Ayurveda For Women – 2 The Three Doshas

According to Charak Samhita – ‘No doctor has ever been or will ever be able to create and maintain health. It is nature alone that can heal and provide health.

All that a human can do is to create conditions in herself or her patients that will facilitate Nature’s work. ‘

In our previous blogs we have mentioned about the three doshas which are particularly very important.  The literal meaning of dosha is fault or mistake. However, in Ayurveda they are in fact three basic principles. These three doshas are condensations of the five mahabhutas or the ‘great elements’. These five elements are – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.  The three doshas are Vatta, Pita, and Kapha. 

Let’s discuss the five elements:

  • Earth: It is the solid state of matter, it primarily represents stability.
  • Water: It is the liquid state of matter; its primary attribute is flux.
  • Fire: It is a great power. It can convert a substance from solid to liquid to gas or vice versa.
  • Air: It is in gaseous form. Its characteristic attribute is mobility.
  • Space or ether or sky: It is a place where every event occurs. It does not have any perceptible physical existence.

The Three Doshas

Vatta Predominant: Vatta is the air element. The qualities of Vatta are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile. The persons with vatta are very generous, agile and are quite proficient in multitasking. Vatta imbalance can be controlled by using Ayurvedic techniques.  The causes of vatta imbalance are:

  1. Stressful life
  2. Lack of exercise and overwork
  3. Missing meals.
  4. Anxiety

A vatta-predominant  person’s prakriti  has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Excess of vatta may Vatta:

  • lead to brittle skin, lips, hair, nails or bones.
  • A person with less quantity of vatta has lanky physique, light bones and psychologically feel insecure and may suffer from insomnia.
  • A person having cold quality of vatta has cold hands and feet and they always crave for warmth.
  • The people with mobile quality of vatta are introverted, creative and they generally lead an active life.

How we can balance Vatta
A basic tenet of Ayurveda is ‘like increases like’. As a result the inherent qualities of vatta will increase vatta in mind, body and spirit. Dry seasons, foods and places like desert areas increase the dry quality of vatta.

Pitta Predominant: Elements of fire and water cause Pitta dosha. Fire is predominant in it. The characteristics of fire and water are hot, light, sharp, oily and flowing. Pitta-dominant individuals are of medium physique, athletic build it that makes the body sustain muscle tone. Such people are born leaders, they generally communicate directly. They tend to gain weight easily and also lose it as easily. Such people value organization and they believe in completion of tasks. They are compassionate. When pitta is balanced such people turn to be good leaders and they inspire others to complete their tasks.

Imbalance in pitta causes hypertension and heated emotions. There is a tendency for hyperacidity, ulcers and inflammation in the body. However, excess of pitta in mind leads to impatience, irritability, jealousy and anger. Their skin is composed of fire and water elements; when the pitta is balanced their skin is rosy and of dewy glow. The skin is delicate, naturally warm and can have freckles. 

Kapha Predominant: Kapha dominant people are quite lovable. They become good managers and they can calmly handle several issues simultaneously. They have good retentive power and they can remember even the minor details. They lead a regular life; however, they have a tendency of overeating.

The Kapha-dominant people have an impressive figure, big and beautiful eyes, well-shaped mouth, smooth skin and snow-white teeth. 

Reasons for Kapha Imbalance and Resultant Diseases
There are many reasons   for Kapha Imbalance. Generally, overeating, avoiding exercise and excessive sleep for a long time lead to the Kapha-imbalance. It leads to depression, obesity, and diabetes type II, etc.

How to Balance Kapha?
The basic principle of Ayurveda is ‘like increases likes’. Therefore, by increasing the inherent qualities of Kapha we can increase it in our body, mind and spirit. Kapha is inherently cool, heavy and wet. Therefore, cold weather, heavy foods, or wet seasons increase Kapha. Naps during the daytime should be avoided. 

These are the general attributes of people, irrespective of gender, with the above  mentioned doshas.

The Three Doshas and the Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual is like a season in womanly life. Most of the women who are in touch with their emotions seem to find greater activity during the full moon. Though many modern scientists deny this fact, but Indian tradition is convinced that women have a great relationship with the moon. It is a general belief that a woman ovulates during the full moon, when the heavens encourage her body and mind to plump and juicy. A woman optimally menstruates with the new moon. It encourages her body to expel unused fertility juices.

The menstrual cycle is strongly influenced by the three doshas. In a healthy woman, kapha increases during the proliferative phase. During this phase Oestrogen; that is more like kapha  type hormone, remains at its peak. Progestrogen is a pitta-type hormone. It takes over predominance during the secretary phase.  Vata helps in the transportation during the days of flow.

In every individual irrespective of gender there is great importance of balancing the three doshas. Any imbalance might lead to various diseases.

Disclaimer: The ideas represented in the heading ‘The Three Doshas and Menstrual Cycle’ has been taken from the book—Ayurveda for Women -- written by Dr Robert E. Svodboda.

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