, an enigmatic yet enthralling science of health replete with information about life, remains shrouded in antiquity. Yet it offers a sublime view of India, encapsulating the quintessence of the sub-continent’s culture and unraveling the story of its civilization.
Indian philosophy may be divided into two streams – Astika and Nastika. The Astika stream has six main Darsanas or philosophies – Nyaya
, Yoga Mimamsa and Vedanta
. Of these it is the Sankhya philosophy that has influenced Ayurveda the most in developing its fundamental theory of humoral pathology.
According to this theory, the human body is composed of five elements – Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth – which in various combinations form three somatic humors – Vata
. Ayurveda postulates that when these humors are in equilibrium, the body enjoys perfect health. It is their state of disequilibrium that leads to ill health.