In Ayurveda, dosha is a force with the characteristics determined by the five Ayurvedic elements of earth, air, fire, water and space (ether). In the Ayurvedic concept, every individual has his or her own natural constitution of the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha; and disease is caused by an imbalance in the same. The aim of Ayurvedic treatment and medicines is to regain the lost balance of doshas. Even emotional distress can be caused by disturbance in the natural balance of the tridosha. So, physical and emotional health of a person depends on balance of the doshas.
The doshas are dynamic and in constant motion. They are also the governing principles based on which every living being acts. The five elements combine to make the characteristics of Vata, Pitta or Kapha dosha.
Vata is linked to the elements space or ether and air. It is considered to be the active force that allows the other doshas to work. It exists main in the colon but also found in thighs, hips, ears, bones, pelvic cavity and ears. The major functions of this dosha are breathing, tissue movement, muscle movement, blinking, heartbeat and control of nerve cell impulses. Too much of Vata causes high blood pressure, gas, irritation of the nerves and confusion. Less than normal Vata is the cause of congestion, constipation and lack of vitality in thinking.
Pitta dosha is created by interaction of water and fire. It is the force behind metabolism, body temperature, colour of the skin and intelligence. It is located mainly in stomach, small intestine, blood, fat, skin, eyes and sweat glands. Excessive Pitta leads to hormonal imbalance, ulcers, skin irritation and emotions such as jealousy and anger. Too little of Pitta causes indigestion, poor metabolism and hampered cognitive abilities. From teenage to adulthood, activity of Pitta is at its peak in any person.
Water and Earth elements combine to form Kapha. It is the binding force of the doshas with a sort of stirring effect. It is the cement which provides structure and stability in a person. The function of this dosha is to lubricate joints, provide immunity, giving moisture to the skin and eyes, heal wounds and provide force to the heart and lungs. Kapha is located mainly in the chest but also found in sinuses, throat, stomach, mouth, nose, joints and body secretions. Excessive build up of Kapha is the cause of cough and cold and mental issues while too little can cause dry respiratory tract, stomach problems and problem in concentrating.
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