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Tridosha

The Ayurvedic Prakruti (individual constitution) of a person

The concept of Tridosha

According to Ayurveda, the Panchamahabhoota manifest in the human body as Dosha and form the

prakruti (basic constitution) of a human being.

The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha, which are known as Tridosh.

Dosha Prakruti is Deha prakruti expressed in terms of vata-dosha, pitta-dosha and kapha-dosha.

Dosha is that which becomes vitiated (prakopit) and then affects Dushyas.

Dushya (Dhatu, Agni, Mala, Shrota) are that which get affected by dosha.

Dosha bind the five elements into living flesh.

They are the agents of DNA, which form the blueprint for the physiology.

Dosha are the energy complexes, known by their attributes (guna).

The Tridosha govern the biological, psychological and physiological functions of the body and mind.

Each dosha type identifies with their unique set of qualities, physical, physiological and psychological

attributes, physiological actions and pathological conditions.

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Vata-Dosha

Bodys air-principal, called Vata is manifested from Ether (Akash) and Air (Vayu) elements, which in Sanskrit
terminology is called the Vata-dosha. It is the subtle energy that governs the biological movements.

Qualities
Vata has the qualities of Ether and Air, such as Mobil, dry, light, cold, rough, swift, fast, clear and subtle.
Vata is the energy of movement and represents principle of propulsion.
Key factor for body, without Vata, Pitta cant function and Kapha cant form

Physical attributes of Vata type


Physically, vata persons are either too tall or too short, with frames, which reveal prominent joints and bone-
ends because of poor muscle development. They have light bodies, chests are generally flat, veins and muscle
tendons are visible. They are generally not over-weight and have tendency towards low weight. The skin is
cold, dry, scaly and tendency to crack. Teeth are big, protruded and crooked, with tendency towards
emaciated gums and cavities. The eyes are small, dry, active and the conjunctiva is dry and muddy. The hair
are dry, brittle, easy to break and scanty. They talk and walk fast and have quick physical reflexes. Tongue could
be brown to black, cracked (indicating stress due to worry) and with impressions of teeth (indicating
malabsorption). Nails are dry, rough, brittle and with longitudinal striations. Their hands and feet are often
cold. They tend to have quick physical movements and reflexes, and speak fast.

Physiologically attributes
Physiologically, the appetite and digestion is variable with a tendency towards experience malabsorption. The
feces are dry, hard and small and have a tendency towards constipation. Perspiration is less than other
constitutional types. Sleep is interrupted. They easily get exhausted and fatigued due to shorter reservoir of
energy and stamina. They crave for sweet, sour and salty tastes and like hot drinks.

Psychological attributes
Individuals with Vata mental type have mental and emotional tendencies towards fear, anxiety, insecurity,
nervousness, confusion, indecisiveness, unpredictable moods, behaviours & interests. They have good, but
erratic mental powers. They are quick to perceive things and to react, but not always consistent in their
judgements. They have short memory but quick mental understanding. They have good perception but tend
to be forgetful. They are quick at attachments and detachments; fast at both getting emotional and expressing
emotions as well as forgetting them. They have little willpower, courage, confidence and tolerance. They
seldom become vindictive and seldom blame themselves. They do not have many friends. They may have
superficial acquaintances and can make friendships outside their social and age group. Spiritually and
philosophically, they seem to have a changeable faith. They are materialistic.
Occupations that require good communication skills and creativity suit Vata.

Vata Subtypes
Prana, Udana, Samana, Vyana and Apana.

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Pitta-Dosha

Pitta is manifested from Fire (Agni) and Water (Jal) elements as the fire principal of the body (Pitta dosha).

Qualities
It has qualities of Fire and Water, such as hot, oily, sharp, mobile, light, sour, intense and liquid.
Pitta is the energy of transformation, digestion and metabolism and represents the principle of
conversion.

Physical attributes of pitta


Physically, pitta persons are of medium built and weight and can quickly lose weight. The chests are not as flat
as vata, and veins, muscles and joints are not as prominent as vata. They have fair complexion. The skin is soft,
oily, warm and smooth and sensitivity to Sunrays. The hair is thin, soft and oily, and there is a tendency
towards premature greying or baldness. The teeth are sharp and yellowish with soft gums. The eyes are bright,
sharp and penetrating.

Physiological attributes
They have strong metabolism and good appetite, thirst and digestion and tend to consume large quantities of
food. They have a tendency towards excessive hunger and acidity. They have a tendency towards frequent
bowl movement; the feces are yellowish, liquid, soft and plentiful. Relatively, they produce a large volume of
urine. They have a natural craving for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. The sleep is little, sound and
uninterrupted. They do not tolerate heat well. They like cold drinks, foodstuff and environment.

Psychological attributes
Individuals with Pitta mental types tend towards fiery emotions such as irritability, anger, frustration, hatred
and jealousy. They are intelligent, sharp minded, logical and aggressive. They have good power of
comprehension. They have a sharp and cutting speech and tend to be critical of others. They do not consider
themselves emotional but usually are and they have difficulty controlling it. They are very helpful and kind to
friends and followers. They can be cruel and unforgiving to opponents. They are concerned with the
accumulation of money. They are bold and like challenges. They are passionate about their faith and tend to
be fanatic.
Occupations that require high intelligence, competitiveness, assertiveness, high level of concentration and
leadership qualities suit Pitta.

Pitta Subtypes
Pachaka, Ranjaka, Sadhaka, Alochaka and Bhrajaka.

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Kapha-Dosha

Kapha is manifested from Water (Jal) and Earth (Prathvi) elements as the water principal of the body. Kapha
cements the elements in the body, providing the material for physical structure.

Qualities
Kapha has the qualities of Water and Earth, such as oily, smooth, soft, sweet, firm, stable, hard, dense,
slow, heavy, cold, sticky, and moist.
Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure, and represents the principle of preservation and
restoration

Physical attributes of Kapha


Physically, kapha persons are strong built, have well formed body contours. They have a tendency towards
obesity and tend gain weight fast. The skin is thick, soft, cold and oily. The veins and tendons of a Kapha
person are not obvious because of the thick skin. They tend to have thick, soft, oily and wavy hair, strong white
teeth, and large and attractive eyes. The nails are thick, soft, shiny and strong. The tongue is usually thick and
has a tendency towards whitish coating.

Physiological attributes
Physiologically, kapha people have regular and steady appetite, slow digestion and metabolism. They usually
require less food intake. They have a craving for pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Stool is soft and could
be with mucus, and evacuation is generally slow due to low motility. Sleep is sound and prolonged. They have
a tendency towards feeling lethargic. They have good stamina and capacity for hard and laborious work over
long working hours. Kapha people are generally happy, healthy and peaceful.

Psychological attributes
Individuals with Kapha mental types tend towards watery emotions like love and desire, romance and negative
feeling of greed, attachment, accumulation, holding, possessiveness and lust. They tend to be calm, forgiving,
kind, considerate and loyal but are not always capable of change and adoptability. The comprehension is slow
but definite. Once they understand something, the knowledge is retained. They tend to have many friends and
to be very close to their family, community and religion. They travel less. Mentally they are study and need
time to consider things properly. They have a tendency towards dullness, lethargy and depression.
Occupations that require steadiness, firmness, compassion and caring nature suit Kapha type.

Kapha subtypes
Kledaka, Avalambaka, Bodhaka, Tarpaka and Shleshaka

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Prakruti
The combination of the three dosha, which forms the persons constitution and is set at the time of
conception, is called prakrut.
Prakruti is simply the unique biological, psychological and physiological makeup and functional habits of a
person.
The prakruti, just as ones genetic code, does not change during ones lifetime.

Physiological functions of Vata relate to all the bodily movements, breathing, pulsation in heart, natural
urges, transformation of tissues, all expansion and contraction, movement of cytoplasm, movement of the
nerve signal impulses, motor functions, secretions, excretions, sensory functions, pain, tremor, spasms,
ungroundedness and emptiness. It is prominent in Old age
Physiological functions of the pitta relate to body heat and temperature, digestion, absorption,
assimilation, metabolism, perspiration, hunger, thirst, understanding, intelligence, anger, hate and
jealousy.
Physiological functions of Kapha in the body relate to stability, energy, lubrication, unctuousness,
calmness, love, forgiveness, greed, attachment, accumulation, holding and possessiveness.

Vikruti
Vikruti reveals the present state of the three doshas.
Due to present diet, lifestyle, emotions, age, environment, etc. the present state of doshas may not be the
same as the prakruti and an imbalance may be present, resulting in a state of Vikrut.
If the present state of the doshas is the same as prakruti, the person is supposed to be balanced and
healthy.

Indications of Vata imbalances


Psychological and behavioural: worry, anxiety, overactive mind, impatience, depression, loss of
concentration/focus, lack of confidence, fear, insomnia, fatigue, restlessness, low appetite, impulsiveness, etc.

Physical: constipation, dry skin, rough skin, low stamina, loss of energy,
intestinal gas, irregular appetite, high blood pressure, lower back pain, menstrual cramps, pain, muscle
spasms, headache, cold hands/feet, cracking joints, hair loss, brittle nails, etc.

Seat of Vata : The large intestine, pelvic cavity, bones, skin, ears and thighs are the seats of Vata in our body. If
the body develops/forms an excess of Vata, it will accumulate in these locations.

Indications of Pitta imbalances


Psychological and behavioural: Anger, hostility, irritability, frustration, impatience, self-critical, resentment,
outburst of temper, critical of others, intolerance of delays

Physical: skin inflammations, boils/rashes, acne, excessive hunger or thirst, bad breath, psoriasis, hot flushes,
heartburn, acid stomach, ulcers, some body odours, rectal burning, haemorrhoids, pronounced yellowing of
urine and faeces, redness, sweating, pus formation, fainting, burning hands/feet, arthritis, etc.

Seat of Pitta: The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, eyes and skin are the seat of Pitta in our body.
If the body develops/forms an excess of Pitta, it will accumulate/affect in these locations.

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Indications of Kapha imbalances
Psychological and behavioural: Dullness, lassitude, lethargy, depression, loneliness, procrastination,
greediness, over-sleepy, slow movements, etc.

Physical: intolerance of cold and damp. Sinus congestion, running nose, fluid
retention, loose and aching joints, diabetes, weight gain, obesity, heaviness in limbs, high cholesterol, itching,
indigestion, excess saliva, etc.

Seat of Kapha: The chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm and liquid secretions
of the body such as mucus are the seats of Kapha. If the body develops/forms an excess of
Kapha, it will accumulate in these locations. The problem associated with joints may also be
due to depletion rather than excess of Kapha.

How does the knowledge of Prakrut help?


The knowledge of dosha-prakruti helps in the following way,

In identifying the causative factors behind the disease


Preventing further aggravation of the disease
Prognosis of the disease
Selection of an appropriate treatment for balancing the affected dosha
Selection of an appropriate rejuvenation therapy
Suggesting preventative measures, i.e. Lifestyle suggestions. Etc.

Manas Prakruti
Manas Prakruti is a term that defines the mental constitution and is described in terms of three guna
Satva, Rajas and Tamas.

Satva is the principle of light, perception, intelligence and harmony


Rajas is the principle of energy, activity, emotion and turbulence
Tamas is the principle of inertia, darkness, dullness and resistance.

Satva qualities of mind are clarity, alertness, attentiveness, love, compassion, cooperativeness.
Individuals in whom Satva predominates give value to truth, honesty, humility and the good of all.

Rajasic qualities are self-centeredness, selfishness and restlessness.


Those with Rajas predominant value power, prestige, authority and control.

Tamasic qualities express as dullness, gloominess, depression, sadness and lazyness.


Those dominated by Tamas remain trapped in fear, servility, ignorance and the forces of decay.

While each of these three qualities is necessary in nature, Satva is the proper quality of the mind.

Rajas and Tamas in the mind become impurities (dosha/Vikar) that weaken our power of perception.

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Fruits and vegetables for Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Food and nutrition are not synonymous.You are not nourished by the food you eat, but in proportion to the amount you
digest and assimilate.. Herbert M. Shelton (Fasting Can Save Your Life)

Vata
Food items to be avoided:
Fruits: Apple (sweet), pear, dry fruits (figs, dates, raisins), banana (if not fully ripped), pomegranates/dadam (if too
dry and astringent), watermelon, rockmelon, sitafal, chhiku.
Vegetables: all bitter vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, fresh coriander, radish (raw), raw onion,
raw tomato, mushrooms, potato (specially, at night), peas.

Recommended food:
Fruits: sweet fruits, grapes, oranges, mosambi, jamun, jamphal, jambu (in moderation), mangoes, pineapple, fully
ripped banana, papaya (in moderation), Apricots, avocado, berries, cherries, fresh dates, fresh figs, grapefruit,
kiwifruit, lemon, peach, strawberry, tamarind, water-melon (only in summer, and in moderation),
pomegranates/dadam (if sweet and juicy). All dried fruits such as dates, figs, prunes or raisins to be soaked before
consuming and only in moderation.
Vegetables: All cooked or lightly cooked vegetables, carrots, beets, green beans, garlic, fresh ginger, cooked onions,
sweet-potato, pumpkin, spinach (all leafy greens in moderation), eggplant (in moderation).

Pitta
Food items to be avoided:
Fruits: all sour fruits, banana (unripe), pineapple, sour apples, sour apricots, sour berries, sour cherries, green
grapes, kiwifruit, lemon, green mangos, sour oranges, peaches, sour plum, tamarind.
Vegetables: corn, raw onion, tomato, radish, mushrooms, garlic, beets (raw), turnip, eggplant, chilli (fresh green, dry
red or white), spinach.

Recommended food: always eat in moderation.


Fruits: sweet fruits, avocado, apple (sweet), melons, coconut, dates, figs, sweet berries and cherries, red and purple
grapes, sweet oranges, sweet plums, papaya, pear, sweet pineapple, pomegranates/dadam (if sweet and juicy),
sweet strawberry, prunes (soaked), mangoes (ripe), jamfal, sitafal, jambu, bore (Indian sweet berry), chhiku.
Vegetables: all bitter vegetables, leafy greens (in moderation), fresh coriander, karela, beets (cooked), cabbage,
carrots (cooked), broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, onion (cooked), peas, cauliflower, green beans.

Kapha
Food items to be avoided:
Fruits: all sweet and juicy fruits, avocado, banana, coconut, dates, melons, kiwi fruit, plum, fresh figs, mangos,
papaya, pineapple, jamfal, sitafal, bore (Indian sweet berry), chhiku.
Vegetables: Cucumber, potato, pumpkin, tomato, mushrooms, fresh coriander.

Recommended food:
Fruits: apple, apricots, berries, cherries, dried fruits (prunes, dates, figs and raisins), grapes (specially, black), lemon,
peach, pomegranates/dadam, strawberry, jambu, papaya (in moderation).
Vegetables: all leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, carrots (in moderation), beets, chilli, garlic, ginger, brusseles
sprouts, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, leeks, bitter vegetables (in moderations), lettuce (in moderation)

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Recommended books:
1. Ayurveda The science of Self-healing
Author - Dr. Vasant Lad

2. Tridosh (in Gujarati)


Author Vaid Tushar Tripathi

3. Ayurved ne olakhiye (in Gujarati)


Author Dr. Mayank Vora

Compiled by - Nimesh Shah


Yoga and Natural Lifestyle Consultant
Master of Engineering
(University of Auckland, NZ)
Diploma in Yoga and Cert. in Lifestyle Counselling
(Wellpark College of Naturopathy, Auckland, NZ)
Email: nimeshkshah@gmail.com
Mobile: +91 9978910767
Vadodara, Gujarat, INDIA

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