1. How is Ayurveda different from modern medicine?
  2. Ayurveda believes in a holistic concept of health (svasthya) and conceives optimal health as a perfect harmony of body, mind and soul. Any disturbance in this harmony leads to diseases. Ayurveda believes that each patient is unique, and it addresses this uniqueness to help patients heal. Modern medicine, on the other hand, treats and removes the condition, rather than treating the patients suffering from it. Therefore, has similar treatment approaches for different patients..

  3. What are three doshas (or tridosha) and prakriti?
  4. According to Ayurveda, every individual has a unique psychosomatic constitution called as prakriti which determines the health and disease pattern in them. This prakriti remains constant and unchanged throughout life. The prakriti is made up of varying proportions of three forms of energy called the tridosha- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Every dosha has a defined set of physical traits, emotional characteristics and personality traits that differentiates it from other doshas. Together, the three doshas work as a team to maintain a balanced state of health in an individual. If they get deranged in any manner, it leads to imbalance in health and causes diseases.

  5. How does Ayurveda diagnose and treat a disease?
  6. Ayurveda has a very systematic and scientific approach in diagnosing and treating a disease. It takes into account the unique prakriti of individuals which is made up of tridoshas (vata, pitta and kapha) that govern the body. When balanced, the tridoshas maintain a healthy state and when imbalanced, it may lead to diseases or illnesses. Once the tridosha constitution and prakriti of an individual are determined, Ayurveda aims at re-establishing or balancing the tridoshas that may have gotten aggravated. This is done through diet, lifestyle and medicinal recommendations customized to the individual’s prakriti and disease state..

  7. How does the tridosha work?
  8. According to Ayurveda, every individual has a balance of tridosha (i.e., Vata, pitta and kapha) in them, which govern different aspects of the body. Vata dosha is responsible for the transportation, pitta for digestion and metabolism, and kapha for protection, strength and growth. Every individual has all three doshas but in varying proportions, making them unique.

  9. Why do I need to know about my prakriti and dosha constitution?
  10. Every individual has unique prakriti and dosha constitution which remains constant and unchanged throughout life. Your prakriti and your dosha constitution determine your health and disease pattern, as when balanced, your doshas keep you healthy, and when imbalanced, they may lead to diseases. Knowing your prakriti and doshas will help you and your ayurvedic doctor determine what customized diet and lifestyle changes you should observe in order to restore the balance in your body. You may be advised for specific dosha-reducing or dosha-aggravating foods, lifestyle and medicines depending on your imbalance.

  11. How many total types of prakriti are possible?
  12. There are seven broad types of prakritis seen in individuals which are a combination of varying proportions of the tridosha. In individuals with one out of three doshas predominant, their prakriti is pure vata, pure pitta or pure kapha. In individuals with two doshas almost equally predominant, their prakriti is called mixed-type and can be vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or vata-kapha. Rarely, there are individuals with all three doshas almost equally significant and their prakriti is called vata-pitta-kapha.

  13. What is the effect of Vata dosha?
  14. The word ‘Vata’ means ‘which moves’, and it is responsible for communication throughout the body, i.e., from organs to brain, tissues to tissues, and cells to cells. It is responsible for perception, reaction, building thoughts, converting experience into memories, physical movement, etc. Factors such as stress, lack of sleep, excess physical activity and fasting may aggravate vata leading to a variety of symptoms.

  15. What is the effect of Pitta dosha?
  16. Pitta is responsible for all transformations throughout the body. It controls digestion and metabolism on a physical level, and controls comprehension and analysis of data on a brain level. Therefore, pitta controls hunger, appetite, thirst, anger, fear, braveness, etc.

  17. What is the effect of Kapha dosha?
  18. The word ‘kapha’ means phlegm. Kapha is responsible for protection, strength and growth of the body. It gives mental strength and resistance to diseases. It makes the joints stronger and also increases sexual potency.

  19. What does it mean when my prakriti is a combination of dual dosha (i.e., Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha)?
  20. Some individuals have equal constitution of two doshas in their prakriti. This means that their dual doshic prakriti has influence of not one dominant dosha, but two dominant doshas. Individuals with such prakriti exhibit physical traits, emotional behavior and personality traits that are a combination of two doshas. They may also be prone to diseases and conditions of both dominant doshas. Therefore, the diet and lifestyle recommendations for such individuals are customized and vary from those of single doshic type.

  21. What does it mean when my prakriti is a combination of all three doshas (i.e., Vata-Pitta-Kapha)?
  22. Some individuals have equal constitution of all three doshas in their prakriti. This is a very rare constitution and it means all three doshas have almost equal influence on them. When balanced, such individuals can withstand all types of weather and climate changes, and have stronger immunity than other prakriti types. Every season may bring about certain changes in one of their doshas, making them more prone to imbalance or aggravation of that particular dosha. Therefore, diet and lifestyle regime should be altered based on that. For example: Winter season makes one prone to vata imbalance and therefore, vata-balancing regime is recommended during that period. Similarly, pitta-balancing regime for summer and kapha-balancing regime for spring are recommended.

  23. Why are the food and lifestyle recommendations different for my dosha compared to a person with other dosha?
  24. No two individuals would have the exact same prakriti and dosha constitution, as both are unique, and therefore their influence on health and disease pattern also varies from people to people. While some people may have similar prakritis, their dosha constitution will always vary, and so will their food and lifestyle recommendations depending on which dosha is aggravated. For example: vata-pacifying foods and lifestyle are very different than pitta-pacifying foods and lifestyle.