Note: This article serves as a quick view to understanding important concepts implicated across The Ayurveda Doctor Herbal Medicine Store. For a more in depth and contextual explanation please reference the Ayurvedic Philosophy article.
The Three Dosha's
Vata emerges in the body and mind as the combination of Air and Ether. Vata contains the qualities of cold, dry, light subtle, sharp and clear. Vata dosha is that which moves things. It governs all movement and catabolic activities in the body. It can be found in the peristaltic activity of the large intestine, the pelvic cavity, the porosity of the bones, the touch receptors of the skin, the nervous system and the ears.
Vata Signs and Symptoms of Imbalance
Gas, constipation, Insomnia, Dry and cracked skin, Cold body temperature, Under-weight, Anxiety
Pitta emerges in the body and mind as the combination of Fire and a little Water. Pitta contains the qualities of hot, slightly moist, light, subtle, flowing, sharp and clear. Pitta is that which digests things. It governs primarily our digestion and metabolism. It can be found in the gastric secretions of the lower stomach and small intestine as well as the blood, liver, spleen, sweat glands and eyes.
Pitta Signs and Symptoms of Imbalance
Burning and loose stools, Oily, Rashes, Hot body temperature, Anger
Kapha emerges in the body and mind as the combination of Earth and Water. Kapha contains the qualities of cool, moist, heavy, gross, dense, static, dull, soft, smooth and cloudy. Kapha dosha is that which holds things together. It governs all anabolic functions of the body as well as lubrication, stability and immune strength. It can be found in the stomach, chest, mouth, throat, head, lymph as well as all liquids of the body and synovial membranes.
Kapha Signs and Symptoms of Imbalance
Heavy, Sluggish Digestion, Excessive Sleep, Over-Weight, Depression
Two Additional Important Concepts
Agni regulates temperature, performs digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food It transforms food into energy and ultimately into consciousness. Foods or substances that are hot, dry, light, subtle and flowing mimic the qualities of agni and will generally increase a person's Agni. Foods or substances that are cold, moist, heavy and dense will generally decrease a person's Agni. Agni that is too high will result in excess Pitta Dosha and begin to express Pitta type signs and symptoms. Agni that is too low will result in excess Kapha Dosha and begin to express Kapha type signs and symptoms.
Ojas is the subtle, positive energy of kapha dosha (or of the earth & water elements). Within Ayurveda it is considered to be the master coordinator between mind, body and strength of self. Ojas is the finest product of digestion, the main-life supporting force in the body as well as the mind. It acts like a shock absorber, helping to insulate the mind from day-to-day stress and enhance the body’s immune system. It maintains strength, vitality and integrity. Ojas that is too low will generally result in excess Vata Dosha and begin to express Vata type signs and symptoms. Ojas can also be too high and will result in excess Kapha Dosha.