Ayurveda Body Types – Vata Pitta Kapha
Ayurveda depends on the theory of Panchamahabhootha (the five elements of life Prithvi- the earth, Ap- the water, Thejas- the fire, Vayu- the air, Aakasham- the sky) and the theory of Tidoshas (three biological forms- Vatha, Pitha, Kapha).
What is Prakrithi in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda describes a unique concept Prakrithi (body types). Prakrithi is the body type or physical constitution of an individual. According to Ayurveda, Prakrithi is genetically determined, i.e. determined at the time of conception itself.
Ayurveda classifies people based on Prakrithi. The predominance of any one, two, or all the three Doshas determines the Prakrithi of an individual. Anatomy, physiological and psychological characteristics differ from one person to another depending on their Prakruthi. However, Prakruthi remains constant for each individual throughout their lifetime.
Based on the Doshas, there are three major types of Prakrithi. The classification is by which Dosha has more predominance in one’s body.- viz Vatha, Pitha or Kapha. These Doshas refer broadly to the functions of motion, digestion, and cumulation. The word Vatha originates from movement, Pitha from digestion, and Kapha from cumulation.
These Prakrithis exhibit attributes of the dominant Dosha in physical, physiological, and psychological characteristics.
Prakrithi categorizes the population into several subgroups based on phenotypic characters like appearance, temperament, and habits.
Types of Prakrithi
Ayurveda explains seven types of Prakrithi ( types of the body)
Assessment of Prakruthi
|Skin texture||Rough, dry||Moist, soft||Smooth, oily|
|Eyes||Small, protruding||Coloured iris, medium||Large, attractive|
|Nails||Rough, dry, irregular, cracked||Glossy, copper-colored||Long, white, strong, smooth|
|Teeth||Cracked, irregular, dull white||Moderate, yellow, plaque||Large, white, strong|
|Tongue||Rough, furrowed||Glossy red||Smooth pink|
|Hair||Rough, dry, irregular, breaking||Scanty, baldness, greying||Plenty, thick, glossy|
|Blood vessels||Prominent, reticulated||Less prominent, greenish||Deep-seated, not visible easily|
|Body odor||None||Foul smell||Oily smell|
|Voice||Fast, irritating||Sharp, commanding||Soft, sweet|
|Walk||Very quick||Normal||Slow steady|
|Quantity of food intake||Large or small||Large||Normal|
|Preference of taste||Sweet, salt, sour||Sweet, bitter, astringent||Pungent, astringent, bitter|
|Memory||Irregular, excellent short term and weak long term memory||Powerful||The good long term memory|
|Dream||Flying, climbing, motions||Violence||Water bodies|
|Talk||Fast, stammering, missing words during the speech||Sharp, provocative||Slow, resonant, clear|
|Temperament||Quick initiative||Moderate||Very slow, lethargic|
Vatha body type
According to Ayurveda, Vatha Prakrithi people show more characteristics of Vatha Dosha.
Pitha body type
According to Ayurveda, Pitha Prakrithi people show more characteristics of Pitha Dosha.
Kapha body type
According to Ayurveda, Kapha Prakrithi people show more characteristics of Kapha Dosha.
Features of Dvandvaja Prakrithi
The Dvandaja Prakruthi is (Vathapitha, Vathakapha, Pithakapha) characterized by the combination of the manifestation of respective Dosha.
This Prakrithi shows the manifestation of all Doshas in equilibrium.
Importance of Prakrithi
a) Health promotion
Ayurveda advises food and indulges in activities that are opposite to Prakrithi for a healthy life.
Daily massage with suitable oil like Dhanwantharam Thailam, Prabhanjanam Thailam, Ksheerabala Thailam etc., is very beneficial.
It is good to take medicated ghee (Ghrutham) for the Pitha Prakrithi people.
It is good to take Arishta preparation for Kapha Prakrithi people. So Dasamoolarishtam is a good choice.
Benefits of Dasamoolarishtam
- Improves appetite
- Good in recurrent respiratory tract infections like cough, breathing difficulties, asthma etc.
b) Digestive fire (Agni) of an individual
Prakrithi determines the digestive power of an individual.
They have disturbed digestive fire. As a result, Vata Prakrithi people usually have problems like constipation, stomach bloating, etc.
They have increased digestive fire. So Pitha Prakrithi people experience problems like stomach ulcers, heartburn, etc. The intake of properly medicated ghee helps in these conditions.
They have decreased digestive fire. So, Kapha Prakrithi people show symptoms like indigestion, reduced appetite, etc. So intake of Dasamoolarishtam, Jeerakarishtam, etc., under proper medical advice, help them.
Sama Dosha people have a normal digestive fire.
c) Susceptibility to disease
According to Ayurveda, each body type is prone to a specific disease. For example, Vatha Prakrithi people are more familiar with Vatha Dosha diseases (joint disorders, gastric irritation, etc.).
Pitha Prakrithi people are more prone to diseases due to Pitha Dosha (gastric ulcers, bleeding disorders, etc.).
Kapha Prakrithi people are more prone to diseases due to Kapha Dosha (obesity, indigestion, etc.).
d) Diagnosis of a disease
Prakrithi analysis is given priority while examining a patient.
e) Prognosis of a disease
Ayurveda explains the prognosis of the disease based on the body type.
f) Determination of the drug and treatment procedure
Management of the disease depends on the Prakrithi of the patient.
Benefits of Assessing Prakruthi
- Helpful in predicting an individual’s susceptibility to a particular disease.
- Prognosis of that disease
- Selection of medicine
- Selection of therapy
Ayurvedic Medicine for balancing Vatha – Pitta in the body: