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Tridosha, the Basis of Ayurveda

December 19, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Health    Views: 660

Five elements of nature and the three dhoshas form the basis of our health system. Ayurveda the ancient medical system of India explains the reasons for our diseases.


Ayurveda is an Indian medical system which has been practiced for more than two thousand years. Although by the intervention of western influence the people on the Indian subcontinent sought allopathy and other medical systems from the west, the importance and uniqueness of Ayurveda cannot be underestimated.


We come to know about our world though our five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. Each one of these senses grasps one quality (guna).Each guna or quality has its own matter (dhravya) which, however, cannot exist independently. As our body has five senses, there has to be five basic elements. These five primary aspects of matter are called five boothas (Panchaboothas). They are the five elements of nature: earth, water, fire, air and ether or atmosphere. These five "boothas" combine in various proportions to form various objects that are found in the universe. Since all these material objects can be seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted, they are said to be composed of these five primary aspects of materials (boothas). As it was said above, because of the variations of qualities in combinations, we find the different materials. In some objects some qualities may be latent. For example, silver cannot be smelt or tasted. But all the properties ascribed to the "boothas" are present in the silver when it is processed and used. That is why we say that all objects or materials are composed of these panchaboothas.


The basic concept of Ayurveda is not disease and treatment. It is the rectification of the improper functions body and circumstances. The word "dosha" has two meanings: the condition which promotes proper functioning under proper conditions of life and the other one the condition which pollutes the tissues when the life conditions are not proper. In proper life style, the working of these "doshas" determines health. When the conditions of life are not conducive the effect of "doshas" also change. As a result, the imbalance of the system causes disease. In disease, the symptoms indicate the unpleasantness and pain that the body experiences. In health, we do not even feel our own breathing nor are we aware of our body.


Ayurveda is based on the treatment of three "doshas"( three substances or humors). They are: vadha(promotion), pitha(digestion) and kapha(nourishment). They control all the functions of our life.


Vadha represents air. The elements ether and air are predominant in vadha. It effects coordination and control of both metabolism and anabolism. It stands for the regulation of energy and regulates building up processes and transformations in the body.

Vadha is a powerful dosha due to its mobility. Other doshas do not move about actively. They are transported by vadha. Hence it is considered the leader of the three doshas. It is easily prone to denaturing and so the majority of diseases are caused by vadha.

Vdha people are usually lean with cold hands and legs. They hate cold climate. They eat fast and feel sleepier. Constipation becomes one of their problems.


Pitha represents the sun. Fire is predominant in pitha. It effects catabolism and stands for its expenditure of energy. Pitha is the causative factor for the transformation of energy. Pitha is hot and sharp. It has a foul smell which can be understood in exudations and excretions polluted by deranged pitha.It also impart an offensive odor to the body, especially through the sweat.

Pitha is responsible for digestion. It produces thirst, hunger and appetite. It is also responsible for generating the body temperature. It enables visual perception. It provides complexion and shining to the skin.

The pitha people are usually acute brain and medium built up bodies. They are regular in their food habits.


Kapha represents the moon and also water. It stands for the conservation of energy. It is the builder of the body and is anabolic. It is gross and stable and all the structural material of the living body is the product of kapha. It is responsible for growth, repair and nutrition of the body.

Kapha people are usually dull and slow. They have sleepy nature. Obesity and laziness are their problems.

It is very important to note that none of these doshas is diametrically opposite to any other dosha. They are complimentary, contributory and at the same time antagonistic to some extent. It is very important that the relationship among these doshas generates a normal equilibrium for an optimized function.



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