Ayurveda is considered the oldest healing science. In fact, in Sanskrit, the word “Ayurveda” means “Science of Life.” Known as the “Mother of all Healing,” Ayurveda originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The medicinal system stems from the age-old Vedic culture and its knowledge was exchanged orally from accomplished masters and practitioners to their disciples and families.
Well, if you need to know the basics of Ayurveda, you should have a clear understanding of the three doshas or humors.
Ayurveda and doshas Well, Ayurvedic medicine is primarily based on the awareness that this world is comprised of five elements: space, water, earth, fire, and air. A combination of these elements results in three doshas or humors, known as vata, pitta, and kapha. These humors are believed to be key factors responsible for an individual’s mental, physiological, and emotional health.
The unique ratio of vata, pitta, and kapha in a person defines his or her Ayurvedic constitution, which is considered a blueprint to achieve good health. Diseases are generally caused when there is an imbalance in any or all of these doshas. Only an Ayurvedic practitioner can help determine your dosha, and come up with a treatment to cure your illness.
Let’s take a look at what each dosha looks like.
Vata Vata is composed mostly of air and space and is usually described as being light, cold, rough, dry, flowing, and spacious.
The vata dosha is believed to govern the catabolism (breaking down of complex molecules to form simpler ones; destructive metabolism) of the body. It helps balance electrolytes, maintain cellular transport, and eliminate waste products. Dryness tends to increase the effect of vata.
Those with vata dosha are generally described as lean, creative, and energetic. While they are known for their innovative thinking, they can become easily distracted. Moreover, their mood is extremely dependent on the foods they consume, the people around them, and the weather.
They are flexible, naturally slim, highly creative, kind-hearted, multitaskers, and can learn quickly. On the flip side, they are anxious, forgetful, have trouble sleeping, are highly sensitive to cold, have irregular eating patterns, are easily prone to digestive problems, and have poor circulation.
To maintain optimal health, a vata-dominant person must follow a proper daily routine, do meditation and other calming activities to manage stress, and keep their body temperature warm.
Pitta Normally known to be linked with a tenacious personality, pitta dosha is purely based on fire and water. Pitta is commonly described as light, hot, oily, sharp, mobile, and liquid.
The pitta dosha governs the body’s metabolism. It regulates the body temperature and optic nerve coordination while helping with hunger and thirst management. The heat conditions in the body aggravate this dosha.
Those with pitta dosha generally have a muscular build, are athletic, and are capable of being strong leaders. They are highly competitive, motivated, and goal-oriented. However, their tenacious and aggressive nature can often hurt people, leading to conflict.
The strengths of pitta-dominant people are that they are purposeful, intelligent, self-determined, strong, natural leaders, can master skills easily, have a strong desire for success, exhibit a quick metabolism and healthy skin and hair. However, they can be impatient, always hungry, prone to conflict, sensitive to hot temperatures, and likely to get acne and inflammation. People exhibiting pitta-dominant dosha must avoid extreme heat and focus on attaining work-life balance.
Kapha Kapha is made of earth and water, and the dosha can be described as stable, steady, slow, heavy, cold, and soft.
The kapha dosha governs the anabolism (the building up of complex molecules from simpler ones; constructive metabolism) of the body. It lubricates the joints appropriately for proper functioning. Fatty and sweet foods are known to aggravate this dosha.
Those with kapha dosha are often described as caring, strong, and thick-boned. They serve as a support system for others. Perhaps, kapha-dominant people seldom get upset, think well before acting, and process things in a slow and deliberate manner.
Kapha-dominant people are caring, empathetic, patient, trusting, wise, calm, romantic, happy, and have strong bones and joints and a healthy immune system. On the other side, they have a slow metabolism and are likely to gain weight quickly. They are usually sluggish, oversleep, have mucus build-up and breathing issues like wheezing and allergies, have a higher risk of heart disease, are susceptible to depression, and may need regular motivation and encouragement.
To maintain good health, a kapha-dominant person must focus on a healthy diet, regular exercise, a proper sleep routine, and maintaining a warm body temperature.