WHAT IS AYURVEDA? A BRIEF DESCRIPTION ON THREE DOSHAS LIKE VATA, PITTA AND KAPHA

The science of Ayurveda is known to be the oldest form of healing system in the world dating back to ancient times. The effectiveness of this form of health care especially in the cure of chronic diseases is undoubtedly and as a result, more and more people all over the world are resorting to this treatment option.

Basis of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is distinct from the modern medicinal approach in the sense that it considers each individual as unique and offers no common treatment for the same ailment to all the affected individuals. A single lifestyle routine or diet regime does not work for everyone. Treatment therapy is decided after evaluating the ‘prakriti’ (nature or constitution) of the individual. ‘Prakriti’ stands for who you basically are and how is your constitution composed.  As per Ayurveda, disease occurs if an individual’s lifestyle is not in sync with his or her constitution. Since the constitution of each person is unique to an individual the path to healing will also be different for each person.  More knowledge about the constitution of each individual can be obtained through the science of Tridosha. Tridosha explains the three basic principles or energies that control the functioning of an individual’s body on the emotional as well as the physical plane. The three energies comprise of vata, pitta and kapha. Each individual’s constitution is made up of all the three energies in differing proportions.

Vata

The influence of air and ether element is predominant in the vata types of individuals. People with vata nature are thin, lanky and have dry hair and skin. They are talkative, energetic, creative and enthusiastic when in balance. However, they can get ungrounded, anxious, overwhelmed and confused when out of balance and may also face insomnia. The Ayurvedic remedy to bring back the balance involves intake of cooked rice and vegetables, warm milk infused with spices, herbs such as ginger and ashwagandha for nourishment.

Pitta

Water and fire elements constitute the pitta dosha. People with pitta nature are orderly, focused, sharp, have medium built and good musculature. They are intense, competitive and natural leaders bordering on the authoritarian. Their intense appetites make them grumpy if they have to wait or miss out a meal. When out of balance they are prone to skin rashes, diarrhoea, infections etc. To bring back the balance diets that include fennel, raw vegetables, beans, cooked rice and wheat, herbs such as shatavari and dandelion root is recommended. 

Kapha

The predominance of earth and water element exists in this dosha. The individuals of this nature are stable, methodical and compassionate and have strong frames and heavy built. When out of balance they become lethargic, unmotivated, stubborn and depressed. To bring back the balance, the diet should include plenty of vegetables, grains like amaranth and quinoa, spices like cayenne pepper and herbs such as guggul and clove.

Summarizing

An individual’s constitution is a unique combination of all the three energies with lesser or abundance of one or more of them. A Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist conducts a detailed study of the individual looking at each aspect to determine his nature and the areas of balance and imbalance. Based on the three factors he puts together a treatment program which is effective in regaining optimal health for him.