What Are Vata, Pitta, Kapha Dosha in Ayurveda

Gunjan Lal
April 24, 2017
Views : 4108
What Are Vata, Pitta, Kapha Dosha in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system of medicine. Incorporated in the Atharva Veda, it's based on the idea of a holistic balance between bodily systems. Ancient Indian yogis gathered and preserved all the information and put it down in the Vedas and it passed down over thousands of generations. This amazing collection of medicinal knowledge came to be known as the 'knowledge of life' or the 'science of life', which we now know as Ayurveda. Ayurveda focuses on maintaining an emotionally and physically balanced state.

The ancient Ayurvedic system is based on the principles of three 'doshas.' The three Doshas, according to Ayurveda are essentially the three energies that make up each individual. These Doshas take account of different physiological functions of our bodies. Let's look further into these three energies.

Vata Dosha

The energy that takes command of bodily functions associated with motion, including blinking, breathing, blood circulation, elimination of bodily waste, as well as your heartbeat. It also governs the movement of your mind as well, for instance, the movement of the thoughts in your brain. When the Vata Dosha is in proper balance your body's vitality is unwaveringly robust. When out of balance anxiety and fear may take place instead of vitality and creativity.

Since the other two Dosha - Pitta and Kapha - are dependent and cannot move or function without the Vata, it is considered as the chief of the three Ayurvedic Principles in the body. Therefore, it's essential to keep Vata in perfect balance.

To know if your Vata energy is in balance - or out of balance, you should take notice of these few things.

Your skin - if your skin is rough, dry, or thin

Your weight - if you are underweight

Your mind - if you worry constantly if your mind stays in a whirl perpetually

Your mood - if you are constantly restless or agitated if you get easily fatigued

Your body - if you experience constipation, insomnia, vaginal dryness, discomfort in the joints

If you are experiencing most of these symptoms that mean that your Vita energy is not in balance. Here are a few tips for balancing Vita Dosha.

  • Consume Vata enhancing products such as organic Vata Tea; season your meals with Vata Churna (preferably organic); diffuse Vata Aroma Oil in the environment for calming your senses.
  • Go for an 'Abhyanga' - an ayurvedic massage with sesame oil. Get it done daily for better results.
  • Try to keep yourself in warm temperatures, especially in cold and windy weather. Staying warm is important.
  • Try to eat warm, cooked foods; less raw, cold foods or foods that taste pungent, astringent and bitter.
  • Follow a regular routine; go to bed early; give plenty of resting time to your body.
  • Try to keep off of stimulants; oily, warm, heavy foods and foods that are sweet, salty and sour would be good for you.

What can be an ideal Vata Appeasing Diet?

An ideal Vata appeasing diet should include larger than the usual quantity of food, but not in excess that it gets difficult for you to digest easily. Grains such as rice and wheat are good for your Vita. All kinds of dairy products are good too; keep in mind to have boiled milk and drink it while it's still warm.

Cooked veggies such as carrots, cucumber, beetroot, sweet potatoes, and asparagus are good for easing up your Vita energy. Also, consumption of cooked green leafy vegetables, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, celery and potatoes in moderation can also help in balancing your vita. Cooking your food with oil or ghee. As for fruits, sweet, sour and heavy fruits for instance bananas, grapes, oranges, cherries, peaches, avocados, berries, plums, melons, mangoes, papayas etc. are good for pacifying vita.

All types of nuts are good too. And spices such as cumin, cardamom, ginger, salt, cinnamon, mustard seeds, cloves and black pepper (but in small quantity) are all good for soothing your Vita as well.

What should you avoid

Avoid drinking milk along with your meals. Sweeteners may be good but should be taken in moderation. Try and avoid the intake of corn, barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, and rye; reduce the consumption of beans. Raw or uncooked vegetables should also be put off; consumption of sprouts and cabbage should also be kept on hold. Dry and light fruits like, pears, apples, cranberries, pomegranates, as well as dry fruits should be avoided.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta is the energy that controls your body's metabolic systems, including digestion, nutrition, absorption, and your body's temperature. An imbalance in the Pitta Dosha can lead to ulcers and an angry temperament and balanced Pitta energy keeps you content and agile and increases your brain power. Pitta energy governs a major aspect of your body known as 'agni' or the digestive fire of the body. Along with all that, Pitta is also responsible for your decision- making power, it plays a big part in choosing between right and wrong.

Since this energy takes under its charge of your sensory functions and the transformations in the body, it becomes your responsibility to keep your Vita Dosha in a balanced state. Here are some symptoms that occur if your Pitta energy is not balanced.

Your mood - if you tend to be critical or demanding; if you're often angry, frustrated or intense; if you're increasingly impatient and irritable; if you demand perfection in everything.

Your hair - if your hair is thin (or are thinning); if your hair is turning grey prematurely.

Your skin - if your skin is prone to rashes, and eruptions; if your skin in ruddy.

Your sleep - if you tend to wake up during the early hours and it takes time to fall back to sleep.

Your body - if your stomach acids are in excess; experiencing loose bowel movements; if you experience sudden hot flashes; if hot weather causes discomfort.

If you are experiencing most of these symptoms that mean your Pitta Dosh is weak and you need to balance it. Here are a few tips for balancing Pitta dosha.

  • Consume Pitta enhancing products such as organic Pitta Tea, season your meals with Pitta Churna (preferably organic); try practicing cooling aromatherapy with the help of cooling Pitta Aroma Oil.
  • Try to avoid hot temperatures and hot food. Try to keep yourself cool, have foods that have a cooling effect.
  • Consume dry fruits and foods that taste sweet, astringent and bitter. Try avoiding sour, pungent, salty flavors - keep away from oily, warm and light foods.
  • Don't overwork, don't over exert yourself. Try to do things in moderation and allow some leisure time.
  • Practice regular eating habits, keep in mind to have lunch. Also, practice ayurvedic oil massage (abhyanga), you can use coconut oil for its cooling effect.

What can be an ideal Pitta Appeasing Diet?

An ideal Pitta appeasing diet should include dairy products such as milk, ghee, and butter. Oils such as sunflower oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are good for pacifying you Pitta energy. Fruits that are sweet are also beneficial in calming down your pitta, fruits such as cherries, melons, grapes (sweet ones), avocados, pomegranates, mangoes, coconuts, fully ripe pineapples, oranges, and plums, all are great for you Pitta energy. Basically, all sweet things (apart from honey and molasses) are good for Pitta. Similarly, flavor vegetables such as potatoes, cucumber, pumpkins, green beans, zucchini along with green leafy veggies, broccoli, kale, celery, lettuce are beneficial too.

Spices such as coriander, cinnamon, fennel, and cardamom can help in balancing out your Pitta.

What should you avoid

Spices such as cumin, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, salt, clove and mustard seeds enhance your pitta energy, so they should be taken in small amounts. Try avoiding chili peppers and cayenne.

Sour tasting things tend to aggravate the Pitta Dosha. With dairy products, you should reduce the intake of yogurt, sour cream, cheese, and cultured butter. Fruits that are sour in flavour should also be kept off of, for instance, olives, grapefruit, papayas, and unripe plums and pineapples. As already mentioned above, honey and molasses should also be avoided; oils like sesame, corn oil, almond oil all increase the Pitta, so they too should be warded off till your pitta is balanced.

Lastly, vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets, radishes and garlic should be avoided till your pitta energy is balanced properly.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha Dosh is the energy that governs all lubrication, structure, and growth in the mind and body. It supplies water to all body parts, controls growth, weight, lubrication for the lungs and joints, and the formation of all seven tissues - nutritive fluids, muscles, blood, fat, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues. Kapha energy when in perfect harmony with the other two energies produces love and forgiveness; when it's out of balance it can lead to envy and insecurity.

Growth, structure and fluid balance is essential for all our bodies, therefore keeping this Dosha balanced is essential too. To know if your Kapha Dosha is in balance take notice of these few symptoms.

Your weight - if you're overweight or to tend to gain weight easily.

Your mood & emotional state - if you feel lethargic, over- settled, lazy or complacent; if you are over- attached or possessive with anything. Also, if cold and damp weather causes you discomfort.

Your sleep - if you tend to oversleep and wake up tired or unrefreshed

Your body - if you have oily skin and hair; if you experience sinus problems, congestion, water retention and bloating; if you feel stiff or heavy (especially in the morning)

If you are experiencing most of these symptoms that mean that your Vita energy is not in balance. Here are a few tips for balancing Vita Dosha.

  • Consume Kapha enhancing products such as organic Kapha Tea and try to season your meals with Kapha Churna (preferably organic). You can also diffuse stimulating Kapha Aroma oil in your environment.
  • Try to stay in warm temperatures, if you're in cold and damp temperatures try to keep yourself was warm as you can; take out time to do a little bit of exercise every day. Opt for new things, new experiences. Also, try to fix your bed time and wake up on time.
  • Have fresh fruits, legumes, and vegetables. Go for foods that are bitter, pungent, astringent in taste; foods that are dry, light and warm. Control the consumption of oily, heavy, cold foods; foods that are sour, sweet and salty in taste are also not good for Kapha Dosha.

What can be an ideal Kapha Appeasing Diet?

An ideal Kapha appeasing diet should include light fruits such as apple and pears, honey works well in soothing Kapha. Most spices, beans, and vegetables are good for calming down this energy (I'll mention the ones you should avoid below). In cases of dairy products, prefer having low- fat milk and always boil the milk before you drink (this way it becomes easier to digest). Try to have it while it's still warm. Adding a pinch of ginger or turmeric to the milk before boiling it will reduce any Kapha enhancing qualities of the milk.

What should you avoid

Avoid taking milk with salty or sour foods. Reduce the intake of fruits such as bananas, pineapples, oranges, figs, dates, coconuts avocados, and melons. Try to opt for honey instead of sugar. All types of nuts should be avoided as they increase the Kapha energy. Reduce excess intake of rice and wheat; vegetables such as cucumbers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini should also be avoided. Lastly, try to add less amount of salt in your food or have less salt altogether till your Kapha energy comes from a balanced state.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

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