What is Ayurveda?


The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that evolves from combination of two words, ‘Ayuh’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning knowledge. Ayurveda literally translates as ‘Science of Life’ and teaches us to live in harmony with the basic laws of nature.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda, Five Elements and The Three Doshas:

All organic and inorganic substances present in nature are the combinations of five elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These five elements are the building blocks of the entire physical world.

In Ayurveda, these five elements or biological energies are defined in terms of three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

The presence of three doshas is visible through out the human body and mind ranging from complex biological functions to personality traits. Every cell of the body contains Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in varying proportions that contribute to an individual’s unique mind-body constitution.
Ayurvedic Definition of Health (Adopted by the World Health Organization)

Samadosha samagnischa samadhatumalakriyaah|
Prasanna-atma-indriya-manaha swastha ity abhidheeyate||
– Sushruta Samhita

Meaning:

Sama dosha means balanced doshas

(Three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that govern the functions of every part of the body)

Sama agni means balanced digestive fire

(digestion, assimilation, and metabolism of the food you eat)

Sama dhatu means balanced conversion of food into the body’s seven different tissues

(rasa (nutrient fluids), rakta (blood plasma), mamsa (muscle), medha (fat), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow), and shukra (reproductive tissue)

Mala kriya means when food is metabolized, the waste is eliminated properly

(the physiological functions of urination, defecation, and sweating)

Prasanna atma indriya manaha means blissful soul, senses and content of mind.

Swastha ity abhidheeyate means when all these things are present, that is swastha (health), according to Ayurveda.

Further Reading:

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Preeti Gupta

About Preeti Gupta

Preeti Gupta is a certified Ayurveda Consultant practicing in the Bay area. She provides personalized Ayurvedic counseling sessions and monthly group wellness events that focus on balanced diet, healthy nutrition, natural detoxification, rejuvenation and disease prevention. She is passionate about using food as a medicine and looks forward to being a part of your Ayurvedic journey soon!