Six Taste and Dosha Relation in Ayurveda

Six types of Tastes Shadrasha (षडरस) in Ayurveda are given below. Every taste has the relation with the tri-dosha viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha in Ayurveda.

  • (Swada) स्वाद SWEET- Sugar, milk, butter, ghee, sweet fruit, bread, pasta, grains
  • (Amla)  अम्ल SOUR –            Yoghurt, lemon, vinegar, wine, soy sauce, grapefruit, aged cheese
  • (Lawana) लवण SALT -Salt (also in vegetables; especially celery and seaweeds)
  • (Tikta) तिक्त BITTER -Leafy greens, olives, turmeric, horseradish, turmeric, fenugreek, nettle, lettuce, aloe
  • (Ushana) उषण -PUNGENT Hot, spicy foods such as pepper, ginger, garlic, cayenne, chilli
  • (Kasaya) कषाय -ASTRINGENT Beans, lentils, dhal, honey, rhubarb, apples, leafy greens, pomegranate, sprouts

The tongue has taste buds which register all the above six tastes. If the body receives all these tastes in each meal it feels satisfied and will not overeat or feel hungry again soon after eating. However, there are far more taste buds that register the sweet as opposed to astringent or sour taste. This is because we do not require equal amounts of each taste. There are more ‘sweet’ taste buds because this is the taste we require the most of; sweet tasting foods, such as rice and milk, are nourishing and give us protein, energy and vitality. They are heavy and grounding and are required by Vata types much more than Kapha types.

Bitter tasting foods supply many vitamins, enzymes and minerals. They are also detoxifying, reduce water retention and are good as tonics for the liver and blood. Most are cleansing and help take away burning and itching sensations. In excess they can aggravate vata and dehydrate the body. Astringent tasting foods are also diuretic and blood purifiers. They help balance pitta and kapha but in excess can create gas and constipation. Spices are certainly a quick, convenient and flavorful way of incorporating the more unusual bitter and astringent tastes. Salt helps the body retain water and maintains substance and grounding, whilst pungent and sour tasting foods burn up toxins and stimulate the digestion.

As different body-types require different quantities of each taste we must allow our own innate intelligence to determine what combinations it requires in terms of optimum nutrition, especially since this may change on a daily and/or seasonal basis. Our limited modern model of nutrition is continually being updated and adapted as we discover new groups of molecules (such as vitamins, minerals enzymes and proteins) that our body requires to function optimally. It then struggles to determine the appropriate amount of each vitamin, mineral, enzyme or protein our bodies require and in what combinations they should be taken in. The debate will probably go on forever as there are so many variables to consider. However, Ayurveda has a simple solution – simply accept that our own body knows intuitively and instinctively just what it needs at any particular moment. It relays its message through our desire for particular taste combinations and we should follow those impulses for maximum health. Of course, to be sure that these signals are getting through we need to remain relaxed, balanced and fully aware. The life-style recommendations in this book are designed to facilitate this process.

To summaries: the only effective way to reduce the amount of food you eat and to cut down on unhealthy cravings is to include all six tastes in every meal. Furthermore, these six tastes are not required in equal amounts but should be combined in proportions to suit your particular body type.

Vata body-types: Generally require more sweet, sour and salty tastes especially in winter or if stressed. Meals should also be heavy, warm, oily and nourishing (soups and stews are good).

Pitta body-types: Generally require more sweet, bitter and astringent tastes especially in summer. Food should also be slightly heavy and oily and small cold dishes may be included.

Kapha body-types: Generally require more bitter, astringent and pungent tastes, especially in spring or if feeling heavy, lethargic or dull minded. Food should also be light, dry and warm to aid digestion and heavy, oily foods and dairy products should be excluded.

So these were the discussion on different types of taste in Ayurveda and their relation with tri-dosha viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha in Ayurveda.

 

Rejuvenating power in Ayurveda

Rejuvenating power in Ayurveda is discussed under rasayan tantra.So here is the description of  Rejuvenative tonics and the herbs to increase Rejuvenating power to be healthy and smart In Ayurveda there are lots of Tonics. However i am discussing about a couple of tonics, in context to the natural herbs.

Rejuvenative tonics: These are some of the most important herbs or Rasayanas in Ayurveda and are said to increase the subtle qualities of the mind and body, bringing longevity, renewal and revitalisation. They increase the subtle essence of life in the body, ojas and bring clarity to the mind and strength to the body. Rasayanas for vata include: ashwagandha, bala, bhringaraj, calamus, chywanaprash, guggul, haritaki and triphala. Rasayanas for pitta include: aloe vera, amalaki, brahmi, gotu kola, guduchi, saffron and shatavari. Rasayanas for kapha include: bibhitaki, guggul, pippali and triphala. When an Ayurvedic practitioner has a client with a particular complaint he will aim to determine the underlying cause of the problem and not focus primarily of the disease itself. He will establish which dosha has gone out of balance and then suggest lifestyle and dietary changes to help bring the offending dosha back into balance. He may also suggest ingesting herbal formulas to speed the process along and his choices will be based on the energetic qualities of the herbs used. Thus, if the underlying dosha that is causing the problem is vata, which has the qualities of bitter, light, cold and dry, he may prescribe herbs that have opposite qualities to this; sweet, heavy, warming and moistening. He will also take into account whether heating or cooling herbs (vipaka) are more appropriate and also whether there are any herbs with special properties (prabhava) which may be indicated. It is usual for an Ayurvedic herbal formula to have many different herbs in it, each creating a particular effect and complementing or balancing one another. If a herb is specifically known to treat the particular condition (prabhava) this will form a relatively large part of the herbal formula. Other herbs will be added to treat the imbalanced dosha, whilst others may be added to treat the tissues (dhatus) and channels (shrotas) involved. The state of the digestive fire (agni) and the amount of toxicity (ama) in the body will also be given due consideration and the necessary herbs added. Thus, some traditional herbal formulas have as many as fifty herbs in them. The vehicle that is used as a carrier for the herbs is also very important so hot water or milk may be use to target vata, aloe vera to target pitta and honey to target kapha. The time of day the herbs are taken affects the manner in which the body will respond as a herbal formula may act on one particular tissue or dosha at 6am and another at 6pm. Also, herbs taken before a meal may have a very different action on the physiology if taken during or after a meal.

Nutritive tonics: They nourish the body and increase body mass and are usually sweet, heavy, oily, mucilaginous and kapha increasing. They can increase ama and reduce the digestive fire and are often combined with more stimulating herbs to counteract this in certain conditions. Nutritive tonics include: almonds, amalaki, angelica, bala, coconut, comfrey root, dates, flaxseeds, ginseng, honey, Irish moss, licorice, jaggary, marshmallow, milk, raisins, sesame seeds, shatavari, slippery elm and wild yam.

 

Ayurveda and Modern Medical Science

Ayur Vigyan(Knowledge) is a broad term which includes the knowledge, science and techniques that is related to health and happiness of people. It existed from the very beginning of life. There are many points that make Ayurveda distinct and interesting to anyone all over the world. Ayurveda is the first attempt known in the human history for health and happiness, and is very much useful even today. Its importance is increasing day by day as the civilization tries to live in harmony with the natural environment. Ayurveda uses natural substances like plants, minerals, and animal product in medicine. Ayurveda also gives a lot of knowledge regarding life style, health promotion, and prevention of disease condition in a nature friendly way. Ayurveda has peculiar surgical practices which are very much effective. But these days Ayurveda has to work ahead to reestablish this things in practice. Yoga, Pranayam, Panchakarma and many naturopathic procedures used in Ayurveda makes it more holistic system of medicine which imparts sustainable health. There are many hidden knowledge and practices in Ayurveda and tradition still to be explored, studied and used for the betterment of life.

Ayurveda mainly focuses on balance between body, mind and soul, in relation to its theory on Tridosha. The present situation of Ayurveda is improving in Nepal and worldwide as people are being more conscious on natural ways of re-establishing their health with diet, behavioral changes, and elimination of toxins from the body.

There are evidences that it works. People trust it. Ayurveda needs more trained man power to serve people of all villages. In some cases fusion of modern technology and concepts of Ayur vigyan i.e. Ayurveda can help humankind to maintain a qualitative and quantitative life.

There is much technical advancement in medical and technical field. But still many diseases have stood as a challenge to modern system of medicine whereas traditional systems are showing satisfactory results in them. Due to this fact other systems of medicine are able to stand the threats of modern mode of theories and practices of medicine. Modern system has been developed from such traditional practices. If one is prudent enough s/he can see that all systems of medicines can be used rationally for the better health of people.

 

Kapha in Ayurveda

Kapha governs all structure and lubrication or fluid balance in the mind and body. It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all the seven tissues (lymph, blood, fat, muscles, bones, bone marrow or nervous tissue and reproductive tissues). Here are the lists of things that you feel when Kapha is vitiated or disturbed • You gain weight easily and find it very hard to lose weight. • You tend to be overweight. • You often feel dull, bored and lethargic. • You lack energy and feel lazy or complacent. • You experience sinus problems • You have frequent and prolonged chest colds and flu. • You suffer from congestive problems • You suffer from asthma or bronchitis. • You need lots of rest and sleep long hours. • You wake up feeling heavy and un-refreshed. • You find that you are possessive, greedy and over-attached. • You feel discomfort in cold, damp weather. • You experience bloating or water retention. • Your digestion is slow and heavy even when you have only eaten a small meal. • Your joints and muscles feel stiff and heavy, especially in the morning. How to balance vitiated Kapha • Follow a Kapha balancing diet with plenty of spices and pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. • Skip breakfast if you don’t feel hungry. • Partake in some vigorous exercise each day – running, cycling, tennis, squash or rugby. • Stay warm in cold, damp weather. • Be early to bed and early to rise. • Take time to enjoy warm showers. • Have a vigorous, dry massage each morning. • Wear bright colours – orange, yellow, red. • Decorate you house in warm, bright, vibrant colours. • Enjoy the sun and spend more time outdoors. • Partake in exciting activities or adventure holidays. • Take time out to have fun and meet new people. • Seek out variety, embrace new experiences and take up a hobby. • Use stimulating essential oils and incense with warming aromas such as pine, eucalyptus, clove, orange, basil & sage. Kapha Balancing diet: • Favour warm to hot foods that are light and dry in quality. They should be cooked with minimal fat and water and be predominantly pungent, bitter and astringent in taste. • Spicy Indian or Mexican food is good for Kapha as long as not too much oil is used in cooking. • Avoid heavy, oily and cold foods and foods that have predominantly sweet, sour and salty tastes. • Drink 1 litre of hot water with lemon and/or ginger daily. Have barley tea or post-digestive tea after main meals to cleanse the tissues, improve digestion, give energy and reduce hunger. • Favour baked, grilled or sautéed food in preference to boiled, deep-fried or steamed food. • Occasional have small side salads and raw foods to help tone the digestive tract. • Avoid fried foods and cold cereals at breakfast – stewed fruit or toast with honey is much better. • Favour barley, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet and rye and limit oats, rice and wheat. Dry roasting grains in ghee before cooking helps make them lighter on the digestion. • Increase your intake of vegetables but exclude mashed potatoes, turnips and parsnips. • Lighter fruits, such as apples and pears are better for Kapha. Reduce heavy or sour fruits, such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocados, coconuts and melons. • Honey is excellent for reducing Kapha but generally reduce other sugar products. • Spices are all fine but reduce salt as it helps retain water and increases Kapha. • Limit your intake of milk, butter, ice-cream, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, deep-fried food, white sugar, aspartame, tinned beans, fizzy drinks, yeasted bread, confectionary, sweet fruits, red meat, potatoes, hard or aged cheeses, salt and alcohol. • Avoid low-fat products as these are highly processed and usually high in sugar. • Have rice cakes, rye bread, chapattis and corn bread rather then yeast-risen bread. • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts are good but they should be lightly roasted and then ground before eating. • Most beans are good as long as they are well cooked.

Pitta in Ayurveda

Pitta dosha is made up of the elements of fire and water through which it manifests the qualities of pungent, hot, penetrating, oily, sharp, liquid, spreading and sour. Its primary function is transformation and is the force of metabolic activity in the body associated with the endocrine function, digestion, body temperature, visual perception, hunger, thirst, and skin quality. In Western terms we can categorise the activities of pitta in terms of amino acids, enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid and hormones. This explains the seemingly contradictory combination of fire and water to form pitta. Pitta exists as water or oil in the body, thus preserving the tissues from the destructive aspect of fire. It resides in the eyes, blood, sweat glands and lymph but its primary site is in the small intestine. Mentally it plays a role in understanding, in digesting sensory impressions.

 

Here are the lists of things that you feel when Pitta is vitiated or disturbed

• Your skin is overly oily and prone to acne.

• You are prone to rashes, fevers or inflammatory skin conditions

• You have excessive hunger or thirst.

• You sweat profusely and have overly hot hands and feet.

• You suffer from infections, access acidity, ulcers and heart problems.

• You are overly aggressive and prone to anger and frustration.

• You experience lose or hot, watery stools and diarrhoea-type elimination.

• You tend to be overly critical, domineering, obsessive or controlling in nature.

• You experience frequent eyestrain or tension headaches.

• You are going prematurely grey or balding.

 

How to balance vitiated Pitta

•Avoid hot substances such as red meat, alcohol and tobacco.

• Avoid excessive fasting and try to eat when you are hungry. Don’t skip meals; especially lunch.

• Exercise moderately (short runs or swims) and only when the weather or climate is cool.

• Walk regularly in nature; especially by the sea. Walking in the moonlight is also very beneficial.

• Especially avoid prolonged exercise in very hot climates or environments.

• Keep your head and skin protected and refrain from sunbathing when the sun is hot.

• Reduce your exposure to hot environments such as saunas and steam rooms.

• Cultivate peaceful emotions and spend more time with people who love and fully accept you.

• Avoid and angry or stressed people and try not to argue – aim to agree more often!

• Take the time to be sweet and sociable and find the time to chat, laugh and play.

• Practice moderation and find time for enjoying leisure activities and appreciating natural beauty.

• Avoid overly competitive sports, deadlines and confrontation in general.

• Practice meditation, cooling forms of pranayama and gentle yoga postures.

• Avoid watching too much television and excessive use of computers.

• Massage the head with coconut oil at night.

• Wear cooling colours – blue, purple, green and avoid wearing red colours.

• Drink pomegranate juice or eat pomegranate seeds. Its astringent and bitter quality helps balance pitta, cleanses the liver and blood and works as an excellent heart tonic.

• Drink 30mls of Aloe Vera each morning.

 

Pitta Balancing diet:

• Generally favour warm or cool and refreshing foods with the tastes of sweet, bitter and astringent such as; asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, raita, mung dhal, summer squashes, courgettes, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, lime and green salads.

• Avoid very oily, salty, sour, fermented or pungent foods and spices such as chillies, alcohol, pickles, vinegar, hard or pungent cheeses, citrus fruits, sour cream, yoghurt, tomatoes, garlic, onions and chillies as they will aggravate the acid and pitta in the intestines and blood.

• Enjoy sweet, juicy seasonal fruits such as peaches, figs and berries.

• Avoid red meat and favour chicken or fish.

• Most vegetables, beans and lentils are good unless they are cooked with too much oil.

• Favour wheat, basmati rice, oats and barley and take corn, millet and rye in moderation.

• Drink cooling herbal teas such as peppermint, spearmint, rose, coriander or liquorice.

• Ghee is cooling and can be used for cooking and spreading on toast. Coconut oil can also be used for cooking whilst Udo’s oil, flax oil or pumpkin oil can be used for salad dressings.

• A nourishing breakfast to balance pitta could include cereal, toast and apple juice.

• Japanese and Chinese type foods and salads are generally good for pitta digestion.

• Always avoid over-eating, especially in the evening.

 

This was about Pitta in Ayurveda

 

 

 

Discovery of Atom in Ayurveda Philosophy

Atom and AyurvedaLike we all know that everything is made up of atoms, similarly, Ayurveda believes that everything in this universe is made up of five great elements or building blocks. These are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Here I have tried my best to co-rrelate among them.

  • Earth represents the solid state of matter. It manifests stability, permanence, and rigidity. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells, and tissues are manifestations of the earth. Earth is considered a stable substance.
  • Water characterizes change and represents the liquid state. Water is necessary for the survival of all living things. A large part of the human body is made up of water. Our blood, lymph, and other fluids move between our cells and through our vessels, bringing energy, carrying away wastes, regulating temperature, bringing disease fighters, and carrying hormonal information from one area to another. Water is a substance without stability.
  • Fire is the power to transform solids into liquids, to gas, and back again. In other words, it possess power to transform the state of any substance. Within our bodies, the fire or energy binds the atoms together. It also converts food to fat (stored energy) and muscle. Fire transforms food into energy. It creates the impulses of nervous reactions, our feelings, and even our thought processes. Fire is considered a form without substance.
  • Air is the gaseous form of matter which is mobile and dynamic. Within the body, air (oxygen) is the basis for all energy transfer reactions. It is a key element required for fire to burn. Air is existence without form.
  • Ether is the space in which everything happens. It is the field that is simultaneously the source of all matter and the space in which it exists. Ether is only the distances which separate matter. The chief characteristic of ether is sound. Here sound represents the entire spectrum of vibration.

Vata in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, the  Vata has the function of all movement in the mind and body. It controls the flow of blood, the elimination of waste products, the act of breathing, nerve signal flow and the movement of thoughts in the mind. It is considered the leader of the three doshas (energies or energetic principles in the body) as Pitta and Kapha cannot move or exist without it. It is therefore imperative that Vata is brought back into balance whenever it is disturbed.

Here are the lists of things that you feel when Vata is vitiated or disturbed

• Your skin or hair is dry, rough and thin.

• You feel cold easily or have poor circulation with cold hands and feet.

• You are chronically underweight and find it difficult to gain weight.

• Your mind is constantly anxious, restless and agitated and you are prone to worry and fear.

• You experience constipation or have frequent flatulence.

• You suffer from insomnia or have unsettled sleep and disturbing dreams.

• You suffer from vaginal dryness or menstrual cramps and PMT.

• You have spells of forgetfulness and absent mindedness.

• You experience discomfort or stiffness in the joints or lower back pain.

• You easily become fatigued and have poor endurance.

 

How to balance vitiated Vata

• Follow a Vata balancing diet favouring cooked foods rather than raw foods and salads.

• Go to bed early bedtime and have lots of rest.

• Diffuse calming and grounding aromatic oils or incense into your home and office. Orange, geranium, lavender, basil, spruce & fir are excellent in this regard.

• Maintain a regular daily routine by integrating the ‘Daily Routine’ (see later section).

• Give yourself an Abhyanga massage using warm sesame oil each morning.

• Ensure you have regular, daily elimination. Triphala herbal formula helps in this regard.

• Stay warm, especially in cold, windy weather.

• Take gentle walks in the countryside to calm and balance the mind.

• Wear calm, soothing colours such as pastels, green or brown.

• Do not overexert and rest whenever the body becomes tired or over stimulated

• Relax often by practicing meditation, pranayama, Yoga or Tai Chi.

• Chant ‘Ram’ (pronounced ‘rarm’) 108 times each day.

• Read light, humorous, feel-good novels and turn the television off one hour before bed.

• Take up walking, fishing, bird-watching or gardening for general relaxation.

• Take up writing, drawing, painting or acting to balance your creative energies.

• Avoid excessive talking and try to have a day of silence each week.

• Wrap up warm and keep dry in the winter – cover your head on cold, windy days.

• Avoid loud, noisy environments

• Rest for short periods throughout the day

• Avoid excessive use of VDU displays

 

The Vata balancing diet

• Favour warm, hearty, nourishing foods with added butter/oil – favour salty, sour and sweet tastes.

• Try and reduce light, dry, cold foods and pungent, bitter and astringent tastes

• Hot, milky, creamy cereals (wheat, oatmeal or rice), soups and stews are all very good for pacifying Vata.

• All dairy products are good (ideally organic and unpasturised) – milk should always be boiled first.

• Oils are good but favour ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, Udo’s oil, flax/pumpkin oil and sesame oil.

• Reduce your intake of light, dry, cold foods such as crackers, nuts, seeds and salads.

• Take nuts and seeds in small quantities only – they are best freshly ground with oil added.

• Reduce the intake of all bean products except tofu, mung beans, mung dhal and red lentils.

• The best grains are rice and wheat but you can take barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye and oats in moderation.

• Favour stewed and well ripened, sweet or sour fruits but reduce the intake of dry or light fruits such as apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, and dried fruits (if uncooked). Dried fruits are good if they are cooked after soaking overnight.

• Sweeteners are good (in moderation), especially jaggary, honey, maple syrup and algarve.

• Vegetables should be cooked and not raw. Peas, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini and potatoes are acceptable in moderate quantities if they are cooked, especially with Ghee or oil and Vata reducing spices but it is best to avoid sprouts and cabbage.

• Hot, nourishing desserts such as apple pie help pacify Vata.

• Eat a substantial breakfast to help improve energy levels throughout the day.

• Herbal teas (camomile, fennel, basil) with a few digestive biscuits are good for Vata energy slumps.

• Avoid stimulants such as coffee and alcohol.

• Sip hot water throughout the day to flush out impurities and balance Vata.

• Warm milk flavoured with ghee, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg is excellent before bed.

 

Ayurveda to Cure AIDS

A  Ludhiana based herbal company in Punjab, Nixon Biotech Private Limited, has claimed to have found a herbal cure for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

They say that, An HIV positive person has to undergo extreme physical trauma,during the later stages of infection.HIV doesn’t strike immediately,but lies dormant in the body for a considerably long time.During this period,it continuosly weakens the immune system.Once the immune system is weak,it strkes in the form of AIDS.NATURAL AID is the solution to all these problems.It improves the immune system helps fight off other infections and deal with the side effects of anti-viral medication.It releives the symptoms of AIDS within 15 days.

Dr.Parveen Jain who invented the medicine said that natural aid immunity enhancer, a one of the kind product helps controlling the HIV infection by offering a unique formula designed to boost the immune system. The recent testing by National AIDS research Institute Pune report show positive results in inactivating above 80 percent of virus stain from the infected blood samples.

The herbal medicine, which is also tested by the WHO (World Health Organisation) is a combination of minerals, antioxidants and herbs optimized to provide body with essential nutrients required for improving the body’s general condition and weakness, by strengthening the immunity system of the patients.

Kanvir Goel, a doctor, said that the medicine holds promise as it is purely herbal, and neutralizes the virus without any toxic effect on the body.

The test certificate shows that their herbal medicines against AIDS has got no toxic efforts and does not contain any steroids, and the report of the National Aids Research Institute (NARI) has shown that in … anti-HIV testing results are quite promising, and they have shown that as per controls, their medicine has been really effective against all the cells associated with HIV, and this shows that this herbal medicine holds good promise,” Dr. Goel said.

Preeti, an AIDS patient, said that after having these medicines her health has shown tremendous improvement within 10 to 15 days.

“In the first stage, I had fever for five six months. After that, my weight reduced to 29 kilograms. I had bought medicines from the HIV center, but they were not effective. I even had ulcer in my throat due to which I had toxic fluid in my mouth. Then I came here to this doctor. The medicine which he gave was very effective and my health improved within 10-15 days,” she said.

AIDS is caused by human immunodeficiency virus, which transmits through HIV positive patient’s blood transfusion, unsafe sex, usage of contaminated hypodermic needles and from HIV positive other to her baby. (ANI)

Vata, Pitta and Kapha,The principle of Ayurveda

Vata, pitta and Khapha are not just the word it describes a single object, it is philosophical word. One who understands Vata, Pitta and Kapha understand the Principal Of Ayurveda. As Principle of “Ayurveda” is based on these three Doshas.

Vata, pitta and Kapha are known as doshas in Ayurveda; they are the underlying principles that govern the nature, transformation and structure of the physical universe. Each dosha is composed of two of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) and it is the specific combination of these elements that determines each doshas characteristic qualities and ultimately their overall effect in nature. Every object in the natural world is composed of the elements of vata, pitta and kapha and it is the relative proportion of each dosha or element that determines its uniqueness and differentiates it from another objects.

Vata is composed of the elements of air and space and its qualities are light, subtle, moving, cold, dry, hard and rough. Vata governs movement in the mind and body. Pitta is composed of the elements of fire and water and its qualities are hot, acidic, sour and sharp. Pitta governs transformation in the mind and body, whether it’s the digestion, assimilation and metabolism of food and water into energy or the digestion and assimilation of thoughts and ideas into actions. Kapha is composed of the elements of earth and water and its qualities are heavy, cold, slow, binding, sticky and smooth. Kapha is responsible for the density and structure of our body.

A person with a predominance of Vata dosha walks more quickly, has a lighter build and has colder and dryer skin than someone with a predominance of Pitta or Kapha dosha in their constitution. Vata-type people also tend to have very quick, agile minds and can be very creative. However, if their constitution goes out of balance through excessive movement or irregularity they can suffer from feelings of restlessness, boredom, fear, stress and anxiety. This may manifest in the body as poor circulation, cold hands and feet, constipation and dry skin.

A person with more Pitta in their constitution has a hotter, fierier, more dynamic personality. They have lots of energy, high ambitions, sharp intellects and good leadership qualities. However, if they go out of balance and their innate ‘fire’ becomes too high they can quickly become angry, stressed and frustrated. They generally have a strong digestive fire and immune system but when they slip out of balance they can develop rashes, ulcers, acid stomachs and heart problems.

A person with a predominance of Kapha dosha in their constitution is generally slower, heavier, calmer and more grounded than either Pitta or Vata. They are caring, loving, forgiving individuals with a placid, easy-going nature. They have strong, solid bodies but can suffer from weight gain, lethargy and heaviness when they are out of balance.

With an understanding of the qualities inherent in the elements that combine to make up the three doshas we are able to keep the doshas in balance in our own bodies and thereby remain healthy, happy and free from dis-ease. Any excessive increase in any of the qualities present in our doshic make-up will tend to aggravate that dosha and will lead to imbalance. To decrease a quality we need to increase its opposite quality. Thus, is we are a predominantly Vata body-type and we become excessively cold or are exposed to noisy, busy environments with excess movement we will soon become imbalanced and un-grounded. If we immediately introduce the opposite qualities of warmth or calmness and quietness we will soon bring ourselves back into a grounded, more balanced state. Similarly, for a Pitta person, who has a predominance of heat, the opposing quality of coldness will bring them back into balance. A Kapha person, who has a predominance of heaviness, will be balanced by the opposing quality of lightness.

 

Cancer in Ayurveda

Ayurveda should be redefined in many problems due to its conventional standard treatments. Likewise in cancer, although the cancer is not mentioned in the great triads “Brihat Trayi”, in ancient time it was referred as orphan illness. Orphan illness refers to that disease which was not studied well in terms of its etio-pathology, therapeutics and prognosis. But now ayurveda too has to develop an oncology – both theoretical and applied.

It is obvious that no one can honestly claim to know the cure for cancer. Many of the questions related to etiopathology of cancer remain unanswered.

As we know cell is the basic structural unit of the human body. It may be rationally presumed that there was some knowledge of the cell boundary and molecular traffic between the extra cellular and intracellular fluids even before the advent of electron microscope. Human body is composed of between 50-100 trillion cells. Charaka says

शरिरावयवास्तुसतु परमाणुभेदेनापरिसंख्येबा भवन्ति अतिबहुत्वादतिसौछ्यम्यादतोन्द्रियत्वाच्च।

It essentially means that the basic body components are structurally atomic, innumerable and microscopic.

Each cell has unique characteristics (either inherited or acquired) to perform certain subset of functions. Integrity of human system is maintained by the synchronization of functions of sub-systems, which are organically interconnected and biologically regulated by the tridoshas, biophysico chemical energies of the body. Of the three forms of energies, vayu acts as the master force. Pitta is responsible for all processess involving enzyme synthesis needed to bring about transformation and Kapha, being responsible for storage can be identified with the cell membrane and cell wall, basic reserves for the cell to call upon in hard times.

 

Cancer is a disorder of cellular behaviour, in which the structural/functional integrity is distorted.

We come across descriptions of disease entities in ancient ayurvedic texts that have remarkable similarities with modern interpretations of cancer. However, one can hardly find a single comprehensive word inayurveda denoting a disease entity, which is fully comparable with concept of cancer.

Etymologically the word ‘Arbuda’ represents an enormously growing mass encroaching and destroying the normal structural and functional status of an organ and on a larger scale the entire human body.

On conducting a literature survey, we get a fairly good amount of information with regard to the understanding and interpretations of our predecessors about cancer. In this context, appropriate reference has to be made to a variety of diseases which have this particular feature in onset, growth spread or manifestation. It includes granthi, apachi, gulma, udara, vidhradi and dustavrana. Benign forms of these diseases are likely to become malignant over a period of time where the standard treatments prove ineffective. We may say that sannipathika stage of dosha vitiation of diseases is comparable with malignant conditions.

One of the criteria adopted by the exponents of ayurveda in naming and grouping of diseases was their commonalities in ethiopathogenesis, disease processes, clinical manifestations and terminal stages of the diseases. The following descriptions with its appropriate interpretations provide a sound basis for development of ayurvedic oncology.