Ayurveda, ayur, meaning life and veda, knowledge or science, is a traditional system
of holistic medicine that is practised in India and has been widely used for around
the last 6000 years. In Ayurveda the life force or divine energy that flows through
the body maintains balance and harmony, preventing ill-health and disease. It is
shrouded in mystery in the west, and perhaps because of this factor has become
fashionable among the rich and famous. Aspects of Ayurveda have become western-
ised, diluted and distorted in recent years, and some of its spiritual and mystical
components have become lost in order to fulfil western expectations.