Basic Principles of Ayurveda

The word ‘Ayus’ meaning life addresses the well being of the body, mind and the soul as the human being is formed by all the three.   The human body comprises of the five elements of the universe namely ‘Pancha Mahabhootas’ and ‘Mans the mind and ‘Atman’ the soul along with time namely Kaala, and direction, Dik.

In essence, Ayurvedic treatment is aimed at the health of the body but also the mind.  It is not aimed at treating the external symptoms of the body but the individual as a whole. This helps in eliminating the toxic elements and restoring the natural resistance to diseases and to maintain good health.
 
The Three Doshas
 
Ayurveda system is based on the basic principle that there are three life energies called ‘doshas’ namely, vata, pitta and kapha that form the basis of human life. The ratio in which these doshas are present in an individual determines his body constitution. Any disturbance in the balance of the doshas leads to disorders. 
'Vata dosha' is caused mainly by Ether or  'Akash' & Air 'Vayu',
'Pitta dosha' is caused mainly by of Fire 'Tejas' and
'Kapha dosha' is caused mainly by water 'Aap' and  Earth ('Prithvi').
 
Prakruti
 
The constitution of the doshas makes each person unique and this is known as the individual’s Prakruti. Identifying the person’s Prakruti helps in deciding the line of treatment to curing as well as preventing the disease.  According to Ayurveda principle, the daily nutritional guidelines with health routine and specific lifestyle are suggested according to the person’s Prakruti. When there is a disorder herbal medications are suggested along with lifestyle changes to cure the imbalance and to maintain lasting health. For example the Ayurvedic physician advises on what foods to eat, what is to be avoided etc. Thus the sick patient is cured and healthy person can improve immunity and strength.
 
Other Basic Principles of Ayurveda
 
Ayurveda is based on the theory that different elements of the universe are present in the human body and the health of the person depends upon the balance of these elements both the internally and externally. The different factors affecting the physical and mental health of a person are also explained.  The different processes involved in the body are known as Agni, Ahaar Pachan, Dhatu Poshan, Dosha Dhatu Mala, Oja and Purusha. Purusha is the higher consciousness called Atman in Ayurveda.
 
Agni: The meaning of Agni is fire which denotes metabolic activity. Ayurveda discusses about 13 types of Agni taking place in the metabolic process.  They represent the various enzymes produced in the process of digestion of food.
 
Dhatus: The tissues in the body are called Dhatus consisting of bone, fat, reproductive fluid, muscle, blood, plasma and marrow.  The balance in the quality and quantity of all these is vital to healthy functioning of all organs.
 
Mala: The waste materials resulting from metabolism are known as malas. Examples of mala are urine, faeces and sweat. When they get accumulated inside the body, it is prone to diseases.
 
Srota: Srotas are the channels that help in the transportation of the food and Dhatus and malas. If there is an obstruction there may be disorders in the body.
 
The basic principle of Ayurveda are based on the belief that the harmony between the individual and the universe through a balanced and healthy living.



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