According to Ayurveda, the physical body is pervaded by three doshas (vital energies) in different proportions.
These determine through their state of equilibrium or imbalance with respect to the individual constitution (prakriti) the state of well-being or illness of the individual.
Each dosha is composed of two elements (panca-mahabhutani) and has certain qualities (gunas) that characterize them.
The Vata type
Composed of space (akasha) and air (vayu), it is the principle of movement, linked to everything that is movement in the body (nervous system, respiration, blood circulation ..).
Its qualities are: coldness, dryness, lightness, subtlety, mobility, sharpness, hardness, roughness and fluidity. Its main seat is the colon and its 5 sub-doshas are: Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana and Vyana.
The primary characteristics of the Vata are interchangeability, unpredictability, variability in shape, size, character and action. The Vata tends to be slender with prominences at the joints and veins, with a dry and cold skin.
He is character, enthusiastic, imaginative, impulsive, has many ideas, but often, the vata is inconclusive. The vata eats and sleeps in a very nomadic way and is very predisposed to anxiety, insomnia, premenstrual disorders (dysmenorrhea) and constipation, its energy is present in an irregular way, making its existence par excellence.
Example: the vata apana resides in the spine, rectum, bladder and genitals. It governs urination, defecation, menstruation and the movement of the fetus leaving the uterus. According to Ayurveda, an imbalance of this type of vata causes cone-rectal, urogenital and intestinal disorders.
The Pitta type
Composed of fire (tejas) and water (jala), it is the dosha linked to transformation, to digestion understood both physically (stomach, digestive fire also called agni) and mental (processing of emotions).
Its qualities are: warm, oily, lightness, subtlety, mobility, sharpness, softness, smoothness, clarity and fluidity. Its main site is the small intestine and its 5 sub-doshas are: Pacaka, Ranjaka, Sadhaka, Alochaka and Bhrajaka.
Pitta is relatively predictable, of medium build, strength and endurance, well proportioned, with a ruddy complexion.
The pitta has a quick, articulate, acute intelligence and can be very critical or passionate with short and explosive outbursts of anger. The pitta is a regular eater and sleeper, loves the sun but suffers from the heat and gastro-duodenal disorders.
Example: pitta sadhaka resides in the heart and governs intelligence, intellect, creativity, memory, self-esteem, the ability to achieve results, and romantic attitudes. It is not yet known whether this pitta, which governs mental rather than physical functions, is the heart itself or acts for the whole body. An imbalance undermines the proper functioning of the aforementioned functions.
DR. CLARK NATURAL HERBS & OILS
The Kapha type
Composed of water (jala) and earth (prithvi), it is the dosha linked to cohesion, to keeping united, it is proper to body fluids, it lubricates and keeps the body solid and uniform.
Its qualities are: coldness, humidity, heaviness, coarseness, stability, opacity, softness, smoothness and density. Its five sub-doshas are: Kledaka, Avalambaka, Bodhaka, Tarpaka and Slesaka.
The fundamental characteristic of Kapha is relaxation. Kapha is solid, heavy, strong, with slow digestion, fairly oily hair, cold, foldable and pale skin. All kaphas are slow to digest, eat and act, sleep long and deeply, tend to procrastinate and be obstinate and are predisposed to high levels of cholesterol, obesity, allergies. Many individuals present a constitution in which two or three doshas are highlighted (e.g. vata-pitta or pitta-vata), the rarer the occurrence in which there is only one dosha.
Example: the tarpaka kapha resides in the brain, and maintains its strength. An imbalance causes headaches, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, diarrhea and mental disorders.
When the doshas are in balance and in accordance with the constitution, the result is vibrant health with precious energy levels. But when this delicate balance is disturbed, the body becomes susceptible to external “stressors”, such as viruses, bacteria, overworking, improper nutrition. The imbalance in the doshas is the first sign that the spirit, mind and body are not in perfect coordination. An incorrect diet will cause an alteration of agni (gastric fire) and therefore the incorrect digestion of food resulting in the formation of toxins (ama). The accumulation of ama will later cause disease.
According to Ayurvedic Medicine, nutrition must be in accordance with the individual constitution (prakryti)
For a vata it is a sweet, sour and salty food, for pitta it is suitable for sweet, bitter and astringent food, instead for kapha individuals you should choose a food with a pungent, bitter and astringent taste.
Seasons and circadian rhythm (over twenty-four hours) are also taken into account in Ayurveda, so dietary suggestions are often prescribed with this perspective clearly in mind.
Ayurvedic Medicine considers the restoration of health to be primary, after having understood and obviously correctly diagnosed which are the disorders of body imbalance.
The balance of the doshas, the cause of health
As admirably described in the verses of Sushruta: “Those who have the doshas in balance, the digestion and the balanced metabolic processes, normal functions of the body tissues and excretions, the senses, the mind and the consciousness permeated with purity, are called healthy person (swastha)”.
The cause of health is therefore the balance of the doshas which in turn depends on the balanced use of:
• time (kala);
• contact of the senses with their objects (artha);
• action (karma).
In practice it is necessary to avoid making excessive, deficient or improper use of time, senses and action by favoring a balanced use of the same and applying samayoga that is balanced union (yoga) (sama); these factors together represent the golden rule for maintaining health.
Maintaining the balance of the doshas means maintaining the balance of the elements that make up the body (air, fire, water, etc.) while remaining in its original constitution called prakriti.
The three pillars of health:
The three doshas with their functions of movement (vata), metabolism (pitta) and cohesion (kapha) are the three pillars (tri-stambha) on which the body stands. To these three pillars are added three more with an equally important subsidiary role in maintaining health, called tri-upastambha or three accessory pillars.
• food (ahara);
• sleep (nidra);
• regulated sex life (brahmacharya).
This concludes our second part abut the Ayurveda Medicine, please fell free to ask more details or, why not, give your opinion if you like. You can do that in the comments below.
Gemma Heather Taylor is a 28-year-old junior programmer who enjoys eating, travelling and yoga. She is a thinker and creative, but can also be quite skeptic to many subjects that today we give for granted. This led to Gemma constantly having to dig through piles of books to find answers to her wonders.