Originally Posted by sarinmall
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian technique of healing disease by use of medicinal herbs and plants..
They also believe in a harmony of body, mind, and soul, so it's more than just healing with use of herbs and plants, it's an energy - prana, much like the qi of TCM. They also believe in the tridosha, or what modern western medicine may call DNA.
-ether and air form to combine 'vata'
-fire and water form to combine 'pitta'
-earth and water form to combine 'kapha'
All three dosha's combine to make 'tridosha' which exists in every cell and determines things about you. The particular dosha that dominates determines your tridosha.
Not only do they dosha's determine mind-body types, but they are also "metabolic principles" that control basic bodily functions. Vata controls movement, pitta controls metabolism, and kapha controls structure. It is possible to be a combination of types, including nearly equal aspects of all three.
As you can see, Ayurveda is a very complex system, likely as complex as TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine. They also believe in Chakra's, just like the Chinese Meridians that are used in acupuncture.
Because it's such a large life-style belief system, not only a healing/medicine system, it's very difficult to narrow it down to a simple definition. Basically, I'd call it a way of life.