History of Ayurveda in Ancient Lanka – The birth of Hela Veda

It was the year 995 BC, in a mystical pearl shaped island in the Indian Ocean, a secret to lifelong health was brewing. Word of the island’s secret spread far and wide and many a travelers journeyed through treacherous waters in search of its treasure. This captivating island fell home to the greatest of rulers but there was more to the island…

Its priceless treasures lay in the hands of what the island offered its inhabitants. Hidden deep inside the jungles, protected by the sanctuary of the caves, were wise men that unraveled the mysteries of these tropical jungles.

Through ancient remedies that were told to them by their ancestors, they churned out the remedies of Ayurveda (or as known on the island as Hela Veda) that healed and soothed inhabitants. Its secrets were passed on through the monasteries and flourished through the Kingdom with the arrival of the Buddhist doctrine.

Ayurveda medicine on the island has been documented for over 3000 years. The science and practices were closely guarded and practiced by monks and protected by our ancient Kings. Many of the island’s kings too were prominent Physicians’ which helped this holistic medicinal life form to sustain its survival and longevity.

King Buddhadasa (398 AD) was one of the most prominent Physicians, who wrote the ancient Ayurveda Scripture “Sarartha Sangrahaya”, which is still the most respected and referred to Ayurveda document used by local practitioners to date.

Before Sri Lanka was known for its world renowned Ceylon Tea, the ancient sea fearers knew Lanka for its own holistic medicine known as Hela Veda. The principle of the holistic healing form was similar to its neighboring Ayurveda but Hela Veda acts unique as it used endemic herbs and plants that grew only in Sri Lanka. These medicinal concoctions had its own potency and grew in reputation of its curative powers.

With the arrival of the first European settlers in early 1500s, the Hela Veda holistic practices were taken undergrown for its protection and were closely guarded by monks in monasteries. Native Ayurveda practitioners passed down its teaching through generations edged in palm leave scrolls and they continued to heal and cure the locals over the centuries.

Today the beautiful blend of Ayurveda and Hela Veda remedies are enjoyed by the locals of Sri Lanka on a daily basis to heal and cure. Many a native still turns to Ayurveda remedies rather than Western Medication due to the minimum side effects from these forms of medication.
The Government of Sri Lanka continues to recognize Ayurveda alongside Western Medicine through the Department of Indigenous Medicine. All Ayurveda practitioners are registered and recognized through their doctorates; all products are registered and tested through the department and all Practitioners are closely monitored through the department.

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