Ayurveda is grounded in a metaphysics of the “five great elements” (Devanāgarī: [महा] पञ्चभूत; earth, water, fire, air and ether)—all of which compose the Universe, including the human body.[1] Chyle or plasma (called rasa dhatu), blood (rakta dhatu), flesh (mamsa dhatu), fat (medha dhatu), bone (asthi dhatu), marrow (majja dhatu), and semen or female reproductive tissue (shukra dhatu) are held to be the seven primary constituent elements — saptadhatu (Devanāgarī: सप्तधातु) of the body.

Ayurveda deals elaborately with measures of healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental energies or humors: vata (air & space – “wind”), pitta (fire & water – “bile”) and kapha (water & earth – “phlegm”). According to ayurveda, these three regulatory principles— Doshas (literally that which deteriorates – Devanāgarī: त्रिदोष)—are important for health, because when they are in balanced state, the body is healthy, and when imbalanced, the body has diseases. Ayurveda holds that each human possesses a unique combination of Doshas. In ayurveda, the human body perceives attributes of experiences as 20 Guna (Devanāgarī: गुण, meaning qualities). Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality. Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage. Thus, body, mind, and spirit/consciousness need to be addressed both individually and in unison for health to ensue.

As Robert Svoboda attempts to summarize the three major paths of the Vedic knowledge, he exclaims:
“Because every embodied individual is composed of a body, a mind and a spirit, the ancient Rishis of India who developed the Science of Life organized their wisdom into three bodies of knowledge: Ayurveda, which deals mainly with the physical body; Yoga, which deals mainly with spirit; and Tantra, which is mainly concerned with the mind. The philosophy of all three is identical; their manifestations differ because of their differing emphases. Ayurveda is most concerned with the physical basis of life, concentrating on its harmony of mind and spirit. Yoga controls body and mind to enable them to harmonize with spirit, and Tantra seeks to use the mind to balance the demands of body and spirit.”

The practice of Panchakarma (Devanāgarī: पंचकर्म) is believed to eliminate toxic elements from the body.
Eight disciplines of ayurveda treatment, called ashtangas (Devanāgarī: अष्टांग), are given below:
• Internal medicine (Kaaya-chikitsa)
• Paediatrics (Kaumarabhrtyam)
• Surgery (Shalya-chikitsa)
• Treatment of diseases above the clavicle (Salakyam)
• Demonic possession (Bhuta vidya): Bhuta vidya has been called psychiatry.
• Toxicology (Agadatantram)
• Prevention diseases and improving immunity and rejuvenation (rasayana)
• Aphrodisiacs and improving health of progeny (Vajikaranam)