Ayurveda: Causes of illness — Causes for illness in healthy human body are divided into three categories as per their sources:
- Neej (Internal in human body)
- Agantooj (External)
- Manaas (Mental)
Thus Ayurveda includes physical, external & mental aspects and it is not more merely just a science healing physically, but also spiritually by including such activities as yoga and meditation.
Ayurveda says tri-doshas and five elements are internal causes for creating illness in a healthy body. As tri-doshas are divided into three parts, similarly manas is also divided in three parts, which affect our mental status. These are satva, raj & tama. (Later on we will discuss dosha in the coming articles).
The concept of five elements in relation to ‘tri-dosha’:
Earth, air, fire, water, sky. These are five elements which, along with doshas (vat, pitt, kapha) contribute to the formation & nutrition of a healthy human body. Air helps in creating and developing the organs, fire helps in nutrition and digestion, water maintains hydration level in human body, earth provides material to give shape, and finally sky provides empty spaces to air and fire in growth.
Now we will look at the relation of tri-dosha concept to the five elements. Earth and water are form kapha, fire form pitta, air & sky form vata. Hence these tri-dosha always stay in body representing the qualities of these five elements. Whenever any of these five elements is increased by changing the dietary habit, it imbalances all doshas. This is how five elements and the tri-dosha are interconnected.
Now let us discuss the most common problems people are facing due to the changing of their living style and eating habits. In today‘s running life style people don‘t really pay much attention to what they are eating. What is good for health? As the result people acquire major health problem such as indigestion, acidity, gastritis, obesity.
What is obesity? ‘Obesity’ & ‘overweight’ are terms commonly used to describe an individual with the increased body fat. Excess weight is usually defined by measuring the body mass index (BMI):
BMI = Body of Weight (in kg) / Height (in meter)
The normal acceptable range for adults is 18.9-24.9
The second category for overweight is 25.0-29.9
Anything, which is more, is called obesity
Lack of body workout, day sleeping, excess intake of sweets, oily and non-veg. food, alcohol are the commonest causes for obesity. And according to Ayurveda it is necessary to find out causes before starting any treatment.
Some dietary and daily routine changes help a lot to get rid of obesity. From the beginning of treatment a person should stop all those activities, which are responsible for an illness. Daily workout, swimming, walking, yoga, dancing are easy ways to consume the existing fat in a body. After reducing fat one needs to control diet; fasting is also considered to be effective. However, fasting for prolonged period may give side effects such as general weakness, drowsiness, abdominal problems etc. One glass of lukewarm water every day with honey is a very well known tip for every one, but some people use it with lemon only, which may badly affect heart (research shows that lemon weakens heart walls but you can add honey to balance its acidity).
‘Jon’ is also useful for fat reduction due to the fact that ‘jon’ has the capability to dissolve fat particles. Curd mixed with water (after removing its butter part) is also useful in summer season because first it maintains hydration, and secondly it contains a very limited amount of fat. A person having problems with indigestion, gastritis, and heavy ness in abdomen can use the castor oil as one of the best remedy. Castor plants leaf mixed with ‘hing’ useful in fat reduction.