Any individual is made up of five elements namely prithvi – the earth, jala – the water, agni – the fire, vayu – the air and akash which is the space. All individuals consist of these 5 elements in different proportions. In a human body, space occurs where there is nothing or is an empty area such as ears, nostrils etc. Air helps in movements as in the case of joints, fire is available in the metabolism, water in fluid form in blood, lymph etc and earth is used to represent solid materials like muscles.
As per Ayurveda a human body is composed of the derivatives of all these 5 elements which exist in the form of doshas, dhatus and malas. The main principle of Ayurveda is called as the tridoshas or the three humours. They are the physiological factors of the body and are classified as vata, pitha and kapha.
The basic principle of ayurveda is the tridosha theory. It is considered that all individuals have the three doshas with one or more doshas dominating the other. It is the proportion of this doshas in a person that makes them unique.
Some other principles of ayurveda include dhatus, mala, srota and agni. Dhatus are the tissues that nourish the body. In an individual there are 7 dhatus namely plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow and reproductive fluid. Mala is produced as an end product of metabolic activities and includes urine, faeces and sweat. It is necessary to eliminate the waste out of the body. Srota transports the food materials dhatus, malas and the doshas. It should not be blocked as this may result in various infections and diseases. Agni means fire which performs the metabolic activities.
The two principle objectives of Ayurveda are:
“Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam” – This means to increase years to your life and also to promote good health.
“Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha” – This means to get rid of the diseases completely and any mal function inside the body.