Understanding our individual
constitution and adopting a corresponding diet & lifestyle is
one of the main ways of keeping good health. Diseases, according
to Ayurveda are caused by the imbalance in the three doshas. The
predominance of a dosha in an individual's constitution indicates
his or her vulnerability to a particular disease. Diseases in Ayurveda
are classified according to the origin of their causes.
Diseases which originate from factors within the human body, including
psychosomatic diseases, are called adhyatmika. Adhyatmika diseases
are further divided into hereditary diseases, congenital diseases
and those caused by the aggravation of the doshas. Adhibhautika
diseases are those whose origin can be traced to external physical
factors such as germs and accidents. Adhidaiveka diseases are caused
by the seasons, planetary influential, providential causes and so
The physician diagnoses a disease in an individual by an examination
of the patient based on three general methods. These methods are
common to understanding any phenomenon in the universe.
Direct Observation or Pratyaksha: This is done
through the senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting.
A direct contact between the senses and the object of examination
is thus established.
Inference or Anumana: Just as one deduces that
there is a fire when one sees smoke, one can make deductions in
the observation of certain substances under the microscope. For
instance, coated tongue of an individual is suggestive of Indigestion.
Authoritative Statement or Shabda: Experts have
bequeathed to us a legacy of authoritative statements regarding
diseases. The patient is interrogated closely to determine the exact
nature of the diseases. The patient's relatives too are questioned
for in this way the patient's previous history of diseases can be
recorded. Fortified with the knowledge from previously recorded
cases and the findings of experts, the physician can make a diagnosis.