Pulse of Oriental Medicine: Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks


The 3 Constitutions of Ayurveda

by Manju Balram

[Editor's note: Just in case you're new to Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda is a complete different medical system... however, the Pulse of Oriental Medicine is open to passing on any alternative medicine information. ]

Ayurveda is seeing revival throughout the world. International cosmetic brands are coming up with their ayurvedic lines. Ayurvedic tonics are the new aqua vita, and the industry is growing at an amazing rate of 30 percent a year. Dr. Mehra of Ayur Health Care Institute in Delhi, explains, "Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem, after analyzing the basic constitution -'prakriti' of the individual, and eliminates the disease right at its root level, thus ensuring total well being."

The A in Ayurveda

The basic principle of ayurveda is that "balance is order, imbalance is disorder. Health is order and disease is disorder." Says Dr Robert Svoboda on ayurveda.com. "When one understands the basic structure of the disorder the re establishment of order becomes easier," he adds.

'Doshas', namely Vata, Kapha, Pitta - the three ruling forces, or constitutions - determine this order. Each dosha is linked to an element, which in turn reflects its influence in bodily harmony. Vata is dominated by air and space, and symbolizes the energy of movement. Kapha is ruled by earth and fire, controls the body frame, and Pitta composed of fire and water and controls the metabolism. All these qualities of vata, kapha, and pitta are present in everyone, but one of them is dominant. The combination of these three makes your prakruti. Anne Green in 'Principles of Ayurveda' says that, "knowing your prakruti helps you understand your reactions to people, places, food and even weather".


This is the most imaginative dosha, with changeability as its principal trait. Thoughts and sensation are a part of vata-dominated people, so they often come across as erratic, emotionally wrought people.

The Vata person is usually taller or shorter than average, with dark course hair and skin that tans easily. Dr Scott Gerson in 'Ayurveda, the Ancient Indian Healing Art' says that "because it regulates the nervous process, emotions, thoughts, eating, and drinking, its disorder is the most common." Vata imbalances cause insomnia, memory lapses, confused state of mind and digestive and respiratory turmoil. On the brighter side, it makes a person optimistic, and intuitive. Meditation along with soothing music and sweet smells work like wonder for the vata-dominated people. Also, try a cup of hot ginger milk at bedtime.


This dosha makes you a dynamic and passionate person, who is capable of extreme emotions - be it, joy, grief, jealousy or even hatred. The main function of this dosha is digestion, metabolism and skin luster. The pitta person needs to take it easy and should understand that projects can get delayed and that leisure time is for relaxation. Success typifies the pitta person, but they're prone to deep bouts of depression when confronted by failure. Sight is the sense that is most closely linked to this dosha, therefore concentrating on a candle flame works like magic.

Excessive pitta can make her drained out, thirsty and sweaty. She should cut down on salt, caffeine, and oily food and should consider an all fruit and vegetables diet at least once a week. Carrot and Ginger juice is good for the liver... try it.


Firmly rooted in the earth, the kapha person is calm, compassionate, often sensual, has large eyes, glowing skin, a strong well-proportioned body and thick hair. Kapha is the anabolic force that gives the body its resistance and also supports the healing process. The kapha person is caring, diplomatic and can find the perfect solution in difficult times. The sense of security and constancy that radiate from the kapha force restore order to the other two doshas. However, on the negative side, a kapha force can make you greedy, possessive and addicted to sleep and food.kapha needs a bit of inspiration at set intervals to jump-start from the natural inertia. Incense and exercise is indispensable for the kapha-dominated personalities. Perfect potion-Yoghurt with Ginger and a dash of mint .

About the author, Manju Balram

Manju Balram is a Freelance Journalist from India. She has been writing for the past seven years for journals in India. Her areas of interest are Alternative health care, which includes topics on Ayurveda, Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicine, Therapeutic Yoga, Meditation, Natural Healing, Reiki etc. She has several appropriate articles on the topics mentioned above . If interested please contact her at manju_ezztech@yahoo.co.in

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All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.
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