The word Ayurveda literally means the "science of long life" in Sanskrit. It has been continuously practiced in India for over 5,000 years, longer than any other form of medicine. Ayurveda formed the basis of many of the world's systems of traditional medicine. The World Health Organiztion recognizes Ayurveda as a comprehensive system of natural medicine. During the last few centuries the knowledge of Ayurveda was lost and scattered. Recently, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founder of the Transcendental Meditation program introduced knowledge of Ayurveda to western countries. Maharishi worked with several prominent Ayurvedic physicians and Indian scholars to completely authenticate the recovered Ayurvedic knowledge. As a result, Ayurveda has emerged as a scientifically valid alternative to modern medicine.
Although there have been great technological and scientific advances in Western medicine, many common health conditions remain unresolved. Ayurveda provides many health solutions based on a preventive approach to health. Ayurvedic practices strengthen the body's defenses and help the body to repair itself so that it can fight disease naturally.
The goals of Ayurveda are to prevent disease, promote long life, and improve the person's mood and spiritual wellness. Thousands of people worldwide have significantly benefitted from Ayurveda by improving mindfulness and being encouraged to follow healthy diets and exercise programs. Ayurveda also promotes the use of herbal food supplements, daily and seasonal habits that are tailored to the individual's health needs, and other treatment modalities.