Thursday, February 12, 2015

Concept of Tridosha Part 2

We have established that dosha are not physiological or personality types at all, but rather functions in nature and in the body, made up of the five universal properties.. All these functions are indispensable and interrelated and any attempt to separate them out is necessarily a simplification. We must remember that these functions are taking place in every cell in the body at every moment. When they cease to work in harmony, illness develops and if one of them were to stop working we would die.

Main functions of sharir dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)

Vata dosha (made of akasha, vayu) determines movement, communication and knowledge. Who or what is it that communicates and reacts? The brain and central nervous system.
Pitta dosha (made of tejas) controls metabolism and transformation. What is it that metabolizes? Enzymes,  gastric juices and whatever catabolizes in the body.
Kapha dosha (ap, prithvi) creates stability and cohesion. What nourishes? Nutrition, food, anabolic processes.

Vata is the source of voluntary and involuntary movement, internal and external triggers of knowledge, stimulus, reaction, brain impulses, messages to the body to react, receptiveness to the world. When aggravated, Vata is responsible for degeneration, and pain.

Pitta has to turn anything which is different to the body either into the body itself or has to turn it out of the body – ie it digests and transforms it so that it can be absorbed or changes it in order to expel it as waste. Transformation, metabolism, expulsion, the assimilation into plasma and tissues, all of these are Pitta functions. When aggravated, Pitta creates inflammation and excessive heat and related disorders.

Kapha creates the physical structure of the body, stability, the power of repair and healing, nourishment, immunity, and strength. It slows down the degeneration of the body, and is the end result of nutrition, forming and reforming all the tissues of the body. When intake is good and Vata and Pitta work properly good kapha is created, giving immunity and strength. When Kapha is aggravated, the result is congestion. Bad kapha results in poor quality and toxic tissues. If the end result of optimum Kapha is ´ojas´ (the concentrated, refined and high quality nourishment/immunity remaining when all tissues have been formed and wastes expelled) the end result of ´bad´ kapha is ´ama´(a kind of toxic sludge found in tissues, pathways and organs of the body and mind)


Main seats of Vata

brain and central nervous system           messages, knowledge
colon, large intestine                             nervous, dry, movement down
skin                                                     receives information, knowledge
lower back                                           nerves, movement of legs
joints                                                   articulation, movement
pelvis                                                   stability, weight transformation

1 Here you can see functions of Vata more clearly
2 Here is where when accumulated, or aggravated you can first see the effects.

Physical properties

dryness       ruksha
coldness     sheeta
light            laghu
rough          khara
penetrative tikshna
active          tiksna

WhenVata is aggravated, these are the qualities that increase.

Normal functions
Normal heartrate and breathing, normal speech, normal digestive movements, normal appetite, circulation and activity of motor organs, normal evacuation of waste products, menstruation, ejaculation.

Normal mental functions
Normal thinking capacity, interest in life, creativity, imagination

Abnormal functioning
Heartrate problems, breathing difficulties, asthma, stammering, autism, gas, bloating, disturbed digestion, lack of appetite, varicose veins, circulation problems, cramps, cold hands and feet, menstrual disorders, premature or delayed ejaculation, constipation, lower back pain, cracking joints, cracked heels, dryness in the body, breaking nails, insomnia, memory loss, Alzheimer's , weight-loss, paralysis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, and any kind of degeneration

Abnormal mental functioning
Stress, anxiety, fear, accelerated thinking, circular thinking, losing touch with reality, recklessness, panic.


Seats of pitta

small intestine                           digestion
skin                                           protection, temperature of body, shine and glow
eyes                                          converts images
blood                                        transformation
liver and spleen                         makes and destroys red blood cells, general properties of pitta
brain and heart                          courage, happiness

1. These are where you see the function most clearly
2. These are where you first see the effects of accumulation or aggravation

Physical properties

hot                                            ushna
moist                                         ardra
Penetrative                                tikshna
Liquid                                       drava
Flowing                                     sara
bitter when healthy, acid when unhealthy 
green when healthy, yellow when unhealthy
bad smell generally

Normal functions
Normal digestion of food, metabolism and elimination, normal formation of blood, proper maintenance of temperature, appropriate sweating function, shine and glow of skin and eyes, proper vision, ie converting images accurately.

Normal mental functions
Enthusiasm, confidence, courage, happiness, valour, bravery, well-being, leadership, initiative, endorphins

Abnormal functioning
Burning, infections, inflammations, disturbed digestion, hyper-acidity, acid reflux, piles, bleeding disorders, ulcers, herpes, diarrhoea, burnout, hepatitis, jaundice, acne, pimples, irritation, UTIs, gallbladder problems, red burning eyes, pancreatitis

Abnormal mental functioning
Anger, over-confidence, arrrogance, hatred, extremism, jealousy, competition, aggression, rigid thinking .

What aggravates pitta? Strife, smoking, citrus fruits, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, lemon, spices, mustard oil, burning, stimulants, sunshine, sauna, whatever is hot in nature


Seats of kapha

brain                     cerebral fluid, shockabsorber
tongue                  saliva, taste functions
sinuses                  humidifies air, isulates sensitive structures
chest region          fluid linings of heart and lungs
stomach                mucous cells
joints                    synovial  fluid

1. These are where we can see the functions clearly
2. These are where kapha accumulates first and where we first see ay aggravation.

Physical properties

clear liquid fluids      vishada when healthy
slimy fluids               pichila when unhealthy
sweet when healthy, salty when unhealthy   madhura/lavana
transparent when healthy, whitish, yellowish, greenish when unhealthy (see above)
heavy                       guru
sluggish                    manda     
cold                         sheeta
damp, moist            drava
snighda                    unctuous
heavy                       guru
sweet                       madhura

Foods that build kapha are oils, milk, butter, ghee, cream, rice, meat, avocado, olives, rabbit, nourishing, porridge, dates, cashews, almonds, raisons.

Normal functions
Kapha maintains strength, immunity, stamina, structure, nourishing formation of dhatus, healthy tissues and bones, helps in tasting sensation, protection of all major organs, reproduction, structural integrity, confines organs to specific locations, fluid balance, potential energy, immunity.

Normal mental functions
Contenment, satisfaction, forgiveness, kindness,  love, peacefulness, calm, emotional and intellectual stability

Abnormal functioning
Obesity, heaviness, laziness, apathy, high cholesterol, diabetes, mucous, phegm, lack of appetite/cravings, low digestive power, sinuses, chest infections, eye gunk, lethargy, oedema, swellings, lack of interest. accumulation, congestion,

Abnormal mental functioning
Lack of interest in anything, complacency, closed-mindedness, indifference to others, possessiveness, clinging, greed, laziness.

In myh next post I will explain the main types of Tridosha and their principal functions,