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Ayurveda mainly works on two principles:

Tridosha: Imbalances in Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Rejuvenation of Ojas: A subtle form of Sukra.

1. Tridosha:

Tri means “three”.
Dosha means “imbalance”.
The imbalances in Vata, Pitta and Kapha are called as Tridoshas.

Elements – World – Body:

This whole world is created by five elements. These five elements are called as Panchabhootas in Sanskrit. They are:

  • Earth
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Air
  • Space

These five elements are affecting the world as well as the body through different forms.

Air and space Air Vatam [Vata]
Fire Sun Pittam [Pitta]
Water and Earth Moon Kapham, Sleshma [Kapha]

For example the element fire is related to the sun in the world. This fire is also related with Pitta of the body.

Importance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha:

The Vata, Pitta and Kapha play very important roles in human anatomy and physiology.
They are as follows:

Body movements, running, walking, excretion of urine and feces.
Digestion of food, functionality of eye, body colour, hunger and thirst.
Movements of joints, strength, braveness, weight of the body.

Balancing these Vata, Pitta and Kapha in order to maintain a healthy life, is the one of the basic principles of Ayurveda.

Tridosha - food:

In order to balance these Vata, Pitta and Kapha, a person has to take proper food according to their body nature.
In nature every matter contains a taste created by the six basic tastes [Shadruchis]. They are sweet, sour, salty, spicy, astringent and bitter.

These six tastes are also formed by the combination of the five elements:

Earth+Water Sweet It gives cooling effect, increases Kapha diseases and decreases Vata and Pitta diseases.
Earth+Fire Sour It gives heat effect, increases Kapha diseases and decreases Vata and Pitta diseases.
Water+Fire Salty It gives heat effect, increases Vata diseases and decreases Kapha and Pitta diseases.
Fire+Air Spicy [Chili taste] It gives heat effect, decreases Kapha diseases and increases Vata and Pitta diseases.
Earth+Air Astringent It gives cooling effect, increases Vata diseases, decreases Kapha and Pitta diseases.
Space+Air Bitter It gives cooling effect, increases Vata diseases and decreases Kapha and Pitta diseases.

The Vata, Pitta, Kapha and all six types of tastes are present in human. Just like in human beings, they are also present in trees, plants and food materials.

So basically Ayurveda deals with the knowledge about which food contains which taste, which taste cures which dosha. And it then prescribes a remedy to cure a disease by balancing the related dosha. It can only be done by knowing the nature of disease and remedy.

Seasons –Tridosha – Disease:

The seasons have some effect on Vata, Pitta and Kapha of our body. This effect may cure some doshas and may cause new doshas. To cure doshas of a particular season, nature provides proper herbs to human in that season. By knowing this fact, ancient yogis developed some festivals in such seasons and prescribed some rituals to take those herbs in various forms to balance tridosha in that season.

Along with seasonal herbs, nature provides some herbs with good medical properties, throughout the year. Some of them are Azadirachta indica [neem], Ocimum sanctum [holy basil], Aegle marmelos [bilva], Ficus relegiosa and Curcuma longa. These herbs and spices developed important roles in daily rituals and in food, too. By treating trees and plants as gods and goddess, the yogis enhanced the purity and importance of those herbs.

Some of these herbs are:

Ficus bengalensis, Butea frondosa Brahma [creative principle]
Ficus religiosa Vishnu [developing principle]
Aegle marmelos Siva [including principle]
Bramhi Saraswati [goddess of knowledge]
Azadirachta indica Lakshmi [goddess of property]
Curcuma longa Parvati [goddess of energy]


2. Rejuvenation of Ojas:

Accoring to Ayurveda human physical body is composed of seven constituents. These seven constituents are called as “Sapta dhatus” in Sanskrit. Sapta means seven and dhatu means constituents. They are

  • Rasa [chyle]
  • Rakta [blood]
  • Mamsa [muscle]
  • Majja [marrow]
  • Asti [bone]
  • Meda [brain and nervous system]
  • Sukra [sperm and ovum]

Some other medical systems also deal with these Sapta dhatus. But Ayurveda additionally deals with Ojas, which is a subtle form of Sukra.
This Ojas protects all physical constituents from deterotation. One can develop this Ojas by practicing Vajeekaran prakaran [one of the Ashtanga chikitsa].
The combinations of medicines which develop this Ojas are called as rasayanas.
In Ayurveda, along with the usage of these rasayanas, the person has to follow some moral values and has to practice good attitude.


Thus Ayurveda works on nature of Body, nature of herbs and the effect of those herbs on the body to balance Vata, Pit ta and Kapha.
It also reveals that in order to protect seven constituents of the physical body, the person has to develop Ojas, which is a subtle form of Sukra. This can be done by practicing good moral values and character. So Ayurveda says that for a good condition of health, a proper body and a pure mind are essential. This is also the same principle of Yoga.