Ayurveda perceives the human body as a reflection of the universe. Every element present in the universe is also present inside each individual. The principles of Ayurveda are based on these innate laws of nature. 

As per Ayurveda:

“Dosha Dhatu Mala Moolam hi Shareeram”

That is, the Human body is composed of:

  1. Tridosha
  2. Sapta Dhatu
  3. Tri mala

The Pancha-mahabhuta represent themselves in the form of Dosha, Dhatu and Mala in the body. These 3 entities influence and work together with each other to provide harmony in the body. They are also called dushya as they destroy the body when not in equilibrium. It is therefore important to understand these fundamentals to lead a healthy life which suits and caters them.


Just like the sun, moon and wind behold the universe together by performing the function of promotion, destruction and movement respectively in the universe, It is the Kapha, Pitta and Vata that beholds the body together. 

  • Kapha represents the Moon.
  • Pitta represents the Sun.
  • Vata represents the Wind.

Together the tridoshas govern the physiology of the body. The principle of Tridosha is the most fundamental in Ayurveda, as all the treatment modalities revolve around this one.


The sapta dhatus are the structural entities in the body namely- Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. They not only support the body, but also nourish it. 


They are represented as the waste products of the body and are produced in the course of metabolic activities in the body. They are of 3 types- Purisha, Mutra and Sweda.

According to Ayurveda- One whose Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and Agni are in equilibrium and their mind, soul and sense organs are in a pleasant state. Such a balanced state is called Health.


(Ref: Ashtanga Hridaya)

The fundamentals of Ayurveda are easily applicable to all eras. The ayurvedic approach of examination is used to determine the root cause of the disease.  Acharya Vagbhata has summarised the examination of a patient in a single verse.

‘दर्शनस्पर्शनप्रश्नै: परीक्षेत च रोगिणं | ‘

Darshana (Inspection), Sparshana (Palpation, Percussion), Prashana (Questionnaire) forms the basis of all. All the advanced methods of examination can only be seen as an extension of these three.

  1. Darshana: It means observation. It begins as soon as the patient enters the clinic. It provides information about build, walk, facial expression, any deformities, skin conditions and much more. The current investigation tools such as X-ray, Endoscopy, microscopic examination, instrumental investigations, other imaging modalities, examination of urine, sweat, stool, sputum can be included under this.
  2. Sparsana: Palpation helps to infer body temperature, skin texture like roughness, smoothness etc. It also helps to decipher lumps, margins of the swellings, organ enlargements, note the strength, rhythm, speed of pulse, and other information that is not accessible by Darsana. 
  3. Prasna: By interrogation, one can gain the overall picture of the disease and the history of the patient. By history taking we can understand the cause that led to the manifestation of the disease, duration, prodromal symptoms, and other factors that influence the pathogenesis of the disease. It also provides information about the nature of pain, sleep, bowel, likes, and food habits of the patient. Other  factors  like  family  history, occupational history, history of past illness, menstrual history, obstetric history in females, treatment  history can also be accessed through interrogation in current clinical methods.

A proper examination forms the basis for diagnosis and effective treatment. The primary aim of Ayurvedic diagnosis is to identify the deranged doshas that caused the disease. The Ayurvedic approach advocates a subjective and individualised examination and treatment.


(Ref: Ashtanga Hridaya)

That which supports the body and mind is called Dhatu. Dhatus are developed and nourished by food , thereby they help to nourish and support the body. They are of 7 types and are made of different mahabhuta.

1. Rasa (Essence of food / Precursor of all dhatus)

2. Rakta (Blood)

3. Mamsa (Muscle tissue)

4. Meda (Adipose tissue)

5. Asthi (Bone)

6. Majja (Bone Marrow)

7. Sukra (Structural elements of Reproductive tissue)\

Rasa dhatu is responsible for replenishing and nourishing the body. The nourishment of Rasa dhatu depends on the food intake. 

Rakta dhatu imparts color, nourishes the mamsa dhatu. It is vital for the existence and sustenance of life.

Mamsa dhatu provides support and strength to the body. It nourishes the medo dhatu and acts as a sheath by protecting the internal organs.

Medho dhatu produces lubrication to the body and also provides nourishment and strength to the bones.

Asthi dhatu forms the framework and support for the body. Like a tree is supported by stems, the human body is supported by the Asthi dhatu. It holds the body together and provides mobility and structure to the body.

Majja dhatu resides within the asthi dhatu. It fills up the asthi dhatu and nourishes the shukra dhatu.

Shukra dhatu is present all over the body and is responsible for conception. 

The nourishment and development of sapta dhatus is a continuous and progressive process. The ultimate essence of the 7 dhatus is called Ojas and it is responsible for the strength of the body. 


(Ref: Ashtanga Hridaya)

Mala is one among the important trinity of the living body. Malas are waste products produced during metabolism of each Dhatu. That which cleanses or purifies the body is also called Mala. 

Malas are cited as vital as Doshas and Dhatus for the functioning of the body. Malas are continuously formed in the body as a by-product of metabolic activities which means it is the index of physiological or metabolic activities.The presence of Malas means health and its absence indicates the absence of these activities. Malas aggravate in the body and become toxins if they are not expelled from time to time.

Malas are of 3 types:

  1. Purisha (faeces)
  2. Mutra (urine)
  3. Sweda (sweat)

Purisha supports the body, Mutra helps in excretion of fluids and sweda helps in the maintenance of moisture and supports hair growth.

Malas are the logical outcome of life activities, hence they support the body. 


(Ref: Charaka Samhita)

Vaya denotes the examination of Age. It is divided into three types- Bala, Madhyama and Jeerna.

Age groupAge in YearsPredominant Dosha
BalaUpto 30 Kapha
JeernaAbove 60Vata

The examination of Vaya helps in knowing the diseases and Doshas which are specific to that particular age. It also helps in deciding the dosage and treatment procedures. For instance, Certain therapies are contraindicated for people in the Bala, Jeerna age group which are to be avoided. 


(Ref: Charaka Samhita)

Vyayama Shakti is considered as the optimal capacity to do exercise. It is an important component to assess the strength of an individual. Exercising up to one’s half strength is advised for maintaining Agni and health. 

Depending upon their ability to exercise, it is divided into three types- Pravara, Madhyama and Avara. A person with Pravara Vyayama Shakti can tolerate diseases more than other types.