What is Ayurveda?

Originating in India more than 3,000 years ago, Ayurveda is a natural and holistic system of medicine made up of earth elements. Though it is mainly derived from plants, it also expands to include animal, metal, and mineral components and has far reaches into the domains of diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

The term Ayurveda is derived from the ancient language of Sanskrit, “ayur” meaning “life” and “veda” meaning “science or knowledge. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient healing techniques and contains sophisticated therapeutic formulations that are still practiced today to heal imbalances within the body.

The Doshas

Ayurveda Medicine is encapsulated within three categories called Doshas. Doshas are the forces that create the physical body and have direct associations with the elements of the earth. They determine conditions of natural growth, aging, health and disease. Typically, one of the three doshas is predominant in each individual and serves to determine one’s constitution or mind-body type. 

The three doshas, also known as constitutions, are: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each of these constitutions has their own natural body build, mental state, personality, as well as qualitative measurements with the earth and our surroundings. To keep our dosha in balance, we must practice certain lifestyle habits that are in keeping with the profile of the dosha we most aligned with. From the types of foods we eat, sleeping hours, colour of clothing, work and play schedules, type of gems and herbs to keep in close contact with, Ayurveda is intended to help create equilibrium within so we may flourish in our mind, body, and spiritual health.

To find out your dominant Dosha, take this quiz.

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