Tridosha also called Life forces (Doshas). Important characteristics of the Prakriti (Body Constitution)are the three life forces or energies called doshas, which control the activities of the body. A person’s chances of developing certain types of diseases are thought to be related to the way doshas are balanced, the state of the physical body, and mental or lifestyle factors. These doshas are known by their original Sanskrit names: Vata, Pitta, & Kapha.
Ayurvedic medicine holds the following beliefs about the three doshas:
- Each dosha is made up of two of five basic elements: ether (the upper regions of space), air, fire, water, and earth.
- Each dosha has a particular relationship to bodily functions and can be upset for different reasons.
- Each person has a unique combination of the three doshas, although one dosha is usually prominent. Doshas are constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity, and bodily processes.
- Each dosha has its own physical and psychological characteristics.
- An imbalance of a dosha will produce symptoms that are unique to that dosha. Imbalances may be caused by a person’s age, unhealthy lifestyle, or diet; too much or too little mental and physical exertion; the seasons; or inadequate protection from the weather, chemicals, or germs.
Vata Dosha :
The Vata dosha combines the elements ether and air. It is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls very basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing, discharge of waste, and the mind. Vata can be aggravated by, for example, fear, grief, staying up late at night, eating dry fruit, or eating before the previous meal is digested. People with Vata as their main dosha are thought to be especially susceptible to skin and neurological conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, anxiety, and insomnia.
The Pitta dosha represents the elements of fire and water. Pitta controls hormones and Enzymatic action in our body system. A person with a pitta imbalance may experience negative emotions such as anger and may have physical symptoms such as heartburn within 2 or 3 hours of eating. Pitta is upset by, for example, eating spicy or sour food, fatigue, or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to hypertension, heart disease, infectious diseases, and digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
The Kapha dosha combines the elements of water and earth. Kapha helps to maintain strength and immunity and to control growth. An imbalance of the Kapha dosha may cause nausea immediately after eating. Kapha is aggravated by, for example, greed, sleeping during the daytime, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). Those with a predominant Kapha dosha are thought to be vulnerable to diabetes, cancer, obesity, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.