Rejuvenate your body and soul: Ādhitya Ayurveda – accessible indigenous medicine

By Dimithri Wijesinghe

Conveniently located just opposite the Anuradhapura General Hospital, the Ādhitya Ayurveda facility provides specialised Ayurveda treatments addressing a wide range of conditions. It is the brainchild of Dr. Sarath Gunawardhana of Gunawardhana Ayurveda Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd., with the primary goal of furthering and sharing the benefits of Ayurveda and Sri Lankan traditional medicine with the world.

Equipped with both a fully outfitted medical ward (Rs. 7,500 per room, plus 10% service charge), 27 fully air-conditioned rooms, and 12 treatment rooms, dining facilities, a sauna, hot tub, and pool, the facility only admits patients following a consultation with their doctors and upon determining the treatment the patients require.

All meals provided to guests during their stay are sourced from organic farms and are focused on providing a well-balanced diet, as recommended by the physicians, while the centre also firmly believes in promoting environmental sustainability and has a policy of maintaining zero single-use plastics in its day-to-day activities.

Ādhitya Ayurveda has also been awarded the Gold Rating Certification under the Green SLⓇ Rating System for Built Environment at the annual Green Building Awards Ceremony 2019 held in Kandy.

We spoke to Dr. Gunawardhana, who is a pioneer in Ayurvedic treatment in Sri Lanka with over 40 years of experience, best known for his areas of specialties which include cardiovascular diseases, female and male infertility, arthritis, diabetes, and neurological disorders, and he shared that this treatment centre has been something he had hoped for since the beginning of his medical career.

Dr. Gunawardhana developed special treatment methods for several diseases based on the principles of classical Ayurveda and Sri Lankan traditional herbal medicines, and he received the “Vidyanidi” presidential award in recognition of his services to the medical profession in 2017.

The facility is headed by Dr. Gunawardhana and his son Dr. Kasun Gunawardhana, who specialises in Panchakarma treatments along with Ayurveda and Sri Lankan indigenous treatments. Dr. Kasun Gunawardhana stated that the type of treatment they offer is a system of medicine which involves Hela Wedakama and Indian Ayurveda.

Both doctors stressed on the importance of attending a consultation, as that is what your treatment will be based on; it will be customised depending on one’s body constitution. According to Dr. Kasun Gunawardhana, it takes at least five to 10 days to effectively attend to ailments, and one is required to share all previous medical reports with the centre so that they can maintain a complete medical profile of the patient.

The centre has gained fast popularity for treatments that range from skin diseases to childhood neurological ailments including autism and epilepsy, and they have even attended to patients with fourth stage cancer. The doctors shared that another part of treatment is relieving pain for patients, adding that such things cannot be taken lightly. They further mentioned that one must keep in mind that their body composition is ever-changing and it is not possible to completely cure any ailment; it cannot be achieved even by cutting off the affected part, but can be held at bay with a change in lifestyle and food.

The Ādhitya Ayurveda facility is but one of the many ventures under Gunawardhana Ayurveda Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd., as they have also invested in developing indigenous medicines in their factories – you would have seen “Ādhitya” medicine at the pharmacy.

We had the pleasure of visiting these factories which remain true to the roots of what Hela Wedakama is, with the creators believing that the human component is imperative when it comes to the development of indigenous medicine and it simply cannot be mass produced; it can be streamlined so it is widely accessible.

In addition to the treatment centre, they hope to spread their wings to include a research component in order to take forth the traditional practices and optimise its effectiveness. They shared that there are certain beliefs and practices that are a result of generations of practise such as the “pulse diagnosis”, which Dr. Gunawardhana is capable of. However, without advancement, everything remains stagnant.

They also shared that there is a lot of potential for the future with this kind of medicine, adding that health and wellness tourism is a huge draw. They shared that the President too is very keen on this subject and has made promises to take measures to further streamline and develop this trade.