Sri Lanka is a spectacular, tropical destination rich in culture, and beauty. In fact, its unique and breathtaking natural wonders are capable of amazing any, who visits this splendid island. Some of Sri Lanka’s best features are its stunning beaches, amazing cascades, wildlife, gem, and jewellery. However, Sri Lanka’s delights are not just limited to them. Yes, the richness of natural healing herbs on the island plays an equally prominent role. Specifically, the historic belief in herbal remedies and wellbeing bring the island’s ancient herbal medicine knowledge to the spotlight. Thus, Sri Lankans are very familiar with the healing and beautifying powers of ayurvedic medicine, and the herbal ingredients found in abundance in nature within the country.
However, this land is not new to enjoying the benefits of nature to stay healthy and look beautiful, with nearly 2000 years old Ayurvedic medicine treatments and cosmetology traditions. Hence, not only Sri Lankans, but also the tourists who arrive on this island, are highly interested in these miraculous native medicine practices. Thus, we thought of sharing with you the fascination of the wonderful Ayurvedic medicine in Sri Lanka. Let us begin the exploration, by getting to know exactly what Ayurvedic medicine is!
What is Ayurvedic Medicine?
As you might already know, Ayurveda is the natural way of healing. Further, it is one of the oldest therapeutic treatment approaches in the world. To be specific, its roots are from India, and it holds a history of around 3,000 years. Also, it was popular as the ‘mother of all healing’. However, the Sanskrit terms ‘Ayur’ and ‘Veda’, which means life and science, are put together to form the term Ayurveda. Ayurveda promotes such lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to restore a balance between the body, mind, spirit and environment. All of this is based on the premise that an imbalance or tension in a person’s consciousness can trigger illness.
Significant Features of Ayurvedic Medicine
The key foundations of Ayurvedic medicine are the principles of fundamental interconnection, body creation (Prakriti), and life forces (doshas). Furthermore, ayurvedic treatment aims to help the individual by removing impurities, reducing complications, improving disease tolerance, reducing anxiety, and increasing life satisfaction. Internal cleansing is the first step of Ayurveda care, accompanied by a strict diet, natural medicines, relaxation techniques, yoga, and meditation. Frequently, Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs and other plants, as well as oils and traditional spices. Besides, when used as a complementary therapy alongside normal, traditional medical treatment, Ayurveda can be highly beneficial.
Likewise, Ayurveda highlights avoidance and promotes health preservation by paying careful attention to life balance, correct thought, nutrition, lifestyle, and the use of herbs. Ayurveda knowledge allows one to understand how to achieve and sustain this balance of body, mind, and consciousness. All based on one’s own unique nature, as well as making changes in one’s lifestyle to reach and uphold this balance. Besides, many internal and external forces attempt to mess up this balance by distracting and keeping away from the balanced state. Emotional state, diet and food preferences, seasons and weather, physical trauma, job and family relationships are all examples of emotional and physical strains that can highly affect the balanced state. Ayurvedic medicine aids in the treatment of these health and body-related issues.
History of ‘Hela Wedakama’, the Ayurvedic Medicine in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has established its own traditional medicine system, known as “Hela Wedakama”. Yes, of course, it is a part of Ayurveda. Still, it can also be known as a fusion of Sinhala traditional medicine, India’s mainland Ayurveda and Siddha systems, and Greece’s Unani medicine through the Arabs. However, most significantly, Sri Lanka’s native medicine is the Desheeya Chikitsa. In addition, legends reveal that the Sri Lankan Ayurvedic system is shaped with a 3,000-year-old series of prescriptions passed down from generation to generation of natives.
Amazing Features of Hela Wedakama in Sri Lanka
Hela Wedakama is a traditional knowledge of healthcare and healing practices. Further, native medical knowledge and traditions are a culture-bound source of ancestral wisdom that passed down over centuries. Moreover, ‘Hela Weda Mahima’ is a sector-specific ICH (The International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use) production that includes the majority of ICH aspects relevant to folk medicinal sector lives, health, and workmanship.
Besides, tales ought to be very accurate and realistic to reflect Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage and traditional cultures of folk medicines. Some claim that the era of “Hela Wedakama” originates from the great King Ravana. Thus, most of the true traditional medicine practitioners still worship King Ravana in order to receive permission before beginning to care for patients or make medicines according to traditional practices.
Further, Sri Lanka takes pride in becoming the world’s first country to develop a system of hospitals in the field of its Native medicine. The remains of what many claims to be the world’s first hospitals are visible in Sri Lanka’s ancient cities of Polonnaruwa, Medirigiriya, Anuradhapura, and Mihintale.
Branches of Ayurvedic Medicine in Sri Lanka
Many branches of native medicine exist in Sri Lanka today that belong to a number of fields. They are as follows.
|Field of Treatment||Specific Name of Treatment|
|Fracture-healing||The Kedumbidum Wedakama|
|Snakebite treatments||The Sarpavisha Wedakama|
|Eye treatments||The Es Wedakama|
|Psychiatry treatments||The Unmada Wedakama|
Moreover, treatment for abscesses, wounds, and cancers known as Gedi-Wana-Pilika Wedakama, among others, is still fruitful and believed by the community.
Furthermore, Sarartha Sangrahaya, Vatika Prakaranaya, Deshiya Chikitsa Sangrahaya, Bhaissajjya Manjusa, Oushadha Sangraha, and other scripts written on leaves are among the best ancient texts of the Sri Lankan traditional medicine. Unfortunately, many important medicines, treatment procedures, values, and strategies passed down through generations in some families still remain unidentified.
Importance of Ayurvedic Medicine in Sri Lanka
Since, it provides a complete method for living a long and stable life, Ayurveda, is famous as the “Science of Longevity.” Ultimately, it provides diet and fitness services to help the body rejuvenate. Further, it provides treatment options for a variety of common illnesses, including food allergies, for which a few fresh therapies are yet in practice.
However, in the present, Sri Lanka has over 8000 indigenous physicians registered with the Ayurveda Medical Council of Sri Lanka. Many of them are a part of Ayurveda hospitals in their respective provinces. Some serve in Ayurveda Teaching Hospitals, Ayurveda Research Hospitals, Regional Ayurveda Hospitals, while some serve in their own Ayurveda dispensaries, Besides, in the recent past, many Ayurvedic physicians have successfully handled emerging health issues such as Cancer and Chronic Kidney Diseases due to Unknown Origin (CKDu), revealing to the world, the wonders of this native medicine system.
Herbal Drugs and Natural Remedies in Sri Lanka
Herbal drugs are primarily in use for health promotion and treatment of chronic, rather than for life-threatening conditions. Natural remedies, on the other hand, become more common when conventional medicine fails to cure a disease, such as advanced cancer or emerging infectious diseases. Moreover, spices play a significant role in adding medicinal value to meals and they are among the Ayurvedic commodities exported by Sri Lanka. Moreover, bath preparations, hair care, massage, skincare, aromatherapy, and limited quantities of cooking are only a few of the uses for essential oils.
About half of the world’s population relies on plant-based herbal medicine for their primary health care routines. Further, there are a rare variety of natural herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine, which contains powerful healing properties. Of course, Sri Lanka also exports a wide range of medicinal herbs across the rest of the globe. Besides, Sri Lanka has trained native medical professionals to focus on the research based on these herbs.
Concepts of Ayurveda
Undeniably, Ayurveda therapy aims to restore and keep the balance of life energies in humans, rather than treating individual symptoms of a condition. Accordingly, Ayurveda medicine prescribes different treatments and therapies for each person, precisely, based on their constitutional variations. The following are a few important Ayurvedic definitions of various human bodies and minds.
The Tri Gunas
The ‘tri gunas’, or the three gunas identified as Satva, Rajas and Tamas, are the mind’s three primary elements, qualities, or energies. Centered on their Manasa (psychological), Prakriti Ayurveda signifies a unique classification of individuals. These psychological traits are genetic and affected by the relative superiority of the three Gunas and their manifestations.
The Panca Mahabhutas
All in the Universe, according to Ayurveda, is made of the Pancamahabhutas. They are known as Akasa (Space), Vayu (Air), Teja or Agni (Fire), Jala (Water), and Prithvi (Earth). Combined in an endless variety of relative values, they are everywhere, making each type of matter unique. While each feature has a number of characteristics, only a few of them become obvious in a specific state of affairs.
The Tri Dosas
The five fundamental elements of Pancamahabhutas, known as space, air, fire, water, and earth, believe to appear in the human body as three basic senses of humour known as Tri dosas, according to Ayurveda. In fact, dosas are three separate energy sources. Fundamentally, these three are in charge of bodily tissue formation, maintenance, and degradation, as well as assimilation and removal. The names of the tri dosas are Vata, known as air, Pitta known as bile, and Kapha known as Phlegm.
The Sapta Dhatus
The Sapta Dhatus known as the seven tissues are the body’s foundations or biophysical structure. They provide nourishment and development as well as protection for the body and mind. The original materials produced by digested food nourish these seven body tissues in a proper sequence. Rasa sustains blood, which produces clarity in complexion, nourishes muscles, and sustains life. Likewise, muscles strengthen the body and nourish the fat known as medas, which produces unctuous materials, sweat, and firmness, and nourishes the bones, known as asthi. In addition, asthi strengthens the body and nourishes the marrow. It provides function, energy, nourishes sperm, and fills up bones. Moreover, semen, on the other hand, does provide valor, discharge, enjoyment, physical stamina, exhilaration, and intends for seed reproduction.
The Trayodosa Agni
This is considered the biological fire that regulates metabolism. In fact, it regulates the Trayodosa Agni, changing all in the body and mind, including food digestion and absorption, cellular transformations, assimilation of sensory perceptions, mental and emotional experiences. Consequently, Agni involves a wide variety of chemical reactions that cause changes in the body and mind.
The Tri Malas
According to Ayurveda, only a healthy state of dosas, dhatus, and malas are considered as Arogya. Arogya, which is in good health or disease-free condition, and the deficiency of the Tri Malas is the cause of infection or disease. Purisa, known as feces, Mutra, known as urine, and Sveda, known as sweat are the three major malas. They are the various waste stuff of food and the dhatus formed throughout the normal digestive and metabolic method.
Food Vs Ayurvedic Medicine
Seemingly, Ayurveda recognizes that diet can encourage overall health. Accordingly, there is a belief that it can avoid and cure diseases as a natural medicine system. However, Ayurveda is a way to understand how your individual nature and the forces around you decide how well your food will support you, and how to embrace food as life-giving energy. Besides, in Ayurveda, rasa is one of the methods for classifying foods. According to Ayurveda, there are six main flavours recognized as sweet, acidic, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. And yes, the Ayurvedic diet is mainly revolving around these flavours and their benefits.
The Ayurvedic Diet
The Ayurvedic diet is a dietary tradition that dates back thousands of years. It focuses on Ayurvedic medicine concepts and emphasizes balancing various forms of energy with the aim of improving health. Unlike most other diets, the Ayurvedic diet gives one customized recommendation based on their body type. Accordingly, it recommends which food to consume and which to avoid.
Ayurvedic diet is also famous since it seems to improve not only an individual’s physical health but also their mental health. In fact, it focuses on detecting one’s dominant dosha. Then, that person will be given a diet that fosters the balance between the three doshas. Besides, an Ayurvedic diet is also a form of food strategy that uses one’s dosha or body type, to determine how and what a person should eat. Here are some of the most important characteristics of each dosha, to help one figure out which one best suits you;
Pitta (fire + water)
This dosha is a form of energy recognized as intelligent, determined, and hardworking. Generally, this dosha is of moderate physical build, has a short temper, and is prone to indigestion, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
Vata (air + space)
This dosha is inventive, energizing, and vivacious. Individuals with this dosha are normally slim and have a light frame. When out of control, they can experience digestive problems, exhaustion, or anxiety.
Kapha (earth + water)
This dosha represents natural peace, stability, and loyalty. Many with a Kapha dosha have a more robust building and are more likely to experience weight gain, asthma, depression, or diabetes.
All three doshas advise avoiding red meat, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Besides, the benefits of an ayurvedic diet include the encouragement of whole foods, the potential for weight loss, and the promotion of consciousness.
Apparently, herbal supplements are creations of a range of herbs, developed according to Ayurveda’s time-tested medicinal skills. It is the old Rishis who have defined and classified the curative properties of these herbs (hermits). According to the beliefs, the Ayurvedic preparations ought to keep or restore body organs’ balance, depending on the physical and spiritual forces referred to in Ayurvedic theories. Moreover, the preparation of these Ayurvedic medicines happens without any artificial chemicals. Hence, their values are indeed impressive.
Most Popular Ayurvedic Preparations in Sri Lanka
The following are some of the common Ayurvedic preparations.
|Ayurvedic Preparation||Way of Formation|
|Svarasa||A herbal juice, with or without water or sugar.|
|Kalka||A paste made from ground medicinal plant materials.|
|Kasaya||This is a combination of herbs. Ayurvedic items like bark, stems, leaves, fruits, and flowers are cut, sliced, or powdered, and one-third of the mixture is boiled in four, eight, or sixteen parts of water (usual cups) and lowered to a quarter.|
|Churna||It is a powdered form of medicinal plant material.|
|Guli||Tablets or pills set separately or in combination.|
|Asava||Herbal medicines are soaked in fluids (mostly in water), fermented, and purified in this preparation. To speed up the fermentation and effectiveness, it often includes natural alcohol derived from herbs.|
|Arishta||A chemical preparation similar to Asava, an Elixir. This uses various decoctions and is then fermented, to maintain its potency for a long time.|
|Leha||It is an average sugar or jaggery used in semi-solid preparation.|
|Thaila||These are the Ayurvedic oil. The practice of special techniques is visible in the production of Ayurveda medicinal oils.|
|Grita||It is close to the healing oils. However, the herbs simmer in ghee.|
|Lepa||An external application used as a medicinal paste.|
|Bhasa||Calcified formulas containing essential oils, which heats up to a high temperature.|
|Peyawa||Sugar, jaggery (palm sugar), or herbal liquor, used to maintain decoctions.|
Ayurvedic Spas in Sri Lanka
Undoubtedly, Ayurveda is a fantastic alternative to traditional medical therapies and its success has risen steeply in recent years. As a result, Sri Lankan hotels provide special, traditional treatments in lavish environments.
Ayurveda therapies are based on the idea of three Doshas. Thus, the hotels that provide Ayurveda treatments typically include full packages that contain an Ayurvedic diet personalized to one’s constitution form, or Dosha.
Accordingly, Sri Lankan Spa’s peaceful havens provide Ayurvedic treatments for the body, mind, and spirit. In fact, Ayurvedic therapies include a number of herbal treatments, different styles of baths and massages, as well as cleansing and revitalization ways like yoga, meditation, and special diets. However, assurance of deep relaxation and intimacy is sure to gain at Ayurveda Retreats in Sri Lanka.
Besides, Sri Lanka now has a selection of spas, mostly on the west coast. Moreover, one can enjoy other Eastern and Western therapies counting Thai massage, hydrotherapy, herbal baths, reflexology, and beauty treatments, in addition to Ayurveda, in these places. Besides, Sri Lanka also offers meditation classes for those requesting spiritual nourishment.
Few famed spas in Sri Lanka are as follows.
- Karunakarala Ayurvedic Resort
- Good Spa
- Spa Secret
- Spa Ceylon
- Heritance Kandalama Spa
Indeed, you might be wondering about what is the best. Keep calm! The following briefs would help you choose the best!
1. Karunakarala Ayurvedic Resort
Situated in Negombo, Sri Lanka, the Karunakarala Ayurveda Resort is a perfect Ayurveda hotel for an authentic Ayurveda retreat.
2. Good Spa
The spa is dedicated to providing health and beauty care services in a modern and comfortable environment. All procedures follow the guidance of a licensed ayurvedic physician. Thus, that the physician will acknowledge one about the process and tailor to care to one’s specific needs and desires.
3. Spa Secret
Spa Secret is one of the best rooftop spas in Negombo. Indeed, one can cherish the body and mind with traditional Ayurvedic and Spa treatments here.
4. Spa Ceylon
Spa Ceylon intends on promising their clients to have a satisfying and enjoyable Spa experience. Moreover, Spa Ceylon offers a selection of spa treatments. In addition, the spa practices here are extremely accurate and feature unique massage movements by the therapists. Thus, all the services here intend on complementing one another, resulting in a luxurious experience.
5. Heritance Kandalama Spa
This divine spa takes one into a paradise of pleasure. The spa offers a number of soothing treatments to benefit one to recover their entire being. Moreover, the spa menu consists of everything from ancient Ayurvedic rituals to Swedish aromatherapy massages.
Preserving the Values of Ayurvedic Medicine
In Ayurveda, the selection of specific drugs is extremely important. Besides, conservation and protection are equally obligatory after obtaining products for ayurvedic medicine.
In brief, the drugs and their recipes must be preserved for future use in potential treatments. Pharmaceutical and other supporting industries heavily influence this cause. Still, raw material collectors, distributors, refining and manufacturing companies, Ayurveda practitioners, and customers must all be encouraged on this matter.
Approximately 1100 medicinal plants are in use as medicine, with at least 60 of them in great supply. Currently, with the budding market for herbal products, finding adequate raw materials at affordable prices is a major challenge for the industries. As a result, the government, as well as the private sector, must take some tough measures to ensure supply and demand, by conserving the herbal plants.
Furthermore, giving priority is necessary for picking the right germplasm using modern DNA fingerprinting and chemoprofiling techniques. Besides, the Department of Forestry and the Department of Ayurveda discourage the deal with wild varieties and the overexploitation of medicinal plants in the wild by enforcing regulations.
Ayurvedic Medicine Education in Sri Lanka
Two government institutions associated with the major universities of Sri Lanka, offer native medical degrees, as well as licensed traditional physicians with advanced traditional medicinal skills, passed down from generation to generation.
The Bottom Line
Conclusively, Ayurveda is a natural health and healing belief, followed across the world. Besides, ancient Ayurvedic medicine, practised in the country today, focuses on a cultural identity that was preserved over years. Moreover, spices, essential oils, and several other plant-based medicinal herbs are among Sri Lanka’s ayurvedic exports, which are valued highly around the world. Owing to all these reasons, yes, native medicine holds the power to play wonders. And thus, experiencing the healing powers of Ayurvedic Medicine in Sri Lanka should certainly be a must if you arrive on this island. So, why not? Never miss the chance of experiencing it, if you ever arrive on this island. Happy and Safe Travelling!