What is Ayurveda?

What is AyurvedaAyurveda is a Sanskrit word derived from two roots: ayur, which means life, and veda, which means knowledge. It has its root in ancient Vedic science and encompasses our entire world – nature, the body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda focuses on prevention of illness and the body’s natural power to heal itself.

History and Basic Principles

Ayurvedic medical texts date back to 2500 B.C. According to the ancient texts, there are five elements that compose everything in the universe, including the human body: earth, water, fire, air, and sky/ether.Within the human body, there seven layers–called dhatus–that get treated: plasma, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, semen or female reproductive tissue.

Additionally, there are 8 branches of Ayurvedic medicine, as follows: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Eye & ENT, Psychiatry, Toxicology, Prevention, and Aphrodisiac Therapy.


Ayurveda recognizes that all of life, whether it be human, plant or animal, must live in harmony with nature in order to survive. Like the owner’s manual for your car speaks of maintenance schedules for the long term health of your car, Ayurveda teaches daily and seasonal routines that ensure maximal health and longevity. In Ayurvedic medicine, prevention starts with a lifestyle that is in harmony with the changing cycles of nature.

>>> Learn how to eat with the seasons

Diagnostic Tools

Ayurveda employs a holistic, highly personal approach to diagnosis. Body-type analysis, tongue reading, pulse diagnosis, skin analysis, mental & emotional health, digestive strength, physical health, overall well-being, and intent listening to your symptoms and concerns, help to find and address imbalances in the body.

Body Type

Body types, or doshas, are reflections of the qualities of nature. They give insight not just into the tendencies of our bodies, but of our mental, emotional, and behavioral characteristics as well. According to Ayurvedic medicine, prevention is dictated by the unique requirements of your body type. Because we are unique, what we eat, how we exercise, when we sleep, and even where we prefer to live, will be different from one person to the next. The best and most healthful practices for each individual can be better understood by knowing one’s body type.

>>> Take our Body-Type Quiz

Ayurvedic Healing

In Ayurveda, we believe that healing starts from within. In fact, the idea of prescribing a sedative herb to relieve insomnia or a laxative to relieve constipation is contrary to the Ayurvedic philosophy. Ayurveda teaches that, when the root cause of an imbalance is treated rather than just the symptoms, the body can heal itself . When this is not happening, it is usually because the body does not recognize the problem as a problem. The cure, then, is in the enhancement of the body’s own internal awareness of itself.

Ayurveda uses specific herbal formulas, lifestyle techniques such as yoga, breathing, and meditation, massage, dietary recommendations, and special detox methods, to achieve this.

John Douillard’s LifeSpa Organics is our line of Ayurvedic herbal formulas that are independently tested to be 100% pure and free of lead and contaminants. These whole-herb formulas are based on ancient Ayurvedic formulas, and available from our online store.

>>> Learn about Ayurvedic Consults with John Douillard

>>> Shop by health topic at our Ayurvedic online store

Our Philosophy: Ayurveda is for Everyone

Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom is overwhelmingly supported by modern science. By harnessing the power of the two, we can distill the most potent methods of diagnosis and treatment.

The philosophy of Dr. John Douillard and LifeSpa is that Ayurveda is for everyone. The amazing techniques at its core are accessible to anyone who wants to feel better. Many of these techniques can even be done at home, at your own pace, in only a few minutes a day.

>>> Learn about home cleansing and detox programs

To learn more and experience the transformative power of Ayurveda firsthand, check out our new online course: The 28-Day Ayurveda Challenge (below).

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