Vata dosha is the dosha most likely to swing out of balance. If your prakriti is predominantly Vata (take our Dosha Test), you innately understand this tendency toward Vata imbalance. Vata dosha, being comprised of ether (space) and air (wind), is mobile, light, cold, and dry. It is responsible for movement in the body, the flow of breath and blood, nerve impulses, and creativity. The primary site of Vata is the colon, thus Vata imbalance often shows up here. Balancing Vata includes warming, grounding, and nourishing practices, food, and Vata balancing herbs. It may also necessitate slowing down, getting adequate rest, and following a daily routine.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Vata Dosha
From the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia, some of the best balancing herbs for vata dosha treatment include: ashwagandha, ginger, kapikacchu, dashamula, cardamom, gokhru (Tribulus), brahmi, and haritaki. Vata is aggravated by the astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes, so the herbs we bring to correct vata imbalance offer sweet, sour, and sometimes salty flavors. They also bring their warming and soothing qualities to balance the dry and cold of vata.
Pitta dosha is the spirited go-getter. It is responsible for transformation and metabolic activity, including digestion and endocrine function. The elements associated with pitta are fire and water. The primary site of pitta is the small intestine. People with pitta prakriti (innate constitution) tend to be passionate, ambitious, and courageous (Take our dosh test to know your dosha). They may also be competitive and quick to anger, especially if out of balance. This is also true of pitta vikriti (current state of being). Pitta imbalance may show up in pitta dosha symptoms such as the fiery emotions of anger, resentment, irritation, and frustration, and it may manifest in the skin as rashes and other skin conditions. Likewise, with the small intestine being the primary site of pitta, it can present itself in the bowels. But, with some lifestyle shifts and pitta-balancing herbs and practices, pitta balance is just one breath away.
Pitta-Balancing Herbs and More
Because pitta is inherently hot and sharp, its balancing qualities are the opposite. They include sweet, bitter, and astringent flavors; cooling foods and environments; and the attitude of surrender. Some beneficial Ayurvedic herbs for pitta dosha include amalaki, neem, brahmi/gotu kola, bhringaraj, licorice, kutki, and guduchi.
Kapha dosha offers us solidity and structure. It is a combination of the earth and water elements and thus has the qualities of slow, heavy, cold, dense, and sweet. Kapha holds the body together, lubricating and protecting it. Its primary site in the body is the stomach. Kapha in balance is tender, steady, and loving. Kapha imbalance, however, looks more like greed, possessiveness, and attachment. Physically it may manifest as carrying extra weight, congestion, too much sleep, a sense of lethargy or feeling “stuck.” Balancing Kapha offers the opposite of its heavy qualities. To reduce Kapha, people with Kapha prakriti (your special constitution at birth) or Kapha vikriti (your current state of being) need warmth, stimulation, and lightness. They also need the balancing tastes of astringent, pungent, and bitter foods. Too much sweet is not a good idea for Kapha folks. They are already very sweet!
Kapha-Balancing Herbs and More
Some Ayurvedic herbs to help curtail excess Kapha include turmeric, Chitrak, ginger, Manjistha, cinnamon, Arjuna, and Bibhitakii. These herbs are warming, stimulating and help to support circulation; also a healthy digestive fire.