Ayurveda is the science of life and longevity. It is the ancient Indian science to heal the body and the mind and its origins can be traced to almost 5000 years ago. Ayurveda signifies a philosophy to live a balanced life which is in harmony with the elements of Nature.
Ayurvedic principles focus on personalised treatments according to one’s unique body constitution. These principles are based on Prakriti (Nature) of that individual. Ayurveda believes that every individual has a unique constitution or Prakriti (Nature) which is determined before the birth of that individual.
Every individual body is composed of five elements. Combination of these elements form the three life forces also known as Doshas - Vata (Air and Ether), Pitta (Fire and Water) and Kapha (Earth and Water). When the Doshas are in balance, we feel healthy, happy and fulfilled.
The element of space and air, Vata represents breathing, movement and creative energy. Our breathing, the beating of the heart, movement of blood and our mind are ruled by the laws of Vata. When Vata Dosha is in balance, we feel creative, energetic and in a state of flow. Vata imbalance leads to restlessness in the mind and the body.
Symptoms of Vata imbalance - Low body weight, Dry skin, Constipation, Fatigue, Lack of sleep, Restlessness, Unable to focus, Depression, Low blood sugar, Shortness of breath
Vata balancing remedies - Warm climate, Warm oil massages, Breathing exercises, Yoga, Meditation, Sweet foods over bitter foods, Avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking, Avoid excessive physical activity
Vata pacifying herbs - Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), Shatavari (Wild Asparagus), Gotukola (Centella Asiatica), Cardamom, Rose, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Black Pepper, Garlic, Vitamin C
The element of Fire and Water, Pitta represents digestive fire, metabolism and heat in the body. The laws of Pitta rule our gut, digestion, body temperature, complexion of the skin, visual perception, intellect and emotions. When it is in a balanced state our gut feels healthy and we feel calm and in control of our emotions. Pitta imbalance can cause inflamed skin, poor digestion and irritability.
Symptoms of Pitta imbalance – IBS (Irritable bowel Syndrome), Diarrhoea, Dehydration, Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Auto-immune disorders, Liver and kidney problems, Anger, Menstrual problems
Pitta balancing remedies - Sweet foods over sour and salty, Cool climates, Cooling oil massage, Avoiding excessive oily & fried food, Plenty of fluid intake, Breathing exercises
Pitta pacifying herbs - Rose, Clove, Cardamom, Amla (Indian gooseberry), Aloe Vera, Shatavari, Sandalwood, Usheera (Khuskhus roots), Chia Seeds
The element of Earth and Water, Kapha represents steadiness, patience and heartiness. The constitution of Kapha body type is strength, good stamina, good weight, smooth skin and loving and humorous nature. When Kapha is imbalanced we tend to put on weight, feel lethargic and have a slow metabolism.
Symptoms of Kapha imbalance - Increase in weight, Lethargy, Sluggishness, Diabetes, Respiratory issues
Kapha balancing remedies - Light and bitter foods, Green vegetables, Walking, Yoga
Kapha pacifying herbs - Tulsi (Indian Basil), Clove, Cinnamon, Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng), Mint, Turmeric, Neem, Jamun
Ayurveda believes that every person has a unique body constitution (Prakriti) which is determined by the state of Doshas in the body. The correct constitution of our body should be determined by speaking to an Ayurvedic practitioner. Self remedies and treatments might help but can imbalance the Dosha and might aggravate the issue even further. Living in harmony with Nature and getting guidance from the right source can help us discover a happy and fulfilled state of mind and body.
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