In 1866, Gregor Mendel revolutionized understanding of genetic inheritance by test crossing many different varieties of peas. This discovery fueled the quest for further enhanced understanding of genetics leading to more discoveries in turn. However a few questions still remained unanswered like why does one medicine not work for all? More than 100,000 people die each year from adverse responses to medications that may be beneficial to others. Another 2.2 million experience serious reactions while others fail to respond at all. Why are few people allergic to some foods and medicines? Why do some people remain thin throughout their lifetime while some have tendency to become obese?
Ayurveda offers a uniqe approach i.e. Prakriti, for classifying whole population so as to provide individualistic approach to health. The concept of prakruti is unique in terms of its psychosomatic approach. Prakriti of an individual is determined by the predominance of Dosha (vata, pitta &Kaha) in ones body. There are seven types of Prakriti based on predominance of one dosha, two doshas or all the doshas in equilibrium. The predominance of dosha gives rise to a peculiar type of physical constitution and psychic temperament, which remains so throughout the life of an individual. Any change in the prakriti is the sign of an imminent death of an individual.
Significance of Prakriti determination
Prakriti determines ones susceptibility to various diseases. For example, a person of Vataprakriti is more prone to diseases arising from aggravation of vatadosha viz. arthritis, cracked feet, numbness in body, paraplegia, tachycardia, insomnia, anxiety disorders etc. Pitta prakriti individual may contract diseases arising due to aggravation of Pitta Dosha viz. psoriasis, jaundice, stomatitis, hyperacidity, conjunctivitis etc. Similarly KaphaPrakriti individuals are susceptible to diseases like- anorexia, excessive sleep, indigestion, atherosclerosis, obesity, urticaria etc.
The knowledge of prakriti also enables one to design individualistic lifestyle that will prevent origin of diseases in the body. For example, a Vataprakriti person should not take Vata aggravating dietetics. Parkriti also tells about prognosis of diseases and the most suited treatment modalities leading to enhanced level of drug efficacy.