Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called "Tridosha" Or the Three Humors. 

All matter is thought to he composed of five basic elements ( panchamahabhutas ) which exhibit the properties of earth (prithvi), water (jala), fire (tejas), wind (vayu) and space (akasha). 

The structural aspect of our body is made up of five elements, but the functional aspect of the body is governed by three biological humors. 

Vayu and Akasha together constitute VATA
Thejas constitute PITTA
Jala and Prithvi together constitute KAPHA

They govern psycho-biological changes in the body and physio-pathological changes too. 
Vata-pitta-kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ. 
In every person they differ in permutations and combinations. 
Bodily vata-pitta-kapha changes according to diet, life style and emotions. 

Vata regulates movement and is represented by the nervous system. 

Pitta is the principle of biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body. 

Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids. 

In every person these three doshas differ in permutations and combinations and thereby determine the physiologic constitution(Prakriti) of an individual.
Vata, pitta and kapha are distinctly present in every individual and express in each human being differently according to predominance of their different qualities (gunas). 


Vata is dry, light, cold, mobile, active, clear, astringent, and it is dispersing.
Vata season is autumn, time of day is afternoon and early morning. 

Vata Personality :

Vata is dry, light, cold, mobile, active, clear, astringent, and it is dispersing. All of these qualities can manifest in an individual. 

For example, if a person has excess vata in his or her constitution, because of the dry quality, he or she will have dry hair, dry skin, dry colon and a tendency towards constipation. 
Because of the light quality, which is opposite of heavy, the vata person will have a light body frame, light muscles, and light fat, and so will be thin and underweight. 
Because of the cold quality, the vata person will have cold hands, cold feet and poor circulation. 
They hate the cold season and love summer. 
Because of the mobile quality, vata people are very active. 
They like jogging and jumping and don't like sitting in one place. 
Vata is subtle, and this subtle quality is responsible for the emotions of fear, anxiety, insecurity and nervousness. 
Vata is clear, therefore vata people can be clairvoyant; they have clear understanding and perception. They understand things immediately, but forget things immediately. 
Vata is astringent, which is a drying and choking quality of taste, therefore the vata person, while eating feels a drying choking sensation in the throat. 

Types of Vata :

1. Prana Vata : Governs the senses, creative thinking, reasoning, enthusiasm, leader of all 15 categories of Thridoshas

2. Udana Vata : Governs quality of voice, memory, movements of thought

3. Samana Vata : Governs movement of food through digestive tract

4. Apana Vata : Elimination of wastes, sexual function, menstrual cycle

5. Vyana Vata : Governs blood flow, heart rhythm, perspiration, sense of touch 

Symptoms of Vata Imbalance :

Prana Vata - Worries, overactive mind, sleep problems, difficulty breathing

Udana Vata - Dry coughs, sore throats, earaches, general fatigue
Samana Vata - Slow or rapid digestion, gas, intestinal cramps, poor assimilation, weak tissues

Apana Vata - Intestinal cramps, menstrual problems, lower back pain, irregularity, diarrhea, constipation, gas

Vyana Vata - Dry or rough skin, nervousness, shakiness, poor blood flow, stress-related problems 

Tips to Balance Vata :


Abhyanga (ayurvedic massage with sesame oil)
Stay warm in cold, windy weather
Consume warm, cooked foods (less raw foods)
Go to bed early have lot of rest and sleep.
Favor warm, oily, heavy food with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.


Avoid light, dry, cold, pungent, bitter and astringent foods
Avoid raw foods, juices, fasting
Avoid stimulants ,smoking ,alcohol
Refrain from excessive aerobic activity  

Medication for Vata:

Medicines and herbs that are demulcent, emollient, warmly diaphoretic, nervines, antispasmodic, warming and carminative are appropriate for treating Air imbalances. They are also particularly amenable to the internal and external application of herbal medicated oils. Castor oil because of its thick viscosity, is considered the strongest oil for treating excess vata conditions. Herbs and substances that are bitter and astringent such as cascara bark and bayberry bark, increase Air, while those that are sweet and demulcent, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root and comfrey, ameliorate it. The primary Panchkarma therapy for vata derangement is the use of medicated oils usually applied externally.


Pitta has hot, sharp, light, liquid, sour, oily and spreading qualities. 
Pitta has a strong smell, like a fleshy smell, and has a sour or bitter taste. 

Pitta Personality :

If an individual has excess pitta in the body,because of it's hot quality, the person has a strong appetite and warm skin. 
The body temperature is a little higher than the vata person. 
If hungry, he has to eat otherwise he will become irritable and hypoglycemic.
The second quality of pitta is sharp, therefore the pitta person has a sharp nose, teeth, eyes, mind and while talking uses sharp words. 
They also have very sharp memory. 
Because of the oily quality, they have soft warm oily skin, straight oily hair, and the feces are oily and liquid. 
Because of the hot, sharp, and oily qualities, pitta people have a tendency to grey prematurely, a sign of early maturity. 
Pitta girls get earlier menstruation and reach puberty earlier.
Pitta people are moderate in body frame, and they do not like bright light. 
They like to read before they go to bed, and sometimes the pitta person sleeps with a book on the chest. 
Because of too much heat in the body, pitta person can get a receding hair line, or a big, beautiful, bald head.
The next quality of pitta is strong smell. 
When the pitta person perspires, under the arm pit there is a typical sulphur smell, and if he doesn't wash his socks, they will have a strong smell. 
That's why a pitta person loves perfumes. 
Pitta people are lovers of knowledge and have a great capacity of organization and leadership. 
They are often wise, brilliant people, but can have a controlling, dominating personality. 
Pitta people have a tendency towards comparison, competition, ambition, and they have a quality of aggressiveness, so naturally they criticize. 
They are perfectionists.

Types of Pitta :
1. Alochaka Pitta : Governs functioning of the eyes

2. Bhrajaka Pitta : Responsible for healthy glow of the skin 

3. Sadhaka Pitta : Controls desire, drive, decisiveness, spirituality

4. Pachaka Pitta : Responsible for digestion, assimilation, metabolism for healthy nutrients and tissues

5. Ranjaka Pitta : Responsible for healthy, toxin-free blood

Symptoms of Pitta Imbalance:

Alochaka Pitta - Blood shot eyes, poor vision

Bhrajaka Pitta - Skin rashes, acne

Sadhaka Pitta - More demanding, workaholic

Pachaka Pitta - Hyperacidity

Ranjaka Pitta - Early graying of hair, anger, toxins in blood 

Tips to Balance Pitta:


Keep cool. Avoid hot temperatures and hot food
Favor cool, heavy, dry, sweet, bitter and astringent foods
Keep activities in Moderation.
Keep regular mealtimes, especially at noon


Avoid sesame and mustard oils, fish, buttermilk, mutton, acidic fruits, alcohol, meat and fatty, oily foods.
Restrict pungent, sour, salty, warm, oily and light foods
Avoid over work
Avoid fasting 

Medication for Pitta :
Medicines and herbs that are cooling, purging, laxative, antipyretic and blood detoxifying, cholagogic (releasing bile) are appropriate for treating Fire imbalances. 
Laxative herbs such as cascara bark, rhubarb and senna are used. 
When there is no constipation, one can use alterative or cholagogic herbs such as red clover, sarsaparilla, oregon grape root, barberry root and dandelion root. 


Kapha is Heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, dense, thick, static and cloudy.  
Kapha is sweet and salty.

Kapha Personality:

Because of the heavy quality, kapha people have heavy bones, muscles and fat.
They will have a tendency to put on weight. 
A kapha person may even do a water fast and will put on weight. 
Kapha is slow, therefore a kapha person has slow metabolism and digestion. 
The kapha person can work without food, while it is very difficult for a pitta person to concentrate without food. 
Kapha is cool hence kapha people have cool, clammy skin. 
The skin is cool, but within the G.I. tract the digestive fire is high therefore they have a strong appetite.
Kapha people have other qualities, thick wavy hair, and big, attractive eyes. 
They have slow but prolonged, steady memory. Kapha people are forgiving, loving and compassionate. Because of the slow quality, kapha people walk slowly and talk slowly. 
They don't like jogging and jumping. 
They love eating, sitting and doing nothing.

Types of Kapha :

1. Tarpaka Kapha : Responsible for moisture for nose, mouth, eyes and brain

2. Bhodaka Kapha : Governs Sense of taste, which is essential for good digestion

3. Kledaka Kapha : Governs moisture of the stomach lining for good digestion

4. Avalambaka Kapha : Protects the heart, strong muscles, healthy lungs

5. Sleshaka Kapha : Lubricates the joints,Keeps skin soft and supple.

Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance :

Tarpaka Kapha - Sinus congestion, poor sense of smell

Bhodaka Kapha - Poor sense of taste, food cravings due to lack of fulfillment

Kledaka Kapha - Impaired digestion, poor absorption

Avalambaka Kapha - Lethargy, respiratory problems, lower back pain

Sleshaka Kapha - Weight gain, oily skin, loose or painful joints

Tips to Balance Kapha:

DO's :

Do regular exercise, Begin with Sooryanamaskara to warm up your body, which should be followed by a Vigorous activity
Prefer warm temperatures, Stay warm and dry in cold, damp weather
Use Fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes
Favor pungent, bitter, astringent, light, dry and warm foods

DON'Ts : 

Reduce heavy, oily, cold, sweet, sour and salty foods
Avoid heavy meals.
Sleep promotes Kapha hence avoid excessive sleep,
All frozen desserts are to be avoided.

Medication for Kapha :

Medicines and herbs that are diuretic, warming diaphoretic, warming stimulant, expectorant, carminative and aperient (mildly laxative) are appropriate for treating Kapha imbalances. 

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