The five basic elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Ether manifest themselves in the human body as three basic humors, or principles. These principles are known in Ayurveda as the tridosha. From the combination of the elements Air and Ether, the bodily principle of Air is manifested as Vata ( In Ayurveda this principle is termed Vata Dosha)
The Water and Fire elements in conjunction manifest as the Fire principle in the body called Pitta (Pitta Dosha), while the Water and Earth principles collectively create the Water principle in the body called Kappa (Kappa Dosha)
All of the body, consciousness and mind’s psychological, logical, biological and physiopathological functions are governed by these three elements. Not only are they the basic constituents of the body but they in turn act as the bodies protective forces. When in perfect balance they create perfect health, however, when out of balance they create afflictions, illness and disease. Thus the tridosha are responsible for both perfect health and serious illness.
The tridosha control the individual’s natural urges and also the likings or preferences when consuming food. They govern the preferences for particular flavours, heat and texture. They are also responsible for the maintenance, destruction and creation of the tissues of the body, along with the process whereby waste is eliminated from the bodily vehicle.
They dictate the psychological processes and govern emotions such as greed, fear and anger along with the higher emotions of compassion, understanding and love. Hence the Tridosha are responsible for our very existence, as they form the foundation and control mechanisms for our physical, mental and spiritual state.
Ayurveda holds to the belief that the constitution of each individual human being is determined at the moment of their conception. At the moment of conception when fertilisation of the female ovum occurs, the combinations of the parent’s elemental bodily principles of fire, water and air are some the determining factors in the child’s tridosha balance.
Generally constitutions come in several types: 1) vata, 2) pitta, 3) kappa, 4) pitta-kappa 5) vata-pitta, 6) vata-kappa and 7) vata-pitta-kappa. However, there are hundreds if not thousands of intricate and subtle variations within these types that are determined by the percentage ratio of the Vata, Pitta and Kappa elements that form the constitution of the body