About Ayurveda


Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy of health and medicine that originates from the Indian subcontinent. The name ‘Ayurveda’ consists of two words from the Sanskrit language: Ayur meaning ‘life’ and Veda meaning ‘knowledge’. Ayurveda, or ‘the knowledge of life’, emphasizes harmony of body, mind and spirit.

Our certified Ayurveda physician and experienced therapists provide a professional and personalised approach for everyone, from Ayurveda believers to sceptics.

Basic Philosophy

A central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the Tri-dosha theory. The three doshas derive from the Five Elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and their related properties. Vata is composed of space and air, Pitta of fire and water, and Kapha of earth and water. The doshas express patterns of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics. Everyone embodies all three doshas but usually one or two types dominate each of us.

Health exists when our doshas are balanced. When one dosha becomes aggravated, such as due to stress, an imbalance may occur resulting in changed physical and mental health. The objective of Ayurvedic treatments is to bring our doshas into equilibrium. This is achieved through daily treatments, including massages, a diet designed for each dosha-type, as well as meditation and Yoga.

What’s my Dosha?

Our Ayurveda physician will identity your dominant dosha(s) during the first consultation (Pure and Spirit guests only).

Vata derives from the elements of space and air. Physiologically, it is responsible for all movements of the body such as breathing, nerve impulses, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, elimination, urination, and menstruation. Psychologically, Vata governs communication, creativity, flexibility, and quickness of thought. If Vata is aggravated, you may experience nervousness, insomnia, dry skin and constipation.

Pitta derives from the elements of fire and water. Physiologically, it is responsible for digestion and metabolic processes such as the carrying of organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, as well as mental perception and intellect. If Pitta is aggravated, you may experience inflammation, rashes, ulcers, indigestion and heartburn, and fever.

Kapha derives from the elements of water and earth. Physiologically, Kapha is responsible for the fluid balance in the cells, bodily fluids such as water, mucuous and lymph and the skeletal structure. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. If Kapha is aggravated, you may experience obesity, colds, asthma, kidney stones, apathy and fatigue.

Is Ayurveda for me?

Ayurveda is for anyone who is health conscious.

For healthy people, Ayurvedic treatments are an opportunity to consciously take time for oneself, to bring the body and soul back into harmony, and to improve general well-being as well as to help prevent disease.

For people with health problems, an Ayurveda treatment can relieve symptoms and lead to a better quality of life. Ayurveda is not a miracle cure, but together with our Ayurveda physician we can develop a treatment regimen to ease symptoms related to a number of illnesses such as rheumatism, joint-problems, obesity and Parkinson’s disease. Please contact us for questions related to specific health-problems.

Who treats me?

Ayurveda Physicians

For centuries, Ayurveda knowledge was passed down from one generation to the next. Today, the Institute of Indigenous Medicine [http://iim.cmb.ac.lk/ayurveda] at the University of Colombo and the University of Kelaniya [http://www.kln.ac.lk/institutes/wickramarachchi/index.htm], Sri Lanka provide instruction in Ayurvedic medicine at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. All physicians at Amba have been awarded a minimum 6-year full-time qualification in Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda Therapists

Certified Ayurveda therapists participate in several years of training at vocational schools, usually linked to an Ayurvedic hospitals or treatment centres. The therapists perform treatments, such as massages, as prescribed by the Ayurveda physician.

Ayurveda Chef

In many households in South India and Sri Lanka, family meals are cooked according to Ayurvedic dietary guidelines. For many people in these regions, Ayurveda is therefore part of everyday life. Our Ayurveda chef will prepare meals according to your dosha, in addition to special meals our physician has recommended. During your stay, you can learn how Ayurvedic cooking can be tailored to your needs and how particular herbs, spices and foods effect your body.

What kind of treatments can I expect?

Listed below are some of our basic treatments. Your treatment programme will be designed by our Ayurveda doctor according to your health needs, and whether you choose a Pure, Spirit or Sceptic Experience.

Shiroabhyahga, Head Massage

Head and neck are massaged with oils which increases blood circulation to the brain thereby enhancing cranial activity.

Waktru Abyanga, Face Massage

Gentle oil massage relaxes facial muscles and improve muscular tone.

Abhyanga, Full-Body Massage

The body is massaged with oils to promote relaxation, improve circulation and to release toxins. The massage is performed by either one therapist (Intensive Body Massage) or by two therapists (Synchronized Body Massage)

Padaabyanga, Foot Massage

This foot massage emphasises pressure points.

Shirordahra, Forehead

A continuous light stream of oil is poured onto the forehead. This treatment leads to a deep mental and spiritual relaxation. It is also applied to improve neurological functions.

Udvarthanam Massage with Dry Herbs

The body is massaged with warm oil and dried herb powder, similar to a body scrub. This treatment is especially good for weight loss.

Thermo Massage

Two therapists rub the body with oil and then pat-down the skin with a bag of cotton containing a mixture of herbs and milk rice. This treatment stimulates circulation and detoxification, thereby slowing the aging process.

Swedana Herbal Steam Bath or Herbal Bath
A hot herbal (steam) bath opens the pores, and toxins are excreted through the skin.