According to Ayurveda, the basic constituents of human body are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are called Tridosha or three Humors. Our body is controlled and regulated by the coordinated and balanced functions of Tridosha. It helps the body to be alive. All the physical and mental functions of the body are governed by these three humors.
In Ayurvedic philosophy, various health problems are caused by an imbalance in one of the three humors. So the Ayurvedic therapy is based on the Tridosha or Humors. The treatment of any diseases is first started to balance the Humors. The imbalance is probably due to the increment or decrement on one Humor (Dosha) or two or all three humors. This may be caused by the increment on one humor and decrement one the others.
The physical characteristics of Vata are different from others. According to Acharya Bagbhata it is light, dry, mobile, cold, abundant, rough, swift etc. its fundamental Elements are Ether (Akash) and Air (Vayu).
The physical functions are: it is responsible for body movement, speech, Blood circulation, breathing, Excretion, Brain functions, formation of fetus, sexual act, anxiety, grief. etc. Vata governs breathing, blinking of the eyelids, movements in the muscles and tissues, pulsations in the heart, all expansion and contraction, the movements of cytoplasm and the cell membranes, and the movement of the single impulses in nerve cells. Vata also governs such feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain, tremors, and spasms. The primary seat or location of the Vata in the body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. It is related to the touch sensation. If the body develops an excess of vata, it will accumulate in these areas.
There are five types of Vata according to their characters and locations.
3. Vyana Vayu.
Pitta is hot like the basic element which is derived from Agni or fire. It is also characterized as being sharp, sour, pungent, fluid, soothing and mobile (Ashtanga Sangraha). It is responsible for vision, hunger, thirst, and digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, the regulation of heat in the body, softness and luster in the complexion, cheerfulness, intellect, and sexual vigor (Ch.Su 18/52). Pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the locations of Pitta.
There are five types of Pitta which were first indicated by Acharya Susruta.
1. Pachaka Pitta
Kapha is derived from the fundamental elements earth (Prithivi) and Water (Jala) is responsible physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. It is smooth, cold, heavy, dull, and viscid (A.Sa.Su1/29).
Kapha constituents the entire solid structure of the body. The functions of Kapha are unctuousness, binding, firmness, heaviness, sexual potency, strength, forbearance, restraint and the absence of grief (Ch. Su 18/53).
Kapha had also categorized into five divisions by ancient Acharya Bagbhata according to their variable characteristics.
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 present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body such as mucus. Psychologically, Kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, and long-standing envy. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness, and love.
Types of Kapha.