”…when diet is wrong, the medicine is of no use and when the diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
Ayurvedic treatments works at the causative levels while most of the modern medical treatments operate at the symptomatic level. It employs only natural treatment methods, since it recognizes the human being as being an integral part of nature.
Ayurveda explains nature with its ‘Five Great Elements’ theory. It says each and every existence is composed of five elements:
1. Ether (akasa) – The principle of space
2. Air (vayu) – The principle of movement
3. Fire (agni) – The principle of conversion, heat, and light
4. Water (jala/aap) – The principle of liquidity and cohesion
5. Earth (prithvi) – The principle of form and structure.
Every human body has five elements in it, in varied proportions, making every individual unique. Maintenance of the equilibrium of these elements in the body is the key to health, according to ayurvedic principles. The five elements combine in pairs, to form three basic functional principles/energies called doshas in our body. Each of the three energies are believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. These biological types are:
Vata – Air and ether
Pitta – Fire and water
Kapha – Earth and water
In Ayurveda, the food is considered the best and the most important medicine. The scholars say that when diet is wrong, the medicine is of no use and when the diet is correct, medicine is of no need. Each food item contains the same doshas and five elements as the human body but in different proportions. A personalised and customized diet for each individual is therefore the best path to holistic health.
Images by Belén Vazquez Amaro, blogger, stylist & yogini and Albin Holmqvist art director & graphic designer. Belén is running the successful blog In the making by Belén and arranging Yoga & Breakfast-events. You can see more of Albins work here.
Words by Acharya Ratheesh Mani