Diseases Involving Two or More Systems

Many diseases involve two or more out of balance systems.  In such cases, the treatment differs based upon the combination of factors.  Knowing how to treat such disease processes properly is very important for two reasons.  First, such combinations are the rule rather than the exception in clinical practice, and second, the methods derived from a purely theoretical analysis can appear to be contradictory.  Empirical evidence gathered over the centuries has shown the most effective ways to deal with such complex diseases.

Diseases caused by Vata-Pitta

img_0226When the functions of the nervous system and the vein system together become over-balanced in any disease condition, it is classified as having the character of Vata- Pitta.  In such cases, the disease will have combined symptoms of the over-balanced nervous system (Vata) and the over -balanced vein system (Pitta).  The aggravating agents of either the Vata substance or the Pitta substance will cause worsening of the symptoms.  This kind of condition of disease has to be diagnosed following the different tastes mentioned in the Vata and Pitta sections.  While treating this sort of condition, the emphasis should be on herbals medicines that are both sweet and nourishing.  The sweet taste balances both Vata and Pitta.

Diseases Caused by Vata-Kapha

If the functions of the nervous system and the artery system together are over-balanced in the same disease process, it is classified as a Vata -Kapha condition.  The disease will have combined symptoms of an over-balanced nervous system (Vata) and an over-balanced artery system (Kapha).  The symptoms of such a disease are by nature stronger than when a single vital substance is out of balance, because it is susceptible to the opposing aggravating agents for both Vata and Kapha.  For diagnosis, the tests mentioned in the sections of Vata and Kapha have to be carried out side by side and compared.  The treatment should be based on the principle of balance.  Combining herbs with sweet, bitter and astringent tastes together has been found to have the strongest medicinal value.  The sweet taste calms the Vata, while the bitter and astringent tastes control Kapha.

Disease Caused by Pitta-Kapha

When the functions of the vein system and the artery system together are out of balance in same disease, it is classified as Pitta-Kapha.  The aggravating agents for either Pitta or Kapha substance will worsen the symptoms.  For diagnosis the different tests mentioned in the section of Pitta and Kapha have to be applied side by with comparative aspects.  The treatment should be based at the beginning upon the principle of gaining control of only one of the two over-balanced systems, because they are counteractive with the properties of both hot and cold.  After the one that is stronger is controlled, the other system can be treated.

Disease Caused by Vata-Pitta-Kapha (Sannipata)

img_0503Diseases classified within the combined characteristics of Vata-Pitta-Kapha are called Tridoshaja or Sannipataja.  This occurs if the functions of the nervous system, the vein system and the artery system are all out of control at the same time.  In general, any Tridoshaja disease is considered very serious and complicated, sometimes malignant, and always difficult to cure.  These complex diseases usually have no fixed symptoms.  Any number of symptoms can be prominent at one time or another.  Strong combined symptoms within the Vata, Pitta and Kapha substances can be manifested in the malignant stage.  Any aggravating agent will cause worsening of the symptoms.

In some cases, certain symptoms of one system can be subdued.  This however is likely to worsen another system.  For diagnosis, none of the tests mentioned in the different aspects of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are reliable.  In this situation, careful analysis of peculiar symptoms, the specific complications and the physiology of the disease give hints for proper diagnosis and treatment.  Ayurvedic physicians have paid much attention to carefully and exactly detailing the unique symptoms of the individual diseases that have the characters of Tridoshaja or Sannipataja.

The Ayurvedic treatment against such complicated diseases usually does not have any miraculous effect.  However, the method of first controlling only one of the over-balanced systems has often been found to be beneficial.  For example, typhoid fever is classified as Sannipataja.  It is treated first by controlling the over-balanced artery system (Kapha).  Once the over-balanced artery system is under control, the other systems can be controlled one by one.  Tuberculosis, another disease where all the systems out of control, is treated using symptomatic treatment– but paying the most attention to keeping the digestive system working properly.

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