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CHARACTERISTICS & ATTRIBUTES OF TRI- ENERGIES IN AYURVEDA

VATA–PITTA-KAPHA

The tri-energies in humans are responsible for physical, biological and mental attributes of a person. All three of them have different characteristics and express their attributes in the individual. For understanding it in a very easy way, we can simply say that "Vata" or Kinetic energy is just like air in the universe, Pitta or Thermal energy is just like Fire and Kapha or Potential energy is just like Earth.

These Vata, Pitta and Kapha provide basic characters of Air, Fire and Earth in the body. Some of the typical attributes of Vata, Pitta and Kapha people are explained in the tables.

Physical and functional attributes of the tri-energies

Vata - (AIR + ETHER) – Nervous System, Movements

Vata: Vata or Vayu is compared with Kinetic energy within the body. All the movements in the universe and inside the body are considered to be because of "Vata". All the planetary movements, revolving of electrons around the nucleus, anything which moves has Vata component in it.

There are 5 types of Vata in our body:

  1. Prana (Vata controlling respiratory function)
  2. Udana (Vata controlling speech function)
  3. Samana (Vata aiding digestive process, intestinal movements)
  4. Vyana (Vata responsible for body movements, movement of blood)
  5. Apana (Vata controlling evacuation of stool, urine)

Location of Vata in our body: According to Ayurveda, the location of Vata in our body is -- large intestine (Colon, rectum), urinary bladder, urinary tract, spine, thighs and legs.

Functions of Vata in our body: It governs the physical movement of the body, circulates the body fluids, controls respiration, stimulates excretion of digestive juices, regulates peristaltic movements of intestines. In other words, it can be said that it controls neuro-hormonal system. The neurotransmitters, hormones can be considered as moving from one organ to the other because of Vata.

Emotions controlled by Vata: Fear, stress, anxiety, impatience are all aggravated and generally elevated in Vata type personalities and in case of increased Vata.

Physical attributes of Vata: Vata is rough, dry, light, mobile, cool and subtle.

Vata type personalities: Ayurveda has explained physical and mental characteristics of people having high Vata constitution. These can be read in the table provided.

Remedies for Vata disorders - Massage with hot Oils, Internal consumption of Ghee, Regular Sleep, Herbs like Ashwagandha, Ginger, Cumin, Turmeric, Guggul, Garlic, Asa foetida, Hot fomentation, Prayers and Meditation regulates Vata.

Pitta - (Fire) - Metabolism & other Chemical Reactions

Pitta: Pittta is compared with Thermal energy within the body. It is responsible for all the metabolic and chemical reactions occurring in our body. The heat energy or "the fire" required for a chemical reaction is "Pitta".

There are five types of Pitta in our body:-

  1. Pachak – (Pachak Pitta) aids digestion and is located in stomach, small intestines)
  2. Ranjak - (Ranjan" means to color something. Ranjak Pitta colors the blood red i.e. responsible for blood formation in our body.
  3. Bhrajak - (Bhrajak Pitta) is present in skin and reflects skin luster and texture)
  4. Sadhak - (Sadhak Pitta is present in heart. Any abnormality in Sadhak Pitta causes hypertension, palpitations and heart problems.
  5. Aalochak - ( Aalochak Pitta) is present in eyes and is responsible for vision.

Location of Pitta in our body: According to Ayurveda, the location of Pitta in our body is middle portion of our body. i.e. stomach, liver, spleen, duodenum, gall bladder, bile, small intestine, pancreas, heart, retina, skin and blood. Functions of Pitta in our body: It governs the digestive process, metabolic and enzymatic activity within our body.

Emotions controlled by Pitta: Fear, stress, anxiety, impatience are all aggravated and in Pitta type personalities and also in case of increased Pitta.

Physical attributes of Pitta: Pitta is hot, sharp, acrid, oily and acidic.

Remedies for Pitta disorders - Fresh Green coconut water, All foods which are bitter especially pumpkin family fruits and vegetables like bottle gourd, long gourd, round gourd etc. All green leafy vegetables, Apples, Papaya, Melons, Dragon fruit, Herbs like Neem, Amla, Katuki, Aloe vera juice, Brahmi. Ghee should be used. Yoga and meditation also help in Pitta disorders.

Kapha - (Earth + Water) - Nutrition & Support

Kapha: Kapha is compared with Potential energy within the body. It has Earth and Water as its elemental constituents. So the attributes are just like earth and water. It provides stability to our body and cells. It is responsible for the structures to stick together, like bones joining with ligaments and muscles with tendons. It provides stability to the body and also to the mind. It is responsible for lubrication within the joints. In general, the fluid and solid structures constitute "Kapha" within the body. It is nutritive and supportive to the body. The adipose tissue is also a form of "Kapha" within our bodies.

There are five types of Kapha in our body:

  1. Bodhak – " Bodhan" means to let you know. This Kapha is present in the salivary glands of the tongue and informs you about the taste of the food.
  2. Kledak – "Kledak Kapha" aids digestion and is located in stomach, can be correlated with digestive juices. It moistens and softens food.
  3. Tarpak- "Tarpan" means to provide nutrition and Support. It has nutritive functions. Cerebrospinal fluid can be correlated with "Tarpak Kapha". Sense organs are also getting nutrition and support from 'Tarpak Kapha.
  4. Avlambak – Avlamban means to cover. It covers vital organs like heart, and lungs. It can be understood as shock absorbing fluid layers in and around vital organs.
  5. Shleshak – "Shleshak" means lubricant. It is present in between the joints. It can be correlated with synovial fluid present within the joints.

Location of Kapha in our body: According to Ayurveda, the location of Kapha in our body is Upper portion of our body. i.e. Lungs, Throat, Larynx, Nose, Brain, Eyes.

Functions of Kapha in our body: It is responsible for nutrition and support within our body. It keeps the structures bound to each other. It acts as a cohesion agent.

Emotions controlled by Kapha: Patience, Mental Stability, Slowness, More retaining abilities.

Physical attributes of Kapha: Kapha is cool, sticky, dull, oily and sweet

Remedies for Kapha disorders - Since Kapha is heavy, cool dull, sticky, immobile in order to burn Kapha we will need diet/herbs which are rich in subtle, hot, mobile properties. The herbs useful for Kapha are all spices like turmeric, cinnamon, clove, ginger, garlic, holy basil, are all good for Kapha.

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