(Reference: Charak Samhita Chapter-6/Shloka-15)
According to this shloka
There are three types of patients: Vataja Prakriti, pittaja Prakriti, and kaphaja Prakriti.
Vataja Purusha have diseases due to Vata dosha, pittaja Purusha have diseases due to Pitta dosha and kaphaja Purusha have diseases due to Kapha Dosha. Diseases caused due to these doshas are more powerful than their Prakriti.
Ayurveda is the “science of life”. It is a system of medicine that utilizes various therapies including yoga, diet and herbal formulations for restoring harmony and balance within the body. Its principles are based on the concept of Tridoshas ie. vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas are nothing but a combination of panchmahabhutas- Prithvi, ap, teja, Vayu, Akasha in several combinations.
These doshas control the physical, mental and emotional functions and determine the state of the soul. These govern the maintenance and destruction of body tissues and eliminate the toxins from the body. The main goal of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy individual. Ahara is the most important pillar and is responsible for the growth and development of the body. In this era of the modern lifestyle in order to improve the quality of life, one should know about his/her Prakriti and diet which is suitable for his body’s constitution.
What is Prakriti?
Prakriti is the innate constitution of an individual which is the expression of the body functions in the form of physiology, morphology, and behavior of an individual. The existence of doshas in dominance in the
Why Should You Know Your Prakriti?
Prakriti plays an important role in the onset or occurrence of disease and its management. By understanding the Prakriti, we know which food and drink and what type of job is appropriate for maintaining our health. If a person knows the Prakriti then herbs, diet and yoga postures can be advised correctly for the treatment of disease and to promote longevity.
What are the types of Prakriti?
According to Ayurveda, there are seven types of Prakriti and the combination of three doshas manifests each individual. These are like:
- Monotypes: (Predominance of vata, pitta, and kapha)
- Dual types: (Vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or vata-kapha)
- Equal types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha in equal quantity)
Very few people have ekadoshaja Prakriti, mostly have dwidoshaja or dwandwaja Prakriti.
Ayurveda and Balanced Diet
Diet according to the doshas predominant in the body:
Human beings do not have the same amount of three doshas due to their different dietary habits or every individual have a different amount of vata, pitta or kapha in the body and this depends upon the foods which the person consumes. A person having a balance of all the three doshas should consume food to maintain a balance of tridoshas.
Diet According to the Manas Dosha Predominance
Every individual has inherent manas Prakriti (mental constitution) which is similar to the bodily Prakriti which decided at the time of conception. There are three basic types of manas guna, satva, raja and tama which is dominating in any individual and depends upon the mental constitution. Food items that contain samanaya guna cause to increase the attribute at a mental level and vishesha guna food items tend to decrease the same attribute.
What is the Relationship Between Rasa and Prakriti?
An individual diet should contain gunas (characteristics) and rasas (taste) which will keep the doshas in a balanced state. The food consumed by the person should contain that rasa in large quantity that is opposite to their innate nature of the doshas that forms his Prakriti.
Taste Preferences According to the three Doshas
Food items contain predominantly one or two of panch mahabhutas. The basic six tastes found in nature are: Madhur (sweet), Amla (sour), lavana (salty), katu (pungent), tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent) and these tastes consists of mahabhutas. In order to balance the particular dosha, a person must be prescribed with the food items of the taste which helps in pacifying the doshas. A person with vataj Prakriti should be advised food items which are sweet, sour and salty in taste and avoid food items which are pungent, bitter and astringent in taste. Pittaja Prakriti individuals should consume foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent in taste and keep pungent, sour and salty food items in minimum quantity. An individual with Kapha predominance should consume food items that are pungent, bitter and astringent in taste and avoid consuming food items which are sweet, sour and salty in taste.
What is the Relationship Between Prakriti and Agni?
Agni of an individual is an imperative factor which should be looked into before advising a diet chart to him. It represents the digestive power and is one of the most important indications of good health. Foods having a greater amount of Teja mahabhuta increase the Agni and those having a greater amount of jala or Prithvi mahabhuta tends to decrease the Agni.
- In Vata Prakriti, the appetite will be variable in nature, so the time required for the digestion process will vary because of vishma Agni.
- In pitta Prakriti, the appetite will be good and strong and the digestion process will be quicker due to the teekshna Agni.
- In Kapha Prakriti, the appetite will be lesser and the digestion process will be slow and a person can skip the meal without any discomfort.
Every individual has the predominance of one dosha and should follow the diet which is opposite in nature so as to maintain the internal and external functioning of the body.
The rasa and guna of the food that we eat affects the physiology of doshas in the body. Rasa and guna of food items that are opposite in nature, cause their decrease whereas the same rasa and guna food items attribute leads to their increase according. Hence the food items which are opposite in nature will help in increasing the balance of doshas in the body.