Kerala is traditionally a nurturing ground for Ayurveda, and if you are a tourist in search of a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage, you can visit any of the kerala ayurvedic resorts or hospitals. But do you know how Kerala emerged as a land of Ayurveda?
The answer will, of course, revolve around the details on the abundance of forests in Kerala. Shades of green can be seen anywhere in Kerala, thanks to its topography which include Western Ghats on one side, Arabian Sea on another side and more than 40 rivers flowing through the State. All these factors enrich the land and nourish the growth of a lot of herbal plants which are the main ingredients of Ayurvedic medicines. Now, you know how Ayurveda had developed such an intimate intertwining association with Kerala. But what would have prompted the Malayali psyche to preserve the herbs the plants even in a rush to urbanization?
The answer for this lies deep in our tradition and rituals. There are some rituals in Kerala which help in maintaining and preserving herbal plants and forests. You can see many mini forests, known as Kaavus (serpent groves), scattered across Kerala. They are dedicated to the Serpent God and people usually will not destroy the plants in the grove. Such a tradition helped to preserve the eco-system of the area intact and thus helped in the preservation of many plants too. There are also many minor forests preserved in Kerala, just because people believe that the forest deity is present there.