The origin of Ayurveda date back to the Vedic age many thousands of years ago. It is one of the oldest forms of holistic medicine widely used even today. Combining and nurturing the mind, body and soul, Ayurveda bestows spiritual, physical, and mental health respectively.
The core principle of Ayurveda is that the five basic elements or panchabhutas – aakasha or space, vayu or air, teja or fire, jala or water and prithvi or earth form the universe as well as the human body. A unique combination of these elements form the three doshas – vata, pitta and kapha which are responsible for a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. In other words, the three doshas form the blueprint for optimal health in every person.
Dosha, loosely translated means “that which can cause problems”. Each dosha, a combination of atleast two basic elements, fluctuate in the body according to the seasons, time of day, process of digestion among other factors and can thus determine changing conditions of growth, aging, health, and disease.
- Vata is a mix of vayu (air) and aakasha (space). The vata substances are responsible for movements in the body. An imbalance in vata may lead to conditions like asthma, flatulence, dryness of skin, rheumatic disorders and gout, weight loss, restlessness and dizziness.
- Pitta combines teja (fire) and jala (water). The pitta substances perform functions pertaining to digestion and metabolism. An imbalance in pitta may lead to conditions like digestive problems, heart burn, lose stools or diarrhea, and painful menstrual cramps.
- Kapha is made up of jala (water) and prithvi (earth). The kapha substances are the nourishing elements of the body. Imbalance in kapha shows as cold, congestion, lack of appetite, water retention, weight gain, and a feeling of tiredness & depression.
Ayurveda addresses imbalances within any of the doshas by proposing an upliftment of physical, mental and spiritual health. Small yet meaningful changes to our daily routines along with a nutritious diet and herbs that can blend into our life’s demands.
Ayurveda is not just about herbs! It is about the balance of mind, body and soul.