Dosha ,Dhath& malas

The Vedic scriptures say that there is an
inextricable link between humans and the
universe. The very elements of human life
exist outside in the cosmos as well. As the poet
Walt Whitman said, “I believe a blade of grass is
no less than the journey-work of the stars.” In order
to understand the universe and environmental
situations, and to understand human health concerns,
one needs to appreciate the common link
between them: the elements of creation.
The Vedas discuss the process of creation. First,
there was the eternal, Divine, unmanifest existence:
ever present. It is said that life was created from
within the eternal, like a thread that comes from
within a spider to be woven into a web. Creation
eventually dissolves back into the eternal like the
spider returning the web into itself.
One may ask how the nonmoving eternal can
appear to move or create something. Here, the Vedic
literature, known as the Upaniähads, offers a metaphor:
Just as the desert appears to create an oasis
without moving to create it, so does the nonmoving
eternity appear to produce this illusory creation.
The creation is called illusory because it is not lasting;
only eternity is real because it is everlasting.
There is not enough space in this book to justly
discuss this topic. This is a mere offering into the
insight of the origin of creation as explained by
the ancient Vedic ^rishis
As creation developed, it formed three underlying
principles that uphold all life: the laws of
creation, maintenance, and dissolution. Everything
in life is born or created, it lives, and then it dies.
These principles are known as sattwa, rajas, and
tamas, respectfully, and are called the three guòas
or tendencies. All of life, human and celestial, obey
these laws.
The Elements: Building Blocks of Life
The creation principle developed five essential
elements—or building blocks that all life forms
contain: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. We can
easily see how life was created from the subtlest
to the grossest matter. From eternity, the subtlest
form of matter is ether. Ether mixing with eternity
creates air, a more observable or experiential element.
As air moves, it eventually creates friction,
which creates heat or fire. Heat produces moisture,
thus creating water, the densest element yet:
if one tries to walk through water, one is slowed
by its density. Finally, water produces the densest
form of matter, earth. The Vedas say that all of the
creation, including humans, is made up of combinations
of all five essential elements. These elements
are the subtlest aspects of human life, finer
than the molecular, atomic, or subatomic levels.
This is the level that Áyurvedic healing works
on. Focusing on the cause of the grosser levels of
life, the denser aspects will be taken care of since
they are made up of these five elements. Just as a
strong foundation supports a strong building, when
the five elements (the foundation of all matter) are
strong and balanced in a person, they will automatically
balance the more material levels.
Thus, Áyurveda does not need to look at isolated
parts of the human anatomy, or at the vitamin,
chemical, or nutritional level of health. It simply
balances the elements, and this balances the
more physical levels.
A person diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer is an
example of this balancing. Rather than create a
name for a symptom, Áyurveda identifies the illness
as an excess of the fire element. Acid is a byproduct
of heat. Áyurveda will look to see in what
part of the patient’s life overheating occurs. It may
be due to eating excessive fiery foods and spices
like tomatoes and peppers. One’s career may be
causing undue anger (i.e., hot temper). Perhaps the
person drinks alcohol (firewater).
Once the cause is learned, suggestions for reducing
a person’s excessive intake of fire are discussed.
Simultaneously, the patient is advised to
use more of the air and water elements to balance
the heat with coolness (air cools heat, water puts
out the fire). Thus, the holistic approach of
Áyurveda seeks the cause of an illness and restores
balance, using the insight of the elemental creation
of the universe.
The Áyurvedic Body
Personalizing the healing process is a uniqueness
that Áyurveda brings to the holistic field of
health. From the insights of the Vedic sages, we
learn that people are different and need to be individually
Expanding upon this elemental view, the
Áyurvedic practitioner understands that people are
made up of various combinations of the elements.
Some people have more air in their system; some
people have a more fiery constitution. Others are
predominantly made up of water. Still others are
combinations of fire and air, fire and water, or air
and water. Some people have an equal amount of
all three elements (ether is combined in air and
earth within water).
Thus a more air-predominant individual needs
to take in less air and more fire and water. A water
person already has an excess of water, so there is a
need to reduce the intake of water and to increase
the fire and air elements in the diet and lifestyle.
Personalized Healing
The general Áyurvedic approach is threefold.
1. Determining one’s elemental constitution (doßha
or prak^iti),
2. Learning the elemental cause of illness (vik^iti),
3. Applying therapeutic recommendations to balance
elements causing the illness, without causing
an imbalance to the doßha (constitution).
This unique, personalized approach not only
makes healing effective, but gentle as well. Other
holistic measures may work, yet still aggravate the
person’s doßha. Áyurveda is the only holistic science
that needn’t warn people that they may feel
worse while the diseases or toxins are being removed
before they will feel better. Because of its
balancing approach, gentleness marks the entire
healing process.
Qualities of the Three Doßhas
Parallel to the three guòas (sattwa, rajas, and
tamas) in creation are the three doßhas, or constitutions,
in the human body: Váyu (or Váta), Pitta,
and Kapha. Váyu may be understood as nerve
force, electro-motor, physical activity or that,
which is responsible for motion. It is commonly
called air. The root, ‘va’ means to spread. In Western
terms, it is the electricity setting the organism
into motion, maintaining the equilibrium between
Pitta and Kapha (inerts).
Váyu relates to the nerve-force.
It is responsible for all movement
in the mind and body.
The movement of Váyu even regulates the
balance of Pitta and Kapha.
Pitta relates to internal fire, bile, body heat, digestive
enzymes, physio-chemical, biological,
metabolic and endocrine systems. It is responsible
for digesting the chyle into a protoplasmic substance
like sperm and ovum.

The nerve network of the mind and body.
The bones are primarily affected by Váyu
Pitta relates to the circulatory, endocrine,
and digestive systems
Kapha fills the intercellular spaces of the body
as connective tissue. Examples of these tissues include
mucus, synovial fluid, and tendons. Kapha
is responsible for the gross structure of the body
(solid and liquid/phlegm-plasma). Each person is
made up of a combination of these elements.
The knee bones
are examples of
areas that are lubricated
Together, the doßhas are responsible for catabolic
and anabolic metabolism. Catabolism breaks
down complex internal bodies, and Váyu (air energy)
sets this energy free into simpler waste.
Anabolism takes food and builds it into more complex
bodies. The summit of the metabolic process
is protoplasm or essential matter [proteins, carbohydrates,
lipids, and inorganic salts]. Lifeless food
becomes living protoplasm and is set free as useful
energy or excess heat or motion that is emitted
from the body. Thus, the purpose of the three
doßhas is to move the lymph chyle (the by-product
of digested foods) throughout the body. This
nourishes and builds the body tissues. When any
or all of the doßhas develop imbalance, the body
ceases to be nourished, and disease develops.
The three doßhas (Váyu, Pitta, Kapha) exist
throughout the entire body, in every cell, yet are
predominant (their sites of origin) in the colon,
small intestine, and stomach, respectively. Some
authorities say that Váyu primarily resides below
the navel, Pitta from the navel to the heart, and
Kapha, above the heart.
Váyu is also found in (governing) the waist,
thighs, ear, bones, and skin. Pitta also governs the
navel, sweat, lymph, blood, eye, and skin. Kapha
additionally controls the chest, throat, head, bone
joints, small intestine, plasma, fat, nose, and
Properties of the Three Doßhas
Váyu: Dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, moving
Pitta: Slightly oily, hot, light, odorous, liquid
Kapha: Oily, cold, heavy, slow, smooth, slimy,
Each of the three doßhas has five
divisions or responsibilities.
5 Váyus
Each of the five Váyus is responsible for various
physical and mental functions of the cerebralspinal
and sympathetic nerves.
Práò is located in the head and governs the
chest, throat, mind, heart, sense organs, intelligence,
expectorating, sneezing, belching, inspiration,
and swallowing of food—outward movement.
Udán resides in the chest and controls the nose,
navel, and throat, and is responsible for initiating
speech, effort, enthusiasm, the capacity to work,
complexion, and memory—upward movement.
Vyán is found in the heart and rapidly moves
throughout the body. It regulates all body movements,
including walking, raising and lowering of
the body parts, and opening and closing the eyes.
Samán is located near the digestive fire. It works
in the alimentary tract (absorbing nutrients and
excreting wastes), and other abdominal organs. It
holds food in the alimentary tract, helps digest it,
separates nutrients from waste, and eliminates the
waste—equalized movement.
Apán is seated in the colon, and controls the
waist, bladder, genitals, and thighs. Its main function
is downward movement of wastes (feces,
urine), reproductive fluid, menstrual fluid, and it
also controls the downward movement of the fetus.

5 Pittas
Pachaka exists in the small intestine, stomach,
and colon as non-liquid heat, bile, or digestive fire.
The fire digests and transforms food, emulsifying
food fats and separating absorbable nutrients from
waste, so they may be passed to lacteals by absorption.
[Food becoming partially digested in the
stomach is known as chyme. This chyme passes
into the small intestine where it becomes digested
by the pancreatic juice and bile. The usable byproduct
is lymph and fatty matter, or chyle. The
chyle moves through lacteals, or lymphatic vessels
which carry chyle from the small intestine to
the thoracic duct. From the thoracic duct, the chyle
is sent into the blood.] Pachaka (digestive enzymes),
through digestion, automatically nourishes
the other four Pittas.
Ranjaka is located in the stomach, liver, and
spleen, and gives color to lymph chyle when it is
transformed into blood as it passes through the liver
and spleen.
Sadhaka is found in the heart. It helps in performing
mental functions such as knowledge, intelligence,
and consciousness by maintaining
rhythmic cardiac contractions.
Alochaka resides in the retina of the eyes and
governs sight.
Bhrajaka resides in the skin. It regulates complexion
by keeping secretions from the sweat and
sebaceous glands of the skin active.
5 Kaphas
Avalambaka is found in the chest and creates
cohesion, softness, moistness, and liquidity, which
result in maintaining body strength.
Kledaka is in the stomach, liquefying hard food
Bodhaka is found in the tongue and is responsible
for taste.
Tarpaka exists in the head and nourishes the
sense organs.
Shleßhaka is located in the bone joints and lubricates
People who are predominantly an air (Váyu)
prak^iti will have different experiences depending
on whether their doßha is balanced or in excess.
Balanced Váyu-prak^iti individuals will be adaptable,
cheerful, have natural healing tendencies, be
thin-framed, and very tall or very short. If there is
excess Váyu in their bodies, they may be very thin,
have dry skin, gas, constipation, bone problems,
or arthritis. They may talk very fast or become easily
tired. Mentally, they may quickly grasp concepts
but soon forget them; be anxious, worried,
fearful, or nervous.
Pitta-dominant individuals, when healthy and
balanced, will be warm, and have clear, penetrating
thoughts. They will tend to be leaders and/or
athletic. They will be of moderate, muscular build,
and will be passionate. When they overheat, they
may find themselves impatient, hot-tempered, or
too critical. Physically, they will develop heat-related
problems like ulcers, infections, rashes or
acne, eye problems, or high blood pressure.
The Kapha-paramount individuals, when balanced,
are loyal and calm. Physically, they are big
boned and strong, with deep-toned voices. When
Kapha is excessive, they tend toward water excesses
like water retention, being overweight, or
having bronchitis. Mentally, they will find themselves
lethargic, too attached, and sentimental.
As we discussed earlier, each person is made
up of a combination of these elements, yet each
usually has a combination predominantly of two
or all three of these elements. These elements in
turn, form three physiological principles, Váyu
(ether and air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water and
earth). Like the elements, people are predominantly
made up of one or more or these doßhas.
People fall into seven prak^iti categories:
1. Váyu 5. Pitta/Kapha
2. Pitta 6. Kapha/Váyu
3. Kapha 7. Tridoßhic (equal amounts).
4. Váyu/Pitta (combination)
These constitutions may be further subdivided,
8, 9. Váyu/Pitta (with Váyu or Pitta being predominant)

10, 11. Váyu/Kapha (with Váyu or Kapha being
12, 13. Pitta/Kapha (with Pitta or Kapha being predominant)
14-19. Tridoßhic (six additional constitutions, with
one or two doßhas being more predominant: e.g.,
Váyu predominance, Pitta and Kapha predominance,
Three external reasons cause doßhas to become
increased (imbalanced):
1. Time of day or season (e.g., around noontime
is ruled by Pitta; Fall is predominantly a Váyu
2. From inadequate, excessive or untimely sensory
experiences (e.g., excessive loud music, overeating)
3. Actions (e.g., excessive speaking, inadequate
exercise, etc.)
Agnis: Digestive Fire (Enzymes)
Most diseases are due to poor digestion. Agni
(enzyme) is found in the alimentary canal and digests
food. The normal digestion of the three
doßhas produces Samágni. Digestive activity
(healthy, deficient or excessive) is governed by the
doßhas becoming aggravated. The three doßhas
produce three agnis (vißhamágni, tíkßhnágni and
mandágni respectively). Excess Váyu in the body
produces weak, irregular digestion, and causes gas.
Excess Pitta creates a situation like an overheated
furnace. Food burns up quickly, and persons
experience burning sensations, thirst, acid
indigestion, etc. In some cases the agni fire even
burns up nutrients, causing malnutrition.
When excess Kapha is in the digestive tract, the
digestive fire is low, making it difficult to digest
any foods. As a result, a person feels dull, poor,
inadequate, and lethargic; the stomach is heavy, or
the person may experience constipation. Váyu disorders
produce hard stools from the dryness caused
by gas. Pitta stools are soft or liquid due to excess
heat. Kapha stools are moderate. A healthy stool
is also moderate and easily eliminated once or
twice a day.
Thirteen agnis reside in the body and are responsible
for digestion,
Jatharagni: Works at the gastrointestinal level,
governing basic digestion and the 12 other agnis.
5 Bhutagnis: Metabolize the five elements that
are present in the body’s tissues. They are a form
of heat that is always present in all the tissues that
are responsible for proper function and development
of the tissues.
7 Dhatagnis: Metabolize in the seven tissues
(dhátus). This is a biochemical process beyond
food digestion. It includes anabolic and catabolic
Body Tissues and Wastes
(The 7 Dhátus and 3 Malas)
Tissue Layers (Dhátus)
The Áyurvedic view of the body has many similarities
to modern beliefs. Seven tissue systems
(dhátus) are in the body. Each tissue is primarily
governed by one of the three elements. Each dhátu
is developed or transformed out of the previous
tissue layer, starting with rasa (plasma). If plasma
is not healthy, then all the other layers will also be
affecteTdi.ssue Layer
1. Plasma (rasa) Kapha/water
2. Blood (rakta) Pitta/fire
3. Muscle (máåsa) Kapha/water
4. Fat (medas) Kapha/water
5. Bone (asthi) Váyu/air
6. Nerves -fluid/
marrow (majjá) Kapha/water
7. Reproductive
tissues (¤hukra) Kapha/water

With insight into the governing doßha, the cause
of a diseased dhátu is accurately determined. For
example, if a person has cancer in the blood, we
know that excess Pitta (heat, toxins) exists in the
blood. If a person has osteoporosis, then too much
Váyu is in the bones. Muscular Dystrophy would
be an example of a muscular or Kapha problem.
Once the elemental cause of the illness is
known, therapies are used to balance the system
through reducing the excess elements(s) and increasing
the deficient one(s). Therapies include the
use of herbs, foods, and lifestyle variations.
Signs and Symptoms of
Vitiated Tissues (Dhátus)
Body Wastes (Malas)
Another important factor in health is the proper
elimination of waste: feces, urine, and sweat (miscellaneous
waste includes tears (eye), spit (tongue),
oily secretions (skin), mucoid secretions (mucus
membrane), and smegma (genitalia excreta). Malas
(bodily wastes) help maintain the functioning of
our organs.
Feces (puríßha) provide support and tone, as
well as maintaining the temperature of the colon.
Improper functioning can lead to Váyu illness like
worry, fear, ungroundedness, nervousness, headaches,
gas, distention, and constipation. Functioning
of the feces is damaged by excessive use of
purgatives, colonics, worry, and fear (fear can both
create improper functioning or be a by-product of
this dysfunction). It is also damaged by excessive
travel, the wrong foods (such as “junk food,” or
those foods that are too light or too heavy), oversleeping,
coffee, drugs, antibiotics, insufficient
exercise, and prolonged diarrhea. In Áyurvedic literature
it has been clearly stated that debilitated
persons suffering from tuberculosis should not be
given any kind of purgatives, as it is the feces that
preserve the temperature of such persons.
Urine (mútra) expels water and other solid
wastes from the body. Poor urine elimination results
in bladder pain or infection, difficult urination,
fever, thirst, dry mouth, or dehydration. Diuretic
drugs, alcohol, excessive sex, trauma, fright,
or too few liquids damage it.
Sweat (sweda) controls the body temperature
by way of expelling excess water and toxins, cools
the body, moistens the skin and hair, carried excess
fat from the body, and purifies the blood. Excess
sweating can cause skin diseases (usually Pitta
related) like eczema, boils, fungus, burning skin,
dehydration, fatigue, or convulsions (Váyucaused).
Deficient sweating can result in stiff hair,
skin fissures, dry skin, dandruff, wrinkles, or susceptibility
to colds and flu (i.e., peripheral circulation).
Too much dry food, lack of salt, excess or
deficient exercise, and excessive use of diaphoretic
herbs or excess sweating damage the sweating
Life Sap (Ojas)
Ojas (the life sap) is the essence of all the tissues
(dhátus). It pervades every part of the body.
Tissues (Dhátus) Signs & Symptoms
Plasma (rasa)
restlessness, palpitation,
cardiac pain, exhaustion
without cause, irritated by
loud noises
Blood (rakta)
roughness, dryness, skin
cracks, loss of luster
Muscle (máåsa)
emaciation (especially of
buttocks, neck, and
Fat (medas)
cracking joints, eye
lassitude, overly thin,
Bone (asthi) falling hair, nails, teeth;
loose joints
Marrow (majjá)
thinness, weakness, bone
lightness, Váyu bone
essence (¤hukra)
weakness, dry mouth,
pallor, lassitude, exertion,
impotence, non-ejaculation
of semen

(Some authorities believe ojas is a combination of
eight different drops (aßhtabindu) of liquid, secreted
from the pineal gland.) Excessive sex, drugs,
talking, loud music, insufficient rest or burnout,
and high technology deplete Ojas. Signs of diminished
ojas are fear, worry, sensory organ pain, poor
complexion, cheerlessness, roughness, emaciation,
immune system disorders, and easily contracting
Tastes (Rasas)
Áyurveda says there is a total of six tastes. Each
taste is governed by a doßha. These tastes may either
aggravate or pacify the doßhas, dhátus, and
Tastes provide varying degrees of nourishing
strength. Sweet taste is the most nourishing, and
as each taste becomes less nourishing, it becomes
more bitter, until it is astringent—and the least
This is also the order of tastes that get digested
(so eating sweets first is better, and astringent foods
last). Some authorities state that if one were to eat
sweets last, the body would digest this taste first,
letting the other tastes pass undigested through the
system. By the time the sweets are digested, the
other foods have passed through the system without
being digested. Other authorities believe that a
little sweet taste at the end of the meal stimulates
Every substance, including some foods, may
have more than one taste (i.e., primary and secondary
tastes). Substances alleviate doßhas, aggravate
doßhas, or maintain health. When health is at
least slightly in balance, persons are advised to have
a little of each taste daily.

Ayurveda introduction

The knowledge of Áyurveda was handed down from Brahmá to Daksha Prajápati, onto the
Ashwin twins (the divine doctors), then passed to Indra. Sage Bharadvája volunteered to go to heaven to receive this wisdom from Indra, and so became the first human to receive the knowledge of Áyurveda. He passed it to Punarvasu Átreya,and finally Agnivesha.
Overview of Áyurveda
Ayurveda, the “science of life,” or longevity,is the holistic alternative science from India,
and is more than 5,000 years old. It is the oldest healing science in existence,
forming the foundation of all others. The First World Medicine
Áyurveda is the most holistic or comprehensive medical system available. Before the
arrival of writing, the ancient wisdom of healing,prevention, and longevity was a part of the spiritual tradition of a universal religion. Healers gathered
from the world over, bringing their medical knowledge to India.
Áyurveda was passed down from God to his angels,and finally to humans.
The methods used to find this knowledge of
herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras,
lifestyle, and surgery are fascinating and varied.
The sage, physicians/surgeons of the time were the
same sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people,
who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life.
It is said that they received their training of
Áyurveda through direct cognition during meditation.
That is, the knowledge of the use of the various
methods of healing, prevention, longevity, and
surgery came through Divine revelation; guessing
or animal testing was unnecessary. These revelations
were transcribed from oral tradition into written
form, interspersed with aspects of mortal life
and spirituality.
Originally four main books of Vedic spirituality
existed. Topics included health, astrology, spiritual
business, government, military, poetry, and
ethical living. These are known as the Vedas: Rik,
Sama, Yajur, and Atharva. Áyurveda was used
along with Vedic astrology (called Jyotishm, that is,
one’s “inner light”). Eventually, Áyurveda was
organized into its own compact system of health
and considered a branch(upaveda) of Atharva Veda. This
upaveda/branch dealt with the healing aspects of
spirituality; although, it did not directly treat spiritual
development. Passages related to Áyurveda
from the various Vedas were combined into separate
books dealing only with Áyurveda. Among
the Rig Veda’s 10,572 hymns are discussions of
the three constitutions (doshas): air (Váyu), fire
(Pitta), and water (Kapha). Topics comprised organ
transplants, artificial limbs, and the use of herbs
to heal diseases of the mind and body and to foster
longevity. Within the Atharva Veda’s 5,977 hymns
are discussions of anatomy, physiology, and surgery.
There were two schools of Áyurveda at the time
of Átreya, the school of physicians and the school
of surgeons. These two schools transformed
Áyurveda into a scientifically verifiable and classifiable
medical system. Through research and testing,
they dispelled the doubts of the more practical
and scientific minded, removing the aura of
mystery that surrounded Divine

revelation. Consequently, Áyurveda grew in respect
and became a widely used system of healing in
India. People from many countries came to Indian
Áyurvedic schools to learn about this medicine in
its entirety. Chinese, Tibetans, Greeks, Romans,
Egyptians, Afghanis, Persians, and others traveled
to absorb the wisdom and bring it back to their
own countries. India’s Silk Road, an established
trade route between Asia (China, Tibet, etc.), the
Middle East (Afghanistan, Persia, etc.), and Europe
(Rome, Greece, etc.), provided a link between
cultures. On this route travelers first discovered
Charak and Sushrut are two reorganizers of
Áyurveda whose works are still extant. The third
major treatise is called the Ashtanga hridayam, a
concise version of the works of Charak and
Sushruta. Thus, the three main ancient Áyurvedic
texts still in use are the Charak Saåhitá (compilation),
Susrutha samhitha, and the Ashtanga hridayam
. These books are believed to be over
1,200 years old and contain the original and complete
knowledge of this Áyurvedic world medicine.
Consequently, Áyurveda is the only complete
ancient medical system in existence.
Charak represents the Átreya school of physicians,
discussing physiology, anatomy, etiology,
pathogenesis, symptoms and signs of disease,
methodology of diagnosis, treatment and prescription
for patients, prevention, and longevity. Internal
and external causes of illness are also considered.
Charak maintains that the first cause of illness
is the loss of faith in the Divine. In other words,
when people do not recognize that God dwells
within all things, including themselves, this separation
of vision creates a gap. This gap causes a
longing or suffering for oneness of vision. This
suffering then manifests itself as the beginning of
spiritual, mental, and physical disease. External
influences on health include time of day, the seasons,
diet, and lifestyle. An entire section is devoted
to discussions of the medicinal aspects of
herbs, diet, and reversal of aging.
Sushruta comes from the Dhanvantari school
of surgeons. This text
presents sophisticated accounts of surgical equipment,
classification of abscesses, burns, fractures,
and wounds, amputation, plastic surgery, and anal/
rectal surgery. Human anatomy is described in
great detail, including descriptions of the bones,
joints, nerves, heart, blood vessels, circulatory system,
etc., again, corroborated by today’s methods
of mechanical investigation. From the Sushruta samhitha,
the first science of massage is described
using marma points or vital body points, later
adapted into Chinese acupuncture.
Eight Branches of Áyurveda
The ancient Áyurvedic system was astoundingly
complete. In the colleges of ancient India,
students could choose a specialty from eight
branches of medicine.
1. Internal Medicine (Káyachikitsá).
This is related to the soul, mind, and
body. Psychosomatic theory recognizes
that the mind can create illness in the body
and vice versa. The seven body constitutions and
seven mental constitutions were delineated here:
Vaatha, Pitta , Kapha ,
Vaatha/Pitta, Vaatha/Kapha, Pitta/ Kapha, and a combination
of all three (tridosha). Although finding
the cause of an illness is still a mystery to modern
science, it was the main goal of Áyurveda. Six
stages of the development of disease were known,
including aggravation, accumulation, overflow,
relocation, a buildup in a new site, and manifestation
into a recognizable disease. Modern equipment
and diagnosis can only detect a disease during
the fifth and sixth stages of illness. Áyurvedic
physicians can recognize an illness in the making
before it creates more serious imbalance in the
body. Health is seen as a balance of the biological
humors, whereas disease is an imbalance of the
humors. Áyurveda creates balance by supplying
deficient humors and reducing the excess ones.
Surgery is seen as a last resort. Modern medicine
is just beginning to realize the need to supply rather
than to remove, but still does not know how or what
to supply.
Additionally, there are over 2,000 medicinal
plants classified in India’s materia medica. A
unique therapy, known as pañcha karma (five actions),
completely removes toxins from the body.
This method reverses the disease path from its
manifestation stage, back into the blood stream,
and eventually into the gastrointestinal tract (the
original site of the disease). It is achieved through
special diets, oil massage, and steam therapy. At
the completion of these therapies, special forms
of emesis, purgation, and enema remove excesses
from their sites of origin. Finally, Áyurveda rejuvenates–
rebuilding the body’s cells and tissues after
toxins are removed.
2. Ears, Nose, and Throat
(Shálákya Tantra
Sushruta reveals 76 eye
diseases, surgical procedures for all eye disorders
(e.g., cataracts, eyelid diseases), and for diseases
of the ears, nose, and throat.
3. Toxicology
(Vishagara-vairodh Tantra
Topics include air and water pollution, toxins
in animals, minerals, vegetables, and epidemics;
as well as keys for recognizing these anomalies
and their antidotes.
4. Pediatrics (Kaumára bhrithya).
In this branch prenatal and postnatal care
of the baby and mother are discussed. Topics
include methods of conception; choosing the
child’s gender, intelligence, and constitution; and
childhood diseases and midwifery.
5. Surgery (Shalyá Tantra). More
than 2,000 years ago, sophisticated
methods of surgery were known. This
information spread to Egypt, Greece, Rome, and
eventually throughout the world. In China, treatment
of intestinal obstructions, bladder stones, and
the use of dead bodies for dissection and learning
were taught and practiced.
6. Psychiatry (Bhúta Vidyá). A whole
branch of Áyurveda specifically deals
with diseases of the mind (including demonic
possession). Besides herbs and diet, yogic
therapies (breathing, mantras, etc.) are employed.
7. Aphrodisiacs (Vájikarana). This section
deals with two aspects: infertility (for
those hoping to conceive) and spiritual development
(for those eager to transmute sexual energy
into spiritual energy).
8. Rejuvenation (Rasáyana).
Prevention and longevity are discussed
in this branch of Áyurveda. Charak says
that in order to develop longevity, ethics and virtuous
living must be embraced.

Spiritual Áyurveda
We have discussed Áyurveda,
the “science of life” as the original
world medicine. Yet Áyurveda is more than this; it
is a spiritual science. This is the most important
aspect of Áyurveda.
Around 1500 B.C. the book, the Charaka
Samhitá discussed these spiritual principles. It said
that even if Áyurvedic doctors had a complete
knowledge of Áyurveda but could not reach the
inner Self or soul of the patient, they would not be
effective healers. Furthermore, if the practitioner
were more concerned with fame and fortune, and
not with spiritual development (Self-Realization),
they would not be effective healers.
To understand the spiritual nature of Áyurveda,
we must know something about the Vedic roots of
philosophy, spirituality, and universal religion.
According to the ancient Vedic scriptures of India
there is a goal to life. We are not simply born, to
live, and then to die without some meaning or purpose.
Albert Einstein reflected this idea when he
said God does not play dice with the universe. Order
and reason exist in life. According to Vedic
philosophy life is Divine and the goal of life is to
realize our inner Divine nature. Áyurvedically
speaking the more a person realizes their Divine
nature the healthier they are. Thus it is the respon
sibility of the Áyurvedic doctor to inspire or help
awaken the patients to their own inner Divine nature.
Positive thinking or love is the best medicine.
When patients are taught they have this Divinity
within themselves, they feel a connection to life
and God (however each patient defines God). For
atheists, we speak of the greater mystical power,
which is synonymous to God. This connection allows
patients to feel they have a handle on life and
an ability to develop their own inner nature. After
this, secondary therapies of herbs, diet, meditation,
etc. are offered.
Even modern medical doctors are finding a link
between their healthy patients and the patient’s
degree of spiritual faith. Spirituality changes the
definition of health, giving it an added dimension.
Two types of health can now be seen diagnosed
health and true health. Often when a patient is diagnosed
as healthy, they still may not feel healthy
or alive. This is due to psychosomatic conditions
where a troubled mind affects the health of the
body. The deepest level of mental agitation is the
longing for a deeper spiritual connection.
Áyurveda suggests true health is based on the
healthy functioning of four areas of life; physical/
mental health, career or life purpose, spiritual relationships,
and spirituality. First one needs to be
physically and mentally able to do work and play.
Then persons need to work to support themselves
and afford a social life. Work however is defined
as making a living doing something meaningful
or purposeful. To do this type of work one needs
to use their innate or God-given talents; they need
to work at something they love to do. It is this love
that cultures spirituality.
All too often we find people working at jobs
that they dislike. Often people are forced into a
“practical” career by parents or societal beliefs.
Other persons lack the self-worth and confidence
to challenge themselves to find and live their
dreams. Working in meaningless, unfulfilling jobs
can create mental and physical disorders.
The most extreme example of illness caused by
lack of purpose is cancer. Áyurveda considers cancer
an emotionally caused disease. By not having
a purpose in life (i.e., suppressing life) people create
life within their body—cancer. When seriously
ill people discuss what they would love to do (instead
of what they are told to do) life returns to
their eyes. As they begin to follow up on these
ideas, some remarkable recoveries are seen. Purposeful
career is then an aspect of this new definition
of health.
The third realm of health is spiritual relationships.
When persons are healthy and purposefully
working, they can now begin to truly enjoy their
social life. These days we have become acutely
aware of the emotional and physical abuses that
exist in many people’s relationships. Co-dependency
and enabling are often used terms to describe
relationship diseases. From the spiritual standpoint
if one is dependent on anything other than God,
co-dependency exists. People look for something
lasting or permanent; only God is eternal and everlasting.
Spiritual development directs one to focus
inwardly to discover their eternal nature instead
of the ever-changing outer realm of life. For
relationships to be healthy all people must continue
to develop their individual inner spiritual
lives. Then they are able to share their growing
spiritual fullness with their spouse and others.
Too often individuals are attracted to one another
because they see a quality that they think they
do not have. In reality each person has all the human
qualities within themselves because inner eternal
Divinity, by definition, contains everything.
Further, if one can see a quality in another they
must have it within themselves in order to recognize
it. When the main focus in people’s lives is
the Divine, then troubles that seemed like mountains
are seen as molehills. Thus the third dimension
of health involves healthy spiritual relationships.
Once people are sound in body and mind, work in
a purposeful career and have fulfilling spiritual
relationships, life develops a state of grace. People
then become eager to devote more time to spiritual
development, the final dimension of health.
Personal spiritual development is seen on many
levels. The body becomes more relaxed, the mind
more calm and alert; and one becomes more personable
in relationships. Yet the most profound
developments take place inwardly; Divinity grows
within. Gradually one also begins to see the Divinity
in others and all of life.
This is the multi-dimensional definition of
health according to Áyurveda. Life is composed
of many elements; it is not seen as independent
parts. If one aspect of life becomes imbalanced all
the other aspects are affected. Rather than merely
treating a symptom, Áyurveda looks to the root
cause or underlying reasons of illness. The body
may be sick because of mental or career stress.
Rather than instruct the patient to merely take a
drug or an herb to heal the physical condition, the
practitioner of Áyurvedic medicine looks to restore
balance within the patient (e.g., calming the mind
or finding a more purposeful job). The deepest root
level is spiritual development. Thus, all four areas
of life must be cultivated; mind/body, career, spiritual
relationships, and inner spiritual development.

Self-Healing & Self-Realization
The main theme of Áyurveda is that people can
adequately educate themselves to take control of
their own health. This is achieved by monitoring
and balancing one’s nutritional and lifestyle habits
to heal, prevent illness, and develop longevity.
Áyurveda teaches that people are their own best
healers. One’s intuition is better at discerning subtle
health imbalances than relying on another person.
All that is needed is some basic guidelines offered
by the Áyurvedic practitioner.
The ability to take control of one’s health inspires
self-worth and self-empowerment. Faith in
one’s intuitive abilities is further engendered when
persons actually see the positive results from their
efforts. Realizing one has the ability to take control
of one’s own health is itself a key factor in
Self-reliance is also the most important component
in spiritual development. Individuals can
learn to rely on their own intuition [along with
guidelines laid out by one’s spiritual mentor or guru
and from the scriptures]. As one begins to see positive
results developing in their spiritual life, doubts
begin to vanish: clarity, confidence, and mental
peace begin to dawn.
The mental peace of Self-Realization is said to
be the true state of life because it is eternal, nonchanging.
Vedic çhastras (scriptures) speak of the
three legs of truth; what the scriptures say, what
the guru or spiritual guide says, and what one experiences
for oneself. Only when all three sources
are found to be saying the same thing is something
accepted as truth. But it is personal experience that
must also be known; it is not enough to follow
something dogmatically with blind faith.
Doubts are mental agitation. When doubts are
dispelled the mind gains a state of peace. In Self-
Realization one knows truth in its eternal nature;
they cannot be swayed or agitated. The first step
towards Self-Realization is developing the
ability to not be swayed by others if you experience
things differently. The American poet
Thoreau, after reading the Vedic scriptures,
expressed it this way:
If a man cannot keep pace with his
perhaps it is because he hears the beat
of a different drummer.
Let him step to the beat he hears,
no matter how measured or far away.
The Áyurvedic practitioner instills this
philosophy in the patient, who then experiences
and respects inner intuition and Divinity. When
patients see that the practitioner believes they have
such Divine qualities, they usually respond in kind.
A psychological study highlights the value of
expectation. Two teachers were given classes of
students with average abilities. One teacher was
told their class was above average while the other
teacher was told they had an average class. The
first teacher went to class expecting exceptional
work from the students and treated them accordingly.
The other teacher just taught the average
curriculum. The supposed above average class performed
above average. Thus, when the Áyurvedic
practitioner treats patients with respect, recognizing
their inner intuitive abilities, the patients automatically
develop a greater sense of self-worth and
faith that they can take control of their health.
As self-worth develops, people are not as easily
swayed by peer pressure, whether pressed to
take drugs or lead an unethical life. Low self-esteem
causes people to abuse themselves. Having
someone recognize one’s inner Divinity and selfhealing
abilities develops confidence. Experiencing
positive results from self-healing and spiritual
development further generates confidence, health,
mental peace, and Divinity.


Pathological features
Contain PMNs/macrophages, lymphocytes (live and dead), bacteria (dead and viable), and liquefied tissue substances.
May lead to rupture (‘pointing’), discharge into another organ (fistula formation), or opening onto an epithelial surface (sinus) ( p.151).
Incomplete treatment due to resistant organisms (myocbacteria) or poor treatment may lead to a chronic abscess.
Complete elimination of the organisms in a chronic abscess without drainage can lead to a ‘sterile’ abscess (‘anti-bioma’).
Typical causes
Suppuration of tissue infection (e.g. renal abscess from pyelonephritis).
Contained infected collections (e.g. subphrenic abscesses).
Haematogenous spread during bacteraemias (e.g. cerebral abscesses).
Deep abscesses are characterized by swinging fever, rigors, high WCC, and i CRP. Untreated they lead to catabolism, weight loss, and a falling serum albumin. Ultrasound, CT, MRI, or isotope studies may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis
Drain the pus e.g. incision & drainage (perianal abscess), radiologically guided drain (renal abscess), closed surgical drainage (chest empyema), or surgical drainage and debridement (intra-abdominal abscess).
IV antibiotics (course may be prolonged).



Asthma is characterized by the inflammation of the bronchial airways leading to increased mucus production. In the preliminary stage of asthma the patient may complain of indigestion,constipation and tightness in the chest. The result factor of this condition includes episodes of sneezing, coughing and wheezing, indicating the attempt of the body to remove the congested phlegm that has blocked the respiratory passages from the nose to the lungs.
Studies conducted over the years has shown that the lipid preparation from various plants containing sterols and sterolins have positive anti-inflammatory activity.
The antioxidant properties of these plants have also demonstrated to have an enhancing effect on the immune system.
Ayurvedic medical science dates back to more than 5,000 years. Bronchial asthma is described in the ancient writing on ayurveda as early 7th AD. The works of Caraka, Susruta and Vagbatha senior refer to this condition as ‘Tamaka Shvasa’.’Tama’ meaning darkness and ‘Shvasa as breath,hence ‘Tamaka Shvasa’ meaning disorder of the breath that occurs at night.Allegororically, this term also indicates that the disease comes in episodes.
Ayurveda defines the root causes of asthma and its contributing as follows:
Susruta an ayurvedic physician has stated that bronchial asthma is influenced by the following factors.
1.Adi-bala-pravritta:- Defect in the spermatozoon or the ovum of the respective parents (Genetic inheritance)
2. Dosha-bala-pravritta:- That which is originated due to improper diet, unhealthy habits,those which originates from the stomach or intestines.
3. Kala-bala-pravritta:- This is a seasonal type, produced by the variation in the atmospheric temperature or humidity.
4. Daiya-bala-parvritta:- This is a providential type. Brought about by malignant influence such as infection, allergens and emotional stress.
5. Swabhava-bala-pravritta:- The natural type that which comes with old age. Bronchial asthma is therefore caused by genetic factor, improper digestion and diet, environmental stress in the form of allergens and weather changes.
Ayurveda stresses that the above trigger factors can change the normal physiology thereby leading or worsening the asthmatic symptoms.
Further ayurveda extols that improper food and nutrients as a major trigger mechanism. Due to this reason ayurveda has greatly emphasized on diet restrictions.
Susruta is of the opinion that these improper diets can increase the production of Kapha.This terminology “Kapha” corresponds to the basic plasma of the body and is primarily a water constituent produced in the stomach and later distributed by the lungs and heart.
An over production of this constituent and its accumulation in the tissues can eventually lead to many chronic types of hypersensitive and allergic reactions in the physiology. The later is carried through the channels and directly into the chest and the lungs.This collections in the airways causes an imbalance whereby causing inflammations to irritate the lining of the lungs.
Ayurvedic science explains that this Avlambak Kapha that which predominates in the chest becomes a trigger element for an asthmatic attack. The toxin and impurities produced from this condition, causing great distress to the epithelium becomes another trigger in the causative factor
of asthma.
Medically we know today that the epithelium produces certain chemicals that will help to inhibit bronchoconstriction. This natural inhibitory effect is lost when there is an imbalance in the lungs.
Ayurvedic Approach To Treating And Managing Asthma.
Bronchial asthma has to be managed differently in the acute and chronic phase. In the acute phase, the goal of the treatment is to relieve the distress in breathing. In the later phase, step are to be taken to eradicate the disease.
Clinically, two types of patients are seen to present with bronchial asthma. One category of patients are strong and the other weak. The treatment protocol has to be decided depending on the type of the patient.
Treatment of bronchial asthma may be summarized as follows:
A mixture of medicated oil mixed with salt is applied on the chest and the back of the patient followed by hot fomentation. This procedure liquefies the phlegm and makes it removable.
Ideally, mild emesis is to be induced following the fomentation and thereafter purgatives are to be administered systematically. In weak patients, emesis may be avoided and only a mild purgation introduced.
Laxatives can reduce the intra-abdominal pressure and ease breathing. It can also help remove the mucus in the external passages that has been mobilized by fomentation.Nasal drops are prescribed to clear the nasal blockages. Pinasam in ayurveda as what we term as sinusitis is a trigger mechanism in asthma. Study has proven that 79 percent of individuals with asthma also demonstrated chronic rhino sinusitis.
Thereafter herbal medications in the form of decoctions are administered. To ease breathing,medicated powders mixed with honey is advised.
Electuaries are prescribed to scrape the residual mucus in the respiratory tract. This will also greatly reduce the inflammation in the airways.
In the final stage, medicines that help nourish the tissues are administered. This medications have the property to strengthen the lungs and improve the resistance of the respiratory system.
A rejuvenation program with specific medications are helpful in fully balancing the total system in order to raise the level of the body’s immune system that has been subjected to the constant attack of kapha. During this period, the patient is kept on a strict dietary and behavioral regulations.
Herbs Used In The Management Of Asthma.
Piper Longum: It is significantly used to build up resistance against respiratory tract constriction and inflammation. It is known to enhance themogenic response. Taken over a period of time it builds a strong immunity against allergy.
Adhatoda Vasica: One of the frequently used herb for all chest diseases. It has been used in the management of allergic disorders and bronchial asthma. Research studies over the years has revealed that the alkaloids present in the leaves, vasicine and vasicinine, possess a powerful respiratory stimulant activity.
Thylophora Asthmatica: Alkaloids from this plant have been isolated and identified as tylophorine and tylophorinine. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and as expectorant. Tylopora may have a direct effect on the adrenal glands, thus increasing endogenous steroid production and anti-inflammatory activity.
Terminalia Chebula or Gall Nut: It is mainly used as a rejuvenative, laxative and as a expectorant. Alkaloids from this fruit contains chebulic and chebulinic and acts as an anthelminic.
These illustrated herbs are only part of the many herbs that are being used in the treatment of bronchial asthma. These herbs contain many compounds and they have multiple therapeutic and synergistic effects, which may include anti-inflammatory actions, bronchodilater effects and expectorant properties.
Asthma as we all know is a worldwide problem of serious concern. Over the years various
researches has offered significant insight into the pathophysiology of bronchial asthma, however
the scope for a permanent cure that could produce a long lasting relief is still an unknown factor.
While modern science that has been struggling to find a cause and a cure , ayurveda may hold the key to help address this medical problem.
Various studies of botanical approaches in treating asthma have yielded subjective improvements.
Amazingly ayurveda has made available a very sophisticated understanding of treating asthma at a time when there was limited scientific understanding.
To date modern research of this medical condition with the support of biochemistry of food has validated various ayurvedic concepts.
Researchers need to study the multiple interventions to obtain a positive representation of the usefulness of ayurvedic medical science in asthma.
The integration of ayurvedic science with modern medicine may be able to produce a meaningful and productive treatment in addressing asthma.

You May Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...