By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
The entire system of Ayurveda stands on tripod made up of three legs, each one being equally important. These three limbs which also form three ‘basics’ on which this ancient medical system works and operates are called ‘trisutra’.
Read – Understanding The Principles of Ayurveda
Sutra also means thread.
Success of Ayurveda depends on these three threads which keeps operation of entire system properly held and suspended in its place.
Table of Contents
Three sootras of Ayurveda are –
- Hetu – causative factors of diseases
- Linga – signs and symptoms of diseases
- Aushadha – treatments for diseases
But all three threads of Ayurveda are related to knowledge of tridoshas. This means to tell that a comprehensive knowledge of tridosha theory is very much essential to understand these three threads of Ayurveda.
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Doshas – Trisootra
Doshas and Trisutras of Ayurveda
As already said, three basic threads of Ayurveda operate on knowledge of three doshas.
Hetu, etiological factors – etiological factors are those factors which cause diseases. They may be in form of incompatible foods or erratic lifestyle practices, climatic variations, effect of bad conduct and behaviour or stress. When one consumes etiological factors or gets exposed to them, they cause vitiation of doshas. These vitiated doshas go through six stages of pathogenesis (if not treated in earlier stages), and cause disease.
Read – Nidana: Meaning, Word Derivation, Definition
Before causing disease, doshas get lodged in weak and susceptible tissues and damage them. Therefore, as a rule, etiological factors need to disturb balance of doshas and cause their vitiation if disease needs to be caused. Doshas are thus considered as inevitable, internal causative factors of a disease without vitiation of which diseases do not occur.
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These doshas also get associated with diseases of mind and traumatic origin, but in later part of these diseases. Example, when there is an accidental injury, dosha is not vitiated immediately. After injury happens, Vata, Pitta or Kapha may get involved to add insult.
Vata may cause pain, pitta may cause suppuration and kapha may cause discharges or swelling around wound. Similarly in mental disorders like depression, digestive pitta may get involved in later stages leading to digestive disorders.
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Linga (signs and symptoms of diseases) – When a disease is formed, it is formed with its signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms help in identification of a given disease. These signs and symptoms of a disease are formed in accordance to involved dosha(s).
Read – Roopa – Symptoms: Definition, Types, Benefits of its knowledge
Example, rise in temperature in fever is due to pitta, but yawning in same fever is due to vata.
If increased body heat and burning sensation is more, fever is diagnosed as pitta fever.
If tiredness and yawning is more, it is diagnosed as vata fever.
Similarly, pain in joints in arthritis is due to vata, inflammation is due to pitta and stiff and immobile joints are generally caused by kapha involvement in arthritis.
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Aushadha, medicines for diseases – Treatments, diet and lifestyle modifications are also recommended on basis of predominant dosha aggravation in a given disease. Treatments for any given disease in Ayurveda are either dosha specific or disease specific.
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Even if disease is not diagnosed, physician may not feel let down. Dosha specific treatment given after having analyzed strength of doshas in a given disease will serve purpose of mitigating or curing that disease effectively. Thus, even when physician is a master of diagnosis, he would definitely try to analyze dosha vitiation in disease before advising any interventions.
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Panchakarma set of treatments are also explained to expel morbid doshas and gain control over them so that diseases caused by them are cured and do not relapse.
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Example, therapeutic emesis is best treatment to expel morbid kapha, therapeutic purgation is ideal treatment for vitiated pitta and therapeutic enemas are best remedies for aggravated vata.
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