Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, is derived from the words ‘ayu’ (life) and ‘veda’ (science). This science is believed to be the oldest method of treatment that evolved in India around 600 BC. Further, ‘ayu’ comprises the ‘sarira’ (body), ‘indriya’ (senses), ‘satva’ (mind) and ‘atma’ (spirit).
Over the ages, this science has developed so much that ayurvedic doctors can now even operate on any patient to cure a disease.
The ayurvedic medicinal system believes that a human being and nature should be in perfect equilibrium and that if a particular disease occurs, it means this equilibrium has been disrupted. As per ayurveda, diseases are an imbalance between the body’s ‘vata’, ‘pitta’ and ‘kapha’. The ‘vata’ means the nerve energy, ‘pitta’ is the catabolic fire energy and ‘kapha’ denotes the anabolic nutritive energy.
The Central Council for Research, Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (CCRIMH) was established in 1969 by the Government of India. In 1978, the CCRIMH was split into four separate councils, one each for ayurveda and siddha, unani, yoga and naturopathy, and homoeopathy.
The Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is engaged in research in various fundamental and applied aspects of ayurveda.
There are 221 colleges in India that offer the Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) degree.
These institutions are affiliated to different universities all over the country. These institutions produce around 12000 ayurvedic physicians per year.
Of the 221 colleges, 60 colleges offer MD courses in ayurveda. The BAMS is a five-and-a-half year course.
The minimum percentage to get admission in the course nowadays is 80 per cent as the number of students applying for this field has gone up manifold.
Some institutions give admission to the BAMS course on the basis of an entrance examination.
The demand for ayurveda is so much that BAMS course is the students’ second preference after MBBS.
Dr K. C. Pathak, an ayurveda practitioner in Delhi, says that there are a number of specialisations in this field. A person can become an ayurveda dietician, surgeon, pharmacist and so on.
An ayurvedic doctor can get employment as a medical officer/ doctor in government and private ayurvedic hospitals.
In government-run ayurveda
clinics or hospitals, the starting salary is around Rs 10,000. In
private hospitals, the start for an ayurvedic doctor may be around Rs
15,000 per month.