Genome-wide analysis correlates with Ayurveda ‘Prakriti’

By : B. Santanu

“Genome-wide analysis correlates Ayurveda Prakriti” – Excerpt

Excerpts from a fascinating study published recently in Nature, “Genome-wide analysis correlates Ayurveda Prakriti“, 29th Oct ’15:

The practice of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, is based on the concept of three major constitutional types (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) defined as “Prakriti”. To the best of our knowledge, no study has convincingly correlated genomic variations with the classification of Prakriti.….we found that PGM1 correlates with phenotype of Pitta as described in the ancient text of Caraka Samhita, suggesting that the phenotypic classification of India’s traditional medicine has a genetic basis; and its Prakriti-based practice in vogue for many centuries resonates with personalized medicine.


Among the traditional systems of medicine practiced all over the world, Ayurveda of India has a documented history dating back to 1500 BCE1,2.


…The basic concepts of Ayurveda are; 1. five elements – panchabhuta – which constitute the physical universe including the human body and; 2. three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) or constitutional types of every human. These doshas refer broadly to the functions of motion, digestion and cumulation. Though all three doshas exist in every human being one is dominant based on which an individual’s Prakriti is determined. Prakritis are discreet phenotypes and they are determined on the basis of physical, psychological, physiological and behavioural traits, and independent of social, ethnic and geographical variables1,3,4. The etymology of these Sanskrit terms suggests that Vata originates from movement, Pitta from digestion and Kapha from cumulation. Since Prakritis underlie an individual’s predisposition to disease as well as response to treatment, it is imperative in Ayurvedic practice to identify the Prakriti of a patient before treatment5.

Concept of Prakriti in Ayurveda and its relationship with genomics was hypothesized over a decade ago6. … While these studies have shown the association of specific genes with the phenotype of a particular Prakriti, the association of genomic variations with Prakriti classification was lacking. This is the first attempt to classify the Prakritis using genome-wide SNP markers and to provide a scientific basis for Prakriti classification.

Thanks to my friend Sanjay for alerting me to this research study

By B Shantanu on November 3, 2015 · Posted in Indian Medicine & Ayurveda



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