Indian medicine names three main causes of disease
'overuse', 'disuse' or 'misuse of faculties; 'errors in
judgement'; and influence of seasonal changes. According to
Ayurveda all human diseases can be classified into the seven
broad categories, namely :
1. Genetic (Adibalapravritta)
of ailments as obstinate skin diseases, hemorrhoids,
diabetes, tuberculosis and asthma that arise primarily due
to defects in the sperm (sukra) of the father
when it is called pitrija or the ovum (sonita)
of the mother when it is termed matrja.
food, abnormal behaviour, addiction of any type and
stressful situations affect the reproductive elements of
both the male and female, resulting in a defective foetus.
2. Congenital (Janmabalapravritta)
essentially due to nutritional disorder (rasakrita)
and unfulfilled cravings of the mother during pregnancy (dauhrdya)
diet and / or conduct of the mother aggravates vata,
the foetus might end up with deformities as kyphosis
(hunchback), blindness and dwarfism; increased pitta
may cause alopecia and yellowish pigmentation of skin; and
might result in albinism.
3. Constitutional (Doshabalapravritta)
out of any dietary or behavioural disturbance brought about
by an imbalance in any one of the three vital physical
energies (Tridoshas) or the three vital mental
constitutional disorders are of two types : somatic (Sharirika)
& psychic (Manasika).
4. Traumatic (Sanghatabalapravritta)
any trauma causing experience external or internal
leads to this.
trauma is induced by injuries inflicted by sharp instruments
and bites of animals or venomous insects.
and overstrain lead to internal trauma.
5. Seasonal (Klabalapravritta)
about by changes in the nuances of seasonality.
the body fails to adjust itself to the sudden and abnormal
climatic changes extreme cold might lead to frostbite
and rheumatic disease. While extreme heat may cause
sunstroke or fever.
6. Infectious and Spiritual (Daivabalapravritta)
born out of natural calamities as lightning, earthquakes,
floods and the invisible, malignant forces of nature.
contacted through sexual & physical intimacy and sharing
of food, plates, bed, clothes, towels and cosmetics with
effected friends & relatives.
as a result of sheer jealousy.
7. Natural (Swabhavbalapravritta)
the healthiest of people are struck by hunger, thirst,
sleep, death or senility.
about by functional, organic and natural changes in the
In Ayurveda, physicians try to assess the symptoms of
these diseases as much as the nature of ailment and its root
causes (nidana). This is of utmost importance in
ensuring correct choice of remedial & preventive measures
for treatment of the disease. For otherwise, even after therapy,
one might not get the desired response and there would remain a
chance of recurrence.
early signs and symptoms (purvaroopa) provide
useful warnings and the opportunity for taking necessary action
before a disease can assume dangerous magnitudes. The main signs
and symptoms (roopa) reflect the true nature and
intensity of the disease. Another oft used method of diagnosis
is exploratory therapy (upasaya) which uses diet,
medicines and routines to detect diseases otherwise difficult to
diagnose. Acting either against the cause of disease or the
disease itself or producing relief. For example a swelling that
is alleviated by an oily & hot massage, is obviously caused
by an imbalance of vata.
in Ayurveda | Diagnosis
Fold Examination | Eight
Fold Examination | Ten