Ayurvedic Concept of Diseases

The Ayurvedic definition of health is that state in which the structure and function of a particular individual is operating optimally and the individual is in a state of physical, mental, and spiritual equilibrium. Both Charaka and Vagbhata elegantly describe the Ayurvedic state of health:

  • Herbal Pharmaceutical
  • Herbal Personal Care Products
  • Single Herbs
  • Herbal Tea
  • Classical medicine
  • Organic products
  • Spices
  • Juices

Disease manifests as the opposite of some or all of the criteria for health listed above. It is a state of dysequilibrium of the doshas, dhatus, agnis, and malas; the individual is out of harmony both internally and with relation to the environment and experiences unpleasant sensations and misery in some form (duhkya).

Ayurveda asserts the truth of the principle of svabhavoparamavada, which states that every living being has an inherent tendency to move in the direction of self-healing and balance. The balance toward which we naturally move is our prakriti or our unique and natural proportion of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha inherited by us at birth. The disease state is known as vikriti, which represents a deviation from that natural proportion of the doshas. There is an inherent tendency in Nature to move from vikriti to prakriti and systems of Ayurvedic Medicine are merely strategies to assist this gentle, yet inexorable, self-healing progression.

Ayurveda is indeed the only medical system which describes an elaborate strategy for assessing both the patient (rogi) and the disease (roga). In contrast, allopathic medicine focuses intently on only the disease. In Ayurveda, attention is paid to the nature and directly observable attributes of the disease process itself and to the pattern of doshic disturbance in the individual. Understanding the disturbance, or "vitiation" of the individual's normal doshic is the essence of Ayurvedic diagnosis and forms the basis for the therapeutic approach.