How does this view relate to plants?

Ayurveda recognizes that the same five elements constitute plants, the human body, and everything else in the universe. Ayurvedic herbology (Dravya Guna Vigyan) describes the action of foods and herbs through five fundamental principles: 
Taste (Rasa), such as sweet, sour, bitter, salt, pungent, astringent

Qualities (Gun), such as heavy, light, cold, hot, dry, oily

Potency (Veerya), i.e. effect on a system or organ.

Post-digestive action (Vipak), such as sweet, sour, and pungent.

Specific effect (Prabhav)

These five factors of herb action take effect through a dominant element or a combination of the five elements. Knowing this combination is the basis for determining the effect of foods and herbs on body-mind and consciousness.

The idea is to use proper foods, herbs, lifestyle, and routine in order to create and maintain a balance (Swa-stha) of vata, pitta, and kapha, bodily tissues, digestion and metabolism, as well as to clear channels and foster happy senses, mind, and consciousness. All these are part of the holistic definition of a healthy individual.
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