Dosha

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This article is about the notion of a bodily humor in Ayurveda. For the type of food, see dosa.
The three doshas and the five great elements they are composed from

A dosha (doṣa), according to Ayurveda, is one of three bodily humors that make up one's constitution. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory.

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

  • Vāta or Vata (wind) is the impulse principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system. It affects the windy humour, flatulence, gout, rheumatism, etc.[1][2]
  • Pitta is the bilious humour, or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat.[3] It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism.
  • Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucus, lubrication, and the carrier of nutrients.

All Ayurvedic physicians believe that these ancient ideas, based in the knowledge discovered by the Rishis and Munis, exist in harmony with physical reality. These Ayurvedic concepts allow physicians to examine the homeostasis of the whole system. People may be of a predominant dosha prakruti (constitution), but all doshas have the basic elements within them.

5 types of vata dosha 5 types of pitta dosha 5 types of kapha dosha
  1. Prana Vata - Governs inhalation, perception through the senses and governs the mind. Located in the brain, head, throat, heart and respiratory organs.
  2. Udana Vata - Governs speech, self expression, effort, enthusiasm, strength and vitality. Located in the naval, lungs and throat.
  3. Samana Vata - Governs peristaltic movement of the digestive system. Located in the stomach and small intestines.
  4. Apana Vata - Governs all downward impulses (urination, elimination, menstruation, sexual discharges etc.) Located between the naval and the anus.
  5. Vyana Vata - Governs circulation, heart rhythm, locomotion. Centred in the heart and permeates through the whole body.
  1. Pachaka Pitta - Governs digestion of food which is broken down into nutrients and waste. Located in the lower stomach and small intestine.
  2. Ranjaka Pitta - Governs formation of red blood cells. Gives colour to blood and stools. Located in the liver, gallbladder and spleen.
  3. Alochaka Pitta - Governs visual perception. Located in the eyes.
  4. Sadhaka Pitta - Governs emotions such as contentment, memory, intelligence and digestion of thoughts. Located in the heart.
  5. Bharajaka Pitta - Governs lustre and complexion, temperature and pigmentation of the skin. Located in the skin.
  1. Kledaka Kapha - Governs moistening and liquefying of the food in the initial stages of digestion. Located in the upper part of the stomach.
  2. Avalambhaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of the heart and lungs. Provides strength to the back, chest and heart. Located in the chest, heart and lungs.
  3. Tarpaka Kapha - Governs calmness, happiness and stability. Nourishment of sense and motor organs. Located in the head, sinuses and cerebrospinal fluid.
  4. Bodhaka Kapha - Governs perception of taste, lubricating and moistening of food. Located in the tongue, mouth and throat
  5. Shleshaka Kapha - Governs lubrication of all joints. Located in the joints.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Monier-Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Oxford, 1899
  2. ^ http://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/drhalpern/Vata_Doshas Vata Dosha
  3. ^ Monier-Williams, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Oxford, 1899