The Ayurveda Dosha and You: Balancing Your Health and Dosha Types

By Volunteer Writer| Posted: December 04, 2018

The ayurvedic secret of knowing the root causes of diseases

Ayurveda, or science of life, as translated from Sanskrit, is an ancient science of health and healing. It believes that everything in the universe is made up of five great elements– space, air, fire, water and earth. Ayurveda works on the powers and qualities of these five basic elements. It explains the importance of keeping these elements balanced for a healthy body and mind.

Understanding doshas

Each person is influenced by certain elements more than others because of their natural constitution, which is categorized into three doshas:

Vata dosha - where the air and space elements dominate
Pitta dosha - where the fire element dominates
Kapha dosha - where the earth and water elements dominate

Most constitutions are combinations of two doshas. Doshas affect the body’s shape, bodily tendencies (like food preferences and digestion), and one’s mind and emotions. For example, the earth element in people with kapha dosha is evident in their solid, sturdy body type and their emotional steadiness.

An imbalance in any of these doshas causes illness. The following offers you more about them and the effects of an imbalance in any of them:

Vata imbalance

The vata dosha is the most important of the three. This is because if vata becomes imbalanced for long enough, it can also cause the other two (pitta or kapha) to become imbalanced.

Symptoms and effects of vata imbalance


a) Symptoms



Gas formation or distension in the abdomen
Dry and rough skin
Pains and general body-aches
Astringent taste in the mouth
Loss of strength, fatigue, low vitality
Disturbed or lack of sleep
Tremors and twitches
Feeling dizzy or spaced out
Sensitiveness to cold and desire for warmth


Irrational, anxious, nervous, agitated, impatient
Wanting to run away
Feeling confused, fearful & shaky
Feeling ungrounded
Excessive movement or talking

b) Effects

Weakening of muscles
Joint pains
Weight loss
Convulsion, tremors, paralytic attacks
Dryness, scaling

Pitta imbalance

The pitta dosha is associated with fire or heat. Wherever there’s transformation, this constitution is working. Pitta works in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, skin, eyes and brain.

Symptoms and effects of pitta imbalance


a) Symptoms



Excessive thirst or hunger
Heartburn and acidity
Burning sensations in eyes, hands and soles of feet
Hot flashes in the body
Skin rashes, acne, and boils
Vomiting bile (yellowish water)
Hypersensitivity to light
Strong body odor
Nausea and headache
Loose bowel movements
Bitter taste in the mouth
Sensitiveness to heat and desire for a cool environment


Snappy speech and actions
Judgmental or criticizing tendencies
Anger, irritability, hostility
Argumentative, aggressive attitude
Impatience and restlessness

b) Effects

Burning sensations
Excess eliminations
Skin rashes, pimples, boils

Kapha imbalance

Kapha is the heaviest of the three doshas. It provides structure and lubrication to the body. These qualities help to counterbalance Vata's movement and Pitta's metabolism. A big, heavyset football player or wrestler has a predominance of Kapha.

Symptoms and effects of kapha imbalance


a) Symptoms



Less or no appetite, nausea
Water retention
Congestion, mucus formation
Secretions in the mouth
Difficulty in breathing
Excessive sleep    
Sweetness in mouth


Feeling of heaviness
Depression, sadness
Dull, inactiveness
Feeling lack of support or love
Feeling greedy, entangled, possessive

b) Effects

Water retention
Excess mucus production
Extra growth

Understanding the doshas and the results of their imbalances help one ascertain the causes of illnesses and get the necessary help. If you’re witnessing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and effects, contact an Ayurvedic doctor. He or she will help restore balance through effective Ayurvedic remedies and a suitable diet.

Originally published on: Art of Living, India