Ayurveda Aur Hum

Ayurveda Aur Hum

Prakriti The Unique Identity

In Ayurveda, ‘Prakriti’ means every individual’s unique constitution and identity.[i]This constitution is determined at the birth of every person and depends on several factors such as family history, appearance, personality, habits, food choices etc.1,[ii] From an Ayurvedic point of view, this happens because every person has predetermined panch mahabhutas (air, fire, water, ether and earth), doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and trigunas (satva, rajas and tapas) at the time of birth which decide their Prakriti. Once this constitution is set, it is permanent for that individual.1

Formation of Prakriti

Prakriti means “natural form” in Sanskrit. It is formed by the Utkatata (predominance) of one, two or all three doshas at the time of union of the Shukra (sperm) and Shonita (egg) in the garbhashaya (womb). For example, at time of birth if vatadosha becomes predominant as compare to pitta and kapha, then the individual may have vata prakriti. Predominant vatadosha affects physical & mental state& immunity of that person. External features are seen according to properties & functions of vata dosha.1

Prakriti and Disease

When there is a change in Prakriti because of certain mental or physical hardships or imbalance in the tridoshas, disease occurs. For example, a person with pitta prakriti is more prone to stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and skin diseases. A vata prakriti person is prone to backache, joint pain and crackling of joints; while person with kapha prakriti is prone to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.2

Importance of Prakriti

Prakriti has prime significance in managing diet and lifestyle of both diseased and healthy individuals. By understanding the overall Prakriti of a person, the Vaidya (physician) decides to prescribe a particular medicine and recommends a certain dietary regimen and exercises. The constitution of a person holds a strong place in the Dashavidhapariksha or ten-fold investigation methods described in Ayurveda, that are used to diagnose diseases and devise the right kind of medicines, diet and lifestyle to patients.1

References

[i] Gupta D, Pandey A, Kar AC. CONCEPT OF PRAKRITI: AN AYURVEDIC REVIEW.

[ii] Bhalerao S, Deshpande T, Thatte U. Prakriti (Ayurvedic concept of constitution) and variations in platelet aggregation. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2012 Dec 10;12(1):1.