== Principles and terminology ==[[File:Nagarjuna.gif|thumb|right|Several philosophers in India combined religion and traditional medicine—notable examples being that of [[Hinduism]] and ayurveda. Shown in the image is the philosopher [[Nagarjuna]]—known chiefly for his doctrine of the [[Madhyamaka]] (middle path)—who wrote medical works The Hundred Prescriptions and The Precious Collection, among others.ref]]
[[File:Ayurveda humors.svg|thumb|right|The three doṣas and the 5 elements from which they are composed.]]
Descriptively, one may either focus on the historical foundation from the evidence of the earliest ayurvedic texts of the early centuries of the Common Era, or alternatively a description may take an ethnographic approach and focus on the forms of traditional medicine prevalent across India today.
Much like the medicine of classical antiquity, Ayurveda had historically taken the approach of enumerating bodily substances in the framework of the five [[...|classical elements]] (Sanskrit [maha]panchabhuta, viz. [[Prithvi|earth]], [[Ap (water)|water]], [[fire]], [[Vayu|air]] and . According to Ayurveda, there are seven tissues [[Dhatu (Ayurveda)|]]. They are plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscles (maṃsa), fat (meda), bone (asthi), [[Bone marrow|marrow]] (majja), and semen (shukra).ref