Ancient observers observed that substances or matter exert an effect in the universe. If we are experiencing something, it’s because we would have come in contact with a substance or matter. Further, observers came to a conclusion that these substances or matters exist in five forms. This is the same theory of mass and energy continuum. Everything is a form of energy, or all states of mass have some amount of energy. This depicts the well known Einstein’s equation i.e. E = mc(square). The five states of matter are space, air, fire, water and earth. These are differentiated based on their quality and their attributes; like, fire is hot and water is cold, thus, hot and cold are the attributes of the states of matter.
The observers also concluded certain combinations of these elementary five elements, which have unique physiological properties and functions in nature.
The substances composed of ether and air have dynamic properties and are known as “Vata Substances”.
The substances composed of fire and water have capability of undertaking metabolic processes are known as “Pitta Substances”.
The substances composed of earth and water, which are lubricants and support the body are known as “Kapha Substances”.
Vata Dosha: It is the energy associated with all the movements in the body. It is responsible for the functioning of breathing, blinking, movements of muscles, heartbeat, transmission of nerve impulses and movements of cellular walls. When Vata Dosha is balanced, it promotes creativity and flexibility. But, when imbalanced, it promotes fear and anxiety. It is mainly located in the large intestine, pelvic cavity, bones, skin, ears and thigh areas.
Pitta Dosha: It is associated with all the chemical processes in the body. It is responsible for digestion, absorption, nourishment, assimilation and maintenance of body temperature. When it is in a balanced state, it promotes understanding and intelligence. But when imbalanced, it promotes anger, hatred and jealousy. It is located in the stomach, intestine, blood, fat, sweat glands, skin and eyes in the body.
Kapha Dosha: It is associated with the formation of body structure. It builds bones, muscles, tendons and provides cohesive force that holds the full body together. It provides lubrication to joints, moisturizes skin and regulates immunity. When it is in a balanced state, it promotes love, calmness and forgiveness. But if it is not in a balanced state, it leads to attachment, greed and envy. It is located in the stomach, joints, throat, chest, head, nose and mouth.
Based on their functions, each Dosha is further divided into five types.
1.Vata Dosha: It is subdivided into-
A. Prana Vata: It is located in the head and extends till the chest and throat. It is responsible for regulation of will power, heart, sense organs, intellect and vision. It is also responsible for the cause of exploration, belching, inspiration, swallowing food and sneezing.
B. Udana Vata: It is located in the chest part of the body and moves towards the nose, umbilicus and throat. It is responsible for initiation of speech, enthusiasm, efforts, strength, complexion and memory. It is correlated with functions of breathing and respiration.
C. Vyana Vata: It is located in the heart and flows all over the body. It is responsible for the functioning of flexion and extension, opening and closing of eyelids, etc. Vyana Vata can be related to the main function of blood circulation and muscular activities.
D. Samana Vata: It is located near the digestive fire. It circulates in the gastrointestinal tract, receives food into the stomach, aids digestion and helps in the metabolic process of food by dividing it into smaller parts. Its activity is restricted to the digestive tract only.
E. Apana Vata: It is located in the large intestine and extends upto waist, bladder and genitals. It is responsible for functioning like ejaculation, menstruation, urination, defecation and childbirth. It very well explains the entire excretory process related to the lower half of the body.
2.Pitta Dosha: It is subdivided into-
A. Pachaka Pitta: It is situated between the large intestine and stomach. It is composed of all the five elements i.e. Panchamahabhutas. Its predominant element is fire. It is responsible for the functions of digestion and transformation of food materials. It performs metabolic activity and divides ingested food into essence and waste.
B. Ranjaka Pitta: It is located in the stomach. It converts the essence of the food into blood. Thus, it is said to convert rasa dhatu into rakta dhatu.
C. Sadhaka Pitta: It is located in the heart and is known as sadhaka. It is responsible for the mental functions like knowledge, intelligence, self consciousness, and thereby it helps the purpose and aims of life.
D. Alochaka Pitta: It is located in the eyes. It is responsible for all the functions of the eyes and it’s vision.
E. Bhrajaka Pitta: It is located in the skin. It helps in the exhibition of color and complexion.
3.Kapha Dosha: It is subdivided into-
A. Avalambaka Kapha: It is located in the chest region of the body. As water is the main element it helps in lubrication and Nourishment of food. It influences the functions of other Kapha.
B. Kledaka Kapha : It is located in the stomach. It is responsible for moisturizing hard mass of food and also helps in digestion.
C. Bodhaka Kapha: It is located in the tongue. It stimulates taste buds and helps in taste perception.
D. Tarpaka Kapha : It is located in the head region of the body. It is responsible for the nourishment of sensory organs.
E. Seshaka Kapha : It is located in the bone joints. It is responsible for the lubrication and strengthening of joints.
Thus, the above context gives brief information about the Doshas and how they are responsible for every function that takes place in the body.