Basics of Ayurveda (Tridosha)
In Ayurveda, living beings are supposed to be created and composed of five eternal substance( basic elements- Panchama Boothas) namely space, air, fire, water and earth and three humors (Tridosha) and seven basic tissues (Saptadhatus). Disease is understood as an imbalance between the body's three humors. The three humors are Vata (nerve energy), Pitta (catabolic fire energy) and Kapha (anabolic nutritive energy). Vata consists of the predominance of air (Vayu) and space (Akasa), Pitta consists of the predominance of agni (fire) and Kapha is predominant of water. These three humors are present in tissues (dhatus) and doshas (morbid substance).
The seven basic tissues or Sapta Dhatu are Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (Blood), Mamsa (Muscle tissue), Medas (Adipose tissue), Asthi (Bones), Majja (Bone), Shukra (Semen). As soon as food is taken, it is digested and Saara (nutrient) and Mala (excreta) are produced. Saara consists of nutrients of the seven tissues. Mala means sweat, urine, faeces, nasal discharge, eye and ear discharges and so on. The three humors move from one part of the body to another part and produces sound health, happiness, good complexion, resistance against disease and decay and physical strength. But if they are excited or vitiated they not only produce disease but also degeneration of the body.
The activities and movements of the body and basic emotion are governed by Vata. The main functions are to give motion to the body and the conduction of impulses from sensory organs and separation of rasa (nutrient), Kitta (excreta or waste products in the intestine) from the body, the secretion and evacuation of urine and semen. It is responsible for speech, tactile sensation, hearing and basic emotions. It is also responsible for the formation and development of foetus in intrauterine life. When Vata is deranged or vitiated, it produces psychosomatic disorder and thereby loss of weight, loss of biological and physical strength causing congenital deformities.
Types and Sites of Vata:
According to the functions and the site of activity, Vata is of 5 types.
Prana Vayu is located in the head, nose, tongue and the chest. Its most important function is to control the mind and the respiratory activity. Udana Vayu is situated in umbilical region, chest and neck and is responsible for the Vocal functions. Samana Vayu is situated in the stomach and duodenum is responsible for the digestion of food material and separation of waste products. The regulation of body temperature, composition of body fluids and movement of Kapha and Pitta are also its important functions.
Vyana Vayu is mainly situated in the heart and travels all over the body, regulates the circulation of blood and also the movement of the body. Apana Vayu is mainly situated in the intestines, rectum and the urinary bladder. Its main functions are secretion and evacuation of urine, semen, regulation of menstrual flow and expulsion of foetus and faeces.
The Pitta is blue and yellow in colour, liquid, light, viscous, acrid, sour in taste, fleshy and unpleasant in smell, hot to touch. It is the byproduct of blood. It imparts colour to the blood, promotes digestion, vision and is responsible for intellectual functions in the body. It is mainly responsible for the production of body heat, appetite, thirst, complexion, intelligence and courage.
Types and Sites of Pitta :
Five types of Pitta have been described in Ayurvedic classics.
The Pachaka Pitta is situated in between the stomach and duodenum. This may be compared to hepatic bile or bile with pancreatic juice. When it is aggravated it produces burning sensation, increase appetite, thirst, insomnia and is responsible for the yellowness of urine, faeces, eyes and skin.
The Ranjaka Pitta is situated in the liver and spleen. Its main function is to impact colour to the plasma for the formation of blood in the liver and spleen.
Sadhaka Pitta is situated in the heart. It is responsible for memory, intelligence and enthusiasm. It mainly controls higher mental facilities.
The Alochaka Pitta is in the eyes. Its function is to catch the image of the external objects.
The Bhrajaka Pitta is situated in the skin over the entire body. Its main function is to impart colour to the skin and to maintain the body temperature.
The Kapha is the watery element responsible for good and adverse effects in the body. It is white in colour, heavy, viscous, slimy, sweet in taste, soft to touch, stable and sturdy in form. The normal functions are
Binds various structures of the body and the joints.
It promotes unctuousness (Unpleasantly flattering, oily, having a greasy or soapy feel)
It is responsible for stability, sturdiness and physical strength
It promotes healing, tissue building and bodily resistance
It imparts forbearance, fortitude and intelligence
Types of Kapha:
1. Kledaka Kapha :- It is situated in the stomach. Its main function is to moisten the food material, breaking it up and aiding digestion in the stomach.
2. Avalambaka Kapha :- It is situated in the Sacroiliac joint (trika) and heart. Its important function is to support the trika and nourish, lubricate and protect the heart.
3. Bodhaka Kapha :- It is situated in the root of the tongue and pharynx. Its main function is to enable the perception of taste.
4. Tarpaka Kapha :- It is present in the head. Its important functions a re to nourish and oleate the sense organs. It also helps the brain and the 5 sensory organs to perform their respective functions.
5. Sleshmaka Kapha :- It is located in the joints of the body. Oily and viscous in nature, it lubricates, protects and keeps the joints firm and united.