Prakriti means environment but in Ayurveda it refers to one’s physical and psychological behavior, the base which helps to find the nature to which he belongs. Knowing one’s prakriti helps to generate a rapport between the doctor and the patient where the doctor is able to predict the natural behavior of the patient as an astrologer and helps him to improve and nourish his life to a better stage and helps to lead a life free from diseases.
Ayurveda classifies prakriti into 3 types’ Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These 3 prakritis differ from one another. In every person, prakriti will be a combination of the two i.e., some may be Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Kapha-Pitta etc. A detailed narration of the 3 types of Prakriti is as follows;
It is the first mentioned prakriti where the person reflects behavior of following manner;
- The person will be lean and lanky
- Dry skin and dull complexion
- Dry and brittle hair
- Clearly visible bones
- Slim body in spite of taking heavy food
- Dry and unattractive eyes
- Unstable movement
- Dubious mind
- Lacks in memory power and retention (forgets easily )
- Rickety courage
- No strong personal relationship.
Steps to be performed for retaining sound health
- Essential intake of sweet, sour , salty , hot and oily food
- Reduce intake of spicy, astringent taste of foods
- Avoid cold food, cold and dry environment.
- Avoid heavy exercise
- Avoid Late night works
- Avoid bathing in cold water.
- Do oily bath, snehapanam, snehavasthi and sudation, mriduvirechana.
- Excuse yourself from environment which disturbs the mind.
In this type of Prakriti person have following features;
- They have excess of body heat
- Skin with whitish complexion
- Soft, blonde or reddish hair
- Small, Little and narrow eyelashes
- Heavy perspiration
- Foul body odour on sweating
- Unable to tolerate high temperature and starvation.
- Beauty conscious
- Moderate strength
- Loosened muscles
- Hot tempered
- Adventurous, scholar and self respected.
- Educated and talkative
- Reddening of eyes when exposed to Sun or consuming alcoholic beverages
- Over usage of food and drinks
- Passionate towards acquaintances
For retaining sound health for Pitta prakriti person;
- Advised to take sweet, bitter tasted foods
- Avoid spicy, sour and salty foods
- Avoid exposure to Sunlight, hot environment, liquor etc.
- Reduce hard work
- Perform snehapanam, ksheerasevanam, virechanam, apply perfumed oils.
Here the person may be of the nature;
- Strong and Heavy built
- Soft and oily body
- Fair complexion
- Blackish, thick and wavy hair
- large and attractive eyes
- sturdy and strong muscles
- excessive sleeping
- Act only after thinking
- Ability to act slowly and complete the work started by them
- truthful and grateful
- obedient and honest
- pleasant and clear voice
- educated and holds reputed post
- reasonable talk
- remembers enmity
- dominant and good memory
To be performed by Kapha prakriti persons for having a sound health
- use hot, bitter, spicy, kashaya taste foods
- avoid intake of sweet, sour, salty and cold foods
- avoid food items that increase kapha (i.e., potatoes, milk, curd,ghee, butter, meat etc)
- avoid day sleep
- exercise regularly
- perform vamanam (with oushadi dravyas), udhvarthana, upavasa, intake of light food
These are the prakriti types mentioned in Ayurveda of the human beings. Knowing ones prakriti helps to mould the style of his living which helps him to be free from diseases.
It is also helpful to understand and identify the disease likely to be suffered by him which helps to take defensive measures against the diseases.
Certain prakritis are prone to particular diseases which can be prevented by taking proper defensive steps.
Persons belonging to Kapha prakriti nature usually have long hairs. But in them if the water present in hair is not properly wiped, it leads to disease of Vata rakta spectrum like Rheumatoid arthritis, SLE etc. They must completely remove the oil applied on hair during bathing.
In Pitta prakriti persons, temper, pride, inability to adjust with circumstances etc lead to diseases. Hence by knowing the nature (i.e., I am basically Pitta prakriti) and by the usage of milk, ghee, intake of timely food in needed quantity within proper intervals and by purgating using Avipatty choorna, reduces the aggravated Pitta of the body.
Among Vata prakriti, hair won’t be rusty. So before bathing oil is to be applied on hair regularly. And also it is highly recommended to avoid the environment which makes their mind disturbed due to their fluctuating mentality.
The marital relationship between similar prakritis is also not appreciated. It is better to have marriage of Kapha prakriti with Pitta prakriti, because one is having high temper and other have control over it. The disadvantage of one prakriti will be compensated by the advantage of other prakriti which is a lead thread for a successful married life.
Even though these prakritis differ according to the age differences, it is advised to use Kapha at adolescence and middle age act to reduce Pitta and at old age use dravyas to reduce Vata. This is to be performed by each and every prakritis.
By understanding prakriti , the Status of agni can be assessed which helps to advice correctly the timing for intake of food. Pitta prakriti persons are advised to take food at every 3 hours’ intervals. Whereas it is of not much importance in Kapha prakriti persons.
Persons of Kapha prakriti will be naturally healthy. The body mass index will be relatively high in these persons. But usually persons consider this as a disease and start reducing the food consumption in order to reduce weight. If they are aware of their body constitution (Kapha prakriti), they can take sufficient food so as to get sufficient nutrition to all his tissues.
Knowledge of prakriti can be applied in schools while grouping the students into different divisions. Children of Vata prakriti learn things and forget easily. They can be grouped into ‘A division’, and by timely revision, their memory can be retained.
Where as children of Pitta prakriti grasp things easily but they are intolerant they are advised to involve in activities where high intelligence is required.
Whereas children of Kapha prakriti grasp things slowly but they can retain that in memory for a long time and they can be grouped into ‘C division’ which helps the teachers to take class accordingly. For them timely revision is not necessary.
Ladies usually decorate their hair using jasmine on special occasions, especially during marriage. Among them jasmine used by some will lose its freshness whereas in others it will be as fresh as the way they had bought. Those whose jasmine gets easily withered will be of Pitta prakriti and this is because of the heat generated in their body. In Kapha prakriti since their body is cold the jasmine won’t be withered. Mothers-in-law like brides of Kapha prakriti, who do not lose their temper easily even they are provoked. This reminds of proverb being developed in Malayalam that “when the jasmine in hair is not withered easily they will be loved by their mothersin- law.”
Pitta prakriti persons spend most of their time in adorning themselves, in kapha prakriti it will be moderate Vata prakriti persons are not beauty conscious and won’t look after their body properly. Pitta prakriti ladies select ornaments of matching colours of their attire.