Ayurveda: The Great Mother Science

Ayurveda is the oldest medicinal system in the world, originating in India over 5000 years ago. It is a Sanskrit word comprised of two parts, 'Ayur' meaning 'life' and 'veda' science, loosely meaning "the science of life".

The Tridosha Concept

Ayurveda teaches us that everything in existence is composed of the five great elements (panchamahabhuta); space, air, fire, water and earth.

The human body and all living beings comprise three fundamental biological energies referred to as the tridosha; vata (space + air), pitta (fire + water) and kapha (water + earth). These doshas govern the mind-body functions and are subtle by-products of the five elements.

We are all made up of a unique blend of these three doshas. This ratio is formed at conception and determines our genetic constitution (prakriti). No two individuals are born with the same combination, in the same way that no two individuals can have the same fingerprints - you could liken this to our genetic blueprint.

Doshas are not inert. Both internal and external influences cause the doshas to fluctuate from our emotional state to the food we eat, how much sleep we get, the weather, seasons and even the changing time of day and different stages of life.

The sanskrit word dosha translates to 'fault', so when these external and internal factors cause a particular dosha to accumulate in excess or become too aggravated, it can result in a dis-ease of the body or mind. When the imbalance is left unchecked, we experience a decline in health, and disorders begin to manifest.

The aim of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is motivated by the sincere desire to restore and maintain health, with much emphasis on disease prevention.

We can recognise through the doshic theory that Ayurveda is a truly holistic, individualised medicine system. We all have unique energy patterns and experience fluctuations in how these patterns present. By tuning into the body's signals and ascertaining when an imbalance arises, we can make the right food and lifestyle choices to support the body's natural ability to heal, restore balance and arrest the onset of disease.

In essence, it empowers us to become our own doctors or healers and is one of the world's most powerful mind-body-spirit health systems still in existence today.


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