Tridosha Theory

Tridosha Theory


Relief from pain or agony may be considered as the true object of any medical science. According to Ayurvedic texts, the entire cosmos is constituted of ‘Panchmahabhootas’ (Sky or Ether, Air, Water, Fire & Earth) and when they combine together, three imperceptible functional forces, ‘Vata’ (constituted of Air & Ether), ‘Pitta’ (constituted of Fire) & ‘Kapha’ (constituted of Water & Earth) are created. They form the tripod of the body and are called ‘Tridoshas’ (three ‘doshas’ or blemishes or humors or morbids); the word ‘dosha’ is derived from the root ‘dush’ that means to pollute, vitiate or become impure. The ‘Tridosha’ theory is a further biological application of the ‘Panchmahabhutas’. The human body is the conglomeration of the modification of ‘Panchmahabhutas’, and the living body works properly so long as these are in proper proportion in the body. The ‘tridoshas’ are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the living organisms and govern the entire physical structure & physiological functioning of body.

‘Vata’, the mobile factor of the body, situated below the umbilicus, is said to be responsible for the functions of the nervous system, carrying of blood in circulation, locomotion, respiration, excretion and vitality of human being. ‘Pitta’, the thermogenetic factor of the body, situated between the umbilicus & heart, is contributing to the glandular functions and is responsible for vision, controlling body temperatures, digestion, hunger, thirst & mental faculty. ‘Kapha’, the stationary factor of the body, situated above the region of heart, is responsible for the formation of structure in the body & its biological strength and described as the principle of the maintenance of the smooth working of human physique.

The health or disease of an individual depends upon the state of balancement or imbalancement of the Tridoshas in the body. The three ‘doshas’ which are interacting keep up their balance when the body functions normally while the disturbed conditions of any of the ‘dosha’ produce pathogenic features. When two ‘doshas’ are provoked, ‘Samsarga’ (bi-discordance) takes place and the provoked condition of all the three ‘doshas’, produces ‘Sannipaatam’ (tri-discordance). These stages affect the human constitution and produce clinical symptoms of various diseases that are primarily divided into two viz., ‘Vaishamyam’ (Imbalancement due to increased or decreased state of ‘doshas’) and ‘Doshaprakopam’ (vitiated or provoked conditions of ‘doshas’). These conditions may arise from the faulty, inadequate or over-active situations in terms of time, mind, senses & sense objects. If the existing ‘doshas’, in their provoked conditions coincide with an organ or part which is already impaired or has lost its normal functioning, ‘Vikar’ (disease) takes place. In their normal state, the ‘tridoshas’ are responsible for good health possessed of physical strength, good complexion, happiness, longevity and resistance against disease or decay.

Due to complete abstinence from food, indigestion, over eating, irregular dietary habits, indulgence in incompatible articles of food, excessive consumption of cold substances, ill-effects of Virechana (purgation), Vamana (disgorgation), Snehan (oleation), the wasting of tissues, states induced by faults or changes in place, climate & season, suppression of natural urges, impaired Pachak-pitta (digestive fire), excessive use of dehydrated, over-hydrated or Guru-Madhur-Amal (heavy, sweet & alkaline) food; physical stresses like excessive exercises, swimming etc.; mental stresses like rage, grief & hunger; and due to accumulation of Mala (body’s waste products) — Ama (unassimilated or undigested food juice) is produced & collected in the gastrointestinal tract. This ‘Ama’ associated with vitiated or excited ‘doshas’, gets localised in a particular ‘Dhatu’ (tissue) to disturb the body metabolism and produce several types of endogenous problems. Probably some immunological mechanisms are also involved in this process.