Ayurveda is the oldest science of medicine. The word Ayurveda is comprised of two Sanskrit words: "Ayur." meaning life, and "Veda", meaning science (i.e. the science of life). It is the science of longevity and designed to prolong life, and to promote health, growth, and happiness. It originated in India and has become an integral part of their society, where it teaches people how to be healthy, wealthy, and wise in any circumstance.
Ayurveda’s pillars are three Doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. In the Sanskrit Vata means "air," Pitta means "fire," and Kapha means "water". Doshas are created from five elements that are air, space, fire, water and earth. Vata comprises air and ether, Pitta is made of fire and water, and Kapha holds the water and earth elements. The characteristics of the elements make the characters of Dosha. In turn, Dosha makes our nature, which holds our total concept of well-being. Disturbance in the Dosha leads to changes in the body and mind (i.e., from normal to abnormal health). Doshas are the raw material of the physical, mental, and psychological aspects of an organism.
Balance is a natural order (i.e. health), and imbalance reflects disorder (i.e. disease/sickness). Proportionate balance in Dosha corresponds to balance in health. All people have all three Doshas. One is always primary, one is secondary, and the third one is minor. Thus, each person has a particular pattern of quality and energies. Most people do not live with one pure Dosha – this is because of pollution, eating habits, lifestyle, and emotional aspects. Therefore, many of us present the combination of two Doshas. Furthermore, a person can show various combinations of three Doshas. In addition, food and herbs are also characterized based on Dosha. Before engaging in any method of therapy, Ayurveda has always emphasized having a daily routine, correct diet, and life-style based on the Doshas.