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.

Concepts In Ayurveda

Malas : The Catabolic Products

The catabolic and excretory products are known as  malas in ayurvedia and they are three in number. They help in diagnosis.

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Types of Malas

‘Pureesh’ [Stool]

‘Mootra’ [Urine]

‘Swed’ [Sweat]

Agni : The Digestive Fire

In Ayurveda-Agni means digestive fire. It is very important in Ayurveda. It is instructed by the practitioners of the Ayurveda that Agni [digestive fire]should be maintained of sick persons.

Oaj : Vital power / Vital Force

In Ayurveda Oaj is Bodily strength or otherwise it can be said ‘vital force’.When Oaj is less than the normal limit, as a consiquence it creates unknown fear, constant anxiety, anxiety neurosis, worries, trouble to senses and sensory organs, weakness of the joints, low enthusiasm, etc. When Oaj is higher than the normal limit, it creates more allertiveness, aroused senses, hallucinations, etc.


Balanced & Imbalanced of Doshas

Each of the three doshas have certain quantity, qualities, and functions. The balanced or normal condition of all these doshas are essential for well-being, health, and wellness.hen all of these are balanced, it is called normal or balanced (Dosha Shamya). However, this balanced  or normal state is not stable; it is always changing. The Doshas will become either increased (vriddhi) or decreased (kasaya). Both of these states lead to ill-health or disease. However, increased Doshas may cause problems more frequently than do decreased Doshas. Each dosha has a set of qualities (gunas) associated with it which can increase or decrease in quantity.


Qualities of Vata Dosha

Cold, light, dry, rough, hard, mobile and the ability to penetrate fine particles


Qualities of Pitta Dosha

Hot, sharp, slightly oily, penetrating, liquid, light and can be sour and foul smelling when excessively increased


Qualities of Kapha Dosha

Cool, heavy, dense, stable, oily and slimy 


Types of Imbalances

There are two types of imbalances: Natural and Induced imbalances.

Natural – imbalances

Natural imbalance is due to time and age, which are mild and normally do not cause any problems. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha increase and become predominant during one’s life, during a season and during certain times of day. For example, Vata is predominant in the old age of one’s life, during the fall season and during late afternoon, as well as during the last part of night and the last part of digestion. Pitta is predominant during middle age, during the summer season, at midday, at midnight and during the middle part of digestion. Kapha is predominant during childhood, during the spring season, in late morning, at the first part of evening and during the early part of digestion.

Induced – imbalances

Induced or unnatural imbalances of the Doshas can be induced by such things as: inappropriate diet, inappropriate lifestyle, trauma, viruses, parasites, etc.


Symptoms of Abnormality of Individual Dosha

Following are some of the expected symptoms of deficiency, excess, and aggravation (vitiation) of the individual doshas:


Kapha deficiency: It can cause sensation of dryness or internal burning, feeling of emptiness in the stomach and other cavities of the body, looseness of the joints, thirst, weakness, and insomnia. Kapha excess:It can cause whiteness of complexion, heaviness of limbs, nausea and fullness of the stomach, feeling of coldness, drowsiness, excessive sleep, and looseness of the joints. Kapha vitiation: It can cause aversion to food, inertness of limbs, vomiting, and impaired digestion.


Pitta deficiency: It can cause dullness of complexion and reduced body heat. Pitta excess: It can cause urning sensation of the body, desire for coolness, yellowish coloration (of skin, eyes, feces, urine), insufficient sleep, fainting fits, weakness of sense organs. Pitta vitiation: It can cause eat (fever or hot sensation).


Vata deficiency: It can causelanguor, uneasiness, loss of consciousness. Vata excess: It can causeroughness of the voice, thinness of the body, dark complexion, desire for heat, throbbing sensation, hard stool, insomnia, and weakness. Vata vitiation: It can cause swelling or distention of the abdomen, rumbling sound of the intestines.

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