Āyurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine was designed with a rationale logical foundation to deliver multidimensional total health. The history of Āyurveda goes back to its delivery from the lord Bramha in an oral form to the rishis with the purpose to help humanity live a healthy and fruitful life. Āyurveda descended form lord Bramha in the Atharava veda and transmitted further from generations to generations in the form of Gurushiahya Parampara form Rishi Atreya to Charak and probably till the last written scripture. Albeit the mythological origin of Āyurveda, it has been transferred and evolved as the main system of medicine in India till the invasions of other cultures and rulings for many decades. Irrespective of so many years of influences it has survived as a distinct entity from remote antiquity to the present day. From the 6th Century BC to 7th Century AD there was systematic development of the science called the Samhita period in which number of classical works were produced by Sages and Rishis who were authorities in the subject of Āyurveda. During this period there is evidence of Āyurveda being practiced as the main organized medical care system. Gradually having included in a form of curriculum Āyurveda was compulsory part of education in all other streams of education in the universities. This was considered as necessary knowledge for everybody to remain healthy and successfully achieve the goals of life. It must have been definitely the knowledge of prevention of diseases and how one can remain health throughout their life and did not involved advance therapeutic knowledge as it was left for the practitioners of Āyurveda medicine for which there were special advance teaching hub of education like the great universities like Takshashila and Nalanda.
Thus the knowledge of self-care was made available to every body and was practiced from generations in the Indian homes starting from simple uses of spices in the kitchens to simple remedies of grandma including the wisdom of when to eat what and in what season, in what quantity etc.
The fundamentals on which the Āyurvedic system is based are essentially true and do not changed from the ages. Contrary to the concepts and research in modern medicine the concepts of Āyurveda are logical, experimental and standard, hence applicable to any part of the world and for any population. Āyurveda believes in equilibrium of balance between living creatures and the universe and emphasizes the importance of the endogenous and exogenous imbalances that cause disease.
Āyurveda is designed to facilitate deep healing for body mind and soul, and its science is well equipped to deliver both preventative as well as palliative care. In Āyurveda, disease prevention is not a lesser goal but rather the prime objective. Hence preventative health care is the priority and of paramount importance and the various guidelines in daily lifestyle, diet and the seasonal regime is a perfect scientific way of protecting this health. The Sanskrit term “Swasthasya swastharakshanam” refers to the Āyurvedic concept of “protection of health of the healthy” which is the foremost objective of Āyurveda and the secondary goal is treating the disease i.e. “Aturasya vikara prashamana cha.”
The great Āyurvedic sages had not restricted this health protocol for individual but also applicable for the society and the nation as a whole. Hence, specialized guidelines are given to be followed by the community to maintain good health of the whole society. This includes methods of purifying air, water, soil, disposal of excreta and dead body, prevention of infectious and epidemic diseases and many other public health guidelines.