What is Ayurveda?

The Ayurvedic definition of Health is “balance”. Balanced action, balanced thinking, balanced physiological functioning – from blood circulation, digestion, elimination, etc. to psychological and spiritual balanced being.

The cosmic intelligence expresses itself in the universe through five basic elements, called the Pancha Mahabhutas – Akasha (space), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Jal (water), and Prithivi (earth). In the course of evolution, these transform themselves in living beings into the three doshas that govern the body: Vata dosha, Pitta dosha, and Kapha dosha.

Vata dosha, consisting mainly of Akasha und Vayu elements, is the principle of movement. Pitta, consisting mainly of Agni, is the principle of metabolism and intelligence. Kapha, consisting of Jal and Prithivi, is the principle of structure. A particular combination of the three doshas in a person is called Prakriti, the constitution of a person.

Qualities of Vata Pitta Kapha

dry unctuous heavy

cool hot cool

lightness sharp soft

subtle liquid oily

moving acid sweet

pervading spreading stable

coarse pungent smooth

Health means that all three doshas have to function in a balanced way. An imbalanced function leads to disease. Imbalanced function of the various physiological systems, such a digestive system, nervous system, sensory system, endocrine system, etc. does not fully metabolize all that is taken in. The product of such improper functioning physiology is called Ama. These are toxins and residues that further block all channels of the body and weaken the immune system.

Ayurveda calls for the purification of the physiology with Panchakarma. Additionally to Panchakarma, Ayurveda prescribes various herbal preparation that enlivens the body and mind so that its functions in a balanced way even at home, after the Panchakarma. Also, Yoga, Meditation, Yagya, Jyotish, and other Vedic disciplines play an important part in proper diagnosis and cure of diseases.

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