for facial paralysis, dry feeling in the nostrils, mouth and throat, severe headaches and burning sensation in the head (Sirovasti)
A leather cap is fitted on the head and warm herbal oils are poured into it for a specific time as per the physician’s directions.
Therapy for rheumatic disorders, spondilosis, paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous weakness, and related disorders (Pizhichil)
Application of lukewarm herbal oils with clean linen all over the body by trained masseurs in a rhythmic style. The duration is 1 to 1 ½ hrs daily for a time period of 1 to 3 weeks.
Treatment for paralysis, obesity, hemiplegia, and rheumatic diseases (Udvarthanam)
A thorough massage using medicated herbal powders.
Treatment for muscular skeletal disorders due to accident and trauma (Marma Chikitsa)
Therapy that targets the very sensitive vital points of the body (107 marmas)
Treatment for nasal diseases (Nasyam)
Vapour inhalation of medicated herbal liquids, oil decoctions and ghee to drive out the diseased factors from the head and neck region.
Treatment for ailments of the ear (Karnapooranam)
The application of medicated oils in the ear for about 5 to 20 minutes helps cleanse as well as cure the specific disorder.
Treatment for preventing cataracts and strengthening vision (Tharpanam)
Treatment strengthens the optic nerve of the eyes and is instrumental in the prevention of cataracts.
Therapy to treat muscle degeneration, rheumatism, sports injuries, joint aches, emaciation of the whole body or part of the body, and also certain skin diseases (Njavarakizhi)
The whole body is treated with rice packs in the form of boluses tied in muslin bags and the resulting perspiration is effective for the same.
Facts about Kerala
Location : Southwestern tip of India
Area : 38,863 sq. km.
Population : 3,18,38,619 (as per census 2001)
Capital : Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Language : Malayalam, English is also spoken.
Religion : Hinduism, Christianity, Islam.
Time : GMT +5.30
Currency : Indian Rupee
Climate : Tropical
Summer: February to May
Monsoon: June to September
Winter: October to January