Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The modern world has slowly accepted this traditional system of medicine, and it’s seen as an alternative to modern medicine. In most Western European and American hospitals, this traditional form of medicine has been integrated into general applications as well as in the medical field.
Ayurveda has been in use for more than two millennia and has varied and evolved over the years. It’s said that the classical Ayurveda began with the transmission of the medical expertise from the Gods and then knowledge was passed to the sages, and finally to the human doctors. These therapies are based on complex compounds of herbal products, metals, and various mineral substances. Ayurveda also involves complex medical techniques that include surgical procedures e.g. perineal lithotomy, extracting foreign objects, suturing wounds, and rhinoplasty.
Medical scholars have asserted in the past that Ayurveda originated in the prehistoric periods, and some concepts of this traditional form of medicine were discovered since the times of Vedic period and Indus Valley Civilisation or even earlier. However, most of the medical expertise was developed in the Vedic period, with systems that include Jainism and Buddhism having some practices and concepts appearing in the Ayurveda medical system.
Under Ayurveda is three fundamental substances called the doshas.
Doshas according to the Ayurveda system are three humors that constitute the body of a human being. The dosha teachings are also commonly referred to as the Tridosha theory.
Ayurveda mainly exists because of a delicate but key balance between the three doshas or bodily humors called Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.
The three named doshas above are present in every human being, but the teachings of Ayurveda proposes that we all have at least one dominant dosha since our birth date. Ayurveda also recommends that there should be a balance between the other two doshas. Once the doshas are well balanced, we will live a healthy and disease-free lifestyle but when they aren’t, we develop diseases that are often as a result of various causes. Such causes may include:
- Poor eating habits
- Poor digestion
Most of the Eastern Asia countries have fully integrated the three doshas into their schools of medicine. Ayurveda physicians will even undertake evaluations of your body such as checking your pulse, evaluating your appearance, taking your temperature and asking questions to see how you will handle them and also how you respond to certain scenarios.
There are three doshic states…
Decreased: In this case, a certain dosha is present but in a lower than normal proportion also known as a depleted or a reduced state
Balanced: All the 3 stated doshas are present in their normal equal proportions also called an equilibrium state.
Increased: One of the doshas is present in a greater than normal proportion also known as an excess or aggravated state.
Of the three states above, the aggravated state or increased state leads to the highest number of imbalances, which often come from a range of influences such as stress in life, or a dosha aggravating budget. You could initiate a reinstatement of balance, but it would need a lot of dedication and effort. You would first need to understand your body makeup then complement the needs of your external environment with the needs of your internal environment. Ayurveda medical system offers various specific recommendations for every individual ranging from a general lifestyle change to the treatment of diseases.
Vata’s definition is derived from the elements of air and space, which translate to ‘’that which moves stuff’’. It is considered as the most significant dosha because it the greater life’s force and it controls Kapha and Pitta doshas.
Some Vata qualities include mobile, light, subtle, rough, dry and cold. A Vata person may display the mental and physical individualities in both an imbalanced and balanced condition.
Vata Pyschical Characteristics
Vata individuals have a sense of excellent adaptability, light frame and are thin. As mentioned above, the Vata influences other doshas. Energies in Vatas come out in bursts and, tend to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. They have cold feet and hands. Their digestion is sensitive, and they sleep lightly as compared to the other doshas.
Vata persons are always on the go with energetic, creative body and minds.
Imbalance Of A Vata
When a Vata is imbalanced, it exhibits anxiety and certain disorders that may include either one or some of the following; constipation, dry skin, arthritis, pains, aches, loss of weight, weakness, and skin dryness.
A Vata individual becomes imbalanced as a result of
- Sleeping late at night and for fewer hours
- Eating while on the run
- Smoking cigarettes or shish-a
- Drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
- Eating while anxious or depressed
- Having an irregular routine
How Can Vata’s Stay Balanced?
A balanced Vata is enthusiastic, creative, lively, balanced, and gifted with a natural ability to communicate and express him or herself effortlessly.
Listed below are some guidelines a Vata can undertake to ensure they are balanced:
- Follow the dietary steps listed below
- Have enough sleep and always keep warm
- Vatas should avoid certain climatic weathers such as dry climates, windy and cold conditions
- Avoid very noisy places such as clubs and bars
- Reduce traveling and keep your movements to a minimum
- Avoid inconsistent routines and engage in exercises that are regulated and gentle in nature
- Create time for rest, having breaks between heavy and complex tasks.
- Live in a safe, peaceful and calming environment.
A Vata is known to be dry and cold and, therefore, require nourishing warm foods, of reasonably heavy texture. Fat and butter are recommended for stabilising a Vata.
Always choose satisfying, sweet, soothing and salty foods. Other diets common for Vatas include warm milk, hot cereals, butter, cream, nut butter, raw nuts, baked bread, warm soups, and stews. Sugary fruits are preferred to the sour and bitter ones. Vatas are advised to wait till fruits are extra ripe so as to consume them.
You should also have hot water and warm drinks regularly. Drinks such as hot herbal teas ought to be taken in the late afternoon.
Spices that a Vata can use in their foods include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.
What Types Of Food Should A Vata Reduce?
Vata should desist from drinking drinks with a lot of caffeine such as sodas and coffee. Sweets should be avoided. Cold drinks and foods such as raw vegetables, and greens, iced drinks, and salads will lead to a Vata imbalance as stated above. Avoid having unripe fruits as they deemed to be too astringent.
VATA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Vata should undertake to ensure dosha balance and restore Vata balance if there is any imbalance.
The best fruits include grapes, avocados, lemons, fresh figs, plums, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, coconuts, berries, sweet lemons, cherries, stewed, sour oranges, plums, grapefruits, apricots, and bananas.
The fruits listed above should be well ripened.
Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include pears, cranberries, and pomegranates.
Dried, unripe fruits should be avoided.
The best grains for a Vata include cooked rice and cooked foods such as oatmeal cereals.
Note that the cereals should be cooked and not dried.
Grains to be taken with moderation include millet, dry oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.
All forms of dairy are allowed.
The best meats for a Vata include chicken, turkey and sea foods all in small quantities. Generally speaking, the best meats are white meat.
Types of meat that to be taken in moderation include red meat, e.g., beef and pork
The best type of beans includes the following: pink lentils, chickpeas, tofu and mung beans. However, tofu should be taken in small quantities unlike the other listed type of beans.
Beans such as black beans, kidney beans should be taken in moderation.
The best oils for Vatas include ghee, sesame and olive oil. Olive oil is the best oil and is highly recommended due to its nutritional value and health benefits.
Spice & Herbs
Vatas should avoid having spices in large amounts. They should also desist from astringent and bitter spices and herbs that include thyme, fenugreek coriander seed, and parsley. Herbs such as turmeric and saffron should be taken in moderation.
All vegetables listed below should be cooked.
The best vegetables include the following: turnips, garlic, carrots, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes
Vegetables that should be taken in moderation include broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, eggplant, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, peppers peas, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts
Desist from consuming raw vegetables.
Seeds & Nuts
Almond seeds are considered the best for a Vata. However, all nuts and seeds are acceptable.
All sweeteners are allowed.
Pitta is related to the elements of Water and Fire and roughly translates to ‘’the one that cooks’’ It refers to the energy of metabolism and digestion in the body that functions through substances such as enzymes, bile, and organic acids. The liquid nature of the named elements above accounts for Pitta’s element of Water make-up.
Locations of Pitta in the body include stomach, spleen, eyes, sweat, pancreas and the small intestine. Psychologically, they govern courage, joy, jealousy, mental perception and anger. Physiologically they provide the body with energy and heat through the breaking down of complex molecules.
When you feel like your body is “overheating,” Pitta is usually the cause. Internal body temperatures should always be kept in check to avoid such scenarios.
The qualities of a Pitta include acidic, pungent, penetrating, intense, light, hot, and sharp. This dosha controls metabolism, energy production, and digestion. A Pitta’s principal function is conversion and transformation of foods into energy.
The qualities listed can be reflected in either an imbalanced or balanced state.
Emotional Features of a Pitta
Pittas have a strong ability of concentration and are powerful intellects. They are excellent speakers, good decision makers and teachers. Other characteristics of Pittas include direct, sharp-witted, precise and, ambitious, outspoken and practical. They love challenges and taking adventurous trips.
Imbalance of a Pitta
When they are imbalanced, they exhibit certain behaviours such as being argumentative, short-tempered, and emotional outbursts.
What Causes the Imbalance of a Pitta?
- Eating while furious
- Smoking cigarettes.
- Drinking alcohol, tea or coffee
- Consuming Pitta-aggravating diets
When Pittas are imbalanced, they suffer from disorders such as burning sensations, indigestion, skin rashes, peptic ulcers, and heart burns.
How Can a Pitta Stay Balanced?
- Follow the food plan listed below
- Engage in calming exercises every day such as walking, tai chi, yoga, and swimming.
- Participate in activities that relax the mind like spending time in the park enjoying the picturesque nature
- Avoid climates with high humidity, excessive heat, and steam.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid conflicts
- Avoid stimulants especially those that are artificially made
What Are The Favourable Diets?
Pittas need to have warm or cool foods with reasonably heavy textures. Pittas should desist from having hot, steaming foods. Ideal tastes include astringent, sweet and bitter tastes. Consume cool foods in the hot weather such as ice cream, salads, and milk. A good breakfast for a Pitta may include apple tea, cinnamon toast and cold cereal. Red meat should be avoided as it tends to generate heat for the body. Vegetables are best for Pittas. They should consume high amounts of vegetables, grains and milk.
Foods a Pitta Should Reduce
Pittas should avoid all alcoholic drinks. A Pitta should go slow on the consumption of fatty foods i.e. they ought to use less added fat and butter. They should skip hot drinks, nuts, honey, egg yolks, hot spices, cheese, pickles, and sour cream. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Pittas ought to use lemon juice as a dressing instead of vinegar. Fermented diets should also not be taken by Pitta persons.
PITTA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Pitta should undertake to maintain balance and restore balance in case of any imbalance.
The best fruits include apples, sour cherries, berries, grapefruits, pineapples, peaches, raw papaya, dark grapes, and persimmon.
A vital point to note is the fruits named above should be sweet and ripe.
Avoid any fruits that aren’t ripe and sweet especially plums, oranges, grapes, and pineapples.
The best grains include white basmati rice, oats, barley, and wheat.
Grains such as rye, corn, millet, and brown rice should be taken in moderation
The best forms of dairy for a Pitta include milk, egg whites, butter, not sour fruit sorbets and ghee.
Cheese, ice cream, egg yolk, sour buttermilk, cream & yogurt should be taken in moderation.
The best meats for a Pitta include; shrimp, chicken, turkey, and river fish. All the listed types of meat should be taken in small amounts.
Meats such as seafood and red meat should be taken in moderation
Mung beans, tofu, red lentils, and chickpeas.
Beans such as black lentils, black gram, and Ar har Dal should be taken in moderation.
The best oils for Pitta include sunflower, soy, grape seed, and olive oils.
Oils such as coconut, corn, safflower, almond and sesame oils should be taken in moderation.
Spices & Herbs
Pittas should avoid all types of spices as they too heating. However, some herbs and spices such as cumin, mint, black pepper, dill, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, saffron, fennel, and turmeric can be consumed in small amounts
The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, sprouts, squash, zucchini, parsley, green beans, and spinach.
Some of the vegetables that ought to be taken in moderation include onions, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers and chilies
Seeds & Nuts
The best seeds and nuts for Pitta include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and coconut seeds
All sweeteners are allowed except for molasses and honey.
Kapha dosha is related to the elements of water and earth and roughly translates to “the one that sticks” It refers to the energy of lubrication and constituents of the body with its physical and structural form and the smooth functioning of all human parts. In general terms, it can be referred to the body lubrication, glue and cement of the areas of the body all rolled in one.
Kaphas tend to weigh heavier as compared to the other doshas. They also possess earthier bodies than the other two types. As a result of being heavier, they can easily store fats and fluids. Their speech is slow and melodically. They are attached and naturally calm. Sometimes they have watery dreams and have heavy and thick elimination.
Locations of Kapha in the body include the following: tendons, lungs, fatty tissue, ligaments, connective tissues, chest, throat, lymph, and the head. Psychologically, they govern greed, mental inertia, forgiveness, attachment, and love. Physiologically they store energy, moistens food, and they relate to bodily fluids such as mucous, water and lymph
The fluids in a Kapha may be stored in the body and leading to a dampened system which will eventually cloud the mind and weigh down the body leading to fatigue. This accumulation of fluids in the body leads to other body disorders that include sinus congestion, obesity, and mucous related diseases. Such body disorders often, in the end, cause depression, attachment, and lethargy.
The qualities of a Kapha include steady, slow, heavy, oily, cold and soft. It governs the body structures. It is the principal that holds together cells and forms the bone, muscle, and fat. Kapha also provides immunity to the body. The core function of Kapha is safeguarding the body from diseases.
Kaphas have an excellent stamina and a strong build. Their skin is radiant and smooth. Their digestion is regular, and they sleep soundly. However, once a Kapha adds a lot of weight, he or she tends to retain lots of fluids, which eventually manifests as allergies in the body.
What Are The Emotional Characteristics Of A Kapha
They are naturally loving, thoughtful and calm. They tend to be comfortable with routine and enjoy life. Kaphas are also supportive, loyal, steady, patient, and strong. They love listening to music, relaxing and reading.
Imbalance Of A Kapha
What causes an imbalance of a Kapha?
- Eating to get rid of emotions e.g. eating sweets when stressed.
- Not engaging in any physical activities.
- Avoiding intellectual tasks.
- Spending a lot of time in cool and damp climates.
- Spending lots of time indoors especially on the TV, laptop or computer.
When imbalanced, Kaphas become lethargic and overweight. They sleep excessively. They suffer from diabetes, depression, asthma, and depression.
Kaphas also hold onto jobs and relationships when imbalanced. They show excessive attachment and are resistant to change. They are also quite stubborn.
How Can Kaphas Stay Balanced?
- Follow the food plan below
- Exercise every day.
- Engage in activities that will energise, stimulate the body and mind.
- Allow for variety in life, challenges, and excitement.
- Break off from old ways of thinking, and stagnation.
- Always keep dry and warm
- Take part in introspective activities such as writing and meditation
- Have a boundary between being taken advantage of and being nice.
What Are The Favourable Diets?
Kaphas need to have dry foods, light, warm or cooked light meals. They also do best with raw vegetables and fruits. Spicy foods are such as Indian or hot Mexican foods are good for Kaphas. Dry methods of cooking that include broiling, baking, sautéing, and grilling are preferred to moist methods of cooking such as poaching, steaming or boiling. Preferred spices include turmeric, cumin, sesame seed, and fenugreek. Tonic water, endive, and romaine lettuce are some of the foods that are good for a Kapha.
Foods Kaphas Should Reduce
Kaphas should go slow on the consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and should reduce salt consumption as this often leads to fluid retention in the body. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Kaphas have a tendency of overeating.
They should have the main meal during the day with less heavy, dry foods in the late afternoon or night. Kaphas should desist from consuming fats, sugars, dairy products, chilled drinks, and foods. They ought to use oils and ghee in small proportions.
KAPHA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Kapha should undertake to ensure balance and restore Kapha balance if there is any imbalance. These foods mainly affect the moist and heavy aspects of the body.
The best fruits include grapefruits, cranberries, apples, pears, prunes, papaya, berries, cherries, and pomegranates, and apricots
Dried fruits including figs, apricots, raisins, prunes, and are great for Kaphas.
Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include mangoes, bananas, fresh figs, dates, and coconuts.
The best grains for a Kapha include basmati rice, buckwheat, barleycorn, millet, oats, and rye.
Grains, for instance, rice and wheat, should be taken with moderation
Kaphas are also advised to avoid steamed grains and hot cereals because they are too damp for the body.
Small amounts of whole milk, warm skim milk, camel milk, goat milk, and soy milk are good for a Kapha. They can also take eggs, but they shouldn’t be cooked with butter or fried
Eggs yolks should be taken in moderation.
The best meats include the following; lean fish, chicken, and turkey which should be taken in small amounts.
Meats such as red meat and shrimp should be taken with moderation
All legumes can be consumed.
Beans such as kidney beans and tofu to be taken in moderation.
The best oils for a Kapha include sunflower, grape seed oil, almond, and olive oil.
All oils should be used in small quantities.
Spices & Herbs
Kaphas can have all types of spices and herbs. However, the most preferred include sesame, cumin, ginger, and fenugreek. Spices and herbs are good because they improve digestion.
The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, sprouts, peas peppers, and spinach.
Vegetables to be eaten in moderation include zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Seeds & Nuts
The best seeds and nuts for Kaphas include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
All sweeteners are allowed but in small quantities.
Your Grace Guru