What are Tridosha?

Tridosha

Nature works on the base of different systems. Everything happens systematically, whether it is blooming of a bud, or death of a living being.

According to Ayurveda, the body also runs according to a set of systems. Different systems are working in deep synchrony inside the body, for example, excretory system, reproduction system, digestive system, nervous system, etc. There must be something that unites these systems, probably the nervous system.

In our system, we have two parts of the nervous system autonomic and somatic. The autonomic nervous system handles the involuntary functions of the body where is somatic nervous system processes the voluntary functions.

The autonomic nervous system has further divided into two parts sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These two systems are opposite to each other and help the body in different conditions. The parasympathetic nervous system is dominant where the body is in a resting position, whereas the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for Fright-fight-flight response. One single mode cannot help the body to survive in all the conditions, as it’s not complete.

Autonomic nervous system – Wikipedia (Autonomic nervous system – Wikipedia). In Ayurveda, these 2 systems symbolize Ida and Pigla nadi (nerve).

I assume that Ayurveda has three kinds of control systems that govern the body while balancing each other – vata, pitta, and kapha. They have different characteristics and lead the body successfully in different conditions.

For example, vata dosha is mobile, light, and is comparable to the presence of air in the physical world. All kinds of movements, whether it is bating of the eyelids or running, is coordinated by vata dosha.

Pitta dosha is hot and sharp nature. Naturally, it presides over all the digestive processes chemical reactions or any transformational process across the body.

Kapha Dosha offers stability and coolness to the body. It initiates and supervises any creation, formation, or incubation in the body. Kapha dosha provides shape, protection, and structure to the body. For example, the formation of all the body tissues, including bones and fats deposits that form a protective layer around the abdominal organs is a part of kapha metabolism.

Dosha

Another way we can understand it in the light of political systems. A country or a nation is also a body, and it can run under different systems – democracy, communism, aristocracy, etc. Now, these systems have physical manifestations, functions, and effects, but they are not physical entities themselves. We can see what happens in an aristocracy, but we cannot see aristocracy itself as a physical entity.

Dosha and The Subprime Crises

Similarly, we can see the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, but we cannot see the nervous system as a physical entity.

Let us take the of an organization. There are some essential functions in all organizations, like sales, finance, and HR. These are also systems. One single function is not adequate can or can have an independent existence. For example, you cannot go selling something without an investment unless you are in a job. So, for a function like sales to exist, there has to be manufacturing/service and some investment (finance). All these functions exist as essential parts of a system and compliment each other.

In Ayurveda, doshas are systems that run the body. They are comparable to different systems in an organization like marketing, HR, finance, operations, etc. These systems are not physical entities; however, no profit-making organization can function without them.

Similarly, vata, pitta, and kapha are three systems that work in perfect harmony to produce a precise balance in body metabolism. These systems become dominant one by one in a natural cycle and run the metabolism; for example, while walking one foot goes ahead, whereas the other seems to go back, but the body as a whole, moves forward.

No human survival can live without air, water, and food. One single resource is not adequate for survival. Similarly, an individual dosha or system cannot run the body in all conditions.

The Contaminators

Vata, pitta, and kapha are called dosha – something that maligns the body. All these three systems have a natural tendency to go wrong and produce adverse effects if left to themselves. This tendency is the defining characteristic of dosha.

The effect of these systems is visible everywhere. Consider the example of a bike. The bike runs on the right track because there is a control over it. But if you leave the handles, then the natural tenancy of the bike will be – to fall. And no matter how good the bike is, it will fall. Similarly, in the case of dosha, there is a natural tendency to get vitiated or imbalanced.

Dosha action is apparent on an inanimate object like a bike, on a stationary living creature like a plant, an animal as well as a human being.

According to Vedic sutra यथा पिंडे तथा ब्रह्मांडे (universe resembles the particle), principles of nature apply to all the objects entities in existence, whether living or nonliving. For example, a natural cycle of creation, life, aging, and death is applicable for a vehicle, house as well as any living person, even the planets.

Image gratuite sur Pixabay – Arrière Plan, Fond Bleu, Abstrait

Vata Dosha

Let us extend the example of the bike. The system that causes the forward movement of the bike, as well as the internal movement of the parts in the bike, can be termed as the vata system.

As it is natural for a dosha to create imbalance, the bike can get imbalanced if you lose control of the handles. Also, the parts of the bike face wear and tear as it runs more and more. This over-activity is the effect of excess vata.

The primary quality of vata is dryness. Dryness causes necrosis(death of cells), friction, and deterioration. In the case of a bike, long term use without oiling, constant friction, excess wear, and tear and aging.

According to Ayurveda, oil is the best substance that can be used for all kinds of vata disorders, as the oil prevents dryness and friction.

Therefore regular oiling the bike is imperative to prevent rapid wear and tear.

If we try to replicate this concept in the case of the human body, the primary organs of movement in a person are the Limbs. Let us take the example of joints. According to Ayurveda, joints are considered to be a site of vata dosha, because their primary function is movement.

Now dryness in Synovial sacs and resulting friction is the primary cause of all diseases that happen in joints, whether it is knee joint pain.

Image parGerd Altmann de Pixabay

Pitta Dosha

Now all doshas work together in all entities to produce a life-sustaining environment in the body. The engine of a bike processes petrol or any other fuel into the form of energy. This energy is the fundamental basis for all kinds of movement. Pitta Dosha governs this kind of chemical transformation and heat production that helps the bike as a system to run.

Fire or heat is the primary characteristic of pitta dosha. If pitta dosha is in excess, the bike will get overheated and might even catch fire.

In the context of the human body, stomach or amashaya is a site of pitta dosha. If the system for pitta gets vitiated, then acidity is one of the primary symptoms. General inflammation, redness, swelling, et cetera are some of the essential heat-borne features of imbalanced pitta dosha.

Cold and mild substances alleviate the fiery effect of pitta dosha and help in pitta imbalance.

Earlier many cars had carburetors with water that used to help in cooling the engine and prevent overheating.

Image parenriquelopezgarre de Pixabay

Kapha Dosha

The primary characteristics of kapha dosha are coolness and stability. A lack of activity or transformational heat produces inertia that is naturally cooling in nature. For example, if the bike is stationary, then it will not get heated due to combustion in the engine or change in its position continuously.

However, if the bike remains stationary for a very long time, especially in chilling weather, you might experience a lot of trouble while starting trying to start the engine. This difficulty in starting the engine is a result of excess kapha dosha, where probably the oil in the engine freezes.

In the context of the human body, a lazy person has a higher tendency to develop obesity (mass), as due to lack of activity (vata) and heat (sweating, energy conversion, etc.) the fat consumed by the body is not used. Obesity is a result of excess kapha.

However, regular exercise (vata increase) and fat to glucose metabolism (pitta increase) can help to remove excess fat (kapha decrease).

Qualities Of Dosha

Dosha and Body Parts

Dosha have specific regions, specially designated to their activity. For example, kapha dosha governs the area from head to the diaphragm.

Pitta dosha governs the region from the diaphragm to the pelvic region.

Vata dosha is dominant in part in the pelvic region and the limbs.

Dosha and Body Metabolism

General Functions of Balanced Dosha:

Any formation creation of stability in the body is related to Kapha dosha. The formation of new tissues comes under kapha dosha.

Pitta dosha governs any heat-based transformation, chemical reactions, or digestive processes. Autophagy or cell suicide is also a process lead by pitta dosha, where a cell digests itself.

Any movement, small or big happens with the help of vata dosha.

The entire body metabolism follows the same dosha sequence. Let us take the example of digestion –

Carbs/sugars are the primary sources of energy and nutrition for the body.

Kapha Dosha governs the first part of digestion – sugar metabolism, as the sweetness is one of its central features. Sugar release in the blood creates a cooling effect and stimulate the satiety centers in the brain. Also, it causes drowsiness(stability-sleep) after meals.

The middle part of the digestive procedure focuses on the digestion of proteins that are reduced to amino acids. Acidity or sourness is one of the primary features of Pitta dosha. Therefore this phase of digestion is governed by pitta dosha.

The last part of digestion focuses on fat digestion. Fat digestion produces bitter or katu rasa(fatty acids and glycerol are bitter) the effect of vata dosha in the body. And the digestion of fatty acids comes under vata dosha.

Digestion is just one example. All the metabolic Processes happen under the same sequence of dosha cycle. Even the incubation and spread of diseases in the body is governed by this same dosa cycle, depending on the range of imbalanced dosha. Dosha and body metabolism

Dosha and Prakrati or Body Types

Prakriti : Code of Body Physiology

Image parGerd Altmann de Pixabay

If we come to the concept of body types, there are primarily three kinds of body types vat, pitta, and kapha dominant.

Let us revert to the example of an organization with three functions sales finance and HR.

All the organizations have all these three essential functions. The organization is Bank; then the finance will be the primary feature of the organization. Financial activities will dominate this organization.

if this organization is an advertising firm, then the dominant function of the organization will be marketing.

If this organization is an HR consultancy, the dominant feature of the organization will be HR based activities.

All three types of organizations have all three functions. However, one feature dominates all the others. This dominating function gives a unique organizational culture and characteristics of the organization.

Similarly, Prakriti or body constitution is formed by tridosha. Three dosha are present in all the human body’s. However, one of them becomes the dominating feature of the metabolism. This dominant dosha defines the Prakriti or body type of the individual.

Everything, living or non-living has a prakrati or character.

For example, we can say that bike or any vehicle is vata dominant(major characteristics, design, and function is movement), oven or a blast furnace is pitta dominant(primary nature, design, and purpose is around chemical transformation and heat) and lake is kapha dominant (primary features, design function is stability and coolness.

Vata, pitta and kapha dominant people are similar to respectively; a vehicle(always on the move), an oven (high processing capacity), and lake(cool and stable).

Daily Dosha Cycle

The time of the day is also divided according to the dosha dominant in that part of the day. For example, kapha dosha controls first one-third part of the day. Another one-third of the day comes under the control of pitta dosha, and the last one-third of the day comes under vata dosa.

Similarly, the night also has 3 phases.

For this reason, Ayurveda considers morning to be the best time for studies as kapha is the factor for strong memory (stability).

The best time to have the biggest meal of the day is noon (pitta period) as the digestion at this time is at its best.

And you must avoid excess labor or heavy food in the evening, as vata dosha is the factor for tiredness and indigestion.

Also, you will find that most of the breathing and mucous related disorders, numbness, stiffness, etc. occur during the morning time.

Whereas acidity, inflammation, and other pitta related disorders flare-up during the midday.

And vata related disorders like joint pain, muscle cramps, headache, tiredness, etc. happen during the end of the day.

Seasonal Dosha Cycle

Dosha has natural cyclic vitiation throughout the year. For example, kapha Dosha vitiation occurs during the spring. You will find that spring is the season where we can see maximum mucus related disorders.

Sharad or early winter is the time of pitta prakop or vitiation. Therefore early winter is the time where you will see aggravation in pitta related disorders like pimples, acidity, inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, etc.

Varsha or rainy season is the time dominated by vata dosha vitiation. Therefore in the rainy season, we all can observe that all kinds of body pain, headache, migraine, joint pains et cetera get aggravated in this season.

Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha

Dosha and Lifecycle

Dosha are everywhere in the body. According to Ayurveda, Lifespan of an individual has three parts – kapha-childhood, pitta-youth, and vata -old age.

Childhood is all about growing up. For any growth, you need nutrition, stability, and peace. Kapha dosha is the spring of all these qualities. Link qualities of kapha dosha

Pitta Dosha governs the young age. Youth is the transformational stage of life. The young person is called Vardhaman in Ayurveda. The word Vardhaman means the one who is growing or advancing. A young person is not growing anymore in structure, but he improves every day in his experience and knowledge. Medha or intellect is a quality bestowed by Pitta dosha. This intellectual growth is the real advancement for a human being.

Young people have excellent digestion, lots of energy and best immunity, thanks to dominating pitta dosha.

Vata dosha governs the last stage of the life old age. A mature person is called vriddha in Ayurveda. This word means the one who has reached complete advancement or growth. An older adult is like a ripened fruit that naturally dries up and breaks away from the branch. In this stage, the physical structure starts deterioration; however, the intellectual level has reached its zenith.

These three dosa are the Trinity of the body they are like Brahma(creator), Vishnu (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer).

Dosha and Disease Susceptibility

According to the above dosha sequence in the lifecycle, you will find that most of the kapha related disorders like cough cold, etc. occur during childhood. Children are Highly susceptible to mucus are respiratory system associated disorders as compared to youth or older adults.

Similarly, youth are most susceptible to pitta related disorders like pimples, hyperacidity, inflammation.

And in the end, the elderly are most susceptible to vata related disorders like dementia, hair fall, and all kinds of body pains.

Dryness is the primary quality of vata dosha. For this reason, we find that older people have excessively dry and wrinkled skin, dryness related problems like body pain joint pain. They also have weak digestion because of recessive pitta dosha.

Omnipresent Tridosha

Ayurveda focuses on the tridosha concept for body formation, structure, physiology, and pathology. Some classical Ayurvedic texts say that there is nothing else in the body metabolism except dosha. Everything that happens in the body is a function of the cyclic effect of the dosha accumulation, vitiation, and stabilization.

I am trying to understand Ayurveda myself. However, according to my current experience, the curative effects of Ayurveda are absolutely incredible. If you have a query or doubt, please let me know. It will help to improve my knowledge.

Dosha in Simpler Terms

Nature works on the base of different systems. Everything happens systematically, whether it is blooming of a bud, or death of a living being.
According to Ayurveda, the body also runs according to a set of systems. Different systems are working in deep synchrony inside the body, for example, excretory system, reproduction system, digestive system, nervous system, etc. There must be something that unites these systems, probably the nervous system.

In our system, we have two parts of the nervous system autonomic and somatic. The autonomic nervous system handles the involuntary functions of the body where is somatic nervous system processes the voluntary functions.

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two parts-sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These two systems are opposite to each other and help the body in different conditions.

The parasympathetic nervous system is dominant where the body is in a resting position, whereas the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for Fright-fight-flight response.

One single mode cannot help the body to survive in all the conditions, as it’s not complete. But a combination of these two systems works in perfect harmony and makes us ready for all possible situations.
Autonomic nervous system – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomic_nervous_system

Ayurveda proposes three kinds of control systems that govern the body while balancing each other – vata, pitta, and kapha. They have different characteristics and lead the body successfully in different conditions.
For example, vata dosha is mobile, light, and is comparable to the presence of air in the physical world. All kinds of movements, whether it is bating of the eyelids or running, is coordinated by vata dosha.

Pitta dosha is hot and sharp nature. Naturally, it presides over all the digestive processes chemical reactions or any transformational process across the body.

Kapha Dosha offers stability and coolness to the body. It initiates and supervises any creation, formation, or incubation in the body. Kapha dosha provides shape, protection, and structure to the body. For example, the formation of all the body tissues, including bones and fats deposits that form a protective layer around the abdominal organs is a part of kapha metabolism.

Dosha

Qualities of Dosha

Another way we can understand it in the light of political systems. A country or a nation is also a body, and it can run under different systems – democracy, communism, aristocracy, etc. Now, these systems have physical manifestations, functions, and effects, but they are not physical entities themselves. We can see whatever happens in or because of the aristocracy. But we cannot see aristocracy itself as a physical entity.

Dosha in terms of admistrative systems
Similarly, we can see the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, but we cannot see the nervous system as a physical entity.

Let us take the example of an organization. There are some essential functions in all organizations, like sales, finance, and HR. These are also systems. One single function is not adequate can or can have an independent existence. For example, you cannot go selling something without an investment unless you are in a job. So, for a function like sales to exist, there has to be manufacturing/service and some investment (finance). All these functions exist as essential parts of a system and complement each other.

In Ayurveda, doshas are systems that run the body. They are comparable to different systems in an organization like marketing, HR, finance, operations, etc. These systems are not physical entities; however, no profit-making organization can function without them.

Similarly, vata, pitta and kapha are three systems that work in perfect harmony to produce a precise balance in body metabolism. These systems become dominant one by one in a natural cycle and run the metabolism. For example, while walking one foot goes ahead, whereas the other seems to go back, but the body as a whole, moves forward.

No human survival can live without air, water, and food. One single resource is not adequate for survival. Similarly, an individual dosha or system cannot run the body in all conditions.

The Contaminators
Vata, pitta, and kapha are called dosha – something that maligns the body. All these three systems have a natural tendency to go wrong and produce adverse effects if left to themselves. This tendency is the defining characteristic of dosha.

The effect of these systems is visible everywhere. Consider the example of a bike. The bike runs on the right track because there is a control over it. But if you leave the handles, then the natural tenancy of the bike will be – to fall. And no matter how good the bike is, it will fall. Similarly, in the case of dosha, there is a natural tendency to get vitiated or imbalanced.

Dosha action is apparent on an inanimate object like a bike, on a stationary living creature like a plant, an animal as well as a human being.

According to Vedic sutra यथा पिंडे तथा ब्रह्मांडे (universe resembles the particle), principles of nature apply to all the objects entities in existence, whether living or nonliving. For example, a natural cycle of creation, life, aging, and death is applicable for a vehicle, house as well as any living person, even the planets.

Photo by Roger Lagesse on Pexels.com

Vata Dosha
Let us extend the example of the bike. The system that causes forward movement of the bike, and the internal movement of the parts in the bike, can be termed as the vata system.

As it is natural for a dosha to create imbalance, the bike can get imbalanced if you lose control of the handles. Also, the parts of the bike face wear and tear as it runs more and more. This over-activity is the effect of excess vata.

The primary quality of vata is dryness. Dryness causes necrosis(death of cells), friction, and deterioration. In the case of a bike, long term use without oiling, constant friction, excess wear, and tear and aging.
According to Ayurveda, oil is the best substance that can be used for all kinds of vata disorders, as oil prevents dryness and friction.
Therefore regular oiling the bike is imperative to prevent rapid wear and tear.

Image parDaniel Kirsch de Pixabay 

If we try to replicate this concept in the case of the human body, the primary organs of movement in a person are the Limbs. Let us take the example of joints. According to Ayurveda, joints are considered to be a site of vata dosha, because their primary function is movement.

Now dryness in Synovial sacs and resulting friction is the primary cause of all diseases that happen in joints, whether it is knee joint pain.

Image parPaweł Szpiler de Pixabay 

Pitta Dosha
Now all doshas work together in all entities to produce a life-sustaining environment in the body. The engine of a bike processes petrol or any other fuel into the form of energy. This energy is the fundamental basis for all kinds of movement. Pitta Dosha governs this kind of chemical transformation and heat production that helps the bike as a system to run.

Fire or heat is the primary characteristic of pitta dosha. If pitta dosha is in excess, the bike will get overheated and might even catch fire.

In the context of the human body, stomach or amashaya is a site of pitta dosha. If the system for pitta gets vitiated, then acidity is one of the primary symptoms. General inflammation, redness, swelling, et cetera are some of the essential heat-borne features of imbalanced pitta dosha.

Cold and mild substances alleviate the fiery effect of pitta dosha and help in pitta imbalance.
Earlier many cars had carburetors with water that used to help in cooling the engine and prevent overheating.

Image parMateusz Dietrich de Pixabay

Kapha Dosha The primary characteristics of kapha dosha are coolness and stability. A lack of activity or transformational heat produces inertia that is naturally cooling in nature. For example, if the bike is stationary, then it will not get heated due to combustion in the engine or change in its position continuously.

However, if the bike remains stationary for a very long time, especially in chilling weather, you might experience a lot of trouble while starting trying to start the engine. This difficulty in starting the engine is a result of excess kapha dosha, where probably the oil in the engine freezes.

In the context of the human body, a lazy(kapha)person has a higher tendency to develop obesity (mass). This happens due to lack of activity (vata) and heat (sweating, energy conversion, etc.) the fat consumed by the body is not used entirely. Obesity is a result of excess kapha.

However, regular exercise (vata increase) and fat to glucose metabolism (pitta increase) can help to remove excess fat (kapha decrease).

Dosha and Body metabolism
Kapha dosha is made of earth and water element. We can make anything when earth and water are mixed. Therefore, any formation or creation of stability in the body is related to Kapha dosha. Formation, nutrition, management and protection(stability) of tissues comes under kapha dosha.

Image parLubos Houska de Pixabay

Pitta dosha governs any heat-based transformation, chemical reactions, or digestive processes. Digestive processes are the main center of pitta activity.

Agni is a term used for fire. Pitta dosha is fire dominant. This term reflects the digestive/transformative capacity of pitta dosha. Autophagy or cell suicide is also a process lead by pitta dosha, where a cell digests itself. This process is called dhatu paka (dhatu – tissue, paka – digestion/destruction). Autoimmune disorders are examples of dhatu paka, vividly described in all classical Ayurvedic texts.

Vata dosha emerges from the space and air element. Any movement, small or big happens with the help of vata dosha.

General Functions of Dosha

Dosha and Prakrati or body types
If we come to the concept of body types, there are primarily three kinds of body types vat, pitta, and kapha dominant.

Let us revert to the example of an organization with three functions sales finance and HR.

All the organizations have all these three essential functions. The organization is Bank; then the finance will be the primary feature of the organization. Financial activities will dominate this organization.

if this organization is an advertising firm, then the dominant function of the organization will be marketing.

If this organization is an HR consultancy, the dominant feature of the organization will be HR based activities.

All three types of organizations have all three functions. However, one feature dominates all the others. This dominating function gives a unique organizational culture and characteristics to the organization.

Similarly, prakriti or body constitution is formed by tridosha. Three dosha are present in all the human body’s. However, one of them becomes the dominating feature of the metabolism. This dominant dosha defines the prakriti or body type of the individual.

Everything, living or non-living has a prakrati or character.
For example, we can say that.

bike or any vehicle is vata dominant(major characteristics, design, and function is movement),

Oven or a blast furnace is pitta dominant(primary nature, design, and purpose is around chemical transformation and heat) and

The lake is kapha dominant (primary features, design function is stability and coolness).
For detailed qualities of dosha

There are 3 basic types of prakrati – vata, pitta and kapha. Vata, pitta and kapha dominant people are similar to respectively; a vehicle(always on the move), an oven (high processing capacity), and lake(cool and stable).

Prakriti

Daily Dosha Cycle

The time of the day is also divided according to the dosha dominant in that part of the day. For example, kapha dosha controls first one-third part of the day. Another one-third of the day comes under the control of pitta dosha, and the last one-third of the day comes under vata dosha.

Similarly, the night also has 3 phases.

For this reason, Ayurveda considers morning to be the best time for studies as kapha is the factor for strong memory (stability).
The best time to have the biggest meal of the day is noon (pitta period) as the digestion at this time is at its best.
And you must avoid excess labor or heavy food in the evening, as vata dosha is the factor for tiredness and indigestion.

Also, you will find that most of the breathing and mucous related disorders, numbness, stiffness, etc. occur during the morning time.

Whereas acidity, inflammation, and other pitta related disorders flare-up during the midday.

And vata related disorders like joint pain, muscle cramps, headache, tiredness, etc. happen during the end of the day.

Dinacharya sutra according to daily dosha rhythm

Seasonal Dosha Cycle

Dosha has natural cyclic vitiation throughout the year. For example, kapha Dosha vitiation occurs during the spring. You will find that spring is the season where we can see maximum mucus related disorders.

Sharad or early winter is the time of pitta prakop or vitiation. Therefore early winter is the time where you will see aggravation in pitta related disorders like pimples, acidity, inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, etc.

Varsha or rainy season is the time dominated by vata dosha vitiation. Therefore in the rainy season, we all can observe that all kinds of body pain, headache, migraine, joint pains et cetera get aggravated in this season.

Seasonal Dosha Cycle

Dosha and Lifecycle
Dosha are everywhere in the body. According to Ayurveda, Lifespan of an individual has three parts – kapha-childhood, pitta-youth, and vata -old age.

Childhood is all about growing up. For any growth, you need nutrition, stability, and peace. Kapha dosha is the spring of all these qualities. Link qualities of kapha dosha. The period of kapha is the time of body formation and growth. Kapha is also the time when all mucus related problems like cough, cold etc. are very common. Therefore, children are more prone to all kinds of kapha related disorders like cough and cold.

Vitiation of kapha dosha in childhood is the primary reason for malnutrition or any kind of malformation in the body.

Pitta Dosha governs the young age. Youth is the transformational stage of life. The young person is called Vardhaman in Ayurveda. The word Vardhaman means the one who is growing or advancing. A young person is not growing anymore in structure, but he improves every day in his experience and knowledge. Medha or intellect is a quality bestowed by Pitta dosha. This intellectual growth is the real advancement for a human being.

Young people have excellent digestion, lots of energy and best immunity, thanks to dominating pitta dosha. However, youth are more prone to pitta related disorders like acne, acidity, inflammatory disorders. Most of the inflammatory autoimmune disorders are more likely to express themselves during this phase of life.

Vata dosha governs the last stage of the life old age. A mature person is called vriddha in Ayurveda. This word means the one who has reached complete advancement or growth. An older adult is like a ripened fruit that naturally dries up and breaks away from the branch. In this stage, the physical structure starts deterioration; however, the intellectual level has reached its zenith.

During the period of vata, the body undergoes rapid degeneration, like a withering leaf. The abode of vata – bones, joints etc are severely affected. For this reason, old people face maximum joint related disorders. They also have weakened digestion.

Vata phase is the time for diseases like dementia, arthritis, hypertension, and all kinds of pain related disorders to incubate or flare-up.

These three dosha are the Trinity of the body, they are like Brahma(creator), Vishnu (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer)!

Dosha and Disease Susceptibility
According to the above dosha sequence in the lifecycle, you will find that most of the kapha related disorders like cough cold, etc. occur during childhood. Children are highly susceptible to mucus are respiratory system associated disorders as compared to youth or older adults.

Similarly, youth are most susceptible to pitta related disorders like pimples, hyperacidity, inflammation.

And in the end, the elderly are most susceptible to vata related disorders like dementia, hair fall, and all kinds of body pains.

Dryness is the primary quality of vata dosha. For this reason, we find that older people have excessively dry and wrinkled skin, dryness related problems like body pain joint pain. They also have weak digestion because of recessive pitta dosha.

Dosha and Body Parts
Dosha have specific regions, specially designated to their activity. For example, kapha dosha governs the area from head to the diaphragm.
Pitta dosha governs the region from the diaphragm to the pelvic region.
Vata dosha is dominant in part in the pelvic region and the limbs.

Qualities of Dosha

Dosha and Metabolism

Entire body metabolism follows the same dosha sequence. Let us take the example of digestion –

Carbs/sugars are the primary sources of energy and nutrition for the body.
Kapha Dosha governs the first part of digestion – sugar metabolism, as the sweetness is one of its central features. Sugar release in the blood creates a cooling effect and stimulate the satiety centers in the brain. Also, it causes drowsiness(stability-sleep) after meals.

The middle part of the digestive procedure focuses on digestion of proteins that are reduced to amino acids. Acidity or sourness is one of the primary features of Pitta dosha. Therefore this phase of digestion is governed by pitta dosha.

The last part of digestion focuses on fat digestion. Fat digestion produces bitter or katu rasa(fatty acids and glycerol are bitter) the effect of vata dosha in the body. And the digestion of fatty acids comes under vata dosha.

Digestion is just one example. All the metabolic Processes happen under the same sequence of dosha cycle. Even disease incubation and spread in the body occurs in the same dosha cycle, according to the range of imbalanced dosha.

Ayurveda focuses on the tridosha concept for body formation, structure, physiology, and pathology. Some classical Ayurvedic texts say that there is nothing else in the body metabolism except dosha. Everything that happens in the body is a function of the cyclic effect of the dosha accumulation, vitiation, and stabilization.

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I am trying to understand Ayurveda myself. However, according to my current experience, the curative effects of Ayurveda are absolutely incredible. If you have a query or doubt, please let me know. It will help to improve my knowledge.

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Good Food and Bad Food According to Ayurveda – I : Food that should not be consumed

Keeping in mind that food cannot be cooked separately for all persons in a house, Acharya Charak describes the food quality that should be taken regularly for all seasons and all prakrati, along with food that should be used very rarely by all prakrati individuals. However, it is particularly important to refrain from the bad food even if you have to stay hungry, as it is said that one should not eat poison even if he has nothing left to eat!

chili lot
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Food that should not be eaten regularly (occasionally, once or twice a year or for the medicinal purpose)

  • Dried Meat
  • Dried Vegetables
  • Lotus roots
  • Non-vegetarian diet for the weak

Dried Meat and Vegetables

It is very convenient and sometimes cheap to store dried meat or vegetables for easy use later. Many times people store dried vegetables to be used during the offseason. Dried or dehydrated meat/vegetables are now being frequently used in “Ready to cook” food. But such products should not be used every day.

The food should be consumed in its fresh or natural form as much as possible. According to my personal hypothesis, food that is naturally juicy, like most of the meat and vegetables, when consumed in dried form,  tends to absorb extra water from the intestines for getting into its original digestible form. It might swell in the intestines. If the adequate amount of moisture is not available, it might not be digested properly. Such food might create toxins due to incomplete digestion.

Dried Vegetables

Most of the vegetables that grow above the ground like cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, beans, peas, bottle gourds,  etc. are dry in nature and they cause Vata imbalance(dryness in the body) when consumed without hot spices/oil etc. Also, most of the green leafy vegetables are heavy, dry and have a tendency to cause bloating (esp during the rains) if not cooked along with proper spices. When these vegetables are used in the dried form, the dryness produced in the body is multifold. Besides, it can seriously derail the digestive system. This is true for almost all the vegetables.

Therefore, if you have the option of using dried red chilies for the fresh green ones, please choose the fresh green chillis. Dried methi leaves, normally used as a flavor enhancing agent in Indian cooking, also should be used once in a while.

close up cooking cuisine delicious
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Meat, esp pork is supposed to be extremely heavy in nature and can cause severe digestive problems (Vata derangement) if consumed in the dried form. Beef is recommended only in diseased conditions, not otherwise. Most of the meat is heavy to digest. Dehydrated meat is harder to digest and can cause severe Vata vitiation in the body.

It is said that such food takes a long time to get digested and after digestion does not fuel the digestive fire, instead leaves it weakened. Therefore such food is classified as Dhatupradushak or contaminator of the metabolism/tissue systems. In order to understand this concept, let us take the example of throwing sand on the fire. The sand does not get burnt but brings down the intensity of the fire. It might even extinguish a weak fire!

Ideally, we should stop using the packaged ready to cook masalas which contain dried vegetables like onion, garlic, or dried chicken pieces.

dosakaya-pickle-recipe.jpgInstead, meat or vegetables stored in pickled form are oiled, tender and better option for easy cooking than the dried ones.

However, dried meat and vegetables, even when used rarely, should be cooked in water/moisture/oil in order to make them soft and easily digestible. They should be served hot in order to stimulate the digestion. Digestive herbs like ginger, black pepper, asafoetida, cumin etc. should be used to make them easy to digest and absorb.

ginger-1191945_960_720That reminds me about dried ginger powder! There are some exceptions to everything. Dried root vegetables like potato chips can be kept for long duration and consumed after frying. The use of water or oil for proper cooking is indispensable. Still, a fresh potato is a 1000 times better than the dried potato. The dried ginger powder is an Ayurvedic medicine, easy to digest and produces heat in the body and therefore is not a bad food choice. Pumpkin in dried form is not damaging to health, therefore Vadi(a dried Indian curry material) made by sun-drying the chunks of pumpkin paste and spices, are not harmful.

Also, this concept is not applicable to the medicinal herbs(aushadhi) like Ashwagandha to coriander seeds. They can be stored in the dried powdered form of at least one year. However, their other preparations like jam (chavanprash), tablets, alcohols are more useful and have a longer shelf life.

Dried meat and vegetables are not great everyday food, but they might be used for medicinal purposes, as according to Ayurveda, everything in the universe can be used as a medicine. For example, dried radish soup is used to relieve severe bronchitis.

Considering all the health dimensions of dried vegetables and meat, it is best to avoid most of the dried vegetables and meat, unless prescribed by a trained physician.

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Lotus Roots

Lotus roots are considered to be very heavy and not digestible in the human system. Therefore they should not be consumed at all.

chicken close up dish food
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Non-vegetarian diet for the weak

Normally a person who is weak and thin is advised to consume a non-vegetarian diet, as according to Ayurveda also, flesh is the best diet to increase flesh. However, a weak person with a bad digestion should never consume non-vegetarian diet, as it can seriously hamper his digestion capacity. Ideally, according to the Ayurvedic procedure of weight gain, a very weak person should improve his digestion and health primarily on a vegetarian diet and digestive medicines. After that, he should gradually move to a non-vegetarian diet. A non-vegetarian diet for a weak person with retarded digestion is like a college assignment for a school kid. The chances of successful completion are almost nil. Besides, such a diet will cause further retardation of the already weak digestion.

The central idea of the above guidelines is to preserve the digestion. Digestion is the fuels the life-force in the body and anything that hampers digestion should be avoided at all cost.

 

Know thy food – Basic Ayurvedic Classification of Food

According to Ayurveda, the one who eats healthy food will never need any medicine; and the one who eats unhealthy food will never benefit from any medicine. Therefore it is important to know thy food!

According to Ayurveda, every edible substance on earth has 3 properties –

Doshashamak (Pacifier of Dosha)- It balances the dosha (physiological systems of the body). Herbs like turmeric, ginger, black pepper can be classified as Doshashamak. Turmeric balances Kapha and Pitta, ginger and black pepper balances Vata and Kapha.

assorted spices near white ceramic bowls
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Dhatupradushak( Contaminator of Dhatu)- It contaminates the vital tissue systems. Ayurveda believes that the diseases can occur only when there is a suitable environment for their incubation inside the body system. A contaminated dhatu is the ignorant king who unsuspectingly allows the trojan horse of diseases inside the body. It is like the traitor of Sparta who gave away the strategic secrets and led to the defeat of his kingdom. Therefore, all diseases have roots inside the body and these roots are formed by the Dhatupradushak food and lifestyle habits we practice.

Onion can be considered as an example of Dhatupradushak, as it is Guru (heavy to digest). Anything that is heavy to digest is taxing for the digestive system to absorb. It has a hot temperament and helps to balance Vata. However, it is heavy, sweet in taste, and unctuous. Therefore, onion has a tendency to vitiate Kapha Dosha. Onion is also sharp in action and has bitter as its secondary taste. Therefore, it can vitiate pitta dosha by disturbing the physiological processes.

red brown white and purple onions and garlic displayed
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Swasthyahitkarak(Beneficial for Health) – It is the substance that is indisputably good for health. It is important to note that all Ayurvedic guidelines should be considered in a context. Sutra is the system that provides a comprehensive context for all rules. Ghee, Honey, rice, moong dal are some of the swasthyahitkarak foods, that cause almost no harm to the body in the widest range of situations.

spoon honey jar glass
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Now, there is no physical substance that when taken in any quantity, any time and in any manner will be incontestably good for health. For example, rice is considered good for health and according to Ayurveda, one should have it every day. But uncooked rice is disastrous if consumed, an excessive amount of cooked rice is not good, polished rice is unhealthy etc. Therefore, there is a context where a substance is doshashamak, dhatupradoshak or Swasthyahitkarak. This is the broad view.

Now for practical purposes, how can we classify day to day objects in these 3 categories? Well, we can do that in the same way as we classify the solid, liquid and gas. Everything that exists on this earth can acquire any of the 3 states of physical existence, in specific conditions. For example, oxygen is a gas in normal circumstances. However, it can be transformed to liquid when compressed, or even solid. But still, for all practical purposes, it is classified as a gas, because that is its natural form of existence. In the same way, even arsenic can be good for the body. It is actually used in many of the Rasa Shastra medicines. But, for all practical purposes, it is classified as a toxin. Because it has a natural toxic effect on the body. Similarly, haritaki (Terminelia chebula) is extolled to be as benevolent as a mother towards the stomach but it is not supposed to be consumed more than a specific period of time. Still, for all practical purposes, it is a swasthyahitkarak herb.

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Besides, it is important to note that each human body is different. What is good for one person might not be good for the other. For example, eating curd might be good for a person with good digestion, but buttermilk is better for a person with weak digestion. But this classification is still applicable for everyone. For example, as swasthyahitkarak substance, Ghee is invariably good for all humans, (pure and natural) milk is nourishing for all children. Similarly, too much acid like vinegar is dhatupradushak for all people. And Amla is pitta doshashamak for everyone.

Therefore, irrespective of the body type, this classification is the basis on which we can choose the food that we should eat or the food that we should avoid, in general.

  • Swasthyahitkarak food items should be consumed every day.
  • Doshashamak food items should be consumed according to requirement.
  • Dhatupradushak food items should be consumed rarely or not at all.

If we follow these plain and simple rules of eating, we will never fall sick.

The most interesting thing about substance(dravya) as described in Ayurveda is Kal (time), Disha(dimension), Mana(mind) and Atma (soul) are classified as substances. Therefore the above 3 classifications are applicable to the lifestyle and the thought process also.

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Dhatu

Dhatu is something that holds or sustains (धारण करना), similar to anabolism (Building up process).

Dhatu is a very important factor as it holds the life force and controls or steers the Dosha. Dhatu is like the hand that holds the steering wheel of Dosha, without which the wheel may throw the vehicle off track and lead to an accident. Imagine a pot which can contain X litres of liquid. Similarly every “body” has an innate and natural capacity to hold a definite amount of Kinetic energy, heat and inertia, in a balanced state. This capacity is governed by the Dhatu system of the body. Stronger the Dhatu system, more will be the total capacity. Stamina is the end result of the Dhatu.

Prakruti also can be defined by the Dhatu capacity. Rasa(lymph) belongs to Kapha, Rakta(blood) to Pitta, Asthi(bones) to Vata. Person with stronger Rakta Dhatu will have higher capacity to hold Pitta Dosha.

If we consider an object, the energy is naturally balanced in it. If it is stable, the energy is in inertia; when falling energy is converted to kinetic energy and when hitting the ground, some heat is also generated. Similar energy conversion is constantly happening in the body to achieve stability. The human body creates and maintains a special internal condition, which helps it survive; and the energy changes are far more complex as compared to a dead object. Stronger the Dhatu system and faster the anabolic processes in a body, lesser are the chances of getting diseases. The body of a child is like this. So a robust Dhatu system can easily prevent damages during the seasonal changes.

7 Dhatu are basic milestones in anabolic route:

RASA – Ingredients that are absorbed by the body after digestion. It is the end product absorbed in the intestines.

RAKTA – Blood

MAMSA – Muscles

MEDA – Fat

MAJJA – Marrow

ASTHI – Bone

SHUKRA – Semen

Dhatu are formed one after the other, means Rakta (blood) will be formed only after Ras (chyme or digested food juice) and not before, directly from the absorbed food. Also the better part of Rasa gets converted to Rakta by the Dhutvagni (Agni is taken as the transformational process or chemical reaction that converts the matter from one form to the other) and same happens with the other Dhatu subsequently. The lesser part gets converted to Mala of the respective Dhatu. It is like the burning of the wood, the better part gets converted to heat and light and the lesser part gets converted to ash.

Shukra is the most important Dhatu in the body. It is said that Shukra finally gets converted into “Ooja”, the life force.

Dosha

Dosha is something which has tendency to malaise or spoil. It can be understood as a factor of catabolism (breaking down process in the body)

Also Dosha is a concept in itself.

According to Ayurveda, there are 3 kinds of Dosha or body temperaments – Vata, Pitta and Khapha.

It is said that as life resides in heart but no one can see it, similarly these temperaments guide the body physiology but no one can see them. In short, they are the 3 basic and distinguishable behaviour or metabolism patterns of the body.

Nature of Dosha

Let us understand this concept through an example of a wooden stick, which can endure pressure, force or weight up to a certain level. It has a yielding point after it will not be able to support the kinetic energy and will break. Similarly it will have a point of heat after which it will start burning. Same is with inertia. It will have a certain amount of inertia according to its weight, size etc. that gives the stability and opposes changes in its state of existence.

Same is with our body, in a more dynamic sense. Our body can hold certain amount of total kinetic energy, with specific channels of flow or function. This amount or holding capacity differs from person to person, just as volume differs from container to container. It also has different but definite capacities for heat and inertia.

The basis of Prakruti or natural body constitution lies in the different capacities of the individuals. Let us assume that the total energy (of all types) is 6X.One body will have capacity to hold 3X of kinetic energy, 2X of heat energy and X of inertia. This body will be of vata dominant prakruti, or VPK prakruti. Similarly if a body has capacity to hold more of heat energy – 3X, it will be Pitta dominant body.

VATA – It is the concept of kinetic energy in the body. All motion inside body or by the body is because of Vata. Vata is said to be made of Vayu (motion element) and Akash (space element).

PITTA – It is the concept of transformation energy, any chemical reactions, heat generation is considered to be under Pitta. It is made of fire (Heat element)

KAPHA – It is closer to the concept of inertia, mass, stability in the body. It is made of Jal (water element) and Prithvi (mass)

There is no single dosha at work at any point in time. One dosha might dominate or direct one process, but all 3 dosha contribute to it. There is natural tendency of Dosha or physiological patterns to spoil the body by either excess or deficiency of motion, transformation or inertia. When out of control, these become the negative forces in the body. They are balanced by Dhatu and Ooja (life force). Any imbalance tilting towards Dosha causes diseases.

Each of these behaviour pattern or syndrome has 3 aspects – Normal physiology, Excess and Deficiency.

 

Role of Dosha

Dosha are like different maintenance programs for different situations. They support a specific type of metabolism, have a set time and place of function and aim to produce specific results.

During any activity, entire body comes together and every part of the body contributes to produce a single result. Some parts contribute more, some contribute less. But there is no single isolated activity happening in the body at any point in time. Everything is connected. The organs of the body synchronize their activities under single command. It must be difficult for brain to communicate to each cell. The body parts communicate through their secretions or electric signals. But Dosha is like a pre-programmed code, triggering chain reaction in the entire body. Under a particular dosha and given a specific environment, each body cell will behave in a particular fashion, contributing towards a single result. Dosha are comprehensive platforms that define what each part will do to perform a particular activity. They align the body activities to produce a single desired effect.

We can compare it to the sympathetic and non-sympathetic nervous systems.

Let us take the example of digestion. Pitta dosha is the parent dosha for digestion. Complete digestion can be divided in 3 parts.

 

DIGESTION

 

 

 

Kapha stage:  Beginning of digestion

When the digestion of food begins, the blood supply to other parts of the body, like the limbs, brain etc. is reduced and diverted to the intestines for absorption (that is why we feel sleepy and lethargic immediately after a meal). It is advised that one should walk 100 steps to keep the kapha balanced during this time. So the hands, legs, brain etc are synchronized to the digestion in stomach because of Kapha dosha. This is a very simple example

Pitta stage: Complete breakdown

Various organs (gall bladder, pancreas) secrete their juices in the alimentary canal to aid digestion. Simultaneously, liver detoxifies the digested juices in the blood and produces the heat through digestion. This is time of chemical transformation and heat production. Blood gets fresh supply of nutrients. Body cells start assimilating the nutrition transported by the blood. Body becomes active. This is good time to sleep in summer, to keep the heat through activities, low and balance the heat of digestion.

Vata stage: Absorption and excretion

After complete digestion, the food gets absorbed though the small intestine (nutrients) and large intestine (water). Large intestine is the site of vata. This stage of digestion involves constant motion and absorption of water.

The important point is that with the beginning of digestion, other parts of the body, even the eyelids perform their function by getting drowsy or the legs by forfeiting extra blood supply, or the brain. And all this is orchestrated by the dosha. So we can appropriately evaluate what will be the condition of eyeballs or liver or legs when a particular dosha is active, vitiated or balanced.

Taking the same example forward, if the food is too heavy to digest; the Kapha dosha will get vitiated. This means that the Kapha program will not shut down at the correct time and will keep running in wrong condition and for wrong (longer) duration. The digestion of food will not reach the next stage properly and the errors in digestions will be carried forward in the form of toxins.

Best example is the process of sexual stimulation. Parent dosha for sex is vata, which is a kind of lord of all physical activity.

During sexual intercourse, the entire body activity is synchronized to achieve a single result. Eyes close to enhance the effect of skin receptors. Conscious brain activity is more imagination based (Pitta is associated with logic, Kapha with the memory and vata with imagination or creativity). Movements of hands, legs, penis / vagina are co-ordinated to achieve the desired outcome. Sperm friendly secretions lubricate the vagina to ensure safe and easy passage. This is a most elucidating example of perfect organ coordination on vata platform.

The key of health is in the balance of these Dosha.


Importance of Vata

Have you ever wondered why it is always Vata, Pitta and Kapha and not Kapha , Pitta , Vata or Pitta, Kapha and Vata.

It is because Vata is the most important and defining force among all three. After Vata comes Pitta and finally Kapha, most innocuous one.

This is because Kinetic energy is considered to be the most important here, which can affect other factors. Kinetic energy produces heat and can destroy inertia. Also Kinetic energy of the body is in direct control of the being. An Individual can use his kinetic energy at will and change or balance energy equation of the body. We can heat up the body by exercise and reduce inertia. Vata, because of its influence on other dosha, can cause maximum diseases. Hence Ayurveda chooses to establish Vata (Kinetic energy) as a greater force than the rest.

Sequence of Dosha

If we consider a lifespan or any natural phenomenon, Ayurveda has a rule that everything starts with stability (Kapha state), goes to the stage of transformation or maturity (Pitta state) and deterioration (Vata state).Same rule applies to human body as well. Child is in Kaphaj state, youth is in Pittaj state and elderly in Vataj state and interestingly all these are more prone to disease attributed to respective Dosha. For example, children are more prone to cold and coughs (Kaphaj disorders), youths are prone to acme, pimple according to their Prakruti (Pittaj disorders), and old people are prone to joint pain (Vataj disorders)

Similarly first 1/3rd of day is Kaphaj, second 1/3rd is Pittaj and third 1/3rd is Vataj. Again the symptoms of respective diseases exaggerate during the respective times, for example cold, sneezing etc. increases in the morning (Kaphaj), acidity is aggravates in daytime (Pittaj) and joint pain increases during the evening time.

The seasons come and go in a cycle but the cycle is considered from Hemant according to Ayurveda, which is the coldest season (Kaphaj state), then move towards summer (Pittaj state) and rains (Vataj state). In Sharad the effect of Vata subsides completely, to regain the Kaphaj state.

Ooja

It is considered to be the end product of entire metabolism, or let us say, the fruit of it. Ooja is the protoplasm, life force or pure energy. According to Ayurveda, the food particles ingested in the body are converted to rasa or food juice, best part of rasa gets converted to Rakta (blood), best part of blood gets converted to Mansa(Muscles), best of which gets converted to Meda(Fatty tissue), Meda converts to form Asthi(Bone tissue),Asthi converts to Majja( Marrow) and marrow finally converts to Shukra(Sperms/semen), which is the essence of the body metabolism. Best part of Shukra gets converted to Ooja , which is the connection between the mind and the body.

The process of making Ooja reminds one of Geeta in which Krishna says that one in a millions has spiritual inclination; one among millions of such spiritually inclined people becomes a devotee, one among thousands of such devotees, tries to reach the ultimate and one among thousands of such devotees who are trying, finally reaches the destination and merges with the source of life.

It appears that our body is a process of continous progression from particle to energy. It       feeds on the particle and converts it to energy, the life force, which gives vitality to the collection of organs and sets the mind and body to motion.

Ooja cannot be seen as only energy. But both its presence as well as the absence can be felt. Ooja influences mind  as well as body.It is the basis of vitality in the body.

Ooja forms the aura of the body. Body can influence Ooja by external factors like attack of disease causing factors, but major influence comes from the mind. Habit of negative thinking and depression reduces Ooja or life force.

The health status of a person can be measured by the quantity of Ooja but body’s speed of making Ooja is more significant since if the speed is low then initial good amount of Ooja will gradually decrease with time.

Therefore the quality of food that we eat is very important as that provides the base for good or bad metabolism. According to Ayurveda, ideal food should be hot. The sequence of qualities of food is very significant, hot comes before fresh or well cooked, as hot food will be softer, help in maintaining good temperature for digestion and stimulate digestive juice secretion. Properties of ideal food are discussed under the topic – Qualities of an Ideal Meal.

The point is the food also should have prana (life factor), which signifies the ease with which it can be digested and converted to energy, creating minimum amount of toxins in the process.

Food that is rotten or stale is considered to be without prana or life energy, such food should not be consumed

Ayurvedic Definition of Health

Sam-Doshaha Sam Agni Shcha Sam Dhatu Malakriyah! Prasann Atma Indriya Manah Swasthya Ityabhidhiyate!!

Balanced state of Dosha, Agni (digestive fires), Dhatu (Metabolic essence) and Mal (Metabolic waste)

Happy soul, senses and mind constitute the (complete) health

Kshetra of Ayurveda and Importance of mind

Kshetra means field of Ayurveda, on which it acts. There are 2 fields – mind and body respectively.

Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge, Ayurveda signifies the knowledge of life. It is not only about the physical wellbeing but also mental and spiritual health.

Treating the body alone is like treating the shadow of the sick and expecting the results.

Like the way everything starts with the roots in a plant, everything starts with the mind in an individual. Soul is pure energy. Divergent tendencies start with the mind and therefore everything; peace or agony, health or diseases start with the mind. Ayurvedic approach is towards treating the human being, who is a sum total of soul, mind and body, with the focus on mind.

Ayurveda believes that diseases have 2 basic origins – Manas (psychological) and Sharir (Body based). Disease from mind can spread to body and vice versa.

Let us take an example:

  • You get a cold and you start thinking about work that you are not able to do because of it. You lower your immunity because of stress or might add headache to this cold. So the cold is body based but the headache is mind based.
  • If your cold gets worse than you might get a headache too, then both the problems are body based.
  • If you are under too much of stress, you reduce your immunity and thus get frequent cold and cough. This is mind generated.

In order to effectively cure or prevent this cold, treatment should start with finding the base or roots of the disease. It can be in mind or in the body.

According to scientific researches, 99% diseases can be traced to psychological problems! Also the role of placebo is unquestionable in getting cured. If a patient takes a sugar pill with sincere belief that it will cure her/his disease, then it might actually have equivalent or better results than the real medicine. The disease and the cure, both have their origin in the mind.

People with good diet and comfortable life develop diseases due to stress. On the other side, if one is calm or even better….happy, there are more chances of her/his getting cured soon or not falling sick at all.

BE HAPPY!

This is a little too simple to believe!

No one is happy at all the times but you are happy when you are doing something that you like to do. What is more important is that your attention is towards something that you like doing. It is not possible to be able to do what you like all the time, but no one can stop you from keeping a focus on the things that you like. Happiness is more of a frame of mind and you can keep happy if you want to be happy, you will dig out things that will keep you happy.

Being happy is the very basic, most important and probably the only thing that we require for being healthy.

Be Happy with the book

There will be a lot of dos and don’ts in the coming chapters, which are meant to improve your health and longevity. But if you are not able to follow any of them because of unavoidable circumstances, do not get worried. If you are happy trying to follow them, you will stay healthy even if you are not strictly in the line.

There are many people who had routines and lifestyles which promised worst of heart attacks, diabetes, cancer etc… but they lived long and healthy, probably because they were too happy to worry about their bad lifestyle. Also there are people, who have very strict routine and healthy lifestyle, still they develop diseases and some die young, probably because they continuously worry about their health. Worrying is the most unhealthy habit. So lose it first, before you do anything else for your health.

So, the first rule is – be happy and don’t do anything that makes you unhappy….Best wishes !

Jivem Shardah Shatam

TACH CHAKSHUR DEVAHITAM
PURASTAACH CHHUKRAM UCH-CHARAT
PASHYEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
JEEVEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
SHRINU-YAAMA SHARADAH SHATAM
BHOOYASH CHA SHARADAH SHATAAT.
 – Yajur Veda 36:24
TACH CHAKSHUR DEVAHITAM
PURASTAACH CHHUKRAM UCH-CHARAT
PASHYEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
JEEVEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
SHRINU-YAAMA SHARADAH SHATAM
BHOOYASH CHA SHARADAH SHATAAT.
 – Yajur Veda 36:24
TACH CHAKSHUR DEVAHITAM
PURASTAACH CHHUKRAM UCH-CHARAT
PASHYEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
JEEVEMA SHARADAH SHATAM
SHRINU-YAAMA SHARADAH SHATAM
BHOOYASH CHA SHARADAH SHATAAT.
 – Yajur Veda 36:24

Let me live a hundred autumn

(Jeevema Sharadahshhatam)

Let me see a hundred autumn

(Pashyema Sharadahshhatam)

Modama Sharadahshatam

(Let me enjoy a hundred autumns)

ShriNavama Sharadahshhatam

(Let me hear a hundred autumns)

Ajeethasyama Sharadahshhatam

(Let me live invincible a hundred autumn)

Ayurveda instead of disease prevention, goes to the extent of making the human beings long lived to minimum 100 years (Jivem Shardah Shatam) and at the same time maintaining good health; to be able see properly for 100 years, to be able to walk etc. and most importantly …to be able to think wisely for 100 years (which is the most important yet the rarest thing to be seen). Ayurveda maintains that living long is not enough… we should live disease free, not turn into a miserable cripple after 60 years but be able to walk, to see , to hear properly and above all to think properly for 100 years.

Aim (priority) of Ayurveda

Swasthasya swathya rakshnam, aturashya vikara prashman ch

Protect the health of the healthy and also treat disease of the sick

The subject or aim of Ayurveda is defined as “KEEPING THE BODY HEALTHY” and treating the ones who fall sick. Let us realize that treatment of diseases is defensive approach as compared to keeping the body strong and healthy, thereby eliminating the possibility of disease. Even after that, if any one falls sick, he should be treated.

There are so many disease causing factors among all of us but some succumb to them and fall sick, some recover and some do not. There are many people who will not fall sick at all in the similar circumstances. Diseases occur when there is suitable environment for them to occur, same is with various microorganisms. They can break the defence barrier of the body only if the body is too weak to prevent the attack or retaliate swiftly.

In order to understand the approach of Ayurveda towards health and disease prevention-

Let us imagine leaves falling from a tree of disease and our task is to keep the place clean. There are 3 ways to do it. 1) Either we can keep collecting the leaves 2) we can cut the weed down or 3) we can make the soil (environment) unsuitable for its growth. In this illustration collecting the leaves is maintenance of the disease, cutting the weed is killing the microbes or cancer cells etc., making soil infertile is turning the body environment hostile for the incubation of disease causing factors.

So Ayurveda works on mind and body, instead of killing external disease causing factors.

Following this logic, we should aim to have more preventive health centres than hospitals!