The word Ayurveda means the “science of life“. It is the science of healing through herbs and natural resources.
It is the most practiced ancient natural healing system of India. This system is a part of the Vedic Science and goes back to more than 4,000 years B.C. The oldest known texts on Ayurveda are the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and the Ashtanga Hrudaya. These texts give a detailed knowledge about the principles and ideology of Ayurveda and the effect that the five elements found in the cosmic system – earth, water, air, fire, and space – have on our individual system. They also provide further details about the importance of keeping these elements balanced for a healthy and happy life. Ayurveda has an effective tool for the diagnosis of disease called nadi pareeksha, or pulse diagnosis.
The aim of Ayurveda is to prevent illness and enhance wellness. According to Ayurveda, each person is influenced by certain elements more than others. This is because of their Prakriti, or natural constitution. Ayurveda categorizes the different constitutions into three different doshas:
- Vata dosha, in which the air and space elements dominate
- Pitta dosha, in which the fire and water elements dominate
- Kapha dosha, in which the earth and water elements dominate
While all three doshas are present in every constitution, they are present in different ratios. For example, I might have high concentration of Pitta (fire) in my constitution, with Kapha (earth) as secondary and only a small amount of Vata (air), but someone else may have more Vata and Pitta and less Kapha.
By knowing and understanding the qualities of our natural constitution, we are able to increase awareness of our natural strengths and challenges. This can be a positive step toward understanding our health.
If we are experiencing disease, it means there is an imbalance in our doshas; bringing our system back to balance is the key to a cure.