By Dr Anuradha Vignesh
Ayurveda is an ancient system of life (ayur) knowledge (veda), believed to be over 5000 years old, and is globally popular as on the day. Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of body, senses, mind and soul.
Concept of Ayurveda: The living man is a conglomeration of three humours (Vata, Pitta Kapha), seven basic tissues (Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja & Shukra) and the waste products(Mala) of the body such as faeces, urine and sweat.
According to Ayurveda everything in this Universe including human body is made up of five basic eternal elements or Panchamahabhutas. They are;-
Prithvi – Earth, Agni – Fire, Jala – Water, Vayu – Wind, and Akash – Space.
These five elements are the basis of life and everything can be explained in terms of these five. For example, the bulky and solid parts of the body (muscles, adipose tissue etc) are composed of Prithvi, the digestive enzymes or any source of heat is Agni, the hollow and empty parts (bone, food pipe etc) are Aakash.
Three doshas: वायु: पित्तं कफश्चेति त्रयो दोषा: समासत: ॥ विकृताऽविकृता देहं घ्नन्ति ते वर्त्तयन्ति च । (As.h 1/5)
Vata (composed of Space and Air), Pitta (composed of Fire and Water), and Kapha (composed of Earth and Water), are the three Doshas of the body. Perfect balance of three Doshas leads to health, while imbalance in Tridosha leads to diseases.
Characteristics of *Vata* person: He/she is gifted with thin/light frame body, bears an excellent agility, and will be full of energy. He/she is likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue, dryness (skin and hair) and develop cold effect (hands and feet). They sleep lightly, and their digestion could be sensitive.
Imbalance manifests in their body as weight loss (not always). Constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness, restlessness, and indigestion are the challenges they face.
Characteristics of *Pitta* person: They have medium size and weight, sometimes have bright red hair (prone to early graying, baldness, thinning hair), and warm body temperature. They normally have sound sleep (for short periods of time), strong sex drive, lustrous complexion, perfect digestion, abundant energy and strong appetite.
Imbalance manifests in their body as skin rashes, burning sensations, peptic ulcers, excessive body heat, heartburn, and indigestion.
Characteristics of *Kapha* person: They will have sound sleep, regular digestion, well built body, and fair complexion.
Imbalance manifests in their body as fluid retention, allergies, and overweight. They sleep excessively, suffer from asthma, diabetes and depression.
You need not have to worry if you are a Vata, Pitta, or a Kapha person! Just follow the diet specified below, and be balanced!!!