Ayurveda Dosha

Traditional system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.

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Vatta Dosha

Ether & Air

Characteristics of Vata:

  • Dry
  • Light
  • Cold
  • Rough
  • Subtle
  • Mobile
  • Clear

Taste: Bitter, Astringent

Season: Fall

Time of Day: 2:00am-6:00am & 2:00pm- 6:00pm

Essence: Prana

Body Type: Skinny, Slim, too tall or too short

Body Weight: Light

Skin Type: Dry, Cold, Rough, Thin

Hair Type: Dry, Frizzy, Brittle, Scarce, Brown, Black

Teeth: Crooked, Stick out, Big, Thin gums

Nose: Crooked, uneven, thin

Eyes: Small, Dry, Nervous, Brown, Black

Nails: Dry, Rough, Breaks Easy

Lips: Dry, Cracked

Chin: Thin, Angular

Cheeks: Sunken, Thin

Neck: Thin, Long

Chest: Flat, Sunken

Belly: Thin, Flat, Sunken

Belly-Button: Small, Irregular

Hips: Slender, Thin

Joints: Cold, Cracking

Appetite: Irregular, scanty

Digestion: Irregular, Gas

Taste to Balance a Vata: Sweet, Sour, Salty

Thirst: changeable

Elimination: constipation, gas

Physical Activity: Hyperactive

Mental Activity: Hyperactive

Faith: Variable

Intellect: Quick to Respond, but maybe wrong

Recollection: good short-term memory, poor long term

Dreams: Many, active, Flying, Fearful

Sleep: scanty, broken, sleeplessness

Speech: rapid, unclear, stuttering

Financial: Poor, spends on trifles

Emotions: Balanced, happiness, joy, freshness, alertness, creativity, flexibility

Emotions when out of Balance: Fear, anxiety, insecure, loneliness, void, emptiness, impulsive

Vata Effects this when unbalanced:

  • Colon
  • Bone
  • Waist
  • Ear
  • Thighs
  • Brain

Sub Types:

Prana: the vital force, life giving

Udana: Upward movement, to sustain memory

Vyana: Vehicle of circulation, pulsation

Samana: Balancing, digestion, assimilation of food

Apana: Elimination of semen, urine, feces, fetus


What imbalances Vata:

Dry land, Dry Weather, Dry Food, Dried Fruits, Flight, Fasting, Cold Weather, Cold Season, Sleeping on hard floors, fear, insecurity, loneliness, multi-tasking, high altitudes, astringent tastes, beans, over exertion, over work, horseback riding, irregular life style, too much talking & excess sexual activity.


Signs of excess vata:

Spacey, ungrounded, ringing in the ears, numbness in skin, aches & pains in the lower back & thighs, gas, anxiety, fear, phobias, insomnia, constipation, nervousness, stiffness in joints & dry skin.

To balance Vata:

Have a regular daily routine, warm baths, sesame oil massage, oil massage to feet and scalp at night, get enough sleep, eat fresh. Warm cooked food, take grounding, nourishing foods & herbs, Drink warm tea’s, avoid over work, over sex, too much travel, irregular lifestyle & irregular eating habits.

Diet: Food should be cooked warm, a little spicy, mostly sweet, sour & salty in taste.

Good for vata:

Sweet fruits like: apples, mangoes, dates, bananas & papayas.

Cooked vegetables like: beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash & zucchini. Soups & roots are good in general.

Sweet & Grounded Grain like: rice, wheat, oats, mung beans & soy

Most dairy is good like: ghee, yogurt, warm milk, buttermilk, fresh cheese

Most sweeteners are good as well as oils, nuts, seeds, condiments & spices like: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and asafetida.

Reduce or Avoid:

Raw, Dried or frozen vegetables, mushrooms, hot peppers, cauliflower, bitter vegetables, wheat grass, sprouts, salad, dried fruit (ok if soaked in water first), water melon, white sugar, popcorn, cold, dry or rough cereals, chick peas, excess of any beans, avoid gas forming foods and complicated food combinations like fruit and milk or meat and dairy. Reduce or avoid eating leftovers.


Pitta Dosha

Fire & Water

Characteristics of Pitta:

  • Oily
  • Sharp
  • Hot
  • Light
  • Spreading
  • Liquid
  • Fleshy smell

Taste: sour, pungent, bitter

Season: Summer

Time of Day: 10am- 2pm & 10pm- 2am, Peak is at 12pm

Essence: tejas

Body size: medium

Body weight: medium

Skin: Oily, warm, pink, freckles

Hair: red, blond, white, straight, bold

Teeth: medium, sensitive, bleeding gums

Nose: pointed, red

Eyes: sharp, bright, green, gray, sensitive to light

Nails: medium, pink, flexible

Lips: red, pink, inflamed

Chin: sharp, tapering

Cheeks: flat, smooth

Neck: medium, strong

Chest: muscular, medium

Belly: medium, toned

Belly-button: superficial

Hips: medium

Joints: medium

Appetite: strong, sharp, unbearable

Digestion: quick, burning

Taste that balance: bitter, astringent, sweet

Thirst: excess

Elimination: loose stools, yellow colored

Physical Activity: moderate, likes competitive sports

Mental activity: moderate, intellectual,

Faith: extremist

Intellect: sharp, accurate response

Recollection: distinct

Dreams: fire, war, violence

Sleep: little but sound

Speech: Sharp, penetrating

Financial: Spends money on luxuries

Emotional state: well balanced understanding, comprehensive, discernment, knowledgeable

Out of Balance: anger, hate, envy, jealousy, criticism, obsessive

Pitta affects this when unbalanced:

  • Small intestine
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Blood
  • Brain( Grey matter)
  • Eyes
  • Skin

Subtypes of Pitta:

Sadhaka: Thinking, learning, understanding

Alochaka: Optical, perception, eye color

Ranjaka: Liver enzymes, produces bile

Pachaka: Enzymes, HCL, digestion, absorption and assimilation

Bhrajak: Skin pigmentation, color and temperature

What Imbalances Pitta:

Pungent, sour and salty taste, fried or greasy food, rich food, hot peppers, hot spicy food, fermented foods like pickles, alcohol and vinegar. Hot weather, bon fires, bright sun light, computer screens, poison ivy, acidic chemicals, competitive sports, aggression, violent movies and video games, too much mental activity like computer programming, Red, orange or black clothing.

Signs of excess Pitta:

Heat in head, red eyes, nausea, vomiting, migraine vertigo, insomnia, bleeding gums, nose bleed, acne, heart burn, acid stomach, irritability, anger, criticism, over achiever, perfectionist, overactive thyroid & any inflammation.

 Manifestations of excess pitta:

Conjunctivitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, diarrhea, urithritis, acidity, gout, tendonitis, fever, toxemia, liver disorders, chronic fatigue, ulcers, eczema, hypertension & heart attack.

To Balance Pitta:

Stay cool and calm, use coconut oil, cool showers, use sandalwood oil, wear white or light colored clothing, do asanas, eat kitchari, cilantro, ghee, drink lassi, wear pearls & silver, use rose water, swim in cool lakes, avoid alcohol, have light conversation & do meditation.


Eat mostly foods with sweet, bitter and astringent taste. Have simple plain meals not to rich or spicy, Green vegetable soups are best.

Good for Pitta:

Generally most sweet fruit, broccoli, cilantro, celery, cucumber, asparagus, leafy greens, squash, rice, barley, wheat, spelt, pasta, oats, beans, soy, butter, cottage cheese, ghee, milk, goat milk, cheese & lassi (yogurt mixed in water) eggs, buffalo, freshwater fish, white meat (fowl), coriander, sprouts, soaked almonds, coconut, flax, sunflower seeds, olive oil, green or herb tea. Bitter astringent and sweet foods are best.

Reduce or avoid:  

Fried, greasy, spicy food, sour fruits, pungent vegetables, garlic, raw onions, raw radish, hot peppers, salt, pickles, sour cream, red meat, sea food, chocolate, mustard, vinegar, horse radish, sour juices, clove, black pepper or other hot spices.

Kapha Dosha

Earth & Water

Characteristics of kapha:

  • Heavy
  • Slow
  • Cool
  • Oily
  • Slimy
  • Dense
  • Soft
  • Static
  • Cloudy

Taste: madhura (sweet), lavana (salty)

Season: late winter, spring

Time of the day: 6am-10am & 6pm- 10pm

Essence: ojas

Body Size: Large

Body Weight: Heavy. Overweight

Skin: thick, oily, cool, pale

Hair: thick, oily, curly, wavy

Teeth: Healthy, White strong

Nose: Short, rounded

Eyes: large, beautiful, blue, calm

Nails: thick, oily, smooth

Lips: smooth, oily, pale

Chin: double, rounded

Cheeks: plump, rounded

Neck: thick, folded

Chest: expanded, large

Belly: pot-bellied, fat

Belly-button: big, deep, stretched

Hips: Heavy, big

Joints: large, lubricated

Appetite: slow but steady

Digestion: slow, mucus forming

Taste that balance: bitter, pungent, astringent

Thirst: sparse

Elimination: thick, oily, sluggish

Physical Activity: slow

Mental Activity: dull, slow

Faith: consistent

Intellect: slow, exact

Recollection: slow, sustained

Dreams: water, snow, romantic

Sleep: slow, melodious

Financial: rich holds onto money

Emotions balanced: love, compassion, forgiveness

Out of balance: attachment, greed, possessive, indifference

Kapha effects this when unbalanced:

  • Mucosal lining of the stomach
  • Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Sinuses
  • Lymph nodes
  • Joints- synovial fluid
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Mastic Tissue

Subtypes of kapha:

Tarpaka: white matter, myelin sheaths

Bodhaka: Tongue, governs, taste, speech, swallowing

Avalambaka: supports all systems, protects heart & lung tissue

Kledaka: stomach mucosa lining

Sleshaka: synovial fluid


What imbalances kapha:

Cold drinks, cold weather, swimming in cold water, over eating, over sleeping, ice- cream, sweets, emotional eating, dairy & lethargy.

Signs of excess kapha:

Obesity, congestion, colds, coughs, edema, lymphatic congestion, cold clammy hands, profuse sweating, stuffy nose, under active thyroid, cysts & high cholesterol.

To balance kapha:

Discipline, exercise, jogging, jumping, running, stay active. Eat foods that mainly having the qualities of : light, hot, sharp and dry. Laughter reduces kapha. Eat a light breakfast, drink hot water & honey, hot ginger tea, get a deep dry massage ( or with mustard oil), sleep on a hard bed or floor, stay up late, wake up early, drink water from a copper cup, smoke herbal cigarette (with rose & brahmi) wear red, orange, yellow & black colors.


Eat less in general; eat foods with mainly bitter, pungent and astringent taste. Eat light, early dinners.

Good for kapha:

Astringent fruit such as : apples, pears, cranberries, as well as most dried fruit. Pungent and bitter vegetables such as cabbage, celery, cilantro, broccoli, dalkon radish, Brussels sprouts, corn, eggplant, all leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, chilies, potatoes, artichoke, tomatoes, sprouts, turnips. Grains such as: rye, corn, barley & millet. Most kinds of beans, all spices are good especially pepper, turmeric, fennel, fenugreek, cardamom, clove & hing, Sea weed is great. Use corn, olive and mustard oil.

Reduce or avoid:

Cold, heavy food, sweets, foods with sweet, sour or salty tastes. Dates, bananas, avocado, watermelon, sweet potatoes, pumkin, bread, oats, pasta, wheat, soy, cheese, ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, red meat, sea food, coconut, chocolate, nuts, mayonnaise, salt, pickles, most oils & all sweetener except for honey





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