Ayurveda, a natural system of medicine, originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Thus, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life.
According to Ayurveda, the human body is composed of four basics-the dosha, dhatu, mala and agni. There is immense significance of all these basics of the body in Ayurveda. These are also called the 'Mool Siddhant' or the 'basic fundamentals of Ayurvedic treatment'.
In Ayurveda texts, Dosha balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness. Ayurveda treatises describe three elemental doshas viz. vāta, pitta and kapha, and state that balance (Skt. sāmyatva) of the doshas results in health, while imbalance (viṣamatva) results in disease.
Vata is the subtle energy associated with movement — composed of Space and Air. It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance, vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety. Pitta expresses as the body’s metabolic system — made up of Fire and Water. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy. Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure — bones, muscles, tendons — and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together, formed from Earth and Water. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness.