By definition, “Homeostasis is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain stable, constant conditions of properties like temperature, pH, BP, respiratory rate, pulse rate, etc.”. In Ayurveda, “Prakriti” or types of personality defines the internal environment. It means the behavior, nature and personality of an individual which is right from the time of fertilization. It is formed due to predominance of Doshas at the time of fertilization. When harmony is maintained in the internal environment, it is known as Prakriti (homeostasis). Prakriti is maintained when all the Dhatus are in harmony and is known as Dhatusamya. When Dhatus within the body are imbalanced, it is known as Dhatu Vaishamya. A healthy and equilibrium state to Dhatus is necessary to maintain homeostasis.
Human beings and the universe have a close proximity. The six elements (Shad Dhatu) which are present in the universe are present in humans as well. The capability of man to adjust with its environment defines it’s health and diseases. “Man’s inescapable impasse is that he himself is part of the world. He seeks to explore, his body and proud brain are mosaics of the same elemental particles that compose the dark, drifting dust clouds of interstellar spaces, he is in the final analysis merely an ephemeral conformation of the primordial space-time field. Standing between macrocosm and microcosm, he finds barriers on every side and can perhaps marvel. The world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which did not appear.
There is a continuous exchange of matter from the internal environment to the external environment, and vice versa. When this exchange is in equilibrium, homeostasis is maintained. If a person fails to maintain this equilibrium condition, homeostasis gets disturbed leading to diseased state i.e. Aswasthavastha.
Homeostasis in humans refers to the body’s ability to physiologically maintain the inner body environment to ensure stability with respect to the external environment. Liver, kidney, brain, the autonomic Nervous System and endocrine system helps to maintain homeostasis. All body parts work in sync to maintain it. Liver metabolizes all the substances including toxic ones and maintains carbohydrate metabolism. Kidneys.
0 regulate blood water levels, reabsorption of nutrients into the blood, maintain electrolytes in blood, maintain pH, urine excretion and other waste products.
Homeostasis process takes place from cellular level to organ level i.e. in the organism as a whole. Thus, it has a wide range of acceptable values. If those values are maintained by the body, then the person is said to be healthy. An inability to maintain homeostasis leads to disease or even death. For example, homeostatic imbalance like high body temperature, high concentration of salt in blood, can create homeostatic reactions such as warmth, thirst or breathlessness, which is a body reaction to maintain the homeostasis. And if the body is unable to do so, it leads to pathogenesis.
The universe is governed by three elements – Sun, moon and air. The sun absorbs, the moon nourishes and air brings in about the moments. Similarly, the external environment for a man is governed by three entities Kala, Artha and Karma. Kala refers to seasons, Artha refers to objects of senses and Karma refers to doings or events outside the body. As per Ayurvedic text, the universe is made of Panchamahabhutas as its basic elements. Similarly, the human body is composed of Panchamahabhutas. Whatever may be the physical state of a substance, it ultimately turns into a form of energy, which corresponds to minimum threshold stimuli of each of the five senses to –
1. Enables to cognise existence
2. Effects suitable responses in body
3. Determine biophysical and biochemistry of body
Our body is formed of basic elements known as Doshas, Dhatus and Malas.
Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – these are functioning traits.
Dhatus – Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Asthi, Medha, Majja, and Shukra – form the basic structure of the body.
Malas – these are metabolic wastes.
Our body has to maintain three Doshas in the same way as the universe maintains harmony of sun, moon and air. In order to maintain good health, it is necessary to maintain an equilibrium between these Doshas. Further, an equilibrium state of physical, mental and spiritual is necessary for an individual’s index of happiness, strength, confrontation and capabilities.
The important purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain equilibrium in Dhatus i.e. Dhatu Samya, to maintain homeostasis. In the human body there are many channels known as Srotamsi. For proper homeostasis, it’s necessary that Srotamsi are clean and dynamic. This can be done by a process called Samshodhana. The next is Samshamana, which maintains this equilibrium of Doshas and Dhatus by administration of proper diet, drug, exercise and lifestyle. This way of maintenance of homeostasis is called Prakriti Sthapana.
Thus, seeing the resemblance between body and universe, we can conclude that Ayurveda is all about maintaining homeostasis. Internal environment – homeostasis and external environment – atmosphere, are necessary for persistent health. Imbalance in any of the environments leads to disease. Thus, Samyavastha in Ayurveda mainly resembles homeostasis of an individual, which is responsible for maintenance of good health.