Prakruti – Type – Different Combination of Elements In the Body
“The healing science of Ayurveda is based totally upon the knowledge of “prakriti”, the individual constitution. If every individual knows his own constitution, then one can understand, for instance, what is a good diet and style of life for oneself. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Therefore, to make one’s life healthy, happy and balanced, the knowledge of constitution is absolutely necessary.” Dr. Vasant Lad, Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution
If the five basic elements of prakruti are maintained in proper proportion in the body, a proper metabolism is ensured and the body remains healthy. However due to heredity, eating and living habits, we disturb one or two of these elements and thus upset our metabolism. This upset results in a predominance of three different types of combinations. Such combination of these elements decide our types; this is called prakrutis.
Indian medical therapy called Aurveda, has divided people into three types:
- Combination through excess of Earth +Water
- Combination through excess of Fire + Air
- Excess of Air element
This therapy (prakrutis) advocates that while treating the patients, one must determine and keep in mind their respective types. What is good for one type could be harmful to another.
The Three Types
A combination of earth and water. These elements occupy the major portion of our body. Sweet foods and drinks when properly digested are reduced to saline and the blood becomes alkaline. It sustains the body system, increases vigor and there is a marked growth of happiness. It lubricates the joints of bones and keeps them working properly. However, this is only possible when there is a proper element of fire – heat - in the body.
Too much ‘fire’ leads to increase in water content and reduction of heat in the body, resulting in problems like dullness, heaviness, increase in fats, common cold, bronchitis and later on asthma, arthritis, rheumatism etc.
The best way to cure the above ailments of kapha prakruti is to reduce the intake of cold drinks and foods that only aggravate the problems. They should eat only light digestible food when hungry; avoid sleeping during the day and over doing sex. Even milk is harmful to them. They should also take physical exercises.
A combination of fire plus air. Excess of heat damages the working of the brain – leads to acidity – ulcer, cold due to heat, skin problems, even
sexual weakness, short temper and falling of hair.
Now, in modern times more anxiety and eating more of fried and spicy foods, more exposure to sun and excessive use of antibiotics increases their problem. It is, therefore essential to avoid these habits as much as possible.
They should take sweet fruit juice as the first thing in the morning and have more fruits, sweet desserts after eating and drink more green juice.
Air Vayu Prakruti
This condition prevails when there is an excess of the element of air. People belonging to this category are more talkative and have day dreams.
They need more sleep and have more gas trouble. These imbalances can lead to fainting.
The tendency to eat heavy-oily foods like fried and foods made out of gram etc. increases this tendency. People in such condition should avoid constipation and sleeping during day time, have more physical exercise so as to increase heat and circulation and should avoid unsuitable foods.
Everyone should try and find out the category and type he or she belongs to and avoid those items which will only aggravate their problems. They should consume food that will suit their type. It may be noted that each and every person is different from the other.
So are their tendencies and problems of health. But with proper changes in the diet good health can be maintained.
Moreover, the climate plays an important role in its effect on the body. In summer, for instance, buttermilk will be useful, but not in winter. In winter buttermilk should be warmed and black pepper and ginger should be added to it before drinking.
Nature grows the required vegetables and fruits etc. suitable for the nourishment of the body in all different areas and season. So wherever possible locally produced seasonal fruits and vegetable should be eaten.
Nature also produces several varieties of fruits resembling the shapes of the organs of our body and they are actually beneficial to that organ.
Apricot = Brain
Mango-Papaya = Stomach
Almonds = Eyes
Apple = Heart
Grapes = Lunges
Cashew nuts = Kidney
Kidney beans (Ripe: Outside skin black)
People belonging to one type or the other type of prakruti (characteristics) can easily find out and eat foods which would do them good and reject foods that will aggravate their problems.
This practice will also enable us to prevent wasting our energy in digesting and expelling these foods intakes not suitable for our body.
Energy: In order that the body and brain can function properly it is necessary to create energy from the five basic elements. That is why we take food and drinks.
The whole cosmos gets the energy from the sun. All types of natural foods, fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses etc have in them almost equal measure of positive and negative of sun energy. However foods contain positive and negative properties in varying degrees. They can be divided in six tastes of which all foods/drinks are made of:
In our daily diet it is necessary to maintain a proper balance in all these six tastes. Surprisingly, aurveda- Indian medical science has made elaborate research in all kinds of fruits, vegetables and minerals and has established their after effect on the human system.
When we take foods more of negative types or more of positive types, we create imbalances, leading to diseases. The body tries to balance the positive and negative excesses in the system and such efforts are called disease.
Surprisingly China has made in depth research for energy derived from food and has come to the conclusion that one should take 65 percent of foods in cereals and pulses like wheat, rice, millet’s, grains etc and the balance 35 percent in milk-milk products, vegetables, dry fruits, oils etc, these would be the ideal contents of a balanced diet.