The Sri Lankan Ayurvedic tradition is a mixture of Ayurveda systems of North Indian origin, the Siddha system from South India, Unani system of medicine from the Arabs, and most importantly the Desheeya Chikitsa which is the Indigenous medicine of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka also claims to be the first country to have established dedicated Ayurvedic hospitals in world history, Mihintale still has the ruins of what is believed to be the first ever Ayurvedic hospital in the world.
Ayurveda emphasizes prevention and encourages maintaining good
health through close attention to the balance in one's life. Patients
must learn to make life style changes to bring about and maintain
Ayurvedic medicine is based on the system
of prevention. Often times the patient is treated before actual
symptoms of disease appear.
The philosophy of Ayurveda states that it is centered on five
elements that are the foundation of the system: ether, earth,
air, fire, and water. They act with other elements to influence
the human body. A combination of these elements is called doshas.
The body is made up of different proportions of the three types
of energy or doshas. The doshas have to be in balance to maintain good health.
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To achieve balance, Ayurvedic medicine
involves a wide range of elements including the tissues of the
body; the channels of elimination and energy; and the normal
functioning of the five senses.