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Susceptibility to Diseases


Food, behavious and environmental factors similar to the properties of the three doshas interact and tend to create an imbalance in the doshas of the body. For example, food that is hot in property tends to aggravate Pitta - particularly in Pitta Prakruthi people.

This unbalanced state of the doshas thereby affects the body tissues and the waste products and is termed as disease. The imbalance created in the body is reflected in the form of manifested symptoms which is unique to the different doshas. They are as follows.

Manifestation of Excessive Vata

  1. Feeling of Exhaustion.
  2. Loose and rough skin.
  3. Astringent taste in mouth.
  4. Blackish or greyish tinge all over the body.
  5. Prolapse of different body organs.
  6. Rentension of waste products.
  7. Loss of sensation.
  8. Pain of varied nature.
  9. Tremors and contractures.

Manifestation of Excessive Pitta

  1. Excessive thirst and burning sensation all over the body.
  2. Excessive sweating and wetness of the body.
  3. Sour and pungent taste in the mouth.
  4. Yellowish or bluish-green tinge all over the body.
  5. Bouts of unconsciousness and delirium.


Specific places have been identified as the specific sites for location of the doshas. At a gross level the human body has been divided into three segments that are under the control of the three doshas. The upper one third or the portion from the top of the head to the chest (breast) is the Kapha portion, the middle one third or the portion from the breast to the neval is the Pitta portion and the bottom one third or the portion below the navel is the Vata portion. Besides, there are also specific organs and parts of the body that are assigned for each doshas.

Manifestation of Excessive Kapha

  1. Heaviness and coldness of the body.
  2. Sweet and salty taste in the mouth.
  3. Dull whitish tinge all over the body.
  4. Excessive sleep and drowsinees.
  5. Numbness and tightness of the body joints.
  6. Oedema and itching all over the body.

The clinical manifestation of various diseases are specific to the type of Prakruthi that is suffering from the disease. The various permutations an combinations of the doshas manifest the symptoms in varied forms. The diseases that each Prakruthi type is prone to are also specific and one should always be cautious regarding this.

Diseases to which Vata type is Susceptible

The Vata Prakruthi individuals are prone to diseases of the neurological system especially motor functions. The diseases mostly affects the lower limbs since they are the predominant seat of Vata dosha. Also, Vata diseases are pronounced during the old age which is the period of Vata (Vata Kala)

Here are a few examples -

Wasting disorders(Muscular atrophy)
Angina (Hridgraha)
Rheumatism (Amavatha)
Osteoporosis (Asthisosha)
Fissures on plam and soles (Vippadika)
Selling and stiffness of the thighs (Urusthambha)
Brachial palsy (Avabahuka)

Diseases to which Pitta Type is Susceptible

The Pitta Prakruthi individuals are prone to diseases of the digestive and metabolic systems. The diseases mostly affects the abdomen area i.e. the area between the breast and umbilicus. Also, Pitta disorders are pronounced during the middle ages which is the period of Pitta (Pitta Kala).

Here are a few examples -

Intense lacalised burning sensation
Acid regurgitation
Bleeding disorders
Bluish discoloration of the skin

Diseases to which Kapha Type is Susceptible

The Kapha Prakruthi individuals are prone to diseases of the respiratory system especially phlegmatic disorders. The diseases mostly affect the upper parts of the body i.e. chest and above. Also, the disorders are pronounced during the early ages (Childhood) which is the period of Kapha (Kapha Kala).

Here are a few examples -

Excessive sleep
Swelling of the neck (Galaganda)
Thick skin eruptions
Congestion of the chest with phlegm

Individuals with a Mixture of Prakruthi Types

The individuals with combinations of any two doshas are susceptible to diseases of both types of the doshas, (i.e. Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha or Kapha- Vata types) It is mentioned in Ayurveda that these types are worst in terms of health due to combination of opposite qualities and thereby, selection of drugs to combat the same is a difficult task especially for individuals of Kapha-Pitta predominance.

Same Prakruthi individuals are the best in terms of health. They have constitution in which the three doshas are in perfect equilibrium. As such they do not have an inborn or natural `susceptibility’ to any type or group of diseases. They are considered as the ideal in terms of health. They posses a constitution in which the three doshas are in perfect equilibrium.

Prakruthi in Relation to Illness

As per the CCRAS study (cited earlier in the Second Chapter)

  • Same Dosha Prakruthi persons are found to be least affected with hereditary ailments.

  • People belonging to specific dosha Prakruthis are more susceptible to diseases having the predominance of the same Doshas. For example Vata-Kapha Prakruthi Individuals are found to be susceptible to kasa (cough) which is Vata-Kapha predominant disease.

  • People belonging to Dwandvja (dual) Prakruthi were found to be more susceptible to ailments than those belonging single Prakuthis.

  • As per a different study carried out by S.Venkataraghvan and his colleagues, the incidence of diabetes (Madhumeha) is highest among patients with Kapha Prakruthi where as the incidence of peptic ulcer (Parinama sula) is maximum in patients with Vata Prakruthi. This is what we would expect based on the Ayurvedic understanding of Prakruthi, since diabetes is basically a Kapha disorder and peptic ulcer is a Vata disorder.

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