The Three Humors Their Location And Function

Modern Ayurveda

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Ayurveda classifies individuals and body types according to the three biological humors. These correspond to the predominant element in the individual.

The biological air-humor is called "Vata", which means literally "what blows", the wind. The air-humor governs all movement in the body from the brain as it guides the nervous system. It is responsible for the discharge of all impulses and as the directing force moves the other humors. It allows for sensitivity, agility and facility in the action of body and mind.

The biological fire-humor is called "Pitta", which means "what cooks". The fire-humor governs all transformations in the body from its primary location in the small intestine as the digestive fire. It is responsible for heat and light, including all chemical reactions and also governs perception, judgement and discrimination.

The biological water-humor is called "Kapha", "what sticks". The water-humor governs all form and substance in the body from its primary location in the stomach and lungs. It is responsible for weight, cohesion and stability in the body and provides for the proper lubrication and easy discharge of secretions. Each humor also possesses a site of accumulation, where its excess condition develops and from which it causes disease. The air-humor has for its site of derangement the colon, where it accumulates as toxic gas and spreads through out the body deranging motion and nervous function. It creates various "wind" diseases like arthritis, paralysis and other nervous disorders. The fire-humor accumulates in the small intestine as hyperacidity or excess bile. From there it enters the blood and spreads through out the body as toxic heat, causing various inflammatory and infectious disorders.

The water-humor accumulates in the stomach and lungs as mucus and from there it spreads through out the body creating various diseases of excess phlegm, fat and water, including edema, asthma and bronchitis.

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