Ayurvedic medicine has been around for thousands of years. With the increased popularity in complementary and alternative medicines, Ayurveda has been steadily increasing in the number of followers in America. Although, Ayuravedic medicine is still used as the traditional medicine in India. The basic principles of Ayurvedic medicine include the three elemental energies, which keep harmony and balance in the body. Without proper balance of the doshas, disturbance, disease and illness can arise in the body. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha.

Vata is considered to be the most powerful dosha. Vata is made up of the elements ether and air. Vata controls many of the bodily processes such as breathing, blinking, muscle movements, heartbeat, contraction, cell division, and nerve impulse.
Vata rules the emotions of nervousness, fear, anxiety, and pain. Vata is primary located in the colon however it also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvis and skin. An imbalance of vata will produce symptoms that appear in these areas of the body. Vata is associated with the sensation of touch. As a main dosha Vata can lead to susceptibility to skin and neurological conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, anxiety and insomnia. Fear, grief, staying up late, and eating dry fruit can aggravate Vata.

Pitta represents the elements of fire and water. Pitta controls digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, intelligence, and understanding. A pitta imbalance can arouse negative emotions such as anger, hate and jealousy. Eating spicy or sour food, fatigue, and spending too much time in the sun can cause a pitta imbalance. Pitta governs the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin. As a main dosha Pitta can cause susceptibility to hypertension, heart disease, infectious diseases, and digestive conditions.

Kapha is made up of water and earth. Kapha maintains physiological strength, natural tissue growth and immunity. Kapha is known to lubricate joints, moisturize skin, heal wounds, and supports memory retention. Kapha is found in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, plasma, and mucus. Kapha is responsible for emotions such as greed and envy. When Kapha is balanced it is expressed through calmness, forgiveness, and love. Kapha can be imbalanced by sleeping during the day, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating or drinking foods and beverages with too much salt. Kapha dominance is more susceptible to diabetes, cancer, obesity and respiratory illnesses. Can you figure out your dosha?

Author's Bio: 

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me. Check out my health website!
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