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Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part, but the individual as a whole.


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Home  Ayurveda
What is ayurveda? Basic Principles
Pancha Maha Bhootas Tridoshas
Trigunas Agni (Digestive Fire)
Dhatus (Body Tissues) Malas (Body Wastes)
Prakriti (Body Constitution) Treatments & Procedures


According to Ayurveda philosophy everything in the life is composed of the Panchamahabhutas Akash (Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth). The human body is consist of the Panchamahabhutas. When any of these elements are present in the environment, they will in turn have an influence on us. The foods we eat and the weather are just two examples of the presence of these elements. While we are a composite of these five primary elements, certain elements are seen to have ability to combine to create various physiological functions. Ether and air combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as the Vata dosha. Vata governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination. Fire and water are the elements that combine to form the Pitha dosha. The Pitha dos ha is the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of foods into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitha function. Pitha is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism. Finally, it is predominantly the water and earth elements, which combine to form the Kapha dosha. Kapha is what is responsible for growth, adding structure unit by unit. Another function of the Kapha dosha is to offer protection. Cerebral-spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in the body. Also, the mucousal lining of the stomach is another example of the Kapha dosha protecting the tissues. We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Ptha and Kapha. These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual; and because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.

The Panchmahabhutas therefore serve as the foundation of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat illness of the body and mind successfully.

Pancha maha bhootas

In the universe the living and non living things are made up of combinations of the Five Elements (Pancha Mahabhutas). This includes the human being which also acquires a soul or spirit. 

These five elements are:

Space   or Akasha 
or Vayu 
     or Tejas 
or Jala 
or Prithvi 

These five elements are to be understood in a material sense as well as a subtle sense. By earth we are to understand not only the terrain of our planet or the iron in our red blood cells and spleen, but also the quality of steadfastness of mind, strength of one's moral fiber, one's slow and quiet undeterred advancement towards a goal, and the resistance to the manifestations of others. By water we mean to imply the cohesive aspects of reality which flows into and holds things together, perfectly and simply witnessed in the ubiquitous H20 molecule. And the other elements too were intended by the ancient vaidyas (physicians) to communicate the essential universal principle inherent in a particular element. By fire we mean the universal force in nature that produces heat and radiates light; it is our passion to pursue despite obstacles and delays; it is what burns away the cloak of ignorance and allows the Truth to shine with brilliance. Fire removes doubt from the mother-substance of human heart and replaces it with joy. Air is that transparent, rarefied, kinetic force which sets the universe in motion; it moves the blood through the vessels, wastes from the body, thoughts through the mind; it moves the birds to warmer climates in winter, it moves the planets around their suns. Space is the subtlest of all elements which is everywhere and touches everything; in the mind it is the vessel which receives all impressions, in the heart space accepts love; space is receptivity and non-resistance to what is true.

Thus these Five Subtle Elements (Pancha Mahabhutas) form the basis for all things found in the material creation, from a grain of sand to the complex physiology of every human being. Balancing these elements in just the right way for each unique individual is the key to maintaining health and treating disease should it arise, whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual.


 What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda Principles

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Ayurveda is a perfect ancient science of life, the word AYUR literally means life and VEDA, the science or knowledge. more...


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