Charaka Samhitha (Treatise on Medicine), Susrutha Samhitha (Treatise on Surgery) and Ashtanga Samgraha (Treatise on the basic principles) are considered to be the three major treatises in Ayurveda. Some of the treatises written between 9th and 16th century AD include Sharangadhara Samhita (Treatise on Ayurvedic Recipes), Bhavaprakasha (History and classifications), Madhava Nidana (Treatise on Diagnosis) etc.
Ayurveda advocates that every living and non-living being has five basic elements (Pancha Maha Bhoothas) in them namely earth, water, fire, air and ether which manifest itself in the human body as Vatha, Pitha and Kabha (or the Tridoshas).
Air and ether form the Vatha principle, fire the Pitha principle and earth and water the Kapha principle. Every human being has his Prakruti (Constitutional Nature) determined by the dominance of Vatha, Pitha or Kabha or their combinations. Harmony in Prakruthi indicates good health.
The cause of a disease is diagnosed and treatment prescribed by monitoring the Tridoshas, Dhatus (that which supports the body functions), Malas (the metabolic bi-products formed in the body), Agni (which is responsible for metabolism) and the Prakruti of the patient. The outcome of an Ayurvedic treatment is ideal health, a relaxed mind and rejuvenated body.
Under weight and slim, hair, teeth, bones and skin are brittle
Head, chest, hands, legs, joints, nose, eyes and lips are narrow and dry
Joint crepitation on movements
Intrinsic disposition: Friendly, calm, dependable, grateful, well-behaved,
honest, joyful etc.
Diseases : Low resistance, Inclined to diseases of nerves and mental illness
Speech : Quick
Sleep : Disturbed
Dreams : Active, Violent, Vivid
Hunger/ Thirst : Variable
Favorite Foods : Sweet, Sour, Salty
Health : Weak, Mostly short lived
Movement : Slow but firm
Sweat : Profuse
Bowels : Constipated, dry, hard
Sex : Variable
Characteristics of Pitha Type (Fire Dominant)
Thin skin, head, chest, hands, legs, eyes, nose and lips are normal and not dry
Diseases : Medium resistance, Inclined to all metabolic diseases
Intrinsic disposition : Bold, aggressive, intelligent, witty, adventurous etc.
Favorite Foods : Cold, Bitter, Astringent, Sweet
Bowels : Semi solid, solid, oily, soft loose
Health : Medium strength, Medium life expectancy
Can have soft, thin hair (often blond)
Inclined to premature graying
Eyes become red more quickly
Sleep : Little
Hunger/ Thirst : Strong
Sweat : Profuse
Tendency for unpleasant bodily smell
Forming of wrinkles and baldness
Cannot bear heat
Speech : Sharp, Moderate
Dreams : Frightening, Violent
Movement : Moderate
Sex : Average
Characteristics of Kapha Type (Phlegm Dominant)
Powerful, firm, big bones, often, overweight
Smooth, luxuriant, greasy dark hair
Head, chest, hand and legs, joints, nose, eyes, lips etc. are large, humid and firm
Intrinsic disposition: Friendly, calm, dependable, grateful, well behaved, resolute, honest, joyful etc.
Dreams: Often of swimming, beautiful panoramas
Diseases: Strong resistance, Inclined to all diseases of breathing organs and lymphatic system, diseases of joints etc.
Favorite Foods: Hot, spicy, bitter, astringent
Speech: Slow but steady
Movement: Slow but firm
Health: Strong, High life expectancy
Hunger/ Thirst: Low, stable
Can bear heat and cold
Sex: Very intense
Prakruties of single predominant Doshas and Thridosha predominant (Vatha, Pitha and Kapha) occur rarely. Usually combinations of two Doshas are seen.