Ayurveda is much more than just alternative medicine, it’s a way of living, that hides the secrets of pursuing a healthy life. Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) is a 5,000-year-old practice with its historical roots in the Indian subcontinent and has spread across the world, shaping and improving many lives.
The practice of Ayurveda and the theory behind it is pseudoscience, the core of Ayurveda, concentrates on prevention. It is based on the concept that general health and wellness rely on a subtle balance between mind, body, and spirit.
What are ‘Doshas’
According to Charak Samhita, the ancient Sanskrit text’s chapter number 20th called Maharoga Adhyaya, Ayurveda works on the principles of five basic elements. everything in the Universe is made up of Five Elements known as ‘Panch Mahabhutas’ – Space (Akasha), Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni), Water (Jal) and Earth (Prithvi). It explains the importance of keeping these elements balanced for a healthy body and mind.
Each person is impacted by certain elements more than others because of their natural establishment (Prakriti), which is categorized into three doshas:
Vata Dosha – where the air and space elements dominate
Pitta Dosha – where the fire element dominates
Kapha Dosha – where the earth and water elements dominate
The Vata dosha is the most important of the three doshas. This is because if Vata imbalances for a long time, it can also affect cause the other two doshas Pitta or Kapha.
Vata Imbalance Symptoms & Effects on the physical body
Vata Imbalance could be seen in our Physical health – there will be symptoms such as constipation, Gas formation or distension in the abdomen, dehydration in many cases, dry and rough skin is very common, pains and general body ache, astringent taste in the mouth, loss of strength, fatigue, low vitality, disturbed or lack of sleep, tremors and twitches in worst cases, feeling dizzy, sensitiveness to cold and desire for warmth.
Vata Imbalance Effects on Mental health
It affects the overall personality of a person as the face Irrational, Anxious, Nervous, Agitated, Wanting to run away, feeling confused, fearful & shaky, feeling ungrounded, excessive movement or talking.
The Pitta dosha is associated with fire or heat. Wherever there is a mutation, there is Pitta Prakriti working. Pitta works in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, skin, eyes, or brain and an imbalance of Pitta in your body affects severely.
Symptoms & Effects of Pitta Imbalance on the physical body
Pitta Dosha’s impacts can be seen on your physical health in various ways-
Excessive thirst or hunger sensation of heartburn and acidity, burning sensation in eyes, hands, and soles, hot flushes in body, skin rashes, acne, boils, vomiting bile (yellowish water), Hypersensitivity to light, strong body odour, nausea and headache, loose motions, Always having a bitter taste in the mouth, sensitiveness to heat and a desire for a cool environment.
Pitta Dosha Effects on mental health
Pitta Dosha can give you snappy speech and actions, it makes you judgmental or criticizing, anger and irritation are common, it changes your basic behavior, it makes you argumentative, and give you an aggressive attitude. Whereas, impatience, restlessness, and frustration are also caused by Pitta imbalance.
Kapha (pronounced “kuffa”) is based on the two elements earth and water. Kapha provides structure and fat to the body. These qualities help to counterbalance Vata’s movement and Pitta’s metabolism. The imbalance of Kapha can lead to disturbing the full system of the body.
Symptoms & Effects of Kapha Imbalance on your Physical health-
Lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, water retention, Congestion, mucous formation in the body, secretions in the mouth, and difficulty in breathing was also seen during the covid outbreak. Excessive sleep and sweetness in the mouth can make you fully sure that your Kapha is imbalanced.
Effects of Kapha imbalance on mental health
A feeling of heaviness in the heart that might make you sad and which can further lead to depression, dullness, and inactiveness. One can get the feeling of a lack of emotional and mental support, love, or feeling greed.
How to balance these three doshas in the body
According to an EX-District Ayurvedic officer (DAO) of Himachal Pradesh, Dr. HR Gautam, “Ayurveda has answers to every body part related issues and to balance the Tri dosha, one must maintain a dosha specific diet, can do warm oil massages and yoga. To balance each dosha, certain foods need to be consumed while some should be avoided.”
He has shared his knowledge with The Statesman correspondent from Shimala on balancing all the doshas in the body:
To balance Kapha Dosha: Excessive food consumption is one of the major reasons for Kapha imbalance, and therefore, a light, low-fat diet of bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes is recommended which is called ”Shadd Rass” in Ayurveda.
Eating steamed or raw vegetables, ripe fruits, grains like oats, rye, barley, and millets, honey and strong spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, mustard, and turmeric can balance Kapha in the body.
To Balance Vata Dosha: High consumption of spicy and astringent foods contributes to Vata imbalance. Hence, a healthy diet with salty, sweet, and sour tastes and warm, moist, and easily digestible foods is recommended.
This includes vegetables like broccoli, leafy vegetables and cauliflower, wheat and rice, and mild spices like cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. In addition, moist foods like berries, melons, and yogurt can help counter-balance Vata’s dry quality. One can intake other hydrating cooked foods such as soups or stews. Oily foods like cheese, eggs, whole milk, coconut, nuts, and seeds are validating as well.
To Balance Pitta Dosha: Excessive consumption of alcohol and spicy, oily, fried, salty, and fermented foods may result in pitta imbalance. Pitta balance can be restored with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and heavy, cool foods such as sweet fruits, dairy products, curry leaves, barley, oats, and mint. Avoid sour fruits, red meat, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
Having a proper diet, doing Pranayama, and doing yoga can make you live a longer and healthier life.