Published Date: 6/17/2023 6:08:36 AM

What are the body elements?

  • In order to understand Ayurveda, it is essential to first understand these five elements. According to Ayurveda, the components and functioning of the cosmos are similar to our body components and their functions.
  • With the body, each element is associated with different tissues and functions. With the mind, the elements relate to personality and characteristic traits. In medicine, the elements govern their actions. Hence, having knowledge of the five elements opens the doorway to understanding creation itself.
  • Ayurvedic principles state that the body is made of  “Pancha Maha Bhutas” also known as the “Five Great Elements.”
  • These elements are the core of Ayurvedic principles, as they represent ideas fundamental to nature and matter. Together, they are a collection of qualities that form the building blocks of nature.
  • Everything starts with the five elements: Our life on earth takes place in the rhythm and change of the seasons. The five elements are composed accordingly. Each of the elements correlates to specific organs in the body, time of day, season, emotion, sense, color, etc. The five elements are also called phases of change. The five elements are:
    • Space (Akash)
    • Air (Vayu)
    • Fire (Agni)
    • Water (Jal/Apas)
    • Earth (Prithvi)
  • Properties of these elements are sound (Space), feel or touch (Air), form (fire), taste (water), smell (Earth). 
  • The quality of five elements: To better understand the arrangement and effect of the five elements in our body and to recognize which properties of the elements are effective in our body, in our organs, and in organ energies, it is useful to look at the appearance of the elements in nature and in to look at our everyday life.
  • The human body is a small microcosm that is not only interconnected internally but also with the world around it. This means that emotions are important, as is the interrelation of organs and interaction with the environment.
  • The five elements are matched with organ systems that have specific effects on each other. In the so-called “production cycle” it is said that the elements generate themselves: wood produces fire, fire creates the earth, the earth brings out metal, metal produces water and water again creates wood. When you think about nature, it makes sense. The system within the body with relevant relations to the organs liver (wood), heart (fire), spleen (earth), lung (metal), and kidney (water).
  • A second important cycle in nature is the “controlling cycle” that guarantees the balance between the elements and the self-regulation of the human organs. Here, wood controls the earth but the earth creates a metal that again controls wood.
    In medical terms, the equivalent would be that the liver controls the spleen, whereas the spleen is the mother of the lung and the lung again controls the liver. What might sound complicated at first is actually very logical in the correlation with the organ's processes and functions.
  • Food generates anger. Water generates greed, fire generates carnal desire, and air generates attraction.

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