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Dictionary of Terms
Ayurveda : It is the most ancient and venerated of
all medical system. Ayurveda is a complete and integrated science of
Panchamahabhutas :Ayurveda is centered on five basic
elements of creation. The philosophical foundation of this system is based
on the belief that in the beginning ,the universe was completely unified.
This unity was differentiated into five elements called Panchamahabhutas.
The first element to emerge was ether ,which in turn give birth to air, then
to heat ,water and earth. These elements are the foundations of the ayurveda
system.Their brief explanations are :
Sky (Akasha): Can express itself as the space
within which everything exists and the space(s) within everything.
Air (Vayu): Can express itself as the gaseous state of matter.
Fire (Agni): Can express itself as transformational energy.
Water (Jala): Can express itself as the liquid state of matter
Earth (Prithvi): Can express itself as the solid state of
Doshas :Panchamahabhutas do not act in
isolation but in combination with the other elements to influence human
body.These combinations are called doshas .These doshas must be in balance
with the human being for health to be maintained .
Vata : This dosha is formed by the
combination akasha(space) & vayu(air) .Vata is the
force that motifies and drives the body, but imbalance of it in the body can
give rise to diseases.
Pitta:This dosha is formed by the combination
of gas ,fire & water.When on balance this force creates heat that drives
the digestion and assimilative process.This dosha is responsible for all
metabolic activity in the body and for the functions of intellect.
Kapha:This dosha is formed by the combination
of water & Prithvi(earth).This is the force of stability
and cohesion that is responsible for form an structure in the body from the
cells to the bones and muscles.
Malas: Substances that are partly utilized in the
body and partly excreted.Ayurveda states that for the well being of a human
body it is essential that the waste products or any unnecessary cellular
metabolites be elimination.
Dhatus: Help in formation of all the basic structure of a cellular
level.Seven dhatus are also formed from the five elements, which represent
basic tissue elements in the body:
1) Rasa or chyle, including lymph
2) Rakta or the hemoglobin fraction of the blood
3) Mamsa or muscle tissue
4) Medas or fat tissue
5) Asthi or bone tissue
6) Majja or bone marrow
7) Shukra or the sperm in male and ovum in female
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