Ayurvedic test or Pariksha is an important clinical tool for assessment of the disease and strength of patient. The word Pariksha is derived from the root “iksh” means- to view, to consider, with the preposition “pari” fixed before the root which means from all sides. Thus, Pariksha or ayurvedic test means viewing or examining an object from all sides and aspects.
Ayurvedic test is used to assess the risk factors and make necessary changes in the diet and lifestyle to prevent the impending disease. Ayurvedic test is first and fore most requirement before starting any kind of ayurvedic treatment.
There are many mentioned methodologies of ayurveda test described in classical ayurvedic text such as Dvividha Pariksha (two – fold examination), Trividha Pariksha (three – fold examination), Shadvidha Pariksha (six – fold examination), Ashtasthana Pariksha (eight – fold examination), Dashavidha Pariksha (ten – fold examination) to conduct proper examination of patient and disease.
The methods are used by the ayurveda experts to carry test aimed at identifying the dosha disturbance. For example, a person with hot, flushed skin and symptoms such as burning sensations, fever, digestive disorders or urinary infections has a disturbance of pitta energy. Dry, cracked, rough skin that is cold indicates an imbalance of vata energy. Fluid retention, swelling, moist skin, dull pain, watery eyes and chest congestion etc are indicators of imbalance kapha energy.
As mentioned before, the diagnosis and treatment of diseases are based on the information derived from two areas:
- Examination of the Patient (Rogi pariksa)
- Examination of the Disease (Roga pariksa)
Different methods of an Ayurvedic Test
Dvividha pariksha (2 – fold examination)
Maharishi Charaka explained that there are two methods for the examination of patient, namely:
- Prathyaksha (direct perception)
- Anumana (inferential knowledge)
Trividha pariksha (3 – fold examination)
- Darsana pariksha (examination by observations): This is a systematic observation that may provide clues to the cause and duration of the illness. A sharp observation of the patient’s gait, physique and appearance conveys a lot of information about his general condition. This is called “darsana pariksa“.
- Sparsana pariksha (examination by touch): This examination is done by touching patient (sparsa). We can assess the temperature of the body, feel the margins of swellings in skin, read and note the characteristics of pulse, or check for organ enlargements etc with touch.
- Prasna pariksha (examination by interrogation): For an overall picture of the illness, a detailed interrogation of the patient and some family member or relative is necessary. This is “prasna pariksa” (prasna means question).
- There is one more type of trividha pariksha or ayurvedic test. In this examination, three different areas are explored to test disease, they are:
- Aptopadesh pariksha – Aptopadesha are authoritative instructions or statements from great teachers or Gurus of ayurveda like Maharishi Sushruta, Maharishi Charaka, Maharishi Vagbhata.
- Pratyaksh pranama – This is an information collected through direct examination of a patient. Ayurveda expert should utilize all his sensory organs to recognize the illness and disease process.
- Anuman pariksha (inferential) – By inference following assumption can be made: Power of agni is assess by process of digestion and metabolism in body by an ayurvedic expert.
Sadvidha pariksha(6 – fold examination)
“Sadvidha Pariksha” of a patient has given by Maharishi Sushruta. Ayurveda expert uses his own sensory organs to carry test in order to understand and to identify disease.
- Sparshendriya (Organs of Touch) – for example try to understand the feel after touching body of a person like dryness, warm , swollen
- Shrotendriya (Organs of hearing) – try to hear the different voices from body organs like for example breathing with difficulties in asthma
- Chakshuendriya (Organs of Sight) – for example if you want to note change in color of skin in jaundice patient.
- Rasnendriya (Organ of Taste) – to use inference like for example to observe ants collected around urine of patient, can suggest condition of diabetes.
- Ghranendriya (Organs of Smell) – metabolic disorders generates peculiar smell in the body.
- Prasna (History Taking) – it is information obtained by question and answers from patients.
Ashtasthana Pariksha (8 – fold examination)
“Ashtasthana Pariksha” or the eightfold method of patient examination that includes the following eight factors:
- Nadi pariksha (Pulse dignosis) – The strength, rhythm, speed, quality of the pulse are examined to come at a conclusion. The Vata pulse is fast, irregular, moves like a snake. The Pitta pulse is throbbing, forceful, rich and elevated in the middle. It can be compared to the jumping frog. The Kapha pulse is slow, steady and somewhat heavy. It can be compared to the movement of a crane.
- Mala pariksha (Faeces examination) – Direct examination of the faecal matter by naked eye can tell a lot about digestive state of body. The color, consistency, floating nature, smell, presence of blood or mucus in stool gives a lot of information about various dosha imbalances or disease process.
- Mutra pariksha (Urine investigation) – The urine is examined for- Quantity, Colour, Consistency and Density, Odor, Character of deposits. Oil test for urine are used to collect information.
- Jihva pariksha (Tongue examination) – The color, shape, coating of a tongue can be indicative of many digestive abnormalities. Variation in sense of taste is also important factor to identify dosha imbalance.
- Sabda pariksha (Sound examination) – The person’s ability or strength to speak, continuity, hoarseness etc, can hint about many underlying disease processes.
- Sparsha pariksha (Touch examination) – With the touch, skin and tactile sense is used to test the disease process.
- Druk Pariksha(Eyes Examination) – The color of sclera, conjuctiva, size of eye ball, dryness, shape, area around eyes give insight into various serious metabolic diseases.
- Aakriti (Appearance) – The overall built is indicative of the amount of strength, stamina and life condition. Examination of hair, nails and other body organs can reveal many signs which point towards different diseases.
Dashavidha Pariksha (10 – fold examination)
“Dashavidha Pariksha” or the ten -fold method of patient examination that includes the following ten factors. The patient should be examined with
- Prakriti – prakriti refers to the natural state of physical and emotional body condition of a person.
- Vikriti– vikriti is the vitiation of prakriti. The state of vikriti is identified by closely examining the dhatu, mala, and the emotional control of the person.
- Sara – Sara refers to the quality of sapta (seven) dhatus (body tissues). The conditions of body tissues are classified as pravara (good), madhyama (medium) and avara (poor).
- Samhanana – samhanana refers to the physique of the person. A compact body shape usually suggests a healthy body. Too much lean or obese body are considered as unhealthy.
- Pramana – pramana or examining body proportion involves assessing the relationship between the lengths of spread arms and the height of the person.
- Vyayama shakti (or strength for exercise) is the strength of the person for physical exertio
- Satmya – adaptability measurement. It is a process of measuring the capabilities of the person to physically or mentally adapt to changing conditions.
- Sattva – checking mental balance. It is the capability of the person to continue doing what is required of him without giving heed to distractions – both physical and mental.
- Ahara Shakti – it is the power of digestion, this test involves checking the metabolic capacity of the person, to take, digest and absorb food in to the body.
- Vaya – Ayurvedic physician compares the actual age of the person with his or her apparent age.