“Shareermadhyam khalu dharma saadhanam”

Doing one’s duty with dedication forms one of the main objectives of human life. This is possible only if the body is healthy and the mind is free from worry and stress. Ayurveda considers illnesses to be psycho-somatic in nature, that is, while deciding a treatment, the condition of the body as well as the mind is given utmost importance.

Nature is made up of five elements namely ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. According to Ayurveda, human body is made up of these five elements as well, in the form of Doshas, Dhatus and Malas. When the Doshas are in perfect balance, a person is said to be healthy. In case there is an increase or decrease in these elements, it causes diseases and poor health. Prakruthi or the constitution is also a very important factor in the treatment of a disease.

There are three Doshas namely Vatha (Vayu), Pitha and Kapha, each of them with specific functions and properties.

Ether and air combine to form what is known in Ayurveda as the Vatha Dosha. Vatha governs the principle of movement and therefore can be seen as the force which directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration and elimination.

Fire and water elements combine to form the Pitha Dosha. The Pitha dosha helps in the process of transformation or metabolism. The transformation of food into nutrients that our bodies can assimilate is an example of a Pitha function. Pitha is also responsible for metabolism in the organ and tissue systems as well as cellular metabolism.

Finally, the water and earth elements combine to form the Kapha Dosha. Kapha is responsible for growth and that which offers protection. Cerebral-spinal fluid protects the brain and spinal column and is a type of Kapha found in the body. The mucousal lining of the stomach which protects the tissues is another example of the Kapha dosha.

Dhatus and Malas
Dhatus are the basic tissues in the body forming the body structure and are seven in number. Like the Doshas, vitiation of the Dhatus can cause ailments. Malas are the waste materials formed as a result of the metabolic processes happening in the body. Good health requires the expulsion of these toxic elements regularly.

We are all made up of unique proportions of Vatha, Pitha and Kapha. These ratios of the doshas vary in each individual- a single or combination of doshas maybe predominant; and because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as unique. This dominance is called the Prakruthi of a person. There are seven types of Prakruthis and all individuals fall under any of these categories. Prakruthi plays a very important role to determine the treatment modality to be followed.

Ojas is the energy released when the food is transformed into elements for absorption into the body. The role of Ojas is to keep the Dhatus nourished and maintain its proper functioning. An imbalance in Ojas will lead to reduced immunity, vitality and even death.