Ayurveda and Doshas

AYURVEDA:

Ayurveda is a medical science, and it’s purpose is to heal and maintain the vitality of life. It is an art of daily living that has evolved from practical, philosophical and spiritual illumination, rooted in the understanding of Creation. It offers a profound understanding of each person’s unique body, mind and consciousness, which is the foundation of health and happiness.

Ayurveda is very old, with it’s roots going far back into Indian antiquity. It has been practiced continuously in India for thousands of years.

The entire Vedic tradition is composed of highly spiritual wisdom and pure knowledge revealed through the hearts of enlightened rishis (seers). It is not a creation made by the mind of man but rather a revelation from the hearts of meditative sages. This ancient wisdom came from the caves and mountains of India where the rishis had ashrams and disciples. Students came to study with them, and the rishis imparted knowledge as they experienced it in a deep state of meditation. These early teachings were an oral tradition and, because there were no books, the students stored the knowledge in their minds and it became a part of them. They tried to impart this knowledge from one soul to another soul through oral tradition.

The Charaka Samhita, compiled approximately 400C.E., is the oldest ancient Sanskrit Ayurvedic text still in existence and describes the five subdoshas of vata. The Sushruta of Samhita text, compiled by the sage Nagarjune, frist described surgery, blood, and the five pitta subdoshas. Vaghbhate was a famous Ayurvedic physical from the 6th century C.E., who wrote the Ashtanga Hridayam and the Ashtanga Sangraha.

Ayurveda finds its home in the hearts of special beings whose dharma (life purpose) it is to preserve and maintain traditions of wisdom for the purpose of healing themselves and the world.

We have to read ourselves, our thoughts, emotions, reactions and feelings in every aspect of life and inquire of ourselves what we are.

There are eight ways to overcome suffering.

Right Perception and Observation
Right Thinking
Right Speaking
Right Conduct
Right Living
Right Doing
Right Mindfulness
Right Meditation

DOSHAS:

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the entire cosmos is an interplay of energies of the five elements, Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. Ayurveda groups the five elements into three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in everybody and everything. Vata, Pitta, Kapha are called the three Doshas. Dosha is organization. As long as the doshas are normal in quality and quantity, they maintain a harmonious psychophysiology. The moment they go out of balance, they corrupt or pollute the bodily tissues and then they become impure and lead to disease.

Energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body to function. Energy is also necessary to metabolise the nutrients in the cells and is utilized to lubricate and maintain cellular structure.

Vata is the energy of movement, transportation and communication
Pitta the energy of transformation, digestion or metabolism
,Kapha the energy of lubrication, strength and structure.

VATA:

In the body, Vata principally composed of Ether and Air, is the subtle energy associated with movement. It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, the pulsation of the heart, and all the movements I the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance Vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, Vata produces fear, anxiety and abnormal movements.

Qualities of Vata are:
Dry
Light
Cold
Rough
Subtle
Mobile
Clear

Characteristics of Vata:
Physically vaqta persons have light, flexible bodies and big, protruding teeth. They have small recessed dry eyes. With irregular appetite and thirst. They often experience digestive and malabsorption problems. Vata types tend to be delicate in health, so may have few or no children.

Vata individuals are easily excited. Indeed they are alert and quick to act without much thinking. They have good imaginations and enjoy daydreaming. Vata individuals are loving people but may love someone out of fear or loneliness. Fears of darkness, heights and enclosed spaces are not uncommon in vata individuals. Their faith is flexible and ready to change, but the change does not necessarily last for long. Because of this tendency to change, vata people may often move furniture or residence to keep from feeling bored. They do not like sitting idle and seek constant action. Due to their active natures, they make good money but spend it on trifles and have difficulty saving.

The Treatment Strategy for Vata:
VATA
Meditation
Sleep
Abhyanga (warm oil Massage)

Food Tastes to Balance Vata: Sweet, Sour Salty

VATA PACIFYING DIET

FAVOR

The following foods are suitable for your condition. Give them preference over food in the avoid section

GENERAL: Warm foods ad drinks, unctuous (oily) food, food with predominantly sweet, sour, and salty tastes

GRAINS:
Rice, wheat

DAIRY:
All dairy products

SWEETENERS:
Sugar cane products, molasses

OILS:
All oils

FRUITS:
Sweet fruits, grapes, cherries, peaches, melons, avocado, coconut, banana, sweet orange, sweet pineapple, sweet plums, sweet berries, mango, fresh figs

VEGETABLES
Well cooked vegetables, beets, carrots, asparagus, cucumber, sweet potato

NUTS:
All nuts

SPICES:
Black pepper (in small quantity), cinnamon, cardamon, cumin, ginger, salt, cove, mustard seeds

ANIMAL FOODS
(for non-vegetarian)
Chicken or turkey (white meat), sea food

AVOID OR REDUCE:

The following foods taken in large quantities are not suitable for your condition. These foods should either be avoided or reduced in quantity and frequency in your diet.

GENERAL:
Light diet and fasting, dry foods, cold foods and drinks, foods having predominantly pungent, bitter or astringent tastes.

GRAINS:
Barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, oats

FRUITS:
Dried fruits, apple, pear, pomegranate, cranberry

VEGETABLES
Raw vegetables, potato, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, bean sprouts, zucchini, celery (These vegetables may be taken in moderate but not large quantity. They should always be cooked.)

BEANS:
All beans should be avoided except for pulses (dahl), green beans, and tofu

ANIMAL FOODS
(for non-vegetarians)
Beef, rabbit, pheasant

PITTA:

Principally made up of Fire and Water, Pitta expresses itself as the body’s metabolic system. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature – all transformations. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred, jealousy, and inflammatory disorders.

Qualities of Pitta are:
Hot
Sharp
Light
Liquid
Mobile
Oily

Characteristics of Pitta:
Pitta types have excellent capability for learning, understanding and concentrating. They are highly disciplined and excellent leaders. These people are blessed with wisdom, which is sometimes reflected by baldness, so much wisdom indeed that it ‘burns’off their hair!

Pitta individuals never yield an inch from their principles, which sometimes leads them to fanaticism. They may give a wrong answer but with great confidence.

As a matter of fact, they can be judgmental, critical, and perfectionistic, and tend to become angry easily. They love noble professions and often make large amounts of money to spend on luxurious items. They like perfume and jewellery. They may not have a strong sex drive. Overall, the pitta constitution is endowed with moderate strength, much material knowledge, wealth, and a medium span of life.

The Treatment Strategy for Pitta:
PITTA
Meditation
Time in Nature
Virechana (Cleansing) – advised and prepared by Ayurvedic Practitioner

Foods Tastes to Balance Pitta: Sweet, Bitter, Astringent

PITTA PACIFYING DIET

FAVOR

The following foods are suitable for your condition. Give them preference over food in the avoid section.

GENERAL:
Cool foods and drinks, foods with predominantly sweet, bitter and astringent tastes

DAIRY:
Wheat, oats, barley, white rice.

SWEETENERS:
All except honey and molasses

OILS:
Olive, Sunflower

FRUITS:
Sweet fruits, grapes, cherries, melons, avocado, coconut, sweet orange, sweet pineapple, sweet plums, mango, pear, pomegranate

VEGETABLES:
Asparagus, pumpkin, cucumber, potato, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, lettuce, zucchini, okra, sweet potato, beans, green beans

SPICES:
coriander, cinnamon, cardamon, fennel, black pepper (small quantity)

ANIMAL FOODS:
Chicken, turkey, egg white, pheasant
(for non-vegetarian)

AVOID OR REDUCE:

The following foods taken in large quantities are not suitable for your condition. These foods should be either avoided or reduced in quantity and frequency in your diet.

GENERAL:
Foods with predominantly pungent (hot), sour and salty tastes. Foods with drinks with warming properties.

DAIRY:
Yogurt, cheese, sour cream, cultured buttermilk

SWEETENERS:
Honey and molasses

OIL:
Almond, sesame, corn

GRAINS:
Corn, millet, rye, brown rice

FRUITS:
Grape fruit, sour oranges,

VEGETABLES
Hot peppers, radish, tomato, beets, onion, garlic, spinach

SPICES:
Ginger, cumin, fenugreek, clove, celery seeds, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds

NUTS:
Cashews, sesame seeds, peanuts

ANIMAL FOODS:
(for non-vegetarian)
Beef, sea food, egg yolk

KAPHA:

Kapha is principally a combination of Earth and Water and is the energy that forms the body’s structure, and provides the “glue” or cohesion thatholds the cells together. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin and maintains immunity. In balance, kapha is expressed as love, calmess and forgiveness. Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed, possessiveness, and congestive disorders.

Qualities of Kapha are:
Heavy
Slow/Dull
Cold
Oily
Liquid
Smooth
Dense
Soft
Static
Sticky/Cloudy
Hard
Gross

Characteristics of Kapha:

Kapha people have a steady appetite and thirst, but tend to have slow digestion and metabolism. These characteristics often result in weight gain, which kapha people have great difficulty in shedding. At times, craving for sweet and salt lead to water retention. They love eating, sitting, doing nothing and sleeping for a long time.

Kapha people are blessed with a deep, stable fath, with love and compassion, and a calm, steady mind. They have good memory, a deep melodious voice, and a monotonous pattern of speech. A kapha person makes and saves money. Extravagances may be spending a little amount on cheese, candy and cakes. An unbalanced kapha suffers from greed, attachment, possessiveness and laziness. All in all, the healthy kapha individual is endowed with excellent strength, knowledge, peace, love and longevity, due to a strong constitution.

The Treatment Strategy for Kapha:
KAPHA
Meditation
Exercise
Ayurvedic Fasting – advised and prepared by Ayurvedic Practitioner

Food Tastes to Balance Kapha: Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

KAPHA PACIFYING DIET

FAVOR

The following foods are suitable. Give them preference over food in the avoid section.

GENERAL:
Lighter food and diet, dry foods, warm foods and drinks, foods with predominantly pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.

GRAINS:
Barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye

DAIRY:
Low fat milk

SWEETENERS:
Honey (raw)

FRUITS:
Apple, pear, pomegranate, cranberry, persimmon

VEGETABLES:
Radish, asparagus, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, beets, broccoli, potato, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, pumpkin, lettuce, celery, sprouts

SPICES:
All spices except salt

BEANS:
All beans except tofu

ANIMAL FOODS
(for non-vegetarians)
Chicken, turkey

AVOID OR REDUCE

The following foods taken in large quantities are not suitable. These foods should be either avoided or reduced in quantity and frequency in your diet.

GENERAL
Overeating, unctuous (oil) food, cold foods and drinks, foods having predominantly sweet, sour and salty tastes.

GRAINS:
Large quantities of wheat, rice or oats

DAIRY:
Large quantities of wheat, rice or oats

FRUITS:
Sweet fruits, grapes, banana, avocado, coconut, dates, figs, pineapple, watermelon, papaya

VEGETABLES
Tomatoes, cucumber, sweet potato, zucchini

SPICES:
Salt

NUTS:
All nuts

ANIMAL FOODS
(for non-vegetarians)
Sea food, beef, pork

Every Dosha is composed of all five elements. However, two elements are predominant in each.

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