Records show that in India during the Indus Valley Civilization (6000 BC) Ayurveda was practiced extensively. Excavations reveal that many of the herbs now being used were also part of their healing system in such early days. During Vedic period (4000 BC) it was more developed and studied under different schools. Many formulations and treatment procedures were well explained in Adharva Veda. During the period of Ithihasa (2000 BC) Ayurveda was developed into an independent science and was referred as 5th Veda. In 1000 BC (Samhita period) Ayurveda was further expanded and studied under many branches in different schools like General Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry etc. The main schools during that period are Charaka (General Medicine), Susrutha (Surgery), Kashyapa (Pediatrics, Gynecology) etc.
In Kerala, Ayurveda was practiced whole-heartedly because of the ardent support of its rulers. Since Kerala was never under the direct rule of the British government, Ayurveda received the constant support of the rulers. Many of its families were practicing different branches, but collectively they have been traditional believers in the science and life sustaining natural power of Ayurveda. It must be remembered that Ayurveda, Yoga and Tantra were thus protected and respected in Kerala than in any other part of India
Yoga, the science of right living, is based on the harmonizing system of development of mind, body and spirit. This is done through the practice of asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha and meditation and must be achieved before union can take place with the place of a higher reality. At the spiritual level Yoga can be explained as the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness.
What makes Yoga so powerful and effective is the fact that it works on this holistic principle of harmony and unification. Also it has proved as a successful form of therapy for many ailments. Medical Scientists explain that yoga creates a balance in the nervous and endocrine systems which directly influence the other systems and organs of the body.