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Ayurveda Prakriti Analysis: A Comprehensive Overview

Prakriti is inherent to human beings just like poison is inherent to poisonous creatures. It is the inherent constitution based on the predominant dosha that is determined at the time of conception. The constitution here is both physical and mental constitution. It remains unchanged till the death of a person.

The word ‘Prakriti’ comprises two words, ‘Pra’ which means first, and ‘Kri’ means creation. Thus, it is the first creation. The Panchamahabhuta (Akash, Vayu, Agni, Jala, and Prithvi) constitute the three dosha. As the universe is made up of Pancha Mahabhuta similarly the human body is made up of these Mahabhuta in the form of dosha. These dosha make up for an individual’s Prakriti, the natural form or condition.

According to treatises in Ayurveda, the union of Shukra (sperm) and Shonita (ovum) in the mother’s Garbhashaya (womb) is responsible for an individual’s Prakriti that is influenced by the dosha predominant at the time of union. The formation of Prakriti is determined by antenatal and post-natal factors.

The ante-natal factors are the –Prakriti of Shukra and Shonita, Prakriti of Kala (here it refers to the time) and Garbhashaya (womb), Prakriti of Ahara and Vihara, and Prakriti of the Vikara of Mahabhuta.

The post-natal factors are the –Jatiprasakta (religion/caste), Kulaprasakta (familial), Desha anupatini (demographic factors), Kala anupatini (seasonal factors), Vayo anupatini (age-related factors), Pratyatmaniyata (self-factors). The Prakriti of every individual differs. There are seven types of physical constitution and three types of mental constitution known as Deha Prakriti and Manasika Prakriti respectively.

Deha Prakriti

The seven types of Prakriti are based on the three doshas. Prakriti comprising of only one dosha is Eka Doshaja Prakriti, Dwidoshaja Prakriti is the constitution of the combination of two dosha, and a combination of all three dosha is the Sama Prakriti.

Ekadoshaja Prakriti is very rare to be found and is of three types:

  1. Vataja Prakriti
  2. Pittaja Prakriti
  3. Kaphaja Prakriti

Among these, Vataja is said to be Heena (low grade), Pittaja is explained as Madhyama (moderate grade), and Kaphaja Prakriti is considered as Uttama (high grade) as per classical references.

Dwidoshaja Prakriti is also of three types and is the most common form of Prakriti

  1. Vata-pittaja prakriti
  2. Vata-kaphaja prakriti
  3. Pitta-kaphaja prakriti

Sama Prakriti is a combination of all three dosha in equal distribution and is the only type- Vata-Pitta-Kaphaja Prakriti.

Characteristics of Deha Prakriti

  1. Vataja Prakriti
    The people possessing this type of Prakriti have the following features:
    • Rukshata – The body is dry, emaciated, dwarf, and the voice is dry, low pitch, hoarse in nature.
    • Laghutva – light in eating, action, and in movement.
    • Chalatva – mobile and unstable joints, constant moving of the eyes, eyebrows, jaw, lips, tongue, head, shoulders, hands, and legs, has an unstable mind. 
    • Bahu sheeghrata – quick in action, response, movement, etc.
    • Parusha kesha, shmashru, roma, nakha, dashana, vadana, pani, pada – The individual has dry and rough hair, beard, hair on the body, nails, teeth, and face, hands, and feet. 
    • Sphutita angavayava – The body parts are rough with cracks.
    • Satata Sandhi gami – crepitations are heard in the joints.
    • Bahu Pralapa – excess talkative.
    • Alpa smriti – less memory power
    • Kandara sira pratana – there is a prominence of tendons and veins all over the body.
    • Shruta Grahi – the person can properly perceive or grasp and hear.
    • Sheetata – the body parts are cold; the person is easily afflicted with cold.
    • Alpa bala, ayusha, and vitta – have less strength, lifespan, and wealth.
  2. Pittaja Prakriti
    Features of Pittaja Prakriti:
    • Ushna – The body parts are hot.      
    • Prabhuta Viplu, Vyanga, Tila pidaka – excess facial marks and moles.
    • Kshut Pipasavanta – excess thirst and hunger
    • Kshipra Vali Palita Khalitya – Premature wrinkling, greying, and hair loss.
    • The hair on the scalp, body, and mustache is scanty.
    • Teekshna Agni – The digestion capacity or digestive fire is very powerful.
    • Klesha asahishnu – intolerant to difficult situations, short temper, etc.
    • Excess perspiration, urination, and defecation.
    • Loosening and soft joints and muscles.
    • Bad odor from the axilla, mouth, head, and the body.
    • Lack of sperm, ova, sexual desire, and reproduction.
  3. Kaphaja Prakriti
    The following features of the Kaphaja Prakriti:
    • Slakshna – The body parts are smooth.
    • Mrudu – The body is soft, and tender, appearance is pleasant.
    • Sara Samhata Sthira Shareera – The body parts are compact and stable.
    • Manda – The person is slow in action, eating, and response.
    • Guru – heavy body, etc.
    • Sheeta – cold, etc.
    • Uttama bala, ayushya, vitta – The person has good strength, lifespan, and wealth.
    • Clear in thoughts. 

The Dwidoshaja Prakriti has the characteristics of a combination of two doshaja prakriti and is said to not be very good.

Sama Prakriti is the combination of all three dosha prakriti and is said to be the ideal Prakriti.

Prakriti-Ayurvedic-body-type

Manasika Prakriti is of three types:

  1. Satva or Satvik Prakriti – The best form of Manasika Prakriti which is auspicious and gives enlightenment.
  2. Rajasa or Rajasika Prakriti – This Prakriti is of the moderate level, neither too good nor too bad.
  3. Tamas or Tamasika Prakriti – This Prakriti is of ignorance.

Significance of Ayurveda Prakriti Analysis

Prakriti has its role in various aspects of life and the Ayurvedic science. It has a key role in an individual’s Agni, Koshtha, Bala, Vyadhi, Prognosis and Chikitsa (Management), Aushadha, Ahara, Kala, Desha, Ayushya, etc. 

  1.  Agni – Vata prakriti has Vishamagni (variable digestive fire), Pitta Prakriti (digestive fire is fast in action) has Teekshanagni, Kaphaja Prakriti has Mandagni (digestion is slow) and Sama dosha prakriti has Sama agni (digestion is equally balanced).
  2. Koshtha – This refers to the purgation that occurs on giving medicines or specific food items to purge. Vataja Prakriti has Krura Koshta (difficult to purge), Pittaja Prakriti has Mrudu Koshtha (purgation is easiest), and Kaphaja Prakriti has Madhyama Koshtha (the purgation is neither too fast nor too slow and not too difficult and too easy).
  3. Bala – The strength and the immunity power of Vataja Prakriti is heena (low), Pittaja Prakriti is Madhyama (moderate) and Kaphaja Prakriti is Uttama (good).
  4. Vyadhi – Since Kapha dosha is situated in the upper part of the body, Kaphaja Prakriti are prone to diseases like respiratory ailments, etc., Pitta dosha is located in between the middle part of the body, so Pittaja Prakriti people are likely to get the diseases of the organs like spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, etc. Vataja Prakriti people are prone to diseases of the lower parts of the body like lower back aches, constipation, etc.
  5. Prognosis and Management of the DiseasePrakriti is significant in the prognosis and management of the disease. If the nature of the disease and Prakriti are similar, it is kashtasadhya (difficult to treat) and if the nature of the disease and Prakriti both have different origins it is Sadhya (easy to cure). For instance, the Kaphaja disorders occurring in Kaphaja Prakriti are difficult to treat and the same occurs in the Vata Prakriti it becomes easy the treat.
  6. Aushadha – The medicines administered depend on the diseases of the specific Prakriti. For instance, Pittaja Prakriti diseases, the medicines possessing Sheeta (cold), Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter), and Kashaya (astringent) properties are to be administered. 
  7. Ahara – The food indicated for the individual Prakriti should possess qualities opposite to the qualities of the specific Prakriti. Vataja Prakriti should be given food possessing Madhura (sweet), Amla (sour), and Lavana (salt) tastes.
  8. Kala – The Prakriti is important in the prognosis, management of diseases, etc. In Vasanta Rutu, treating Kaphaja diseases is difficult as Kapha dosha aggravates in Vasanta Rutu.
  9. Desha – The demography is helpful in understanding the Prakriti with reference to prognosis, management, etc. For example, the people of Vata Prakriti in Jangala desha (arid region) have Vataja diseases that are difficult to treat.
  10. Ayushya – The lifespan of Kaphaja Prakriti has a better lifespan, while the people of Vataja Prakriti have a minimum lifespan.
  11. Pariksha – Prakriti analysis is the first among the Dashavidha Pariksha (ten-fold examination) which is one of the diagnostic methods to assess the condition of the disease and the patient.

Conclusion

The concept of Prakriti is unique in Ayurveda. It is the genetic constitution of an individual and varies from one person to another person. The physical traits are different in different Prakriti. There are seven types of Daihika Prakriti (physical constitutions) and three types of Manasika Prakriti (mental constitutions). The Prakriti is formed based on the predominant dosha at the time of conception. There are three types of Prakriti with single dosha, three types of two dosha, and one type of three dosha. Satva, Rajas, and Tamas form three types of Manasika Prakriti respectively. The importance of Prakriti is considered with respect to the factors like Agni, Koshta, Bala, Vyadhi, Chikitsa, etc.

NOTE: 
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References
  1. https://www.pnrjournal.com/index.php/home/article/view/7801
  2. https://ijapr.in/index.php/ijapr/article/view/775
  3. http://www.iamj.in/posts/2016/images/upload/1297_1304.pdf
  4. https://www.wjpmr.com/download/article/73102020/1604139340.pdf

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