The Center for Vedic Medicine

Ayurveda Basics


Ayurveda is the  traditional medical science of India. For over 5,000 years people have used this science to naturally treat and prevent illness. Our health is affected by the balance of the three energies in our body, called dosha. Each persons balance of these three energies determines your body type or body constitution, referred to as dosha type. All of Ayurveda is based on dosha.

The three energies in our body are Vata, which is the wind energy of movement, Pitta, which is the fire energy of digestion or conversion, and Kapha, which is the energy of water and earth which builds and protects the tissues.

Different body types have different disease tendencies. People with a higher amount of the Vata energy tend to develop nerve disorders and circulation problems. Those with higher amounts of Pitta energy tend to develop skin diseases and acid indigestion. Those with higher amounts of Kapha energy tend to develop congestion, mucus and weight gain. These are just few of the disease tendencies. One of the classical Ayurvedic texts lists 80 diseases due to Vata only, 40 due to Pitta only and 20 due to Kapha only. By learning how to control the three energies in the body, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, we can prevent the occurrence of many diseases.

One of the basic ideas of Ayurveda is that everyone is unique, everyone is different. Different body types require different foods, different exercise routines, different lifestyles. In short, everyone requires a health program that is custom tailored to them. There is no "one size fits all" medicine.

Each body energy, or dosha, has a particular set of qualities, such as hot, cold, wet, dry, heavy, light, etc. When something increases these qualities, perhaps the weather, our food, or our emotions, that particular dosha is increased, often resulting in an imbalance. When this imbalance reaches a certain level, the disease process begins.
Ayurveda considers the increased doshas to be the main cause of disease. By knowing the qualities of the three doshas we can avoid the factors that increase them and avoid disease.

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