By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Tridoshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha are physiological components of the body. They are involved in circulation of blood, nutrients and oxygen to all corners of body. These functions are carried out by heart and monitored by the Tridoshas. The respiratory functions performed by trachea, bronchi and lungs are also carried on by the Tridoshas.
Read – Functions Of Doshas In Balance In The Body – Prakrita Dosha Karma
Blood vessels taking their origin from heart i.e. arteries, will carry blood, nutrients and oxygen to all parts of body when heart pumps blood. At the same time, other category of blood vessels i.e. veins bring back impure blood back to heart. This de-oxygenated blood is sent to lungs from heart for aeration.
Air once again receives oxygen derived from our breathing and gives off carbon dioxide it has brought from peripheral tissues for expulsion. This exchange of gases will take place in lungs. Oxygenated blood once again comes back to left portion of heart. From here it is pumped all through body. Nutrition derived after proper digestion of food in stomach and intestines, absorbed in small intestines reaches heart and is distributed to body in its entirety through pumped blood. This is a cyclic process which happens uninterruptedly throughout our life.
Read – Qualities Of Vata, Pitta and Kapha Dosha – Easy Explanation
Heart, blood vessels and lungs with its respiratory apparatus seem to be an integrated and closed network which works in cooperation and coordination with each other. This synchronization between circulatory and respiratory systems is a must for most of body functions to take place smoothly and also for entire body to derive aeration and nutrition. These two systems are often considered as a single unit. They form bulk of chest cavity.
Read – Physiology of Breathing Process As Per Ayurveda
Blood circulation, respiration
Control of circulation and respiratory functions by doshas
Rakta Dhatu explained in Ayurveda (inclusive of Rasa Dhatu) can be compared to the blood tissue. Vata Dosha is responsible for the heart functions including the output (systole) and input (diastole) of the blood and also the circulation. The circulation of blood takes place by the integrative functioning and coordination of
– Vyana Vayu (Sub-type of Vayu responsible for distribution of essential things in the body),
– Ranjaka Pitta (Sub-type of Pitta responsible for formation, qualitative and quantitative maintenance of the blood tissue) and
– Avalambaka Kapha (Sub-type of Kapha located in the chest, responsible for lubrication and normal functioning of the chest organs – Heart and lungs).
Vata controls breathing in and out of air – Breathing in of oxygen rich air and breathing out of carbon dioxide is under control of balanced vata. This happens with perfect synchronisation of prana vata in head and udana vata in chest. Head vata allows input of air, i.e. to breathe in effortlessly.
Udana vata, with the help of avalambaka kapha, i.e. chest kapha, relaxes chest and makes space for optimum air to accommodate lungs. If chest vata is agitated and out of balance, it will oppose smooth input of air. This depletes air and oxygen content in lungs leading to less oxygen supply and saturation to tissues. This leads to hypoxia and other dangerous breathing and systemic problems with multi-system failure. Similarly when head vata is working deficit, it fails to push air into body.
Read – Role of Vata Dosha And Its Types In Speech And Voice
Likewise, for expiration to take place easily, head vata should relax and enable chest vata to expel carbon dioxide. If prana vata doesn’t cooperate with udana vata, later will fail to evacuate unwanted gases in totality. This will lead to carbon dioxide retention in body leading to several complications.
Gas exchange in lungs takes place effortlessly with synchronized involvement of balanced head vata, chest vata and kapha.
Read – Dyspnoea – Difficulty in breathing: Causes, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis
Vyana Vata, Avalambaka Kapha, Udana Vata and Ranjaka Pitta enable easy circulation of blood – Vyana Vata is subtype of vata which circulates all through body. Its job is to distribute nutrients, oxygen and essential components to different corners of body. Therefore vyana vata is obviously concerned with circulation of blood from and back to heart. Avalambaka Kapha and Udana Vata, chest kapha and vata respectively will help in providing an environment in which heart effortlessly pumps blood and receives it back. Thus these chest dosha subtypes help active participant in circulation i.e. vyana vata.
Vyana Vayu helps in pushing the blood from and pulling the blood towards the heart. It gets the support of the Udana Vayu (which is the local Vayu of the chest) which mainly helps in the movement of the blood away from the heart. Vyana Vayu further takes the blood along with the nutrients included in it to the periphery overcoming the peripheral resistance. Laghu (lightness), Sookshma (minute penetrative nature) and Chala (movement) guna of Vayu helps in the circulation of blood.
Read – Understand Vata Dosha By Its Functions
Role of Ranjaka Pitta in blood circulation:
The Ranjaka Pitta helps in the thrust and propulsion required for the blood to move around, imparts the natural heat to the blood. The Teekshna (intense nature), Ushna (Hot property), Snigdha (slimy or unctuous nature), Laghu (lightness), Sara (enabling free flow) and Drava (liquidity) of the Pitta helps in the uninterrupted circulation of the blood.
Role of Ranjaka Pitta produced and located in liver is not directly related to blood circulation. We have reference to tell that pitta imparts color to rasa tissue (nutritional fluid) and converts it into blood tissue. Pitta is a dosha which provides heat and propulsion due to its hot, intense, deep penetrating and pushing nature.
Once Ranjaka Pitta helps in formation of blood in liver and stomach, it stays with blood. Blood is said to be an abode of pitta. Thus, ranjaka pitta resides in blood. This pitta gives impetus to blood to flow. Thus, Ranjaka Pitta is one of components which can be concerned in act of circulation of blood. We can also see that blood is hot in nature and that heat is provided by ranjaka pitta. Heat has tendency to push things, blood in this instance. Thus, vyana vayu and ranjaka pitta together take active part in circulation of blood, whereas chest kapha and vata help them in act.
Read – Sub Types Of Pitta Dosha – Importance, Salient Features
Role of Avalambaka Kapha in blood circulation:
Avalambaka Kapha on the other hand supports the heart in its contractions and relaxations and forms the buffer against ‘stress and strain’ on the heart and its musculature. It also provides the necessary lubrication to the heart and the blood vessels. It mainly helps Vyana Vayu during the diastole in supporting the incoming blood while not antagonising the emptying process. Ranjaka Pitta on the other hand helps Vyana Vayu in systolic functions.
Circulation of blood includes –
Systole – in which heart pumps blood to periphery. This is a high energy act. It needs components which can really push blood against all resistance. This act is enabled by synchronization of vyana vata and ranjaka pitta.
Read – Sub Types Of Kapha – Importance, Salient Features
Diastole – in which heart receives blood from periphery. This is a comparably low energy act. It needs components which enable cardiac system to relax and receive blood, make space to receive blood. synchronization of avalambaka kapha and udana vayu enables easy reception of blood by heart.
Read – Understand Kapha Dosha By Its Functions
But whole act of circulation including systole and diastole are carried over by perfect coordination of chest kapha and vata, circulating pitta and pitta which pushes blood into arteries.