Diagnosis in Ayurveda


Ayurveda is the science which works for the over-all health of the human beings. To attain a healthy life a person must be free from all kind of diseases. That is why diagnosis of a disease is the first and for most important thing. 

  • Disease implies disturbed or unbalanced condition of  body elements or mind. The disease (pain or suffering) has two places of origin and manifestations viz. the body or the mind.

Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain phenomenon or disease.

  • Diagnosis is the result of various processes by which we come to a conclusion about nature and localization of a lesion and the cause of the suffering of a person.
  • Diagnosis (vikriti pariksha) is a question of understanding where the dosha is moving to, which pathway it is using and if it is mixed with mala (waste) or ama (non-digested food).
  • Ayurvedic doctors regard physical and mental existence as well as personality as a unit, each element having the capacity to influence the others. One of the fundamental aspects of Ayurvedic medicine is to take this holistic approach into account during diagnosis and therapy.


Ways of Diagnosis (Vikriti Pariksha)


  1. Darshana (by looking at the patient)
  2. Sparshana, (making the assessment by touch)
  3. Prashna. (By interrogating the patient)


  1. Nadi Pariksha(Pulse examination)
  2. Jivha Pariksha (Tongue examination)
  3. Shabda Pariksha (Voice examination)
  4. Sparsha Pariksha (Skin examination)
  5. Drka Pariksha (Eyes examination)
  6. Akruti Pariksha (General appearance examination)
  7. Mutra Pariksha (Urine examination)
  8. Mala Pariksha (Stool examination)


  1. Prakriti (Physical constitution)
  2. Vikruti (Pathological condition)
  3. Sara (Perfectness of body tissue)
  4. Samhanana (Physical build)
  5. Pramana (Proportion of limbs and elements)
  6. Satmya (Homologation)
  7. Sattva (Psychic constitution)
  8. Ahara shakti (Digestive capacity)
  9. Vyayama shakti (Capacity for exercise)
  10. Vaya (Age of the patient)

Chaturvidh Gyana

  1. Pratyaksham (from what is observed)
  2. Anumanam (from what you can guess)
  3. Aptopadesham (from what is told by the guru’s and other teachings)
  4. Yukti (according to logic)


1. Trividh Pariksha (3 ways of Diagnosis)

  • Darshana (by looking at the patient, by observing the patient’s physical appearance and symptoms- colour of skin, hair, eyes, behaviors, body condition etc. )
  • Sparshana (making the assessment by touch –  checking the pulse (Nadi Pareeksha), palpitation, percussion and auscultation of a person)
  • Prashna (By interrogating the patient -By asking detailed questions to know about the degree of imbalance of each Dosha)


2. Ashtavidh Pariksha (8 ways of Diagnosis)

This is more practical form of Diagnosis. These examination may seem to be similar to the methods of modern medicine, but according to Ayurveda the method of conducting these examinations is totally different.

  • Nadi Pariksha(Pulse examination) – The ideal time for pulse examination is early morning in empty stomach. But in case of emergency, it can be examined at any time of the day or night. An experienced ayurvedic physician can assess your body’s nature (prakriti), pathological state (vikruti), imbalances of body type, very subtle observations & even prognosis of disease through the pulse.
  • Jivha Pariksha (Tongue examination) – Assessed through its doshic state, a vata aggravated tongue is dry, rough & cracked, pitta suffered tongue is red with a burning sensation and kapha influenced it is wet, slimy and coated. Suggesting the state of the digestive system.
  • Shabda Pariksha (Voice examination) – Healthy and natural when the doshas are in balance, the voice will become heavy when aggravated by kapha, cracked under pitta effect and hoarse & rough when afflicted by vata.
  • Sparsha Pariksha (Skin examination) – Also used for assessing the state of organs and tissue, palpation is an important clinical method for examination of skin. Noted for doshic influences, a vata aggravated skin is course & rough with below normal temperature, a pitta influenced one has quite high temperature and kapha effected it becomes cold & wet.
  • Drka Pariksha (Eyes examination) – Vata domination makes the eyes sunken, dry and reddish brown in colour. On aggravation of pitta, they turn red or yellow and the patient suffers from photophobia and burning sensations. High kapha makes them wet & watery with heaviness in the eyelids.
  • Akruti Pariksha (General appearance examination) – The doshic influences that reflect on the face of the patient enables physicians to gauge the basic constitution and the nature of the disease.
  • Mutra Pariksha (Urine examination) – Both examination of urine sample and questioning of patient are important for assessing doshic influence. A modification of this is the oil (taila) drop (bindu) test (pariksha) in which the effect of an oil drop on urine sample suggests the curability of disease.
  • Mala Pariksha (Stool examination) – If digestion & absorption of food are poor, the stool carries a foul odour and sinks in water. Vata aggravated, the stool is hard, dry and grey / ash in colour. Excess pitta makes it green / yellow in colour and liquid in form. And high kapha lines it with mucus


3. Dashvidh Pariksha (10 ways of Diagnosis)

  • Body Constitution (prakriti) : Determined by relative predominance of doshas during foetal development the prakriti can be any of vatika, paittika, kaphaja, vata paittika, vata kaphaja, pitta kaphaja or samdoshaja.
  • Pathological State (vikruti) : Related to the biological history of the diseases in its entirety, it enables physicians to consider the signs & symptoms of the disease in order to assess the strength of the disease, the causes, the doshas, the affected body elements, body constitution, time and strength of an individual.
  • Tissue Vitality (sara) : the seven dhatu, namely lymph (rasa), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa), adipose (meda), bone (asthi), bone marrow (majja) and reproductive tissue (sukra).
  • Physical Build (samhanana) : Body examination is carried out by direct perception – a healthy body being well- built with symmetrical bones, strong & stable joints and enough flesh & blood.
  • Body Measurement (pramana) : the  ideal measurements of the body.
  • Adaptibility (satmya) : Indicating substances intrinsic to the body, that is the power of the person to adopt
  • Psychic Constitution (satwa) : Refers to the mind which controls the body in contact with the soul (atma). It is either high, moderate or low.
  • Digestive Capacity (ahara sakti) : the individual’s capacity to ingest and digest food substances.
  • Capacity for Exercise (vyayama shakti) : Assessed by capacity for hard work, it is either low, moderate or high.
  • Age (vaya) :  Broadly categorised into childhood, middle age and old age, it provides vital clues for the diagnosis & treatment and is a must consideration in clinical examinations.

Physician’s basic work is to examine a patient, make a correct diagnosis and accordingly treat the patient. A fruitful treatment needs a correct diagnosis. To aid the physician in making a correct diagnosis, some methods are depicted in Ayurvedic texts. The understanding of the total nature of a thing does not arise from a fragmentary knowledge of it. Same is true for a disease. It is only after examining diseases completely and from all aspects that a correct decision regarding diagnosis is arrived at.

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