Ayurveda is traditional system of medicine in India which originated around 2000 years ago around the time of the mythical king of Varanasi, Divodasa. The system consists of herbal treatments consisting of herbs and spices as well as heavy metals. Ayurveda also taught surgical techniques cataract surgery, rhinoplasty, the extraction of foreign objects etc.
The concept of ayurveda revolves around the three elemental substances or doshas, whose imbalance leads to physical and metal disorders. The three doshas are vatta, pitta and kapha. Vatta is made up of the elements’ space and air. Pitta is made up of the elements’ fire and water and kapha is made up of the elements water and earth.
Each dosha is also associated with physical characteristics and temperaments. Individuals with a lot of vatta are thin, nimble and quick thinking. Those with a lot of pitta are short-tempered and headstrong. Those who have a lot of kapha are melancholy and patient.
But how does psychology come into this? Ayurveda is holistic system of medicine. It not only considers imbalances of the body but also of the mind. Each dosha also has specifc mental and emotional characterstics, for eg: Individulas who feel depressed or melancholy may have an over indulgence in kapha. Such an individual should follow a kapha-balanced diet, practice non-attachment and emotional housekeeping. On the other hand an individual with an over-indulgent pitta may be very aggressive. Such individuals should meditate every day and avoid spicy foods.