According to Ayurveda, not only our emotional state, but also our physical state depends on our state of mind, and as a result, our life as a whole. Our mind is closely related to our сonstitution, the prevailing dosha, and the state of this dosha. In this article, we will share with you how to understand the real cause of your health problems based on the knowledge of the three doshas.
What is Prakriti?
Prakriti is genetically determined physical and mental constitution of an individual. Every person has his/her own unique constitution which determines the biological functions, response to environmental factors, drugs, and also susceptibility to diseases.
The knowledge of prakriti not only helps to understand the mental and physical nature of a person but also to know the susceptibility to diseases which assists in promotion of health, prevention and cure of diseases.
In simple words, prakriti is our original nature given to us from birth. When the Prakriti is balanced, you are healthy and satisfied with your life. However, for many different reasons (education, the influence of society, external environment, bad habits, etc.), most modern people violate the harmony of their inner nature, changing it for the worse.
This distracted human nature (imbalance) is called Vikriti and leads to diseases (both physical and mental), premature old age, and death. One of the main tasks of Ayurvedic treatment is to restore and maintain the balance of doshas corresponding to Prakriti.
The main and final goal of Ayurveda is the perfect balance of the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The balance of the three doshas is a guarantee of good health and long life.
Focusing on the prevailing dosha, Ayurveda prescribes treatment with herbs and therapeutic effects, the nature of which is the opposite of the properties of this Dosha. For example, for Kapha, which tends to cold and humidity, drying and warming treatments are used, and so on.
To find your dosha take our Ayurvedic body type quiz!
Diseases Of The Three Doshas
The disease shows the characteristic properties of the dosha that caused it. We can determine the nature of a disease by its characteristic properties, just as we can determine the type of body constitution. The disease can be cured by means that balance the dosha that caused it.
Kapha Diseases (water or mucus):
- most respiratory diseases;
- swollen glands;
- benign tumors.
The main signs of Kapha disorders: excess moisture, excessive tissue growth, and cold.
Kapha diseases are characterized primarily by the presence of mucus or sputum.
Pitta Diseases (fire or bile):
- most infectious diseases;
- febrile conditions; liver disorders;
- high acidity;
- skin rashes.
The main signs of Pitta disorders: fever, redness, and oiliness.
Pitta diseases are characterized primarily by feverish states or burning sensation.
Diseases of Vata (air or wind):
- most nervous disorders;
The main signs of Vata disorders: dryness, cold, motor disorders, and tissue depletion.
Vata diseases are characterized primarily by pain.
In general, all diseases can be divided into three groups: diseases of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha according to the prevailing signs of particular doshas. However, the same disease can be caused by different doshas or their combinations.
The common cold in most cases is the nature of Kapha, and its main symptoms are mucus and congestion. Sometimes the cold may be of the nature of Pitta dosha, then it has the accompanying symptoms such as fever and sore throat which make it more severe.
Any disease can occur in different ways, but treatment should always follow the same principles, that is, based on the increase in which of the doshas caused the disease.
The Three Doshas And Diseases’ Localizations
Most diseases can occur as a result of an imbalance in any of the three doshas. For example, arthritis can be caused by an increase in Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dosha. However, the nature of any disease is usually more characteristic of one of the doshas than the other — and arthritis is mainly caused by an imbalance of the Vata dosha.
To better understand this point, keep in mind that any doshas that reach too high a level tend to cause imbalances of other doshas. Being the forces that underlie the existence and functioning of the body, doshas are not only the factors that cause diseases but also the places where these diseases are localized. As such, they relate to the tissues, organs, and systems they control.
For example, diseases affecting the nervous system indicate that the localization of the disorder is Vata dosha, which controls the nervous system. These diseases most often belong to the type of Vata. However, they may also be of the nature of Pitta or Kapha doshas, since both can cause Vata disorders when they are overactive.
Usually, dosha aggravates the factors that are under its control. For example, overactive Kapha (mucus) tends to affect the lungs — the Kapha organ. But when a certain level of redundancy is reached, the dosha can affect another dosha, causing its imbalance. This is usually a sign of a more severe condition when this dosha has already caused disturbances in its “own” localities.
For example, too much Kapha, causing lung disease, can then affect the nervous system, as is the case with asthmatic shortness of breath or epilepsy resulting from mucus blockage of the thin channels, and thus affect the Vata dosha. Doshas interact with each other, so in severe diseases such as cancer, the balance of all three doshas can be disturbed simultaneously, which complicates treatment.
According to Ayurveda, it is not necessary to know the names of diseases and their forms. It is more important to know the properties of doshas and symptoms of their imbalance, which allows you to find out the causes of various diseases.
As soon as the excited dosha and the place of its manifestation are established, Ayurvedic doctor can prescribe a treatment regimen that reduces the level of this dosha.
The Excess Doshas
The symptoms of excess Vata:
- sudden breakdown;
- piercing, stabbing and beating pain;
- cracking joints
- contraction, delay in the body of waste materials;
- skin roughness;
- astringent taste in the mouth.
In these manifestations, the desiccating and destructive effects of the wind can be seen.
The symptoms of excess Pitta:
- burning sensation;
- pus formation;
- sharp or sour taste in the mouth.
These symptoms show the searing and splitting effects of fire.
The symptoms of excess Kapha:
- the hardness of the tissue;
- a feeling of cold on the skin;
- excessive sleep;
- white spots; a sweet or salty taste in the mouth.
All this reflects the weight of the water and its tendency to stagnate.
The symptoms of decreased Vata dosha:
- a weakness of the limbs;
- lack of speech and enthusiasm;
- confusion of perception;
- an increase of mucus;
- formation of toxins.
The symptoms of decreased Pitta dosha:
- weak digestion;
The symptoms of decreased Kapha dosha:
- a feeling of emptiness in the stomach;
- fast palpitations;
- weak joints.
Ayurveda treats diseases as conditions caused by elevated or excited doshas. A low level of a particular dosha is not considered a force that can cause disease.
Symptoms Of the Three Doshas Imbalance
Below is a detailed list of symptoms that are characteristic of the imbalance of each of the three doshas.
Vata dosha: strong, pulsating, drilling, stabbing, pounding, tearing, changing, moving.
Pitta dosha: moderate, burning, causing sweating.
Kapha dosha: weak, dull, constant.
Vata dosha: variable or fickle; moderate temperature; thirst, restlessness, anxiety.
Pitta dosha: burning sensation, thirst, sweating, irritability, delirium, high temperature.
Kapha dosha: lethargy, feeling of heaviness; temperature is constantly elevating.
Vata dosha: astringent taste, dryness.
Pitta dosha: bitter or pungent taste, increased salivation.
Kapha dosha: sweet or salty taste, profuse salivation, viscous and thick saliva.
Vata dosha: dryness, roughness; pain in the esophagus, and its narrowing.
Pitta dosha: pain, inflammation, burning sensation.
Kapha dosha: swelling, expansion.
Vata dosha: low secretion, fickle appetite, burping, hiccups, feeling of compression.
Pitta dosha: excessive appetite, acidic or acute belching, burning sensation; ulcers, cancer.
Kapha dosha: slow digestion, sweet or mucus belching
Liver and gallbladder
Vata dosha: dry, hard; poor secretion, irregular activity.
Pitta dosha: soft; excessive bile production, gallstones, inflammation, abscesses, increased activity.
Kapha dosha: increased, heavy, dense; scanty bile, decreased activity.
Vata dosha: dry, disorders of peristalsis.
Pitta dosha: abundant secretion, accelerated peristalsis, inflammation, ulceration, abscesses, tumors, cancer, bleeding, perforation.
Kapha dosha: mucus, delayed peristalsis, congestion, bloating, edema, tumors.
Vata dosha: scanty, colorless; frequent, or absent urination.
Pitta dosha: plentiful, cloudy, yellow, brown or red; increased frequency of urination, burning sensation.
Kapha dosha: abundant, pale or whitish, with mucus; infrequent urination.
Vata dosha: the sparse, irregular.
Pitta dosha: plentiful; sweat is hot.
Kapha dosha: moderate, permanent.
Mind and emotions
Vata dosha: delusions, fears, apathy, sadness, fainting, insomnia, craving for warmth, and aversion to cold.
Pitta dosha: weakness of the senses, intoxication, anxiety, short temper, delirium, dizziness, fainting, craving for cold.
Kapha dosha: slow perception, lack of desire, apathy, stupor, excessive sleep, craving for warmth.
Onset of illness
Vata dosha: sudden, changeable, intermittent.
Pitta dosha: moderate, with a feverish condition.
Kapha dosha: slow, continuous.
External stimulating factors
Vata dosha: wind, cold, dryness.
Pitta dosha: heat, sun, fire, humidity.
Kapha dosha: humidity, cold
Treatment Methods For The Three Doshas
Now let us share with you the treatment methods Ayurveda uses for balancing each of the three doshas.
Vata dosha treatment
- a moderate application of oils;
- gentle sweatshop and cleansing methods;
- sweet, sour, salty, and warm food;
- oil massage;
- staying indoors;
- eye lubrication;
- a wine made from grain or sugar;
- warm oil enemas, moderate cleansing enemas;
- life in favorable conditions;
- natural medicines that stimulate the digestive fire;
- all kinds of oils.
Pitta dosha treatment
- laxative therapy with sweet and cold herbs;
- sweet, bitter, and astringent foods and herbs;
- application of cold aromatic essential oils;
- wearing gemstones around the neck;
- relaxation in the moonlight;
- beautiful chants;
- cool wind;
- unrestrained enjoyment;
- communication with friends, spouse, family members;
- reservoirs with cool water;
- houses with extensive gardens.
Kapha dosha treatment
- strong emetics and laxatives, following the instructions;
- dry food that is also hot and spicy, bitter and astringent in moderate amounts;
- old wine;
- sexual pleasure;
- staying awake at night;
- all kinds of exercises;
- mental work;
- dry and vigorous massage;
- burning herbal incense.
As you can see that the Ayurvedic methods that are traditionally used to bring the doshas into balance are whole sets of measures. This is not how western medicine treats a disease: “Take this pill and come back in a week.” In Ayurveda, all aspects of life are taken into account.
In addition, we must remember that it is important not only what we do, but also how we do it. We can use the right methods, but if our attitude to them is wrong, we cannot expect that these methods will give a good result.
For example, representatives of Vata tend to do everything hastily, chaotically, randomly. The Pitta type has a tendency to fanaticism and violence, to a rigid and authoritarian way of acting. People belonging to the Kapha type may be too slow or conservative.
Therefore, taking into account your dosha type, also try to balance the way you practice Ayurvedic knowledge.
This article is not intended for use as medical advice. If you suffer from any health problems, ensure that you seek help from an Ayurvedic doctor.
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