Ayurveda, an ancient medical system from the Vedic civilization of India, uses the inherent principles of nature, to give you the means of attaining and maintaining your own optimal health and wellbeing. The aim of this system is to prevent illness, eliminate diseases and prolong life.
According to Ayurveda, human beings are composed of five basic elements, called the Panchabhutas like the air, water, fire, earth, and space. All these elements integrate together to cause Doshas (energy types) within the living being. Three Doshas are mainly responsible for the proper functioning of the human organism.
The Principles of Ayurveda
The principles of Ayurveda revolve around these three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha, attempting to keep a balance among them. The imbalance within Doshas cause various kinds of diseases and hamper quality of life. It controls psychological, biological, and the physiological aspects of the mind and the body
Vata – It is believed to be a combination of air and space. The quality of Vata is dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile and clear. This energy directs nerve impulses, chewing, swallowing, thinking, circulation, respiration, bowel movements and elimination process like urination. When Vata is imbalanced, all these actions are affected.
Kapha – It pertains to water and earth elements. The quality of Kapha is heavy, cold, dull, oily, smooth, dense, soft, static, liquid, cloudy, and hard. As Kapha governs stability and structure, growth and protection and forms the substance or lubrication of the human body like cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column.
Pitta – It is the combination of fire and water elements. The quality of Pitta is sharp, penetrating, hot, light, liquid, mobile, and oily. It controls digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension. Imbalanced pitta can lead to sharpness and inflammation.
In general only one or two out of the three Doshas are dominant in an individual. That’s why, Ayurveda Practitioner scrutinize the body of the patient, and prescribe medicines keeping in mind the constitution of Doshas. Proper diet and proper life style help in maintaining the balance of doshas.
Other important basic principles of Ayurveda
Dhatus – Dhatus are basically the body tissues and it performs functions under the influence of the Doshas. There are Seven types of Dhatus in the body namely – rasa (chyle), raktha ( blood ), mamsa ( muscles), meda( fatty tissue), asthi ( bone ), majja (marrow ) and sukla (reprodutive tissue)
Mala – These are waste products formed during the digestion process eliminated as sweat, hair, nail, urine, faeces and discharge from eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Accumulation of malas causes many diseases in the body
Srotas – These are channels which transport nutrients food, water etc in the body. When there is excess, deficiency, or blockage in these channels is the beginning of diseases
Agni – Agni means ‘fire’ which converts food we eat into a suitable form so as to help the body to absorb it.