Ayurveda, India’s holistic, integrated, physiotherapeutic medical system is based upon the universal natural law of balancing the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) that make up the physical body. Ayurveda identifies human being as microcosm (small universe) that is a part of macrocosm. The universe as well as the human being is made of the five elements. The rhythm of life is intimately connected with the rhythm of nature.
The imbalance of these elements, due to improper diet and life style, results in various diseases and mental disturbances. Ayurveda explains that these five elements are kept intact in the body by three subtle forces or bio-energies called doshas. The three doshas are called Vata (sattva), Pitta (raja) and Kapha (tama). The concept of TRI DOSHAS (the three bio energies) is central to Ayurveda.
Vata or the Kinetic Bio-energy is the combination of air and ether. It is electric in the body and causes all movement in and out of the system (heart-beat, circulation, breathing, peristalsis, urination, defecation, menstruation etc.)
Pitta or the Transformative Bio-energy is the combination of fire and water. Pitta mutates or transforms the outside elements of the macrocosm into the inside elements of the body (the microcosm). Pitta governs the digestion of physical, mental, and emotional elements.
Kapha or the Structural Bio-energy is the combination of earth and water. Kapha makes for both lubrication (mucus, synovial fluid) and structure (bones, muscles, fat, joints, etc).
|INTRODUCTION||LOCATION||QUALITIES||RULE||GOVERNS PHYSIOLOFICALLY, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY||DISORDERS|
|VATA||Vata or the Kinetic Bio-energy is the combination of air and ether. It is electric in the body and causes all movement in and out of the system (heart-beat, circulation, breathing, peristalsis, urination, defecation, menstruation etc.)||Colon
Dawn and Dusk
Blinking of the eyelids
Pulsation of the heart
Loss of warmth
|PITTA||Pitta or the Transformative Bio-energy is the combination of fire and water. Pitta mutates or transforms the outside elements of the macrocosm into the inside elements of the body (the microcosm). Pitta governs the digestion of physical, mental, and emotional elements||Small Intestine
Noon & Midnight
Late spring & summer
|KAPHA||Kapha or the Structural Bio-energy is the combination of earth and water. Kapha makes for both lubrication (mucus, synovial fluid) and structure (bones, muscles, fat, joints, etc).||Stomach
|Constructing of form
Sweet & Salty tastes
The childhood years
Morning & Evening
Winter & Late spring
|Form & solidity
Storing of energy
Sense of taste
Looseness of limbs
Accumulation of fat
Nausea after eating
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE THREE BIO-ENERGIES
The aim of Ayurveda is to maintain a balance of the three energies. The key to maintaining physical and mental health is in keeping these elements and doshas in harmonic balance through proper diet, herbs and life style. The three doshas can even be traced back to the very beginning of creation as representing the three Gods in Vedic wisdom Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.
One or more of these doshas or elements dominate every individual living entity creating seven possible body types or “Prakruti”.
Prakruti – Ayurvedic Constitution – The Unique Genetic Code
Prakruti of a person is as individual specific as his or her thumb print. The five elements, when joined in different combinations, constitute to form the three “doshas” which are the “Prakruti” or Body type or nature of an individual and the nature of everything.. Prakruti of person is usually a combination of two bio-energies. One is the primary and the other is the secondary. But there are people who have a Prakruti purely dominated by one dosha, and in rare cases, those who are a mixture of all three.
This elemental theory broken down into divisions of modes identifies not only body types for humans, but also for animals, vegetables, plants, herbs, geographical locations, times of day, seasons of the years, and activities performed. Ayurveda uses a system of historical analysis and physical examination done almost entirely by observation (with the exception of pulse reading), to ascertain one’s original nature and current imbalances.
Diet and health plan are given to the individual according to the needs to correct the imbalance.
For the Kapha dry, hot, spicy herbs and foods are what is necessary for burning up and drying up the excess mucus. Dry ginger and long pepper is useful while all dairy, fruit juices, and cold food in general are to be avoided. But for the dry Vata cough, hot milk with turmeric is a great healer to soothe and calm the cough, while disinfecting and moistening the dry, hot lungs. Fresh curd with unleavened whole wheat bread (chapatis) and cooling fruit juices are also useful. So a cough is not just a cough according to Ayurveda. But according to the constitution and imbalance, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”
Hippocrates once said,
“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food“.
Body’s protein composition, Bio-energy balance, Energy Aura and Current state of health – are the four parameters taken into account for preparing a COMPLETE RESEARCH BASED HEALTHY NUTRITION CHART for each person. The secret of understanding the dynamics of food and which food is for whom – is in the taste, therefore, the appropriate tastes with their elements will correct the imbalance of elements in one’s constitution if taken correctly.
The proof is in the tasting.
There are six tastes according to Ayurveda: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, and Astringent. Each is comprised of two elements:
- Sweet (earth and water) examples: wheat, sugar, milk, rice, dates;
- Sour (earth and fire) examples: yogurt, lemon, tamarind;
- Salty (water and fire) examples: sea salt, rock salt, kelp;
- Pungent (fire and air) examples: onion, radish, ginger, chilly;
- Bitter (air and ether) examples: dandelion root, rhubarb root, bitter melon;
- Astringent (air and earth) examples: plantain, pomegranate, apples;
Diet advised is nutritious and wholesome
The nutrition plan advised includes foods from the daily and seasonal varieties. A plan containing chapatti, rice, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, non-veg / veg, egg, idly, dosa, cheela, dhokla, pancakes, breads etc is given according to one’s body type. Considered factors also include the effect of weather conditions and climate change on health and weight. Cereals like oats, barley, ragi, jowar , soya, bran, rice etc are also used in the diet program.