Ayurveda is the science of life and longevity of ancient India which led the world in health and wealth knowledge and practice. Though it was prevalent in India before 3000 years ago, it was perfected into a scientific branch for practice about 2000 years ago. Unlike the allopathic system of medicine, it focuses more on the holistic spiritual, mental, physical and social wellness and welfare of the man than on the treatment of some diseases. Even in the treatment of the diseases, it treats the root causes rather than the symtoms as allopathic system often does. Ayurveda is traditionally used extensively all over India to maintain the health and prevent diseases rather than the treat diseases after they have set in.
When the five eternal substances – space, air, fire, water and earth combine to form the human body, they do so by creating three vital energies, or doshas. These are the forces that govern all psycho-physiological functions in the body and mind respectively. They construct the body and serve to maintain it in a dynamic state of health. However, when these vital forces are aggravated, due to improper gross or subtle factors, the body- mind connection begins to suffer and the disease process begins.
It is the most powerful among the doshas. Formed by the interaction of space and air, Vata is movement, the body in motion. Warm food, moderately heavy textures, added butter and fat; salt, sour, and sweet tastes; soothing and satisfying foods, All are good for settling the disturbed Vata. Use food such as: warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, and hot cereals, fresh baked.
Formed by the interaction of fire and water…the polarity of these two elements plays an important role for Pitta, which regulates the body metabolism and transformations in the body’s form. Cool or warm but not steaming hot foods; bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes, are what are perfect for this body type. Take cool, refreshing food in summer. Reduce the consumption of salt, oil and spices, all of which are “heating” to the body. Salads are good, so is milk and ice cream.
It is formed by the structural properties of earth, with water in its role as a lubricant to different tissues of the body, which also aids strength and adds stamina to the body. Warm light food, dry food, cooked without much water, minimum of butter, oil and sugar are recommended for this body type. Stimulating foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and deep fried foods are best avoided. Eat lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. ‘Eat’ spicy, bitter and astringent foods. Watch out for eating that little bit extra, a typical Kapha tendency