Diagnosis in Ayurveda -1 Nadi Pariksha

In Ayurveda there has been mention of every diagnostic tool. These are known as Ashtvidhapariksha. Nadi Pariksha is an inevitable part of this Astvidha Parisksha. Unlike the western system the term diagnosis or pariksha in Ayurveda implies moment to moment interactions of the between health and disorder.

Nadi pariksha is the ancient Ayurvedic technique of diagnoses through pulse. Nadi pariksha is the most precise type of diagnosis. Through this technique one can learn the pathological processes going in the human body. It can be known through this technique which organs are impaired and which of the doshas are imbalanced.  Nadi pariksha helps in understand the ancient Ayurvedic technique of diagnosis through the pulse. In it seven different levels are read vertically downward. The pulse, when examined, helps in revealing both physical and mental characteristics of the patient. Not only this, it is the scientific tool that enables an individual to secure their physical and mental wellness. Nadi Pariksha ranges from therapeutic massages, personalized diet, exercise programmes, detoxification and also lifestyle transforming experiences.

Pulse diagnosis or Nadi Pariksha was initially mentioned in the books of Sharanghdhar Samihta in the 13th century. In it the correlation between Nadi and Tridosha had been highlighted.  It was also mentioned in the late 16th century in ‘Bhavprakash’ written by Shri Bhav Mishrji.  But it gained significance during the 17th century in Yogratnakar through 58 sholkas, in which the science of Nadi was mentioned in detail.

Key Considerations in Nadi Pariksha
Following are the key considerations for Nadi Pariksha:


Best Time: The pulse rate varies from time to time.  In the morning time, the kapha is dominant, pitta dosha is dominant during the mid-day and vata is dominant during late afternoon and evening. Modern science still has no answer to these variations, however Ayurveda explains this phenomenon related to the planetary action and position of the sun and the moon.  

Critical Rule to Adhere Prior to Pulse Diagnosis: For accurate diagnosis the pulse should be done empty stomach, early in the morning or three hours after the lunch. The reason behind this is that the metabolism begins after taking food.  Because of this the diagnosis gets distorted.

The Patient Should be Examined as a Whole: An Ayurvedacharya must remember that a patient should be examined as a whole. The patient’s general conduct, facial expressions, the reaction towards the climatic conditions and history of ailments should be taken into consideration.

How to Do Nadi Pariksha
The radial pulse of the patient should be felt with first three fingers of the physician – the index finger, the middle finger and ring finger. The index finger is comfortably placed nearest the thumb and the other two fingers are placed next to it.  The Nadi Pariksha should never be done after exertion, massage, eating, bathing, and sitting near the fire.

Nadi Pariksha and the Three Doshas
As we have mentioned in our earlier blogs about the three doshas in Ayurveda, the Nadi pariksha also tells us about the dominance of the three doshas in the body since it is felt with the three fingers.


The placement of the index finger denotes vata. If this pulse predominates than it means that the vata is imbalanced in the body. In this case the pulse feels like the movement of a snake, as it is quick and slitherly.

The placement of the middle finger denotes the pulse of Pitta. When this pulse predominates, the middle finger is the strongest. The movement of the pulse is like that of a frog.

The placement of the ring finger denotes the pulse of Kapha. Ring finger feels strongest when this pulse is the strongest. This pulse is snow and resembles the floating of the swan.

Thus we can say that Nadi Pariksha is very vital in the diagnosis of every ailment in our body. It is also important to know the imbalance in the three doshas – the three basic principles of Ayurveda.

References:  Internet
Ayurveda --- The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad

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