Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical system in the world originated from India 5000 years ago. The Name Ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit (mother of all Indian languages) words, AYUS and VEDA. AYUS = life and VEDA = Science or knowledge. So the meaning of Ayurveda is "science of life" or "knowledge about life".
This ancient science of wisdom evolved from the Vedas, which combines physical, psychological and spiritual therapies in its approach to health.
Ayurvedic science is based on the five element theory ie; Prithvi (earth), Ap (water), Tejus (fire), Vayu (air) and Akasha (ether). Ayurveda strongly derives that the whole universe is made up of five elements, so as the human body. The human body is very closely related with our mother nature.
From these five elements evolved the Ayurvedic postulates - Vata (air + ether) Pitta (fire + water) and Kapha (water + earth). These three are called as DOSHAS. It is invisible and can be a known only by its qualities and actions performed in the body. The Doshas govern the physiochemical and physiological activities in the body. When these three are in a balanced state or in a harmony, health is maintained. Any change in its equilibrium due to the improper diet and activities produces ill health.
According to Ayurveda an individual's physical and mental constitution is called as prakruti. An individual's constitution is fixed at the time of conception. It is influenced by parent`s genitics, mental and physical state during the fertilisation. This Prakruti helps to make ones personality. The prakruti is very much individualised, due to this nobody is having same prakruti. During the life Prakruti is not getting changed as it is fixed by birth. It changes only during death.
Prakruti on an Individual cannot be treated as it is fixed from birth. Treatment is done for Vikruti - derangement of the three Dosha which produce disease due to various factors.
You are what you eat, what you think and what you do.
The major causative factor of ill health is improper food and food habits. Ayurveda has given a very detailed knowledge about the food and food habits, which should be adopted.
Ayurveda has classified the basic tastes into six. They are MADHURA (sweet), AMLA (sour), LAVANA (salt), TIKTA (bitter), USHNA (spicy/pungent) and KASHAYA (astringent). The improper usage of these tastes influences the DOSHAS causing imbalance and disease. The tastes are closely related with the Five elementsâ€¦.