Tridosha ( त्रिदोष )
There are three biological humors or Doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These control voluntary and physiological functions of body movements, and support the body in a normal and healthy state when in equilibrium. They are susceptible to impairment or imbalance. In an imbalanced state they may disturb structural and functional elements of living beings, causing disorders. Thus the Tridosha play an important role in the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
“रोगस्तु दोषवैषम्यं दोषसाम्यमरोगता। ”
Seats of Doshas
Vata – Pakvashaya / adharanga ( lower part of the body)
Pitta – Amashaya / madhyamanga ( middle part of the body)
Kapha – Uru/ urdhwanga (upper part of the body)
Functions of Doshas
Vata- Energy, inspiration, expiration, actions, mechanism of impulse, proper functions of dhathus and of indriyas.
Pitta – Digestion, body temperature, hunger, thirst, taste, beauty, intellect, grasping power, courage, body softness.
Kapha – Stability, unctuousness, strength of joints.
Vata has been described as having unimaginable potency/power, leader of the doshas, and king of the collective of disease. Vata symbolizes movement and is responsible for rotating doshas and helping in it’s transformation. Vata is an initiator, promoter of biological activity, unstable and has no physical attributes. Balanced Vata produces flexibility and a balanced mind. Out of balance Vata is fearful, anxious and nervous.
Vata is of 5 types –
- Prana Vata – Prana is located in head, chest, throat, tongue, mouth and nose. Prana Vayu performs vital function of respiration with the help of Udana. It is responsible for receiving substances like air, water, food, and impressions through the five sense organs from the outside world.
- Udana Vata – Udana is located in navel, chest & throat. It acts in upward direction. It is mainly associated with orientation of speech and memory. It is responsible for rendering the received food in the stomach in fluid or solid.
- Samana Vata- Samana is located in channels carrying sweat, doshas and water (fluid) and seated besides the digestive fire provides strength to agni. It moves in the gastro intestinal tract. It receives the food into stomach, aids in digestion, helps in dividing the food into useful part and waste part, and moves these parts in their normal paths.
- Vyana Vata- Vyana is located in the heart, moves all over the body in great speed. It attends to functions such as flexion and extension (locomotor action) opening and closing of the eyelids etc. Vyana is related with blood circulation and muscle activities – flexion and extension.
- Apana Vata- Apana is located in the large intestine, moves in the waist, bladder, genitals. It attends to the functions such as ejaculation, menstruation, defecation, urination and child birth. Apana maintains all excretion process related with lower half of trunk.
Pitta helps in digestion and formation of psychological thoughts and concepts and thereby helps transformation. It is responsible for generation of body heat and certain psychological attributes of an individual. Balanced Pitta lends itself to intelligence and leadership. Out of balance it expresses itself as anger, hatred and jealousy. It is of five types –
- Pachak Pitta – It is located between large intestine and stomach (between Amashaya and pakvashaya). It cooks the food, and divides it into essence and waste. It bestows grace and influence on other types of Pitta. Hence, among all the types of Pitta, Pachaka pitta is the dominant one.
- Ranjak Pitta – It is located in lever, spleen and lower part of stomach. It converts the useful part of the digestion into blood. Hence it converts Rasa Dhatu into Rakta Dhatu.
- Sadhak Pitta – The pitta located in the Hridaya –heart is known as Sadhaka. It attends to mental functions such as knowledge, intelligence, self- consciousness, etc, thereby helping the purpose – aims of life.
- Alochak Pitta- It is located in eyes and helps in vision.
- Bhrajak Pitta – It resides in skin and helps exhibition of color and complexions.
Kapha corresponds to the building up of body tissues and stored substances. Kapha lubricates, moistens and maintains immunity. It is attributed to physiological and psychological
features such as heaviness, softness, coolness, stability and sweetness. Balanced Kapha is love and forgiveness. Out of balance it is associated with attachment, greed and congestion. It is of five types –
- Kledaka Kapha – It is located in the stomach. It moistens the hard food mass and helps in digestion.
- Avalambaka Kapha –It is located in the chest. It facilitates strong muscles and protects the heart.
- Bodhaka Kapha – It is located in the tongue and helps in taste perception.
- Tarpaka Kapha –It is located in the head and nourishes sense organs.
- Shleshaka Kapha – It is located in the bone joints. It lubricates and strengthens the joint.