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According to Ayurved everything in life is composed of the PanchamahabhutasAkash(Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth). Omnipresent, they are mixed in an infinite variety of relative proportions such that each form of matter is distinctly unique. Although each element has a range of attributes, only some get evident in particular situations. Constantly changing and interacting with each other, they create a situation of dynamic flux that keeps the world going.

According to Ayurved theory, space is the base of all these elements. From space, air is created. From air, fire is created. From fire, water is created and from water, earth is created. And when the universe is destroyed all these elements emerges from where they are created, e.g. earth emerges into water, and water emerges into fire and so on.

The fire element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. The earth element predominates by giving structure to the cell. The water element is present in the cytoplasm or the liquid within the cell membrane. While the air element predominates the gases therein. The space occupied by the cell denotes the last of the elements.

In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance, Jal is in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Akash corresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.); Vayu denotes the movement (essentially muscular); Agni controls the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair et al).

The Panchmahabhutas therefore is the foundation of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurved and has served as the most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat illness of the body and mind successfully.

Element Color Taste Nature Feel by Properties Action
1 Space Mixed Pungent Mixed Hearing Create natural void in body Produces softness, lightness and porosity
2 Air


Like smoke Slightly bitter taste Light, dual, clear and dry




Governs inhalation, exhalation, opening and closing of eyelids, extension and contraction of joints, locomotion and other motor functions. Digestion of food  

Creates dryness, emaciation



3 Fire Red Pungent

Slightly sour

Hot Visual Controls temperature and luster of body color. Helps in digestion, maturation, improves eye sight


4 Water




Astringent Slightly,


Cold, heavy and fluid




It is root of Kapha, which joins the bone control the body. Necessary to digest food.




Imparts glossiness

Acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.

Enhances fluid content & purgative




Earth Yellow



Sweet Heavy, compact & rough.




Controls organs as teeth, nails, flesh, skin, tendons & muscles.