Ayurveda is the earliest known form of medicinal science. The word Ayurveda itself means ‘the science of life’. The fact that Ayurveda has withstood the test of time and has grown from strength to strength over the last four millennia is testimony to its efficacy.
According to Ayurveda, all bodily substances are made of five elements, called ‘PanchaBhoota’. These are
- Prithvi (Earth) – The sense of smell is associated with this element. When particles of matter strike the sensory cells within the nasal cavity, signals are sent to the brain, which analyses the signals and identifies each signal or impulse as a unique smell.
- Jal (Water) – This element is associated with the sense of taste. The changes induced by fluid forms of matter on the sensory cells within the taste buds are interpreted by the brain as taste.
- Agni (Fire) – With this element is associated the sense of vision, which includes spatial recognition, and recognition of forms, shapes and colours.
- Vayu (Air) – Vayu is the element associated with the sense of touch.
- Akash (Sky or ether) – This element is associated with sound, or the sense of hearing.