Five Basic Elements (Panchmahabhoot) & Their Effects on Human Body

  • 13 months ago
3 minute read.
Five Basic Elements (Panchmahabhoot) & Their Effects on Human Body

According to Ayurveda, everything in this universe is made up of five basic elements. These five elements are earth (Prithvi), water (Jal), fire (Agni or tej), air (Vayu) and, ether or space (Akash) and together they are termed as Panchmahabhoot.

These are the tiniest elements, which constitute living and non-living matters. Everything, including drugs, herbs, and living beings is made of these basic elements. Every matter contains all of these five elements.  The imbalance of one or more elements causes problems in one’s life and by balancing these elements these problems can be resolved. They are also the reason why different individuals have different behaviors, it is all because of the composition of these elements. To balance these, Ayurveda suggests the intake of a satvik diet.


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Let us understand the basic characteristics of these elements-

  1. Earth
    Earth is stable, heavy, and rigid. Anything that is solid is Earth. Earth has the power to hold or stop. It means stability, durability, and firmness. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells, and tissue indicate earth elements. It improves strength and stability in the body.

    Effect of low earth element

    When hair starts falling, teeth and bones get weak, bleeding doesn't stop and the person doesn’t gain weight, Earth element has to be increased to resolve all these problems.

    Effect of high earth element

    If someone is overweight, the stool is hard, nodes or tumors start developing in the body, one needs to decrease Earth element.
  2. Water

    The main quality of Water is its coldness. Water also helps to lubricate and has cohesive properties.

    Effect of low earth element

    Dry skin or burning sensation anywhere in the body can be treated by increasing the Water element. Water intake is useful in diseases caused by fire element or pitta, Vata, or air element.

    Effect of high earth element

    Excess of water in a place in the body or organ causes swelling. Excess of water increases the above-stated characteristics in our body and decreases the opposite.
  3. Fire

    The most essential quality of fire is Heat which makes things mature, helps in melting and purification. The fire has the power to change. It can change solid into liquid, and liquid into gas. Balanced fire can melt the cysts of an ovary, fibroids of the uterus, osteophytes of joints, and spine.

    Effect of the low fire element

    If the fire reduces it causes a lack of desire for food, high cholesterol level, diabetes, lack of creativity.

    Effect of the high fire element

    If the fire increases it may result in acidity, dark urine with burning sensation, urticarial or skin rash, anger, aggression, etc.
  4. Wind

    The nature of the wind element is unbalanced, cold, and dry. There should be a perfect flow of wind in body and life.

    Effect of the low wind element

    If the wind reduces it may result in no bowel movement, low blood pressure, laziness, lack of creative ideas, and life goes at a very low pace.

    Effect of the high wind element

    If the wind increases it may cause twitching of muscles, Parkinson and an unsteady mind.
  5. Space

    The Space element is non-resistance and it also defines the gap or space between two things. There should be a perfect Space maintained between our Joints, thoughts, etc.

    Effect of high space element

    Cardiomegaly (increase in the size of the heart), splenomegaly (increase in spleen), hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), aneurysm (blood-filled balloon in vessels), varicose (twisted veins) are a cause of increased space and is inappropriate for the body.

    Effect of low space element

    If due to any reason space decreases between the joints, joints will resist and will cause the joints pain. If Space reduces in thoughts, it is even more dangerous and causes anxiety disorder, irritating behavior, insomnia, and violence.

Balance It Out

Since our body is made up of these 5 elements, any imbalances would deteriorate the harmony of our body and lead us to unhappy situations whereas harmony of the elements would foster good health. Ayurveda also emphasizes the stability of the elements and suggests the intake of food according to gunas.

Another interesting fact, practicing yoga is a great way to balance the elements in our body. Our fitness coach at The Wellness Corner can help you sync your workouts to maintain a good proportion of each one of these.

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