The five elements represent the most important foundational concept in Ayurveda. More than physical elements, the five elements represent ideas that are fundamental to nature and matter. The five elements are collections of qualities that together form the building blocks of nature. If a person truly understands the five elements, the doorway of knowledge opens to understanding creation itself. In the body, each element is associated with different tissues and functions. In the mind, the elements are associated with personality characteristics. In the medicines, the elements determine their actions. Knowledge of the five elements is part and parcel of Ayurveda. The student who does not properly understand the five elements, cannot properly understand Ayurveda.