Elements and Doshas

According to the philosophy of Ayurveda matter consists of five basic “gross elements”:

  • EARTH – a solid or energy, packaged in a substance

  • WATER – the principle of interaction or liquid substance

  • FIRE – the principle of energy of matter, or plasma state

  • AIR – the principle of the motion of matter and gaseous states of matter

  • ETHER – the substance of space, similar to the physical vacuum

 

In various combinations, these elements form the various tissues of the human body:  DHATU.  Items are grouped into three basic fundamental life force, called “doshas”, that regulate all body functions.  A person is healthy when the doshas are in balance.

  • VATA (ether and air) – the principle of momentum necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system

  • PITTA (fire and water) – the principle of energy, which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system

  • KAPHA (water and land) – the principle of body fluid, which is related with the mucous substances, lublrication and a source of nutrients for the arterial system

Dhatus and doshas also have the ability to live for their food, water and so on.  If the quality and quantity of food consumed by humans and other substances below the required level, the equilibrium is disturbed.  Balance can be disturbed and mental factors, and seasonal changes.  Within certain limits, the body itself has the ability to cope with these disorders.  However, if they exceed the capacity of the body, the person becomes ill.  The disease can affect any organ, but the cause may be rotted not in the affected organ, for pathogenic principle can move on any of the channels of the body.

Depending on the ratio of the doshas psychosomatic constitution (original nature) of man given to him at birth:  Prakriti.  It does not change throughout life, and can be diagnosed by examination and questioning the patient.  Prakriti gives knowledge of the propensity to certain diseases.  Ratio of the elements of the human body at the moment is called Vikriti.

 

There are seven main types of Prakriti and Vikriti:  vata, pitta, kapha, vata-pitta, vata-kapha, pitta-kapha, vata-pitta-kapha.  All these affects choice of treatment and restoration of balance of the three doshas.

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