WORDS OF WISDOM SERIES:  Doshas – bodily humours

“A person… whose bodily humours are in a state of equilibrium…,
is said to be a healthy person.”

sushruta samita 15:41

Doshas, as ‘bodily humours’ are defined in Ayurveda, are another vital factor to your health. Doshas describe the fundamental energies, forces, or principles that govern all bodily functions. The Sanskrit medical texts specify three types of ‘bodily humours’/doshasVata, Pitta, and Kapha. When the doshas are in a state of ‘equilibrium’ or balance (in Sanskrit sama dosha’) the person experiences good health and longevity. However, an imbalance in any of
the doshas can lead to various health problems and diseases in the body, mind, and spirit.

The three doshas are:

  1. Vata is composed of the elements of air and space and is responsible for our movement, communication, and creativity. Bodily functions like breathing, blood circulation, and elimination, as well as mental functions like imagination and intuition, are dominated by Vata, which is the catabolic principle.
  2. Pitta is composed of the elements fire and water and is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and transformation. Body temperature, vision, and skin quality, as well as mental functions such as intellect and willpower, are controlled by this dosha. Pitta is the metabolic principle. 
  3. Kapha is composed of the elements water and earth and is responsible for structure, stability, and lubrication. Growth, strength, immunity, and mental functions like love and compassion all belong to Kapha, the anabolic principle.

These descriptions are only an excerpt of another deep concept. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha have many, many more physiological functions in your body.

Each person though has a unique combination of these three doshas. This is called Prakriti (literally from Sanskrit: “one’s own nature”). The Prakriti determines your physical and mental characteristics. The dosha balance or imbalance (vikriti, literally meaning ‘change in the natural state’) directly influence your health and well-being as already mentioned. Consequently, factors like age, diet, stress levels, climate, and lifestyle habits may cause imbalances in one or more dosha.

Would you also enjoy good health and longevity? A consultation with our Ayurvedic doctor helps you maintain or regain balance within the doshas. He focuses on diet, lifestyle modifications, herbal remedies, and other therapies like massages and treatments. Book your appointment now!

Mind Map of the three doshas Vata Pitta and Kapha and the relationship to the elements
The Relation of the Doshas and the 5 Elements
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