Ayurveda regarded as the oldest form of healthcare in the world is an intricate medical system that originated in India thousands of years ago.
The fundamentals of Ayurveda can be found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas — the ancient Indian books of wisdom. The Rig Veda, which was written over 6,000 years ago, contains a series of prescriptions that can help humans overcome various ailments.
Ayurveda is based on the principal that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are
represented in humans by three "doshas", or energies:
Vata pertains to air and ether elements. This energy is generally seen as the force, which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.
Pitta pertains to fire and water elements. This dosha governs metabolism, e.g. the transformation of foods into nutrients. Pitta is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems.
Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The mucousal lining of the stomach, and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
When any of the doshas
accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the Three doshas("tridoshas").
Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.
A healthy person, as defined in Sushrut Samhita, one of the primary works on Ayurveda, is "he whose doshas are in balance, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and whose mind, body and spirit are cheerful.
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