The profound healing wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine originated in the ancient culture of India and is thought to be the oldest natural healing system, pre-dating even Chinese medicine. The word "Ayurveda" means "Knowledge of Life" in Sanskrit.
Over five thousand years ago the ancient seers of India imparted to their disciples the truths they learned about the Universe while in a supramental state of meditation. This knowledge exists today in text written in Sanskrit, and contains the secrets of the interaction of body, mind and soul within the context of the fundamental elements of Nature and the Universe. It is a practical, all-encompassing science which embraces the whole person in relation to the outside world.
Within their framework, the Seers recognized two main truths:
that everything that exists in the external universe has its counterpart in the internal universe of the human body.
that air, fire and water are the three elements most fundamental to life (here they took air to include air and ether, fire to include fire and water, and water to include water and earth.)
At the heart of Ayurvedic medicine is the concept that the elements are represented in the human body through Doshas (pronounced Doe-sha) As you will see when you take the questionnaire you are either a Vata, Pitta or Kapha dosha (or a combination of any of these). Respectively, these Sanskrit words mean Air, Fire and Water. The chart on Page 49 of the Herbal Healing Journey Playful Workbook makes the relationships of the doshas easier to understand.
from Pathways to Healing, a Guide to Herbs, Ayurveda, Dreambody and Shamanism by Don Ollsin