The five elements in Ayurveda!

Five elements in ayurveda

The five elements in Ayurveda, that transform our understanding of health in Ayurveda.

Ayurveda arises from a tradition that describes the entire physical world, including human in terms of five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

These five elements can most accurately be thought of as energetic patterns rather than as purely physical substances, and each has particular qualities.

To help make sense of this, consider how these elements manifest in the natural world:

Space:

As in the sky space is vast, cold, light, and clear, it enables all other things to have a place to take form and exist.

Air:

Air is dry, cold, rough, and full of motion. To understand these qualities, think of what it’s like to be whipped by an aggressive wind.

Fire:

Fire is hot, subtle, mobile, dry, and sharp. Its clearest manifestation in nature is the sun, which provides warmth to the earth and sky.

Water:

Water is cold, mobile, heavy, soft, and liquid. Think of the ocean.

Earth:

Earth is cold, heavy, solid, stable, and dry. This element is exemplified by dirt.

These five elements clearly manifest individually in the natural world.

But even more profoundly, they all exist at all times in all things including in our body and each has its particular role to play.

For example, let’s look at the body’s digestive system:

• Earth rules the actual structure and solidity of the digestive tract.
• Water rules the liquid, fluid quality of the digestive juices and acids.
• Fire rules the heat and digestive enzymes involved in the metabolic process.
• Air rules the peristaltic movement of the nutrients through the digestive tract.
• Space pervades the whole process, including the space within each cell.

In fact, each and every cell of the body is made up of all five elements.

–  Dr Subajanane Jeyanthan –

Niyanthree Ayurveda Clinic, Colombo, Sri Lanka.