Ayurveda:

Introduction

            Ayurveda is the science of life. It aims at treating the person. The aim is to restore vital inner forces so that causes of disease are removed. As per Ayurveda, human being are supposed to be created and composed of fine basic substances, space, air, fire , water and earth, three humors (Tridosha) and seven basic tissues (Sapthadhatus).

The three humors are

1.     Vata

2.      Pitta

3.       Kapha

In order to maintain good health in the individual, three basic substances need to be in equilibrium.

Basic Tissues (Sapthadhatus)

            As soon as food is taken it is digested and sara (nutrient) and mala (excreta) are produced. Sara consists of seven tissues (sapthadhatus).  They are  (i) Rasa (Plasma) (2) Rakta (blood) (3) Mamsa (Muscle tissues) (4) Medas (Adipose tissue) (5) Asthi (Bones) (6) Majja (Bone Marrow) (7) Shukra (Semen).

            These doshas, dhatus and malas are building blocks. The vata regulates kapha, pitta and seven dhatus.  The vata is also responsible for regulation of malas. Vata also separates the waste in the intestine. This is responsible for expiration, inspiration and bodily movements.

Physical properties of vata

            It regulates the normal circulation of blood.  The main functions are to give motion to the body and conduction of impulses from sensory organs and separation of rasa (nutrient)  kitta (excreta) from the food, the secretion and evaluation of urine and semen.

Types and Site of Vata

            Vata is of five types

  1.  Prana

  2.   Udana

  3.   Vyana

  4.   Apana

  5.   Saman

Pran vayu is located in the head, nose tongue  and chest.  Its most important function is to control the mind and respiratory acativity, as both are intimately related. Udana vayu is siutated in umbilical region, chest and neck and is responsible for vocal functions.  Samana vayu is situated in the stomach. This is important for digestion of food and separation of waste products. This is responsible for regulation of body temperature, composition of body fluids and movement of kapha and pitta. Vyana is mainly situated in heart and travels all over the body, regulates circulation of blood and also the movement of the body.

            Apana vaya is mainly situated in the intestine rectum and urinary bladder. The main functions are secretion and evacuation of urine, semen and regulation of menstrual flow. 

The Pitta

            The biological acativities of the human body and also the endocrine functions are due to the presence of pitta in the body.  It is by product of the blood.

Normal functions of Pitta. 

            This gives colour to the blood, promotes digestion, vision and is responsible for intellectual functions of the body.  This is also responsible for body heat, appetite, thirst, complexion, intelligence and courage.

Site and types of Pitta

Five  types of pitta are :

1) Pacaka         2)         Ranjaka            3)         Sadhaka           4) Alocaka         5) Bhrajaka

The pacaka pitta is situated in between the stomach and duodenum.  In aaggravated state, it produces burning sensation, increases appetite, thirst, insomnia and is responsible for the yellowness of urine, face, eyes and skin.

            The rajaka pitta is situated in the liver and spleen.  Its main function is to impart colour to the plasma (rasa) for the formation of blood in the liver and spleen.

            Sadhaka pitta is situated in heart. This is responsisble for memory, intelligence and enthusiasm. It controls higher mental activities.

            Alocaka pitta is situated in the eyes. Its main function is to catch the image of the external objects.

            Brajaka pitta is situated in the skin over the entire body. Its main function is to give colour to the skin and to maintain body temperature.

The Kapha

            The kapha is a stable and concrete substance predominantly composed of water. It is responsible for the formation of structures in the body.

Physical characteristics of kapha

            It is white in colour, heavy, viscous, slimy, sweet in taste, soft to touch, stable and sturdy in form.

Normal functions of Kapha

            The functions are

1)                   It binds various structures of the body and the joints.

2)                   It promotes unctuousness.

3)                   It is responsible for stability, sturdiness and physical strenth.

4)                   It promotes healing, tissue-building and body resistence.

5)                   It imparts forbearance, fortitude and intelligence.

Sites and Types of Kapha

There are five types of kapha and are

1.                   Kledaka Kapha

Its site is stomach, function being to moisten the food material, breaking it up and aiding digestion in the stomach;

2.        Avalambaka Kapha

Its site is in sacroiliac joint (trika) and heart. This support the trika and nourish, lubricate and protect the heart. 

3.                   Bodhaka Kapha

This is situated in the root of the tongue and pharynx. This is for perception of taste.

4.          Tarpaka Kapha

This is situated in head. This helps functioning of sense organs, brain and sensory organs.

5.         Sleshmaka Kapha

This is located in the joints of the body. This lubricates, protects and keeps the joints firm and united.

Diagnosis and treatment

            The diagnosis is based on detailed facts pertaining to the individuals habits, diet, constitution, profession, psychic features etc. The instructions and medicines are given based on above details and examination of pulses by the Ayurveda expert.  The medicines recommended are for giving balance to the system. Once the human system returns to normalcy, the diseases start disappearing on its own.