Recognized as one of the leading Ayurveda Schools and Ayurvedic Health Spas outside of India.
Recognized as one of the leading Ayurveda Schools and Ayurvedic Health Spas outside of India.

The Ayurvedic Press

Volume 1 - Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles

by Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc

In his Ayurvedic Studies Program, Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician, teaches Ayurveda as a science of moment-to-moment living. Each lecture that he gives flows from his own heart in a river of healing wisdom that is inspired by and pertinent to the students who are present at the time of the lecture.

This textbook is a presentation of Vasant Lad's years of teaching in that classroom setting. It conveys the philosophical and fundamental principles of his first year Ayurvedic Studies Program at the Ayurvedic Institute in a dynamic and inspirational way. This book will give the student a detailed foundation upon which to pursue deeper knowledge, including that of the future volumes in this series.

"Ayurveda is a medical science and its purpose is to heal and to maintain the quality and longevity of life. It is an art of daily living that has evolved from practical, philosophical and spiritual illumination, rooted in the understanding of Creation."

Excerpted from Chapter One, “Shad Darshan: The Six Philosophies of Life

ISBN-13: 978-1-883725-07-5
Hardcover, 368 pp. $40.00


Volume 1 - Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles
Order Here Read Excerpt

Table of Contents and Chapter Two

  • Reviews
  • More Info
  • About the Authors

"With the publication of The Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic education enters a new era. This...(book) should facilitate the development of the first true Ayurvedic colleges in the Occident..."

– Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S., Ayurvedic Physician

"Dr. Vasant Lad is a true Vaidya – a knower of reality. His latest work, The Textbook of Ayurveda, attests to his indisputable role as the foremost expert in this ancient healing science."

– Deepak Chopra, MD and David Simon, MD Founders, The Chopra Center for Well Being

"Dr. Vasant Lad is bringing out what are probably the most definitive textbooks on Ayurveda yet published in English, starting with this first volume on Basic Principles. The series is bound to revolutionize the study and practice of Ayurveda worldwide. All students of Ayurveda should seriously examine it."

– Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) author Yoga and Ayurveda, Yoga for Your Type, Ayurvedic Healing, etc.

Book Description

Bringing forth the mysteries of Ayurveda from the classical Sanskrit texts, Vasant Lad presents this ages-old science in a framework that is clearly accessible to the modern student while remaining true to its ancient roots. In these pages, you will open the doors to this timeless, profound wisdom of the human body, mind, and consciousness.

Vasant Lad describes the historical philosophies of Ayurveda and their application to human existence. He explains the basic structures and functions of the body, mind, and spirit, how they are formed and integrated, and their ultimate role in nourishing consciousness. Filled with illustrations, tables, charts, and practical examples, this book will lead the reader to a full understanding of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda.

  • Discover the concept of individual constitution and how this can help you achieve balance in your life. 
  • Follow the progress of digestion-the most essential principle in ayurveda-as our food and experiences enter the body and mind. Witness their transformation into the energy of our daily lives. 
  • Gain an understanding of Ayurvedic nutrition and the subtle essences that result from these processes. 
  • Learn a fully functional model of healing and rejuvenation that maintains perfect health and balance with simple lifestyle modifications.

2010 Printing

In the summer of 2010, we reprinted The Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One. While it has some significant changes, they aren’t the type of changes that would justify calling it a 2nd Edition. Nevertheless, the changes could be confusing for readers and for teachers who use the book when some students have the older version and others have the newer one. We apologize for the inconvenience of this.
You can download the PDF that explains and lists these changes.


On page 63, paragraph 3 reads: "There are certain enzymes present in the retina that are necessary for photosynthesis."

It should read: "There are certain enzymes present in the retina that are necessary for phototransduction."


Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, Ayurvedic Physician, brings a wealth of classroom and practical experience to the United States. A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune and a Master’s of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. Vasant Lad’s academic and practical training include the study of Allopathy (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda.

Beginning in 1979, he has traveled throughout the United States sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda. In 1984 he came to Albuquerque as Director, principal instructor and founder of The Ayurvedic Institute.

The author of numerous books, Vasant Lad is respected throughout the world for his knowledge of Ayurveda. Vasant Lad has written 13 books on Ayurveda as well as hundreds of articles and other writings. With over 700,000 copies of his books in print in the US, his work has been translated into more than 20 languages.