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A dosha is one of three bodily humors that make up one's constitution according to Ayurveda. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha system.

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

They may be considered to underly the desctiption of personality temperaments in Ayurveda

Doshas: Aetiological factors of AyurvedaEdit

Doshas are a part of the Maulik Siddhant (Basic Principles) of Ayurveda. There are three primary Doshas which can be combined. The combination of two doshas is known as a dwidoshaj, and all three base doshas combined are known as Tridoshaj or Sannipataj.

The 3 main doshas (sometimes translated into English as humours) are: Vata (combination of the space and air elements), Pitta (analogous to the fire element), and Kapha (combination of water and earth elements). However there is no equivalent word to translate "Dosha" in the English language, because the concept of Humour is different to the concept of 'Ayurvedic Tridosha'.

All bodily processes are believed to be governed by a balance of the 3 doshas. Whichever dosha appears to dominate a person's behavior and physique is called his constitution type. Each constitution type has particular strengths and susceptibilities. 'Tridoshas are considered similar to Aetiological factors responsible to derange normal health condition.

  • For more information about the Ayurvedic humors, see Humours (Ayurveda).
  • For a description of humours in traditional Greco-Roman and European medieval medicine, see the Four humours article.

VataEdit

Vata, composed of space and air, governs all movement in the mind and body and must be kept in good balance. Too much vata leads to, "worries, insomnia, cramps and constipation. Vata controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and the movement of thoughts across the mind." Vata activates the nervous system, hearing and speech; and expresses as enthusiasm and creativity. Vata also controls the other two principles (Pitta and Kapha) and is usually the first cause of disease. Another word for Vata is Vayu - it is the more traditional Sanskrit word for air.

Those who are classified as Vata tend to have lighter frames, and are either short or tall and thin. Their skin tends to be dry and cold with dark, thin hair. They have dark brown or grey eyes. Movements and speech are quick and sleep is light, interrupted, and fitful. Mentally, they are restless and have lots of ideas. They are creative and imaginative, but are fearful, anxious, and insecure.

Vata doshas' corresponding colors are warm and gentle, such as yellow, ochre, or brown. Amethyst is the stone associated with Vata.

PittaEdit

Pitta is said to be composed of fire; it governs, "all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest food, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong." Pitta must be kept in balance, too. "Too much Pitta can lead to anger, criticism, acidity, ulcers, rashes and thinning hair.". A balanced Pitta mind makes one a good leader with a warm personality.

Pitta types are generally average physically. They tend to have fine, soft, red or fair hair (though Pittas have been known to have dark hair.) Eyes tend to be blue, grey, or hazel. Their moods change slowly and they are busy people, usually achieving much in their lives. They are more intellectual and speech is clear, sharp, and precise. They are fiery, angry and judgemental.

The Pitta doshas' corresponding color are cool, calming colors such as blue, green, or purple. Their stone is Moonstone.

KaphaEdit

Kapha is the watery humour, consisting of the water and earth elements. "Kapha cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure. This dosha maintains body resistance....Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity...Kapha is responsible for emotions of attachment, greed and long-standing envy; it is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness and love." Too much Kapha leads to lethargy and weight gain, as well as congestion and allergies.

Kaphas' body types are sturdier and thicker than the other body types. Hair is thick and lustrous and eyes are blue or brown. They have the best strength and endurance and have a slow, steady pace. Mentally they are calm, steady, and stable. They can be greedy and possessive but are caring and not easily irritated.

Kapha governs bright, vibrant colors such as red, pink, and orange. Their corresponding stone is Lapis.

Tridosha existence in Human body Edit

According to Ayurveda, the site of the existence of Tridosha has been established by keen observers. Charaka, Sushruta and others have determined the locations in the human body where tridosha mainly exist. Bhav Praksha clearly locates the part of human body where Tridoshas are presents.

  • Vata: exist below the naval and lower part of body. {Draw Horizontal line from naval to round back to naval}
  • Pitta exist in between the naval line and epigastrium line {Draw horizontal line from xephoid process of sternum -epigastrium- to round back to epigastrium}
  • Kaphha exist in the upper part of the body above from the epigastrium line, including the thoracic cavity, upper limbs and head.

Although the main site of Tridoshas are as described above, they work with each other in their respective functions to make equality and harmony in the smooth functioning of the body. In Ayurvedic tradition they play a comprehensive role for accurate diagnosis and treatment of the human body.


See alsoEdit

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