Ayurveda, the age-old science, which was penned down nearly 5000 years back, has been gaining momentum in the medical field during the last few decades. The global acceptance for Ayurveda as a curative medical science is increasing day by day. However, Ayurveda is not merely a medical science rather the science of life as its name suggests (Ayur: Lifespan; Veda: Science). Ayurveda was evolved with two primary aims: Health promotion (disease prevention) and disease cure. Thus, with its well equipped armory of preventive as well as curative measures Ayurveda profess the ways of healthful living for all.
The theory of Ayurveda revolves around the three humours (tridoshas viz. Vata, Pitta and Kapha), the seven bodily tissues (sapta dhatus viz. rasa-lymph, rakta-blood, mamsa-muscle, medas-adipose, asthi-bone, majja-bone marrow, sukra-sperm/ovum) and the metabolic wastes (trimalas viz. mutra– urine, pureesha-fecal matter and sweda-sweat). All these have specific physiological functions in the body which is ultimately governed by the digestive moiety (agni) in the body. A state of equilibrium of the humours ensures normal digestive and metabolic activities which in turn support the nourishment and function of the tissues and metabolic wastes, thereby maintaining the homeostasis in the body. This is known as the state of positive health.
However, this equilibrium is physiologically disrupted on a diurinal and seasonal basis which may lead to a state of ill-health. The variations as in general are as listed below:
|Old age||Middle age(youth)||Childhood|
|Last part of the day||Mid day||Early part of the day|
|Last part of night||Mid night||First part of the night|
|At the end of digestion||Mid phase of digestion||Immediately after food|
Considering this inevitable variation in the equilibrium of the humours Ayurveda advocates certain preventive measures and regimens to be followed to promote the health of an individual, daily regimens and seasonal regimens being the prime among them. Ayurveda has beautifully listed out the guidelines regarding the diet and activities to be followed and avoided in each season. Besides, seasonal purification therapy is a unique contribution of Ayurveda. As mentioned above the humours undergo morbid increase in certain seasons. To ensure a state of health, this should be effectively eliminated from the body. For this Ayurveda has laid down purificatory therapies namely emesis (Vamana), purgation (virechana) and enema (vasthi) respectively for Kapha, Pitta and Vata to be carried out in corresponding seasons of morbid increase. Adhering to this advice can help prevent many seasonal diseases effectively.
Further, another unique contribution of Ayurveda is the concept of body constitution i.e., Prakruthi. Prakruthi is the outcome of the permutations and combinations of the three basic humours taking place at the time of fertilization of the ovum and sperm for the formation of an embryo based on the predominance of doshas in the combining sperm and ovum, dosha predominance considering the season at the time of fertilization, dosha predominance in the uterus, based on the diet and regimens of the mother. This prakruthi determines the status of health as well as vulnerability to diseases. As a general rule, prakruthi having all the three humours in equal proportion is the best while the predominance of single or two humours is believed to be having increased susceptibility to diseases. For example, a prakruthi predominant in Vata will be more vulnerable to joint pains, in Pitta to bleeding disorders and kapha to diseases like obesity, asthma etc. Seasonal regimens especially the seasonal purification helps to prevent and/or delay such diseases. Those having Vata–Pitta prakruthi should follow regimens of summers, Pitta–kapha that of autumn and those having predominance of Kapha–Vata should follow regimens advocated for spring.
Seasonal purification is carried out after preparing the body by appropriate oleation (snehana) and sudation (swedana) procedures which includes internal and external administration of oils and ghee along with different modes of inducing perspiration. Thereafter purificatory drugs are administered. Once adequate purification is achieved the patient is supported with appropriate post operative care including diet with special reference to the seasonal regimens.
Thus, seasonal purification when scientifically administered can prevent the morbid disequilibrium of the doshas in the body thereby prevent the diseases recharging the physiological systems in the body to support the state of homeostasis.