Any form of life is a manifestation of the universe. Thus, human being is a microcosm and a part of the universe, which is the macrocosm. There is an intimate connection between the rhythm of life on the Earth and the rhythm of the Universe; they reflect upon each other. When this connection breaks due to unnatural life style and wrong food intake, opposite to one's body type, environment and age, diseases occur. Diseases disturb the harmony of body and result in lack of strength and immunity.
The human body has the power to heal itself. However, the perfect balance needs to be achieved between the inner and outer bodies; which helps one live a long and healthy life.
The Ayurvedic theory of the universe says that Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Space are the five basic elements from which the material universe evolved. All living and non-living existences, organic and inorganic, from plants to planets, are a mix of these five elements – with different compositions of each element. These elements acquire a biological form when they enter into the physiology of a living organism, such as human being. When there is an imbalance in any of these elements within our body or in the environment, we get sick and our health starts going down.
Various physiological functions that our body performs are a direct result of the influence of the varied combinations of the five elements. In Ayurveda, the influence of these five elements falls under three categories known as Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Vata principle is a combination of the wind and space elements. Nerve impulses, blood circulation, respiration and elimination of wastes (sweat, urine and other waste products of the body) are regulated by the Vatadosha. It also controls the various movements of the body, both physical and mental, including breathing, heart beats, extension and contraction of muscles, etc.
Pitta is the manifestation of fire element and is associated with body temperature. It is the primary force behind any kind of transformation in our biological processes. The major functions of Pitta are digestion and metabolism of food, appetite, maintaining the body temperature and maintaining skin softness and clear complexion. The functions of liver, eyes and brain are also influenced by Pitta.
Kapha, the heaviest of the three doshas, is the combination of earth and water elements. Kapha helps in maintaining the shape, structure and lubrication of the body. It plays an essential role in performing physical movement and tasks, growth of body tissues and fertility. Kapha helps in maintaining the balance between Vata, which is restless, and Pitta, which gives laziness.
A balanced combination of the three doshas maintains health, and an excess or deficiency of a dosha causes imbalance in the state of the body leading to a disease.
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