Tridoshas Maulik Siddhant

According to Ayurveda, all processes of a human body are believed to be governed by a balance of three doshas. Ayurveda’s concept of the Tridoshas is unique to medical science. Dosha is a Sanskrit word, which means “Abnormal”. It is one of the main parts of the Maulik Siddhant (Basic Principles) of Ayurveda. ‘Tridoshas are considered similar to etiological factors responsible to derange normal health condition. The three main doshas (sometimes translated into English as humors) are: Vata (combination of the space and air elements), Pitta (analogous to the fire element), and Kapha (combination of water and earth elements). However there is no equivalent word to translate “Dosha” in the English language, because the concept of Humor is different to the concept of ‘Ayurvedic Tridosha’.

Ayurveda says the body is made up of tissues (dhatus), waste products (malas), and doshas. It is the Tridoshas’ job to assist with the creation of all of the various tissues of the body and to remove any unnecessary waste products from the body. It is also the tridoshas that influence all movements, all transformations, all sensory functions, and many of the other activities in the human body and mind. Whichever dosha appears to dominate a person’s behavior and physique is called his constitution type. Each constitution type has particular strengths and susceptibilities. There is an interesting parallel with the Western concept of athletic (pitta), leptosomic (vata) and pycnic (kapha) constitutional types.

In a person who is physically healthy, the three doshas are present in appropriate proportions, their quality is pure, and their activities are calm and orderly. That person has strong, stable energy, good digestion, flexible joints, clear thinking, calm demeanor, glowing complexion, and is able to sleep well. In a person who is unhealthy, at least one, but almost always two or all three of the doshas are relatively deficient or excessive, their quality has become impure, and their activities disorderly. These latter two aspects, impurity and disruption, are commonly called “vitiation” (the doshas are “vitiated”), meaning corrupted. A term for imbalance of the doshas is tundoskopa: anger of the doshas, capturing the idea that the doshas have an active role in the disease process, not just a passive one of being deficient or excessive in amount.

According to Ayurveda, the site of the existence of Tridosha has been established by keen observers. Charaka, Sushruta and others have determined the locations in the human body where tridosha mainly exist. Bhav Prakasha clearly locates the part of human body where Tridoshas are presents.

Vata exist below the naval and lower part of body.

Pitta exist in between the naval line and epigastrium line.

Kaphha exist in the upper part of the body above from the epigastrium line, including the thoracic cavity, upper limbs and head.

Although the main sites of Tridoshas are as described above, they work with each other in their respective functions to make equality and harmony in the smooth functioning of the body. In Ayurvedic tradition they play a comprehensive role for accurate diagnosis and treatment of the human body.

Ayurveda divides each Dosha by establishing their functions or physiology in five parts/kinds/bheda. This is known physiology or pathophysiology of the main dosha into the dosha-bheda. Ayurveda have its own principles for perceiving the Physiological basis of diseases.

Each of the three main Doshas are further divided into five types known as  dosha-bhed according to their functions allotted in the human body.

The five types of each dosha with their short details are described below:

Types of Vata Dosha

Pran vata:

the vayu existed in Oral Cavity, head, throat, ear, tongue, chest and heart. It helps in deglutition of food and water, swallowing, sneezing, spitting, eructation, respiration etc. It also helps to place properly the vital elements like Pitta, Kapha, Satva, Raj, Tam and Maan. The derangement in pran vata may causes repiratory disorders, pulmonary problems, bronchitis, asthama, coryza, hoarseness, hiccough, tuberculosis and lungs disorders etc.

Apan vata: It is existed in sigmoid colon, rectum [paquaashaya], testicles, scrotum, urinary bladder, vagina, uterus, navel, loins and groins. Functions of this type of vata are the excretion of the stool, urine, semen, menstrual discharges, expulsion of full term baby at proper time. When this type of vata becomes abnormal, it may cause urinary stones; frequent urination; polyuria; difficult, painful & obstructive, burning urination; urinary bladder problems; heamorrhoids; prolapsus of rectum; fistula; constriction of anus; semen related problems; etc.

Saman vata: It is existed in stomach and duodenum. Its function is to help in digestion of food, to maintain the vitality of digestive power and help to isolate the “Ras Dhatu”, stool and urine. It helps to assimilate the food and food contents and finally help to supply the assimilated matter to blood stream and heart.It helps to regulate the process of sweating. The abnormality of this type of vata causes loss of appetite, indigestion, loose stool, etc.

Vyan vata: It is existed in whole body. It helps to carry and transfer Sapta Dhatu (all seven vital elements) to the vital part of human body. The abnormalities of this type of vata may results into, spasmodic effects,neuralgia, aches, inflammation, rigidity, paralysis etc. It can cause fever, diarrhoea, and hemorrhagic conditions in any part of the body.

Udan vata: It is existed at navel, thoracic cavity, and chest. The functions of udan vata are act of speech, act of talking, act of singing, enthusiasm, mental strength. It helps to make body strong, brightens color and texture of skin. The abnormality of udan vata produces diseases of eyes, mouth, nose, ear, larynx, pharynx, and head.

Types Pitta Dosha

Sadhak pitta: It is situated at cardiac region. It supports and develops individual intelligence, natural qualities of human, perception, concentration,memory, behavior etc. The disturbance of sadhak pitta creates fear, anxiety, anger, uncontrolled emotions, maniacal problems, forgetfulness etc.

Pachak pitta: It is situated in between pancreas [pakashay] and stomach [amashay]. It supports to nourish all Seven Dhatus step by step in their established increasing order. Its work is to digest the food, whatever is eaten and churn and converts food in small particals. It maintains the human body temperature and warmth of body etc. Disturbance of it causes chilling sensation and Dhatu Kshaya(loss of dhatus) etc.

Ranjak pitta : It is situated in liver and spleen. Its function is to provide good quality of digestive and assimilative power.

Bharajak pitta : It is situated in the skin. All skin problems are covered by its action. However it is active in whole body.

Lochak pitta : It is situated in the ophthalmic cavity. All ophthalmic problems are covered by lochak pitta. Disturbance of this may cause problems related to vision and ophthalmopathy. etc.


Types of Kaphha Dosha

Kledan kaphha: It is situated in the stomach. It helps to lubricate the joints, and nourishing the vital parts.

Snehan kaphha: It is situated in the head. It nourishes the brain and helps to increase the performance of the intellectual behaviour of the brain like knowledge, excuse, intelligence, memory etc. It also supports the vital functions of senses, nose, eyes, tongue, taste etc.

Shleshman kaphha: It is situated in between two joints or layers. It prevents friction due to the movements of joints by providing lubrication in joints.

Rasan kaphha : It is situated in tongue, taste buds, salivary glands, oral and mouth cavity. It is involved in perceiving the  taste of food.

Avalamban kaphha: It is situated in the thoracic cavity, Problems in the areas of  lungs, heart, neck, thyroid, thymus, pituitary glands, upper extremeties etc. are covered by this type of kaphha.

Diagnosis in Ayurveda

In Modern medicine, diagnosis is the identification of disease once it is appeared. In contrast, diagnosis in Ayurveda implies a moment-to-moment monitoring of the interaction between order (health) and disorder (disease).

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The disease process is a reaction between the bodily humors (doshas) and tissues (dhatus) and is influenced by the environment.

The diagnosis method in Ayurveda is called Astha Sthana Pariksha (Eight-Point Diagnosis). It involves an assessment of the state of the doshas as well as various physical signs . The Astha Sthana Pariksha includes

Nadi pariksha

Pulse diagnosis

Mutra pariksha

Urine examination


Nervous system assessment


Assessment of digestive fire and metabolic secretions


Mucous and mucoid secretions assessment

Mala pariksha

Stool examination

Jihva pariksha

Tongue examination

Sabda pariksh

Examination of body sounds.


Ayurvedic Methods of Treatment 

Ayurvedic treatment attempts to establish a balance among the bodily humors of vata, pitta, and kapha, as well as improve digestion and elimination of ama.

Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners determine a person’s constitutional type before they start treatment. Drugs are prescribed based on the patient’s body type as well as on what disease or disturbance of the doshas they are suffering from. An Ayurvedic physician then considers all aspects that might affect the patient’s health, including their activities, the time of the day, and the season. In other words, patients are looked at as individuals as well as in relation to their environment. Ayurvedic therapy often begins with shodhana (cleansing) in which toxins, emotional or physical, are eliminated or neutralized. Without this first step, the toxins will only be pushed deeper into the tissues.

Shodhana follows shamana (palliative treatment) to reduce the intensity of a disease and balance the disordered doshas. At last , rasayana (rejuvenation therapy) is used to maintain health and reduce the negative effects of disease. Attention to mental nurturing and spiritual healing are important in Ayurveda, and this is collectively known as sattvavajaya

Shaman (palliative treatment) includes Dipana ( kindling the digestive fire), Pachana (burning the toxic waste), Ksud-nigraha (Fasting), Trut-nigraha (Observing thirst), Vyayama (Yoga exercise), Atapa-seva (Sun-bathing),Maruta-seva(Breathing exercise and meditation).



Panchakarma is a high profile process of internally cleaning and purifying the entire human body, as described in Ayurvedic Science. It aims not only to cure the disease but also to prevent the further recurrence of the particular disease. Only healthy men can take this therapy. Children and elderly people are weak. Women by nature don’t require Panchakarma therapy.

There are five steps to complete the process.

Vaman (Emesis)

Vamana is a medicated emesis therapy which removes Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract. This is given to people with high Kapha imbalance. Daily treatment involves loosening and mobilizing the toxins in an effort to finally eliminate them.

Vamana is beneficial in bronchial asthma, chronic allergies, hay fever, vitiligo, psoriasis, hyperacidity, chronic indigestion, nasal congestion, edema, obesity, psychological disorders, and skin disorders.

Virechan (Purgation)

Virechana is medicated purgation therapy which removes Pit ta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder. It completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects. The beneficial effects of  Virechana are in following conditions: chronic fever, diabetes, asthma, skin disorders such as herpes, paraplegia, hemiplegia, joint disorders, digestive disorders, constipation, hyperacidity, vitiligo, psoriasis, headaches, elephantiasis and gynecologicaldisorders.

Basti (Enema)

As per modern understanding basti is enema.Basti (Enema) is considered as the most important step of all Panchakarma treatments since it cleanses the accumulated toxins from all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, through the colon. Basti is also highly beneficial as a rejuvenating treatment. Medicated oil or ghee and an herbal decoction is given as enema to clean the colon and increase the muscle tone. This procedure is usually applied for 8 to 30 days, based on the medical condition of a person.Basti is beneficial in following conditions hemiplegia, paraplegia, colitis, convalescence, cervical spondylosis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, digestive disorders, backache & sciatica, hepatomegaly & splenomegaly, obesity, piles, sexual debility & infertility.  

Navan/Nasya (Nasal Administration)

It is the administration of medicated oil through the nose to cleanse accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. Based on the medical condition of a person, it can be given up to 30 days. Nasya is beneficial in following conditions:

trigeminal neuralgia, Bel’s Palsy, improves memory & eye sight, insomnia, elimination of excess mucus hyper pigmentation in the face, pre-mature graying of hair, clarity to voice, headaches of various origin hemiplegia, loss of smell and taste, frozen shoulder, migraine, stiffness of the neck, nasal allergies , neurological dysfunctions, sinusitis.

Rakta Moksha (Blood Cleansing)

Raktamokshana is procedure to cleanse the blood and is advised only in very rare conditions. It is not advisable during general Panchakarma.

Panchakarma Diet

Panchakarma is ineffective if special detoxification diet is not given along with the treatments.

The panchakarma process is still practiced today, after more than 3000 yrs, without changing the line of treatment. Many Panchakarma centers have opened in large and small cities all over India and Sri Lanka, where specially qualified Ayurvedic practitioners provide the panchakarma treatment. In Sri Lanka and South India, there is still big Ayurvedic Centers exists, Kerala is ahead in Panchakarma Therapy with world class facilities.

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