According to Ayurveda, ayu i.e. life is a union of physical body, sense organs, mind and soul. It advocates the measures for propagation of health and making the life of individuals beneficial to the society. It also describes the factors which may lead to pathogenesis in physical body as well as mind.
Ayurveda gives most comprehensive definition of healthy person as one in which dosha (metaphysiological entities), agni (metabolic fire), dhatus (tissues), malas (excretory products) and their activities are in balanced state and whose soul (atma), sense organs (indriya) and mind (manas) are in sound state.
One of the unique principles of Ayurveda is the understanding of health as a result of coordinated functioning of soul, mind and body in intimate relationship with everything else in cosmos- material and nonmaterial. It believes that the constituent factors of human body and cosmos are same.
Dosha, dhatu and malaare considered as root of all physiological and pathological activities of body in the same way as root of tree is responsible for growth of the tree. Doshas, three in number- Vata, Pitta and Kapha may be termed as metaphysiological humors which govern every living thing in nature and are required for the life to happen. They control a person’s temperament, personality, health as well as diseases.Equilibrium of these factors is responsible for health of an individual. When they get vitiated due to various causative factors, diseases are produced in the body. Though essential for the body, they are termed as dosha as they have the capability of getting vitiated and in turn lead to pathogenesis. Each of these has been linked to specific functions in the body and specific diseases.
Vatais considered as the force which governs the movement of Kapha, Pitta, dhatu and mala in body, simulating it with the functions of wind that propels clouds from one place to another place in the sky.It is responsible for movement, smell sensation, speech, blood circulation, breathing,expulsionof foetus at right time, semen, excretion of feaces, urine, sweat etc. It also performs CNS functions like carrying sensory input from sense organs to the brain.
|Dhatu||Seven in numbers, these are considered as nourishing and structural part ofsharira. They are interdependent, give support and nourish the otherdhatu. Dhatusexists as concrete and formed entities. They are constantly being formed, destroyed and reformed with appropriate material derived from poshakadravyas from the time of conception to that of death. Total seven number ofdhatuare considered in the body, these are called assaptadhatu.Saptadhatuare also known asdushya, because of the tendency to implicit in them to be citiated. Seven types ofdhatuare Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (Blood tissue), Mamsa (Muscular tissue), Meda (Fat or Adipose tissue), Asthi (Bone tissue), Majja (Bone marrow), and Shukra (Reproductive tissue).|
|Mala||Considered as Visha or poison for the body if they remain in the body for a longer time. Each dhatu except Shukra Dhatu produces its mala which should be excreted from body.|
|Pancha-Mahabhuta||According to Ayurveda, everything inuniverse including human beings is composed of thePancamahabhutasor five basic elements viz.Akasa(Space),Vayu(Air),TejaorAgni(Fire),Jala(Water) andPrithvi(Earth). They are mixed in an infinite variety of relative proportions such that each form of matter is distinctly unique. Although each element has a range of attributes, only some get evident in particular situations. Constantly changing and interacting with each other, they create a situation of dynamic flux that keeps the world going.
In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance,akasacorresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.);vayudenotes the movement (essentially muscular also nervous system);agnicontrols the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism);jalais in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); andprithvimanifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair etc).