Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with the laws of nature on a daily basis. Ayurveda is an ancient natural wisdom of health and healing – a science of positive living. Ayurveda has been in continuous practice in Asia for well over 5000 years, collecting a wealth of empirical data to supports its efficacy. Many parts of the world Ayurveda is mainstream in Health care. The principle objective of Ayurveda is to maintain the optimum holistic health through nutrition, lifestyle management, herbal supplements and panchakarma (the Ayurvedic technique of detoxiﬁcation and rejuvenation).
Ayurveda is truly holistic system of healthcare. Today, the word ‘holistic’ means many things to many people. However, the commonest usage refers to – spirit, mind and body. Ayurveda has been in operation since time immemorial, embodying the concept in its fundamental principles.
The pancha-mahabhutas are the primordial energies which comprise the universe: quantum physics has accepted this principle. The ancient Sages classed the quantum energy particles into five categories. This primordial energy in Ayurveda means spirit.
It’s a foregone scientific conclusion that energy and matter are interchangeable. Matter is derived from energy particles and vice versa. The configuration of the quantum energy particles determine the type of primordial matter or element. All forms of matter – both organic and inorganic — are made up of a limited number of building blocks called elements. Each element potentially consists of all categories of energy. Scientists now recognise 112 different elements, of which 92 occur naturally on Earth, and the rest are produced from the natural elements using devices such as particle accelerators or nuclear reactors.
Twenty six of the 92 naturally occurring elements are normally present in our body. They are known as bio-chemicals (dhatus), because they are capable of sustaining and supporting life. The biochemical’s (dhatus) form our physical body or matter. Matter alone is incapable of sustaining life, unless it is supported by prana or the life force. The interface through which prana manifests itself is the tridoshas, which are governed by the mind or manas (in Ayurveda the term mind or manas is not synonymous with brain).
The tridoshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha, are the subtle energies that convert the energetics from our environment into matter. Each dosha governs a specific group of functions in our physiology. Thus the definition of Holistic as mind-body & Spirit comes to life, described in Ayurvedic terms as bhuta — dosha — dhatu.
The conﬁguration of bhutas, doshas and dhatus in living matter gives it its unique characteristics called Prakruti or genetic constitution, also known as body types. Ayurveda categorises seven basic prakruti’s or body types, based on the predominance of the doshas. Our Prakruti can be determined by the aggregate of our natural physical, mental and emotional tendencies.
Health is the maintenance of homeostasis, which is a condition of equilibrium or balance in the body’s internal environment produced by the ceaseless interplay of all the body’s regulatory processes. Homeostasis is a dynamic condition which is affected not only by the body’s internal environment, but also by the interaction of the body with the external environment. We take in the external environment through our senses as stimulus which are metabolised into biochemicals, as well as through our nutrition. Thus, our life-style, or the way we interact with our environment (internal and external), and our diet plays a major role in maintaining our health.