Ayurveda (or the "science of life") is an ancient health care system originating in India thousands of years ago that continues to be practiced today. It is not limited to medical diagnosis and the treatment of disease. It encompasses a vast body of knowledge expounding on all aspects of the human condition: mind, body and spirit. It seeks to unify and balance these aspects so that an individual can live in harmony with natural and cosmic forces and, in so doing, prevent illness and maintain good health.
Although the diagnosis and treatment of various ailments should be left to the Ayurvedic practitioner, understanding the basic precepts of Ayurveda can be greatly beneficial to everyone. The following is a list of books and recommended reading on this subject.
Ayurveda: the Science of Healing - A Practical Guide by Dr. Vasant Lad
Easy to read and understand text in plain English clearly explains the principles of Ayurveda and its practical application. It contains more than 50 charts, diagrams and tables and covers the history and philosophy, basic principles, diagnostic techniques, treatments, diet and food antidotes, herbs and spices and other matters relating to Ayurveda.
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Dr. Vasant Lad
Another well-written, easy to understand book from Dr. Lad. It contains an explanation of the principles behind the science of Ayurveda, explores the physical and psychological characteristics of each of the three doshas, and contains easy-to-follow instructions and practical advise on correcting imbalances and treating various common ailments and chronic problems.
Perfect Health - The Complete Mind Body Guide by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
In this national bestseller, Dr. Chopra outlines a complete step-by-step Ayurvedic program which is tailored to individual needs. It includes a quiz to help the reader identify his or her own mind body type, which becomes the basis for a specific plan of diet, stress reduction, neuromuscular integration, exercise and daily routines.
Ayurveda and Panchakarma: The Science of Healing and Rejuvenation by Sunil V. Joshi, M.D.
A very detailed and fairly technical (yet easy to understand) book offering an in-depth explanation of the foundations of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic treatments of diseases, including an excellent overview of Panchakarma (Pancha Karma). It includes a chapter on self-care at home with simple instructions on treating certain doshic imbalances.
Ayurvedic Tongue Diagnosis by Walter Shantree Kacera
This book offers a comprehensive understanding of how tongue analysis is used in Ayurveda to detect imbalances and potential disease, reveal underlying causes, stage and disease progression, determine the state of a person's emotional, mental and physical health, and provide access to the body's pH balance, energy levels and health of the digestive system. It also includes both ancient and modern healing practices based on "healing tastes", herbal therapies and dietary protocols.
What is Ayurveda?