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Ayurveda (?The Science of Life?) has its emergence from Vedas (?The Source of Knowledge?) because of antiquity and
similarity in contents. Rigveda (2000 B.C.) is the authentic source of knowledge about the use of the plants for food and
drugs. Under Ausadhi-Sukta in Rigveda innumerable places of their origin and habitat have been described and they are used
to make animal and man free from disease. In Atharvaveda (1500 B.C.), many more plants have been described to be used to
cure disease. Use of plants in various disorders was based on prior observation on animals and later on their rationale-based use
has been narrated in Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita (1000 B.C.). In fact, many of the concepts had their foundation laid
down in the Vedic period (2000 B.C. ? 1500 B.C.) and were also scientifically explained in original and classical compendia of
Ayurveda. On the whole, the theory Panchamahabhutas is most important in Ayurveda. According to it all the substances of the
universe (including human beings) are essentially composed of five basic elements - Panchamahabhutas (air, water, fire, earth
and space). Substances are classified into two broad groups based on their use as dietary substances and drug substances. If they
are in a balanced state, a person is known as healthy and their derangement (increase or decrease) causes disorders. Based on the
various sign and symptoms in a body they are understood through the concept of Tridosha - Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which also
have a panchabhautika base. To alleviate the disease, drug substances of plant, animal and mineral origin are used to correct the
derangement and bring back normalcy. Rasayana therapy is specific to the Ayurvedic system of medicine. In fact the word ?Rasa?
has different meanings like "taste?, ?essence", "flavor?, ?juice?, or ?emotion", but is not limited to any of these. In therapeutic process
Rasa is concerned with the conservation, transformation, and revitalization of energy. It nourishes our body, boosts immunity
and helps to keep the body and mind in best of health. Rasayana describes a herbal preparation that promotes a youthful state of
physical and mental health and expands happiness. Rasayana herbs have high levels of both safety for daily use and effectiveness.
They are given to small children as tonic, and are also taken by the middle-aged and elderly to increase longevity and vitality.
Towards harnessing the traditional Indian medicine knowledge base for benefit of human mankind, CSIR-CIMAP has developed
and scientifically validated some herbal formulations like CIMAP-Phal-Se, CIMAP-Paushak, CIMAP-Health Candy and IVT-15
(for rheumatoid arthritis related disorder) that are based on the concept of Rasayana.
Dayanandan Mani has completed his MD Ayurveda in Kaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine) in 2002 at the age of 31 years from the State Ayurvedic
College and Hospital of the University of Lucknow. He joined CSIR-CIMAP, Lucknow as a Scientist Fellow in 2003 and continued on that position
upto 2005 when he joined the same institute as a Scientist. Presently he is the Head of the Herbal Medicinal Products Department (HMPD) of CSIRCIMAP.
He has published 20 papers and guided 12 (PhD/MD/MSc/MPharm) students. He is a life member of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plant
Society of India (MAPSI).
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