The Ayurveda Guide: Pitta Dosha

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The Ayurveda Guide ~ Pitta Dosha 

Ayurveda recognizes that each human being is born with a unique balance and that this natural balance is responsible for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By recognizing and maintaining this unique balance, Ayurveda provides simple guidelines to help each person create his or her own state of ideal health. For now, we will discuss the fiery nature of Pitta.

The first thing which comes to mind when thinking of pitta is the brilliant blaze of fire. The primary function of pitta is transformation and controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary site of pitta dosha is located within the small intestine.

 

 

 

Pitta Dosha Disease Process ...

The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe “Samprapti” as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

 

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas – Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas – Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas – Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas – Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes – Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue – Bheda

Stage One – Accumulation [Sanchaya] 

During the initial stage of pitta imbalance the 'liquid & sour' qualities begins to accumulate which may create conditions of periumbilical discomfort/pain along with developing a yellowish tinge in the eyes. Excess liquid quality of pitta can impair the digestive capacity [i.e. Agni] which can lead to acid indigestion/heartburn.

Qualities – Liquid & Sour
Generally, the ingestion of certain tastes such as sour, salty, and pungent can increase pitta dosha. If there is excessive liquid & sour qualities of pitta then one may want to consider avoiding hydrophillic foods such as yogurt, salty foods, and even avoid fruits such as apricots and grafefruit.

 

 

 

 

Stage Two – Aggravation [Prakopa]
As pitta dosha continues to become further imbalanced with liquid/sour and hot qualities pitta soon becomes aggravated primarily in the small intestine with symptoms of indigestion along with the above-mentioned symptoms of periumbilical discomfort/pain, etc.

Qualities: Liquid - Sour - Hot
Food which is heating such as beef, chicken, goat, fish along with certain oils [i.e. sesame, olive, almond], curds [yogurt], buttermilk, liquor/wine, sour/citric fruits [i.e. oranges], and certain spices [i.e. cayenne pepper, chilies, mustard] ... are all ... "heating" ... which can further aggravate pitta dosha. 

 

Therefore the goal for managing this excess hot quality is twofold:

1.] avoid excessive hot qualities [i.e. direct sunlight, spicy food, heated emotions]
2.] consider cooling elements [i.e. coconut oil, neem, sandalwood]

Pitta’s Secondary Sites:
As pitta dosha increases and begins to become further aggravated in the small intestine [primary site], pitta also begins to increase in the secondary sites which may begin creating certain signs and symptoms associated with pitta dosha.

Stage Three – Spread [Prasara]

As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced the oily quality now allows pitta to spread from the gastrointestinal tract into the general circulation. The liquid/sour, hot and oily qualities of pitta can affect blood tissue [rasa/rakta dhatu] which can create signs and symptoms of fever, hives, rash, urticaria, and other skin conditions such as eczema ... since skin is the by-product of blood [rasa dhatu] according to Ayurveda.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour - Hot - Oily

Often pitta types have a shiny complexion and this is due to the oily quality of pitta. However, this oily quality can make pitta types sensitive to oily foods which can aggravate conditions of the gallbladder. It’s interesting that bile, which is stored within the gallbladder, is considered a common element of pitta. If the oily quality of pitta is increased it’s thought to be a contributing factor for inflammatory gallbladder conditions [i.e. cholecystitis].

Therefore the goal for managing this excess oily quality is twofold:

  1. Avoid fatty/oily foods [i.e. meat, fried food, sesame oil, peanut butter, cheese, yogurt]
  2. Balance oil quality with dry quality and promote sweating

Individuals who have this excessive oily quality may want to consider the opposing dry quality. For example, individuals with persistent acne may want to consider topically applying chickpea flour, brahmī or camphor.

 

 

Stage Four – Deposition [Sthana Samshraya]

 

This stage in the progression of pitta dosha is particularly significant because the sharp & penetrating qualities of pitta allows for the entry of pitta into weakened tissue [i.e. impaired dhatu agni]. If the integrity of each tissue is intact with optimal function [i.e. dhatu agni] – then pitta dosha will not be able to enter into tissue and will therefore return back to the gastrointestinal tract – where it belongs.

Stressing The Importance Of:

  • preventing the progression of doshic imbalance
  • maintaining healthy tissue integrity [agni]

 

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Mobile – Sharp 

The sharp quality dominant in pitta types is a double-edged sword. This sharp quality provides the ability to penetrate into great depths of understanding often making pitta types forthright, direct and outspoken. One the other hand, this sharp quality can also create irritability, ulceration and even worse, perforation. Therefore, the goal for managing the excessively sharp quality of pitta is to:

– avoid sharp and aggravating qualities [i.e. alcohol, tobacco, criticism, judgement]
– consider introducing the opposing dull quality [i.e. milk, āmalaki, sandalwood]

 

Very Briefly ...
Dhatus are similar to tissue. Dhatu comes from the word “dha” which means ‘to hold’. Therefore, dhatus are “that” – which hold certain functions; which is similar to our modern understanding of bodily tissue. We can think of dhatu agni as being the tissue’s protective barrier to disease. If this tissue barrier [dhatu agni] becomes impaired, this allows the qualities of pitta dosha to enter the tissue and begin to create clinical signs and symptoms of disease.

 

 

Stage Five – Manifestation [Vyakti]

During this stage of the disease process [i.e. vyakti] the qualities of pitta predominates, overcomes the qualities of the tissue/dhatu and now the full manifestation of disease occurs.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Sharp – Light 

As Pitta Dosha spreads throughout the body and enters various bodily tissue [i.e. dhatu] it manifests as characteristic signs and symptoms such as … 

 

 

  • Impaired Rasa Dhatu allows for the  qualities of pitta to enter into rasa dhatu [plasma] creating symptoms of fever with chills [pitta jvara], rash, acne, melanoma, moles, etc.
  • Impaired Rakta Dhatu allows pitta to enter rakta [blood] dhatu [rakta gata pitta]  which may lead to rash, hives, urticaria, eczyema, psoriasis and even hot flashes.
  • Impaired Mamsa Dhatu allows pitta to enter mamsa [muscle] dhatu [mamsa gata pitta] and create symptoms of abcess formation, boils, inflammatory myositis/fibromyositis/tendonitis.
  • Impaired Meda Dhatu allows for pitta to enter meda [adipose] dhatu [meda gata pitta] which can lead to sensitivity to fatty/fried food, fatty diarrhea, gallbladder pain [cholecystitis].
  • Impaired Asthi Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into asthi [bone] dhatu [asthi gata pitta] which can create symptoms of inflammatory arthritis, osteomyelitis, tooth abcess, hair loss, etc.
  • Impaired Majja Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into majja [nerve/bone marrow] tissue [majja gata pitta] and may create neurological symptoms of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fever, meningitis, jealousy, anger, etc.
  • Impaired Shukra/Artava Dhatu allows for pitta to enter into shukra/arthava [male & female reproductive dhatu and create symptoms of various male and female health concerns.

 

IMPORTANT!!

The above-mentioned signs and symptoms is ONLY for educational purpose, not exhaustive and only listed to give brief examples to understand the doshic influences upon bodily tissue/dhatu.

 

Stage Six – Complications [Bheda]

In this final stage of the disease process, the fleshy quality of pitta leads to further complications creating foul-smelling tissue [i.e. abcess/gangrenous/pus] of the already weakened tissue. Here, the individual should seek immediate care of a qualified professional.

Qualities: Liquid/Sour – Hot – Oily – Sharp – Light – Fleshy 

 

Panchakarma
Once the doshas have begun to significantly cause an imbalance or disease, it soon becomes necessary to consider certain purification techniques to cleanse the body of excess doshas. This purification process is called “panchakarma” which involves five cleansing actions.

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic purification system which helps to remove impurities and toxins from the physiological channels of the body. With proper purification of the body springs forth greater cellular intelligence allowing for optimal functioning of the body as a whole.

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

  • vamana: therapeutic vomiting
  • virechana: purgative or laxative therapy
  • basti: medicated enema therapy
  • nasya: nasal administration of medicated oils
  • rakta moksha: blood-letting; purifying blood

Click Here – To Learn More About Panchakarma

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS

 

 

 

 


The Ayurveda Guide For Vata Dosha

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

Vata Dosha Disease Process

The concept of vata originates from the Sanskrit word “vyv” [vaya] which implies ‘that which moves things’. Eventually, vata began to be depicted as wind. In essence, vata is the principle and dynamic force which governs all movement. When vata is balanced it promotes great creativity, evokes feelings of freshness and lightness which springs forth the sense of happiness. When vata becomes imbalanced it then promotes dispersing qualities which can then make the mind and body vulnerable to a wide-range of health conditions. Let us now see how various factors express themselves in the realm of vata dosha.

Samprapti/Shad Kriya Kala
The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe “Samprapti” as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas – Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas – Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas – Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas – Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes – Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue – Bheda

 

 

Stage One – Accumulation [Sanchaya] 
During the initial stage of vata imbalance the cold quality accumulates which may create conditions of constipation, lower abdominal distention, and gas. Likewise, this increased sensitivity to cold weather can also creates pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. The natural inherent tendency is to warm the stiff muscles and painful joints. In the same manner, our initial goal is to create this same sense of warmth within to help balance the cold quality of vata dosha.

Quality – Cold
The exposure to cold food and cold climate can aggravate vata dosha.

Introduce warm qualities such as:

  • diet: warm and spicy food
  • warming spices: ginger, black pepper, cumin, and mustard seeds
  • lifestyle: dress warm, avoid cold climates and air-conditioning
  • warm castor oil compress on the abdominal region
  • warm water bottle to the abdomen
  • warm sesame oil basti/enema

 

Stage Two – Aggravation [Prakopa] 
As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced with cold, dry, and light qualities it soon becomes aggravated primarily in the colon with symptoms of fullness in the abdomen along with the above-mentioned symptoms of constipation, lower abdominal distention and gas.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light
This may occur with increased intake of raw food, exposure to gusty winds especially during the dry and cold autumn season.

Balance cold, dry, and light qualities with:

  • regular oil massage [i.e. abhyanga]
  • adding extra oil or ghee to food
  • additional warm clothing when exposed to cold & dry climate

Base oils infused with a decoction of one or more Ayurvedic herbs combine nourishing and soothing qualities of oil with the healing properties of the herbs.

– warm dashamula tea basti/enema
– triphala guggulu
– gandharva haritaki

Vata's Secondary Sites:
As vata dosha increases and begins to become aggravated in the colon [primary site], vata also begins to increase in the secondary sites which may begin creating certain signs and symptoms associated with vata dosha.

Stage Three – Spread [Prasara] 
As vata dosha continues to become further imbalanced the mobile quality now allows vata to spread from the gastrointestinal tract into the general circulation. The dry and light qualities of vata can affect blood tissue [rasa dhatu] which can create signs and symptoms of dehydration, dry skin, palpitations, ringing in the ears, cold hands and feet. Likewise, the mobile qualities of vata can begin to create physical symptoms of tics, spasms, tremors and even uncertainty [“shakiness”] within the mind; amongst many other conditions.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile
Excess mobile quality of vata may arise with increased physical and mental activities such as running, jumping, flying and excess stimulation of the mind such as loud noise, excessive talking, etc.

Balance cold, dry, light, and mobile qualities with:

  • rest & relaxation
  • abhyanga [oleation massage]
  • snehana [self-massage with oil]

Prevention Is Better Than Cure
At this point, vata has now entered the general circulation and has the ability to cause disease if it enters into certain bodily tissue. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken in order to prevent the progression of disease.

Abhyanga [Oil Massage] & Svedana [Sweating]

Vata Types may use sesame oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy] using a steam box under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional. Likewise, vata types may want to consider adding a few drops of nirgundi oil to the steam box.

Pitta Types may use sunflower oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy]. Likewise, pitta types may want to consider adding a few drops of sandalwood oil to the steam box during swedana – sweat therapy.

Kapha Types may use olive oil for the oil massage followed by swedana [sweat therapy]. Kapha types may want to consider using a few drops [i.e. 3-5 drops] of eucalyptus oil added to the steam box during swedana – sweat therapy.

Stage Four – Deposition [Sthana Samshraya]
This stage in the progression of vata dosha is particularly significant because the subtle quality of vata allows for the entry of vata into weakened tissue [i.e. impaired dhatu agni]. If the integrity of each tissue is intact with optimal function [i.e. dhatu agni] – then vata dosha will not be able to enter into tissue and will therefore return back to the gastrointestinal tract – where it belongs.

Stressing The Importance Of:

  • preventing the progression of doshic imbalance
  • maintaining healthy tissue integrity [agni]

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle
As the qualities of vata dosha circulate through the body, the clinical manifestation of disease depends on which quality of vata predominates and which tissue is most influenced by the predominating qualities of vata dosha.

Very Briefly
Dhatus are similar to tissue. Dhatu comes from the word “dha” which means ‘to hold’. Therefore, dhatus are “that” – which hold certain functions; which is similar to our modern understanding of bodily tissue. We can think of dhatu agni as being the tissue’s protective barrier to disease. If this tissue barrier [dhatu agni] becomes impaired, this allows the qualities of vata dosha to enter the tissue and begin to create clinical signs and symptoms of disease.

Stage Five – Manifestation [Vyakti]
During this stage of the disease process the rough quality of vata predominates and now the full manifestation of disease occurs. The rough quality of vata can create conditions of fissures, fistulas and excessive rough and scaly skin [i.e. psoriasis] amongst many other health concerns.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle – Rough
Rough and raw foods will further aggravate the qualities of vata. Instead, we should consider oily and lubricating qualities such as “maha snehana” – combination of oil, ghee, animal fat and bone marrow – applied at the site of roughness.

 

As Vata Dosha spreads throughout the body and enters various bodily tissue [i.e. dhatu] it manifests as characteristic signs and symptoms such as ...

  • Impaired Rasa Dhatu allows for the subtle and mobile qualities of vata to enter into rasa dhatu [plasma] creating symptoms of fever with chills [vata jvara], dehydration, fatigue, generalized body ache, etc.
  • Impaired Rakta Dhatu allows vata to enter rakta [blood] dhatu [rakta gata vata]  which may lead to impaired circulation creating symptoms of poor circulation, cold hands and feet, blood clots, varicose veins, aneurysms, etc.
  • Impaired Mamsa Dhatu allows vata to enter mamsa [muscle] dhatu [mamsa gata vata] and create symptoms of muscle spasms – tics, restless leg syndrome muscle wasting, etc.
  • Impaired Meda Dhatu allows for vata to enter meda [adipose] dhatu [meda gata vata] which can lead to lack of lubrication with cracking and popping of ‘dry joints’, dry skin, hernias, displacement of internal organs [i.e. descending kidneys and/or spleen; due to diminished supportive omentum [adiposity].
  • Impaired Asthi Dhatu allows for vata to enter into asthi [bone] dhatu [asthi gata vata] which can create symptoms of osteoporosis, lower back pain, hair loss, splitting hair, receding gums, ringing of the ear [ear drum – specialized bone], and even thyroid dysfunction.
  • Impaired Majja Dhatu allows for vata to enter into majja [nerve/bone marrow] tissue [majja gata vata] and may create neurological symptoms of tingling and numbness in extremities, cluster headaches, tics, spasms, neuralgia and sciatica, etc.
  • Impaired Shukra/Artava Dhatu allows for vata to enter into shukra/arthava [male & female reproductive dhatu and create symptoms of various male and female health concerns.

 

Stage Six – Complications [Bheda] 
In this final stage of the disease process, the clear quality of vata leads to further complications nearly abolishing or “clearing out” the function of the already weakened tissue. Here, the individual should seek immediate care of a qualified professional.

Qualities: Cold – Dry – Light – Mobile – Subtle – Rough – Clear

Panchakarma
Once the doshas have begun to significantly cause an imbalance or disease, it soon becomes necessary to consider certain purification techniques to cleanse the body of excess doshas and toxins [“ama”]. This purification process is called “panchakarma” which involves five cleansing actions.

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic purification system which helps to remove impurities and toxins from the physiological channels of the body. With proper purification of the body springs forth greater cellular intelligence allowing for optimal functioning of the body as a whole.

The Five Purifying Actions Of Panchakarma:

  • vamana: therapeutic vomiting
  • virechana: purgative or laxative therapy
  • basti: medicated enema therapy
  • nasya: nasal administration of medicated oils
  • rakta moksha: blood-letting; purifying blood

Click Here – To Learn More About Panchakarma

 

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

Resources:

Ayurvedic Perspective On Selected Pathologies, Vasant Lad, BAMS – 2nd Edition Revised
Textbook Of Ayurveda Vol. 3, Vasant Lad, BAMS


Samprapti ~ The Disease Process According To Ayurveda

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. 

 

The Disease Process According To Ayurveda
The ancient writings of Ayurveda describe "Samprapti" as the disease process which, if understood properly, can actually detect and address certain health conditions at each and every stage; i.e. addressing the root cause. According to this philosophy [i.e. samprapti/pathogenesis], there are six stages for the disease process.

 

The Six Stages Of Disease:
1. Accumulation Of Doshas - Sanchaya
2. Aggravation/Provocation Of Doshas - Prakopa
3. Spread Of Doshas - Prasara
4. Deposition/Localization Of Doshas - Sthana Samshraya
5. Manifestation Of Qualitative Changes - Vyakti
6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue - Bheda

 

1. Accumulation Of Doshas [Sanchaya]
Accumulation of doshas first takes place in their normal location. For example, vata tends to accumulate in the large intestine/colon, pitta accumulates in the small intestine, and kapha accumulates in the stomach.

 

What Might Increase Doshas?

Accumulation Of Vata Dosha:
Doshas are increased by certain lifestyle considerations [i.e. food and behavior]. For example, factors which promote and increase vata qualities [i.e. dry. light, rough, subtle, cold, mobile] are foods which have predominately pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Similarly, dry leafy vegetables, legumes, beans, peas, etc. tend to increase the dry and rough qualities of vata which tends to produce symptoms of constipation, abdominal distention, and excess gas production in the colon.

Accumulation Of Pitta Dosha:
Food which is predominately pungent, salty, sour and hot in potency tends to promote the intrinsic qualities of pitta [hot, sharp, light, liquid, oily] and therefore increases pitta dosha. Similarly, certain lifestyle considerations such as emotional states [i.e. anger and grief] and seasonal/environmental factors [i.e. summer season, midday/noon, mid-digestion] also tends to increase pitta dosha within and produces symptoms of heat/burning sensation and slight discoloration of yellow in the white of the eyes.

Accumulation Of Kapha Dosha:
Food that has predominately sweet, sour, and salty tastes with oily and heavy qualities [i.e. cheese, cream, butter, ghee etc.] tends to increase the intrinsic qualities of kapha [heavy, cold, dense, oily, liquid] and therefore kapha increases within kapha's primary location, i.e. the stomach. Increase and accumulation of kapha produces symptoms of heaviness, lethargy, fullness of stomach and low appetite.

 

Intelligent Cravings Of The Body ...
As doshas begin to accumulate within the primary sites [i.e. vata in the colon, pitta in the small intestine, and kapha in the stomach], the inner intelligence of the body begins craving qualities opposite to which is accumulating in the body.

For example, if vata qualities [dry, light, rough, subtle, cold, mobile] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for oily and heavy foods with predominant tastes of sweet, sour and salty tastes and the desire to sleep and rest. If pitta qualities [hot, sharp, light, liquid, oily] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for cold and dull qualities with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. If kapha qualities [heavy, dense, slow, oily, cold] begins to accumulate there will be a desire for hot and spicy foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes to help reduce the accumulation of kapha dosha. This desire for the opposite qualities should not be neglected because this is the inner intelligence of the body attempting to pacify the accumulation of doshas within.

 

2. Aggravation Of Doshas [Prakopa]
If certain lifestyle considerations [i.e. food/emotional states] and seasonal factors continue this will increase doshas within their primary location which will eventually cause doshas to reach their maximum capacity in their respective sites ... and the doshas will become aggravated/provoked.

The aggravation of doshas will cause symptoms similar to the above-mentioned symptoms described in 'accumulation' but symptoms will become more significant. Vata symptoms during this stage of aggravation [prakopa] will be increasing pain in the flanks or mid-back, hyperperistalsis, gurgling and even breathlessness. Pitta symptoms will be indigestion and heartburn and kapha symptoms will be cough, congestion, heaviness.

IMPORTANT POINT:
Despite the doshas accumulating and becoming aggravated, the aggravated dosha is still relatively easy to remove since they are still located within the digestive system [i.e. vata in the colon, pitta in the small intestine, and kapha in the stomach]. However, once the doshas begin to spread from the digestive tract into the general circulation and into peripheral tissue management becomes increasingly more difficult and more complex.

 

3. Spread of Doshas [Prasara]
Upon further increase and aggravation of dosha allows for the driving force which moves the dosha from the gastrointestinal tract spreading its way into the general circulation [rasa/rakta dhatu]. Due to certain affinity of qualities [i.e. 'like increases like'] doshas will tend to spread to their secondary sites.

Spreading To Secondary Sites:

Vata dosha tends to spread to the ears, skin, bones and thighs. This will create symptoms of ringing in the ears, dry skin, and cracking/popping and pain in the joints.

Pitta dosha tends to spread to the stomach, eyes, sweat glands, skin and subcutaneous fat tissue which creates symptoms such as nausea, acid indigestion, burning and irritation to the eyes, inflammatory skin conditions [i.e. rash, hives, urticaria, eczema].

Kapha dosha tends to spread to the lungs, sinuses, lymphatic system, breast tissue, mouth and head and will create symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, lymphedema/swelling and lethargy.

 

4. Deposition/Localization [Sthana Samshraya]
As disease progression [samprapti/pathogenesis] continues, the aggravated dosha which is spreading via the general circulation will eventually move into a defective location which has weakness and poor tissue integrity; this point is called "Khavaigunya".

As the dosha enters the weakened entry point [i.e. khavaigunya] of peripheral tissue the aggravated dosha deposits and localizes its qualities upon the peripheral tissue which will eventually influence the structure and function of the tissue. The unique combination/amalgamation of dosha and dhatu [peripheral tissue] is the fourth state of samprapti which is called sthana samshraya.

 

5. Manifestation [Vyakti]
During this stage of disease progression [samprapti/pathogenesis], the aggravated dosha has not only entered into a weakened/defective [khavaigunya] entry point of the peripheral tissue - BUT - the qualities of the aggravated dosha now begins to override the functions of the peripheral tissue manifesting the classic signs and symptoms of a particular disease.

 

6. Differentiation & Destruction Of Tissue [Bheda]
In this final stage of samprapti, not only are functional changes of peripheral tissue/organs/channels become evident but structural changes occur thereby increasing disease severity as well as introducing other associated complications of the disease process.

 

All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


The Ayurveda Dosha Clock - A Healthy Daily Routine [Dinacharya]

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All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

THE DOSHA CLOCK
According to Ayurveda, the rhythm of life is governed by cycles and in order to maintain health and balance we need to learn how to live in accordance to nature’s daily cycle. Ayurveda speaks about biological time as a function of three doshas [vata–pitta–kapha] in relation to chronological time with each dosha being more active at a particular time of day and night. To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock.

Not only is timing of importance but how we approach life is essential. For example, waking up to a jolting alarm clock is enough to set off a cascade of alarming stress responses which is obviously not the ideal way of starting off the day.

Similarly, waking up during the late and lazy time of the morning can create a slow/sluggish feeling throughout the day. Let us now take a closer look at the "Dosha Clock" and see how we can use it to our best advantage in order to harness the natural influences of nature.

VATA TIME ...
Early morning before sunrise is the time of vata. The qualities of vata are expressed with brisk coolness in the air and the beginning of increased activity of nature as birds begin to sing and people begin a new day.


“Brahmamuhurtha – “Time Of Brahma”
Brahmamuhurtha is considered 1 hr 36 minutes before sunrise and thought to be an auspicious time for meditation. This period of time is a junction point between night and early morning and is considered a time of heightened awareness. Therefore, Brahmamuhurtha is considered an auspicious time of day best suited for praying, meditating, and contemplation.

THE MORNING ROUTINE

Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. People who have more of the earth and water qualities should arise between 5-5.30AM. Those who have more of the fire element should arise between 5.30-6AM and those who have more light, air and space constitutions should arise between 6-6.30AM. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed.

Elimination
Elimination is one of the three pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain. When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. It is important to train the body to have a daily elimination. According to Ayurveda if one misses a daily bowel movement, then the person is said to be constipated. In today’s medical world, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution. Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

Washing the face with cold water will bring alertness to the mind. It is a good idea to also wash the eyes and rinse the mouth with cool water. There are a few ayurvedic eye washes that are recommended based upon ones constitution. Triphala tea, rose water and even diluted pomegranate juice are effective eye wash solutions.

Tongue Scraping
An important part of the dinacharya is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria. There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Oral Care
There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly. In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.


Nasya
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision. Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil. It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep.

It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

Bathing should follow abhyanga to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Practicing yoga daily is recommended for all body types. There are various postures and poses that can help to alleviate many conditions and diseases. Yoga is a vital and important daily activity that brings balance and serenity into life.

There are many types of breathing techniques that have various uses for the body. From lowering blood pressure to reducing weight and cooling the body, it is important to know which pranayama would be indicated for personal use. Pranayama increases the vital energy force in the body and therefore is recommended for health and longevity.

Exercise is an important part of life. Walking daily, particularly in the early mornings, maintains good health and balance. Although many people practice vigorous exercise, this is not always recommended. Ayurveda advises stretching and breathing whereas straining is to be avoided.The profound health benefits of meditation are staggering. A simple technique, it allows one to connect with the divinity within oneself and should be a daily practice. There are a few methods that one can choose from simple breathing to mantra based meditation. Amongst many benefits, meditation brings peace, harmony and clarity into one’s life.

Breakfast
When kapha is high, digestion is often slow or diminished. Therefore, it is wise to avoid heavy meals first thing in the morning. Instead, we should consider light and warm meals which can be more easily digested.

Activity
Mid-day is when the day heats up as the sun becomes stronger and reaches its peak. It’s the fire element of the sun which brings about light, warmth, and dryness to the day. It’s during this period when the internal and external heat is at its height and therefore is not the most ideal time to exercise or become overly active. Pitta types who predominantly have a fiery element should especially make sure not to overly exert themselves at this time.

Lunch
During mid-day, kapha decreases while pitta increases. As pitta continues to increase you will notice an increase in appetite reflecting when the power of digestion is at its peak. Generally, the largest meal of the day should be eaten at this time when the metabolic digestive fire [“agni”] digests and assimilates food optimally.

During this time of day the air element of vata increases as we notice the day soon becomes cooler and more windy. Vata energy brings about lightness to the mind which makes it more challenging to focus. Instead of struggling with focus, this may be a good time to reorganize your desk, revisit your 'Things-To-Do' list and consider brainstorming new ideas. Also, due to the lack of focus - instead of refilling on coffee it may be more worthwhile to meditate in order to regain focus during this vata time.

Time For Reflection
Sunset is a junction of day into night and is when the daily cycle repeats itself for the latter half of the day – meaning from 6 pm -10 pm kapha predominates as it did during the morning hours of 6 am- 10 am. Just as the early morning kapha times was a time of meditation, so true – kapha time during the evening is an ideal time for reflection. According to vedic philosophy, spiritual activities are amplified when performed at junction points. Therefore, this is a opportune time to meditate, chant, or do a calming yoga practice. Finally, as the suns energy begins to fade, and the cold and heavy energy of kapha dominates we soon begin to feel tired after a long and lengthy day. Relaxation is essential before bed – but first, dinner.

Dinner
Generally, dinner should be eaten early [between 6-7pm]. Eating too late in the evening may lead to undigested food remaining in the digestive tract and thus resulting in the accumulation of undigested food material – toxins [“ama”] in the colon. Similarly, a heavy meal during kapha time of the night can result in excess kapha qualities of heaviness and therefore result in weight gain and/or other kapha-related conditions. That said, pitta types may be able to eat slightly later due to their stronger digestive ability.

Sleep
In order to ensure restful sleep, relaxation is essential before bed. The aim is to be asleep before 10pm. Normally, the qualities of kapha accumulate throughout the evening and the body will naturally be tired. If we are in tune with these natural rhythms of life the body will naturally seek to experience deep and restorative sleep by this time.

Mid-night [10pm – 2am]
There is often great emphasis regarding falling asleep by 10pm because if one stays awake after 10 pm the active nature of pitta can prevent sleep. Pitta continues to increase during these late hours and its primary function is for repair and transformation of bodily tissue. However, if one remains awake during these late hours you will notice an increase in appetite i.e. “mid-night cravings” due to the fiery nature of pitta. Eating during these late hours is not conducive to health because pitta at night is not intended for digestion but rather repair and transformation of bodily tissue. Lastly, sleeping on a full stomach can result in the buildup of partially digested food [toxins] in the gastrointestinal tract and also thought to cause disturbing dreams; preventing restful sleep.

Individual – Unique Needs
The above mentioned influences of vata-pitta-kapha are basic guidelines to help align the individual with the natural rhythms of life. Depending on geographical and individual variations there will naturally be differences throughout the year in regards to dosha influences, the time of sunrise and sunset and seasonal-related influences. Therefore, as we become more in-tune with these rhythms of life we will also be able to develop a knowing on how to adjust our daily life accordingly.

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Panchamahabhutas ~ The 5 Great Elements

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of 'Healthy Ayurveda' and 'Vedic Sage' and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

 

 

Panchamahabhutas ~ The 5 Great Elements

"The Individual Is The Epitome Of The Universe"

Charaka, the ancient seer of Ayurveda, states that "the individual is the epitome of the universe". This implies that - that which exist in the vast eternal universe also appears within the inward cosmos of the human body.

 

Caraka Samhita Sarirasthana Ch. 5 Verse 4
The individual is the epitome of the universe as all the material
and spiritual phenomenaof the universe are present in the individual
and all those present in the individual are also contained in the universe."

 

The Elements In A Nutshell ... 


Humans are the perfect example of the universe because we are the microcosm of the universe and made of the very elements for which the entire universe is made from and these elements are referred to as "Panchamahabhutas" ... translated as 'The 5 Great Elements'.

 

e·pit·o·me (noun)
A person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type.

 

Elements In Nature ...
These "5 Great Elements" exist in all matter and are the building blocks of the known universe.

The "5 Great Elements" [ether, air, fire, water, and earth] manifest not only in the physical body but exist in all of nature and are the building blocks of the known universe.

Intially, we can attribute a basic theme to the elements.


For example:
- ether provides spaciousness which 'allows' for movement
- air provides the driving force behind all movement
- fire represents and symbolizes transformation and illumination
- water is lubricating, provides mositure and is cooling
- earth provides structure, form and stability

 

THE 5 GREAT ELEMENTS … 

 

ETHER/SPACE
Aakasha

Nothing; No-Thing
Long ago, before there was anything, there was “nothing”; i.e. no-thing, just space. Generally, when we measure “something” there is a point of reference [i.e. “here”] from where measurement begins to another point of reference [i.e. “there”]. However, in absolute space [i.e. ether] where there is “no-thing”, there is neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’ from which to measure and therefore a state which is immeasurable. Being immeasurable, space [i.e. ether] is all-pervasive, vast, dimensionless and essentially, … indescribable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describing The Indescribale …
Despite being intangible, the ancients provided us with various qualities as an attempt to further understand that which is indescribable; i.e. ether/space.

Qualities of Ether/Space:
- minute
- light
- soft
- smooth

[Caraka Samhita Sutrasthana Ch. 26 sutra #11]

 

Practically Speaking …

Space/Ether is vast, expansive, and all-compassing. However, it is challenging to comprehend such descriptions of space. Therefore, from a practical perspective, we can look upon the element of space as being predominately contained within various bodily cavities. After all, the body is vastly space.

 

 

 

 

 

For example:
cranial cavity [ventricular space]
sinuses within the skull
vertebral cavity
thoracic cavity
abdomino-pelvic cavity

 

The Importance of Space/Ether:

Space Allows For Movement 
Space/Ether allows for the potential to move
Whereas: Air/Vayu provides for the ability to move. [discussed further below pg.]


The space within the brain [ventricular space] allows for the passage and movement of cebrospinal fluid [CSF], the space within the thoracic cavity allows for the movement of air via the respiratory tract and the movement of blood [i.e. cardiovascular circulation] via the space within the chambers of the heart and the intravascular space within the lumens of various blood vessels. Similarly, the abdomino-pelvice cavity allows for the movement of various substances via the space in the lumen of gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary tract etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimately, space exists everywhere …

Between cells [i.e. intracellular space], within cells [i.e. intracellular space], and even between atoms!!

 

Space Out On This!! 


Atoms are 99.999999999999% empty space. The space between the nucleus of two atoms is around 10-10 meters. That’s basically one ten-billionth of a meter. That’s alot of space!!

 

 

AIR/VĀYU

As described previously, space/ether allows for the potential to move. Meaning, if there is no space to move … movement ceases. Air/vayu, on the otherhand, is the driving force behind all movement. Simply said, vayu or air is the principle of movement.

 

The Evolution Of Space Into Air

As described earlier, with absolute space [i.e. ether] there appears to be a dimensionless realm which is vast and all-pervasive. Being all-pervasive, there is no point of reference as being ‘here’ and ‘there’ and therefore the inability to measure distance; i.e. NO movement.

 

Being Philosophical ...
Seemingly, from nothing, came something. However, from a philosophical perspective there exist a state of being [i.e. Purusha] from which the primordial sound [Aum] arouse which initated movement via vibration from which the entire universe came to be.

Qualities of Air/Vayu:
- Light
- Cold
- Rough
- Coarse
- Non-slimy

 

Vayu Represents All Movement
Life is movement and movement is a fundamental function shared by all living organisms. In fact, definitive characteristics of life include organization, metabolism, responsiveness, movement, development, and reproduction. The root word 'va' means "to spread" [i.e. movement] and vata dosha which is predominately comprised of ether and air elements provides the driving force for all movement within the body.

 

  • movement
  • roughness
  • reduction
  • lightness
  • non-sliminess

Caraka Samhita Sutrasthana Ch. 26 sūtra 11

- Central Nervous System: neurotrasmission, sensory & motor innervation; action potentials
- Cardiovascular System: circuation, movement of plasma, blood, lymph, and nutrients
- Respiratory System: ventilation and movement of gases via inspiration and expiration
- Gastrointestinal System: movement of nutrients via digestion/absorption/assimilation; movement of excreta; feces.
- Genitourinary System: movement and ultrafiltration of plasma into urine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRE/TEJAS

With the evolution of ether into air, came space and movement. The movement of vāyu brought forth vibration. The back-and-forth vibrational movement of vāyu introduces friction and with friction comes heat; i.e. fire.

The Principle Of Transformation:
Fire is radiant energy and is active and changeable. It is the source of all transformative processes in the body and is responsible for digestion, absorption and transformation of food into energy.

 

Qualities Of Tejas/Fire:
- Hot
- Sharp
- Minute
- Light
- Rough
- Non-slimy

The qualities of hot, dry, penetrating and sharp demonstrate the radiant energy of Fire in the body. Skin complexion, eye luster and intelligence are expressions of the elemental energy of Fire. The liver, stomach and the pancreas are the primary sites of the Fire element. The element of Fire brings the qualities of attention, appreciation, recognition, ambition and competitiveness.

Functions Of Fire:

  • Heat
  • Digestion
  • Luster
  • Light
  • Complexion

Ignite; to catch fire.
Agni; fire

Relationship Between:
- Fire
- Agni [hot, sharp, light, dry, subtle]
- Pitta [fire & water], hot, liquid, oily, sharp, penetrating

Agni: The Digestive Fire
Agni is the expression of fire and it is that which governs all transformation.

One Flame, Many Embers:
The fire element of Agni works on many levels [i.e. a fire that has many flames] but from a systemic perspective we can look upon the main flame of Agni as Jathara Agni; i.e. the digestive flame which encompasses but is not limited to the stomach [āmāshaya] and the small intestine [grahani].

Pitta Dosha
Pitta is a Sanskrit word means illumination often associated with the brilliance, which radiates from fire. The elements fire and water combine to form Pitta dosha. It is the principle of transformation energy. It governs heat, digestion, and metabolism.

llumination: Fire In The Mind [Sadhaka Pitta]
Often, when describing intelligence of another, we use such words such as bright, brilliant, and sharp … which are all qualities of the fire element and pitta dosha. Pitta dosha is predominately made of fire and water elements. Sadhaka pitta is located in both the brain and heart and is responsible for intelligence, comprehension and understanding.

 

 

WATER/AP


The cool aspect of water is the natural balance to the heating energy of fire. Water provides the chemical energy that brings molecules cohesively together. Condensation is any reaction which two molecules combine with the formation and loss of water. With regards to the evolution of elements, after the formation of fire via friction water was formed by condensation.

Condensation Equation:

 

Qualities Of Water:
- Light
- Unctuous
- Cold
- Dull
- Soft
- Slimy

The energy of water can be seen in all fluids, from cerebral spinal fluid to digestive juices. Blood, sweat, plasma, saliva and urine are the primary sites of the element of Water.

Functions Of Water:
- Moistening
- [lubricating]
- Binding
- Oozing
- Softening
- Exhilirating

  • CSF
  • Saliva
  • Plasma/Pericardial fluid
  • Pleural fluid
  • Gastric juices
  • ultrafiltrate of plasma/urine
  • Intracellular fluid/cytoplasm

 

 

EARTH/PRITHVI


Earth element occurs via solidification and manifests as mechanical and physical energy. It can be seen as the structure and solid support of all matter, organic and inorganic.

Solidification:
A phase change of matter that results in the production of a solid structure.

Qualities Of Earth:
- Heavy
- Coarse
- Hard
- Dull
- Stable
- Non-slimy
- Solid
- Gross

Within the body, the qualities it imbibes of hard, heavy, rough and dense are seen through the manifestation of the bones, nails, teeth, hair and skin. All the solid structures in the body are seen through the essence of the earth element. The primary sites of this physical energy are the bones, hair, teeth, cartilage and tendons. The qualities of forgiveness, support, growth and attachment are fostered by the Earth element.

Functions Of Earth:
- Development
- Compactness
- Heaviness
- Firmness

 

DISCLAIMER:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to, images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of 'Healthy Ayurveda' and 'Vedic Sage' and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.