Sri Lanka has an indigenous traditional medicine system called ‘Hela Wedakama’ (Ayurveda). This system has been active on the island for thousands of years (dating back to the time of the kings). But this medical system is very powerful. On the other hand, the Sri Lankan Ayurvedic tradition is the Sinhala traditional medicine, the mainland Ayurveda and the Siddha methods of India, the Unani medicine of Greece through the Arabs and most importantly the indigenous medicine of Sri Lanka.
Over a period of 3,000 years, Sri Lanka developed its own “Ayurvedic” system based on a series of prescriptions passed down from generation to generation. Those recipes were very powerful and very nutritious. So ancient kings were famous physicians and its existence goes back to a long history. So The most powerful of these physicians, King “Buddhadasa” (398 AD), wrote the book “Saratha Sangraha”.
It is still used by Sri Lankan doctors today. Some believe that the age of “Hela Wedakama” comes from King “Maha Ravana”. Many true traditional medicine practitioners still worship King “Rawana” to obtain permission before treating patients or making medicines accordingly, according to ancient traditions
Ancient medical inscriptions reveal that organized medical services have existed in the country for centuries. In fact, Sri Lanka claims to be the first country in the world to have dedicated hospitals capable of operating even on animals. So, Sri Lanka “Mihintale Kanda” still has the ruins of what many believe to be the world’s first hospital. So Old hospital sites now attract tourists. These places have come as a symbol of traditional healing and care.
Ayurvedic physicians have historically benefited from royal patronage and thus gained a reputation in the social hierarchy of the island. There is a well-known Sri Lankan saying from this heritage: “If you cannot be a king, be a healer”. Traditional medicine has largely died out in Sri Lanka with the rise and fall of European colonialism and the growing popularity of prescriptions.
In recent years, however, an increasing number of tourists have sought alternative treatments for chronic diseases in traditional Sri Lankan medicine. In addition, Buddhism and others have been made the objectives of nationalism, and Ayurveda influences the democratic politics of Sri Lanka today and the general political discourse.
Current Status of Ayurveda in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Ayurveda has been practiced in the island for over a thousand years and today Ayurveda is the foremost medical practice on the island. Over the past 15-20 years, Sri Lanka has become a popular destination for foreign visitors seeking Ayurveda. So, Many are attracted to the holistic perspective of Ayurveda – a very broad approach to health that includes the physical, mental and spiritual aspects. Many people appreciate a medical system that is not so dependent on drugs, and tends to make changes in one’s diet and lifestyle in order to achieve better health.
So, The warm tropical climate found along the southern coast of Sri Lanka is an added advantage. This warmth helps to open skin pores, intensify deep cleansing and detoxify the body. psychologically the calming effect of staying near a tropical beach contributes to the overall productivity of Ayurveda. It provides a good background for spending time, recharging and evaluating life priorities.
Ayurveda, which originated in ancient India, is one of the oldest scientific medical practices in the world. Ayurveda focuses on two main points:
- The removal of the cause of an illness.
- The active promotion of one’s good health and longevity.
In Ayurveda, health means the integration of one’s body, mind and soul / spirit. Ayurveda therefore describes a way of life: yoga, meditation, lifestyle practices, behavior, diet, antiseptic and rejuvenation routines (panchakarma) etc. will satisfy the basic instinct to maintain fitness, stay healthy and live a long, satisfying life. So, this holistic view of health is distinguished from ‘traditional’ medical methods that seek to treat the symptoms of a disease, with little emphasis on the role of diet and lifestyle in curing disease and maintaining good health.
Loss of this balance can occur due to many of the following factors:
- Poor diet.
- Weak digestive fire.
- Inadequate sleep and relaxation.
- Production and accumulation of bio toxins in the body.
- Incomplete elimination of waste matter.
- Stress, both physical and mental.
- Improper metabolism.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country as well as a country rich in medicines. It is also your responsibility as well as mine to take care of the medicine. May the Buddha bless you all
Author:- Malindu Malaka