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Ayurveda Body Types – Vata Pitta Kapha

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)

  • Vatha
  • Pitha
  • Kapha
  • Vathapitha
  • Vathakapha
  • Pithakapha
  • Samadosha

Assessment of Prakruthi

Physical appearance

TraitVathaPithaKapha
ForeheadNarrowMediumLarge, attractive
BodyweightLeanAverageHeavy
Body structureTallMediumShort
Skin textureRough, dryMoist, softSmooth, oily
EyesSmall, protrudingColoured iris, mediumLarge, attractive
EyelashesScantySharpThick
NailsRough, dry, irregular, crackedGlossy, copper-coloredLong, white, strong, smooth
TeethCracked, irregular, dull whiteModerate, yellow, plaqueLarge, white, strong
TongueRough, furrowedGlossy redSmooth pink
ChestNarrowMediumBroad
JointsProtuberantHiddenCompact
HairRough, dry, irregular, breakingScanty, baldness, greyingPlenty, thick, glossy

Physical characteristics

TraitVathaPithaKapha
Body strengthWeakModerateStrong
Blood vesselsProminent, reticulatedLess prominent, greenishDeep-seated, not visible easily
Body temperatureColdHotNormal
Body odorNoneFoul smellOily smell
VoiceFast, irritatingSharp, commandingSoft, sweet
PerspirationSeldomExcessiveNormal
WalkVery quickNormalSlow steady
Activity performanceQuick-actingModerateStagnant

Digestion

TraitVathaPithaKapha
Digestive powerIrregularPowerfulWeak
ThirstIrregularVery oftenSeldom
Quantity of food intakeLarge or smallLargeNormal
Preference of tasteSweet, salt, sourSweet, bitter, astringentPungent, astringent, bitter
BowelIrregularLooseRegular

Psychological Aspects

TraitVathaPithaKapha
Grasping abilityFastQuickSlow
MemoryIrregular, excellent short term and weak long term memoryPowerfulThe good long term memory
EmotionsNot stableAngryCalm
SleepDisturbedNormalDeep
DreamFlying, climbing, motionsViolenceWater bodies
TalkFast, stammering, missing words during the speechSharp, provocativeSlow, resonant, clear
TemperamentQuick initiativeModerateVery 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.

Sama Prakrithi

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.

Vatha Prakrithi

Daily massage with suitable oil like Dhanwantharam Thailam, Prabhanjanam Thailam, Ksheerabala Thailam etc., is very beneficial.

Pitha Prakrithi

It is good to take medicated ghee (Ghrutham) for the Pitha Prakrithi people.

Kapha Prakrithi

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.

Vatha Prakrithi

They have disturbed digestive fire. As a result, Vata Prakrithi people usually have problems like constipation, stomach bloating, etc.

Pitha Prakrithi

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.

Kapha Prakrithi

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

Reference- https://www.nhp.gov.in/PRAKRITI(Psycho-somatic-constitution)_mtl

Ayurvedic Medicine for balancing Vatha – Pitta in the body:

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