(Ayurveda and holistic practices are never meant to be a substitution for medical care or use of medication. Holistic practices are meant to be complimentary to doctor's orders.)
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga. Ayurveda is translated as life knowledge. It was created during a time before the scientific tools we have today like microscopes. During that time people relied on medicine differently. They didn't have pharmacies and doctors per say. They had foods, herbs, oils, spices, breath, practices, rituals, and routines to care for themselves with.
Ayurveda has a system called doshas which helps us to understand our specific body's life energy as it mixes with space, air, water, fire, and earth. Dosha is translated as each of three energies believed to circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. There are three doshas and each person is born with a specific homeostatic "happy place" level for each of the doshas.
The Doshas are:
Vata which is a mixture of life energy, space, and air.
Pitta which is a mixture of life energy, fire, and water.
Kapha (kappa) which is a mixture of life energy, water, and earth.
To learn more about doshas try this article.
Each person is born with a certain set amount of each dosha pertaining to their "homeostasis". The combination of set amounts is your prikriti. You might call it your elementary nature.
To learn about your prikriti with a dosha quiz from joyfulbelly.com.
Once you learn more about your prikriti you can begin to understand yourself and your behavior in relation to life energy, the elements, and the impact of our foods, practices, routines, and environments.