Ayruveda is a traditional medicine system from India. Its focus is on the tridosha theory, that all individuals fall in to one of three categories or a combination of the categories. These three are vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of these categories has a tendency towards certain actions, disease states, and body types. When your dosha has been determined, you are able to use a variety of therapies including herbal medicine and body therapies, including medicated oil massages, to treat your imbalances.
What is your dosha? Banyon Botanicals has a great quick quiz you can take to find out.
In a general sense, kaphas are the couch potatoes, always ready to relax and enjoy letting time pass them by, viewing it from the sidelines. Individuals with a pitta dosha tend to be muscular in build and outgoing. They tend to be athletes and need a higher protein content to stay energized. Vata individuals are more slim and wiry, thriving more on intellectual exploration than social interactions. These individuals tend to be colder and may have lower blood pressure.
I, myself, and pitta/kapha and I fluctuate between which of these is more prominent. Right now I tend to be more kapha. I relax and get my strength from being introverted. I take comfort with food, and I am always ready to take a nap to recharge. There have been other times in my life when I have thrived off of social energy associated with exercise and my general body type has been muscular. My current wellness goals focus on bringing these two doshas into balance through frequent low impact exercise and lower sugar intake.
Balancing your dosha can be done by using wellness practices on a daily basis or herbal medicine to return to a state of balance. One ayruvedic formula that is commonly used for this is triphala. This blend of three fruits is great to balance all doshas and can be found in tablets and capsules in most health food stores. For the average person, triphala is often taken for bowel complaints, both loose stool and constipation, to bring the body back into balance. It is not for weight loss as is suggested by Dr. Oz.
We will be discussing this system in greater detail in our home herbalist courses so be sure to sign up for learn it live if you would like to learn more. We will continue to discuss a variety of other herbal philosophical systems over the next few weeks so be sure to subscribe to The Dancing Herbalist’s blog today.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. Join her for live classes and and to learn more about herbal philosophy in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online for more learning opportunities.