What are Ayurveda Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas?


Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Tridoshas – A deep dive into the three bio-energies responsible for the existence of life!

Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas–  These energies are needed to be balanced to maintain a healthy body and mind constitution. Natural regulation leads to a healthy state whereas an unnatural regulation leads to discomfort. One must be conscious of the fact that whatever is happening in our mind and body is the consequence of the continuous grind of Tridoshas.


Sanskrit Shloka:

“Vayuh: pittam kaphashcheti trayo dosha: samaasata:

Vikritavikrita deham ghnanti te varttayanti ca”

[Ashtang Hridayam 11/1]


Their poise is essential for a flourishing mind and body whereas disturbance of natural function can be destructive. One must learn their body constitution to live a sophisticated and healthier life.



Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, each of them have a different set of constitutions, properties, and functions for operating different physiological roles.

Vata manages the nervous system; Pitta with its fire element controls the metabolism and hormonal flow whereas Kapha works as the support system of our body.


Constitution of Tridoshas

Ayurveda follows the principle of Pancha-Mahabhuta which says, the whole universe is comprised of Pancha-Mahabhuta (Five fundamental elements) i.e. Aakash (space), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water), and Prithvi (Earth). There is no existence of any living or non-living entity which are devoid of these elements.


Mahabhuta (Element) Characteristics
Aakash Aparighata (Free flow without any obstruction)
Vayu Chalatva (Mobility)
Agni Ushnatva (Heat or Fire)
Jala Dravata (Liquidity)
Prithvi Kharatva (Rough or solid)


Vata, Pitta, and Kapha have a unique constitution of these elements for their peculiar characteristics.

Doshas Mahabhuta (Elements) Qualities
Vata Air + Space Dryness, lightness, coldness, roughness, minuteness, and movement.
Pitta Fire + Water Unctuous, piercingly enters deep tissues, hot, light, foul odor, fluidity or mobile, and liquid in nature.
Kapha Water + Earth Unctuous, cold, heavy, mild, viscous, smooth, slimy or jelly type, stable or immobile.


Sanskrit Shloka:

Guru manda hima snigdha ślakṣṇa sāndra mṛdu sthirā: | guṇā: sasūkṣma viśadā: viṃśati: saviparyayā: ||

(Ashtanga Hridayam 1/19)

According to Acharya Vagbhatta and Charak, there are in total 20 types of basic characteristic qualities in the universe. 10 of them are mentioned in the first verse of the above given shloka and the rest are their complete opposites. They are:


Guru (Heavy) Laghu (Light)
Manda (Slow) Tikshna (Fast)
Hima (Cold) Ushna (Hot)
Snigdha (Unctuous) Ruksha (Dry)
Slakshna (Smooth) Khara (Rough)
Sandra (Solid) Drava (Liquid)
Mridu (Soft) Kathina (Hard)
Sthira (Stable) Chala (Unstable)
Sukshma (small) Sthula (Huge)
Vishada (Non-slimy) Picchila (Slimy)


Primary functions of Tridoshas


Doshas Primary functions
Vata Movement and communication
Pitta Digestion and metabolism
Kapha Lubrication, and structure


Location of Doshas in the body

Although Tridoshas occupy the whole of our body yet there are some specific organs where the majority resides.


Doshas Location
Vata Waist and hip region, ear, bones, skin, and large intestine is the primary location.
Pitta Stomach, sweat, blood, lymph, plasma, eye, skin. The umbilicus is the primary location of Pitta dosha.
Kapha Head, throat, stomach, small intestine, plasma, fat, nose, and tongue. The chest is the primary seat of Kapha dosha.



Vata dosha

Though every dosha has its different peculiar importance, balanced Vata dosha is the significant most among Tridoshas. In its presence of an unbalanced state, no dosha would be able to perform their function because they need its movement and communication feature to travel and act throughout the whole body.

Responsible for all the movements in the body, it helps in the circulation of nutrients through blood flow throughout the body. It regulates respiration and locomotion.

In its balanced state Vata fills the body with enthusiasm and regulates all the mind and speech activities. Vata dosha is responsible for the initiation of natural urges (urine, feces, tears, sneezing, etc.) while maintaining the decent functioning of sense organs.

With respect to its distinct functions, Vata is of five types:

Types of Vata Location Movement Function
Prana Vayu Head Moves in the chest and throat Regulates respiration, will power, intellect, and vision.
Udana Vata Chest Nose, throat, and umbilicus Initiation of speech, effort, enthusiasm, memory, and complexion.
Vyana Vayu Heart Whole body All the locomotory actions.
Samana Vayu Stomach Alimentary canal Digestion and assimilation
Apana Vayu Large Intestine Bladder and genitals. Urination, defecation, menstruation, and labor during childbirth.


Pitta Dosha

Pitta represents the fire element energy controlling our body’s metabolic system. The peculiarity of this fire is its liquid nature due to water being its secondary element.

Its primary function is the digestion of food and vision. It maintains the body temperature by spreading enough warmth throughout the body while maintaining skin complexion and suppleness; it is closely related to intelligence and valor.

Types of Pitta Location Functions
Pachaka Pitta (Anala) Stomach and Large Intestine Digestion and transformation of food.
Ranjaka Pitta Stomach Assimilation of food into blood.
Sadhaka Pitta Heart Intelligence, knowledge, and self-consciousness.
Alochaka Pitta Eyes Vision
Bhrajaka Pitta Skin Exhibition of color and complexions.


Kapha dosha

Kapha dosha confers stability, firmness, compactness, and lubrication of joints due to the dominance of water and earth element. It offers the mental capacity to withstand emotional stress.

Types of Kapha Location Functions
Avalambaka Kapha Chest Lubrication and nourishment
Kledaka Kapha Stomach Helps in digestion of food by moistening
Bodhaka Kapha Tongue Taste perception
Tarpaka Kapha Head Sense organ nourishment
Shleshaka Kapha Bone joints Strengthens and lubricates joints


Tridosha Imbalance

An increase or decrease of individual doshas is termed as Sansarg whereas imbalanced altogether is termed as Sannipata.


Causes of imbalance of doshas

The increase of Doshas is perceived to be usually due to excess nutrition (Tarpana), which later on increases Kapha. However, the decrease of Doshas is due to loss of nutrition which is followed by an increase in Vayu (Vata dosha).

Hence, the diseases arising due to the increase of Dosha should be treated by adopting Langhana (therapy causing thinning of the body, reducing the Kapha dosha). The diseases arising from the decrease of Dosha should be treated with Brimhana therapy (causes stoutening of the body, increasing the quantity, etc.)

But in the case of Vata, the order is complete opposite. If Vata is increased, then Brihmana therapy (nourishing therapy for the tissues) should be adopted and if Vata decreases then Langhana therapy should be adopted as it lightens the body with laghu (light) guna.

Tridosha Increase Decrease
Vata Emaciation, black discoloration, tremors, constipation, loss of strength and senses, and irrelevant speech. Debility of body, decreased speech and loss of sensation
Pitta Yellow discoloration of feces, urine, eyes, and skin; excess thirst and hunger with a burning sensation. Weak digestion, cold feel, loss of luster
Kapha Weak digestion, excess salivation, laziness, feels sleepy, cold, and respiratory disorders. Delusion, dizziness, palpitations, and loose joints.


Food preferences

The increase of Doshas should be controlled by avoidance of foods that are disliked by the body as body itself knows its requirements better than we do. The decrease of Doshas should be managed by the indulgence of food that is desired for the very same reason.

The Doshas which have undergone increase and decrease generally produce the desire for foods that are distinct and similar (in properties to those of the Doshas) respectively; but not every person can recognize his body’s call due to non-familiarity and devoid of knowledge factor.


Levels of Dosha Increase and Decrease

Three states of dosha are described by the Acharyas according to the levels of their dushti (vitiation) due to improper food consumption or seasonal changes.


Chaya means increase of an individual dosha slightly on its original seat or location. Generally, it initiates the self-defense mechanism of our body (like increase of body temperature) to aware us of these slight changes in our body. Its ignorance may lead to various diseases.


When dosha is not balanced in its chaya avastha, it later on, leads to Kopa avastha. Dosha starts overflowing in other channels of the body and hampers the physiological processes by blocking those channels. In this state, symptoms of discomfort or diseases start to show up clearly leading to disease onset.


Sama avastha is the state of normalcy. When doshas are restored to their balanced state and levels all the previous symptoms disappear and the body again restores the damages from previous diseases or discomfort.


The Seasonal State of Doshas

Doshas in our body when exposed to different seasons respond differently. We should keep this in mind and take necessary precautions according to Dosha-Avastha (State of dosha).

Doshas Chaya Prakopa Prasamna
Vata Summer Rainy Late winter
Pitta Rainy Autumn Spring
Kapha Late winter Early winter Summer


Befriend Doshas in your life

To live a meaningful life, you need to understand your body constitution first. Before knowing about a machine you cannot gain complete access to its benefits and functions. Only when you get to the depths of the situation will you be able to handle it more accurately. The same goes for your body.

Tridoshas are the fundamentals of our body and understanding the fundamentals is the first step towards learning about your mind and body. This way you can support your body most of the time without any external help because no-one knows your body more than you do. Listen to your body and it will give you a life full of contentment and prosperity.

What is Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Cleansing?



The term ‘Ayurveda’ is composed of two words:

‘Ayu’ + ‘Veda’

Here, ‘Ayu’ refers to longevity

Veda’ refers to science or scriptures full of knowledge.

It literally means the science of life, to extend one’s healthy and meaningful life.

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
Hitahitam Sukham Duhkhamayustasya Hitahitam |
Mananca Tacca Yatroktamayurvedah Sa Ucyate ||
Ayurveda is the science of life that presents the detailed idea of Hita-Ayu (Good and meaningful life), Ahita-Ayu (bad or meaning deficient life), Sukha-Ayu (Healthy and prosperous life), and Dukha-Ayu (Unhealthy or full of flounder life). It tells about the promoting and antagonizing factors that affect the quality of life. It gives a detailed concept about the wholesomeness and unwholesomeness of life to attain Moksha (solitude).


Aim of Ayurveda

The purpose of Ayurveda is explained so beautifully in the Sanskrit Shloka below:

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
Svasthasya svasthya rakshanam,

aaturasya vikaara pras`amanani c||

(Charaka Samhita Sutra Sthana 30/26)

The chief purpose or aim of Ayurveda is to protect (Rakshana) the health (Swasthya) of the healthy beings (Swastha) and cure or manage (Prashamana) the diseases of mind and body (vikara) of the ill (Atura).


Acharya Vagbhatta states four entities of life (Chatura-Varga Purushartha) to achieve the purpose of life. They are:

  • 1. Dharma (the path of righteousness)
  • 2. Artha (meaningful pursuits in life)
  • 3. Kama (perpetration of desires)
  • 4. Moksha (achieve salvation)


Principles of Ayurveda

There are three fundamentals principles of Ayurveda:

  1. 1. Panchamahabhoota sidhanta

According to Ayurveda, the whole universe consists of five elements:

    1. A. Aakash (Space element)
    2. B. Vayu (Air element)
    3. C. Agni (Fire element)
    4. D. Jala (Water element)
    5. E. Prithvi (Earth element)

Our bodies also comprise of these five elements where space element conceives the body cavities, the fluid part in the body is made up of water element, agni manages the catabolic processes (like digestion) in the body where air element and earth element control the movements of different entities like hormones, enzymes, and fluids and the hardness of tough parts of the body respectively

  1. 2. Tridosha sidhanta

There are three types of defects or humors (Sharirik dosha) in the human body named as:

    • A. Vata
    • B. Pitta
    • C. Kapha

These doshas are also the product of the five fundamentals of life. These doshas are the responsible factors for maintaining the body’s natural functions.

Sanskrit Shloka English Meaning
vāyu: pittaṃ kaphaśceti trayo doṣā: samāsata: || vikṛtā’vikṛtā dehaṃ ghnanti te varttayanti ca |

(Ashtanga Hridayam 1/6)

In this Shloka, stating the importance of these doshas says that the perfect balance of these three humors in the body leads to the wholesome and healthy body whereas any Vikara (imbalance) is responsible for the disease.


There are three other doshas known as Manas Dosha (Humors of mind) that are: Satva, Rajas, and Tamas.


  1. 3. Samanya vishesha sidhanta

This sidhanta (principle) tells us about the miraculous effects of identical and distinctive materials. In Ayurveda, it is believed that an element backs up the element of its similar nature and opposes the distinct one.


Chief constituents of the body

According to Ayurveda, these constituents are the support system of the body. Imbalance of any of these constituents leads to discomfort and various diseases whereas their balance grants us a blissfully healthy life both mentally and physically.

  1. 1. Dosha (Body and Mind Humors)
  2. 2. Dhatu (Body tissues)
  3. 3. Mala (Waste products- urine, feces, and sweat)
  4. 4. Meda (Body fat)


Ayurvedic Cleansing

Your body knows when something is off and sends you the signals to make it right in time. Feeling lousy or lethargic is not all that bad when we can fix the upcoming dangerous diseases in its early stages. Whenever your body gives you signals like these, do not ignore them. Your body is your temple and your soul is your God.

If you ignore your body’s needs you are inviting ominous situations. If you are feeling unwell without any reason, search through your inner senses to figure out where the problem lies and there is no way you will fail to know the cause when you do it with absolute sincerity.

Feeling a certain way depends on your body’s dosha balance. Imbalanced doshas are the cause of an illness or discomfort. Whereas the Agni being an equally dominant figure since in majority of diseases, the cause of imbalanced dosha is Manda agni (low digestion fire).

We generally lose our appetite in anxiety, restlessness, or any illness. It is because stressful conditions hamper with our agni which further imbalances our dosha operation fabricating a major effect on our overall health (Both physical and mental health).

To balance the imbalanced constitution of our body, Ayurveda culture offers us the great honor of therapeutic strategies to determine one’s health constitution and improve the sense of emotional, physical, and spiritual balance and harmony.

There are certain Shodahana (Cleansing) procedures that eliminate all the toxins (ama) from our body, balance dosha trio while strengthening Agni.


Ayurveda Cleansing Procedures

They are of two types

  1. 1. Can be done by ourselves at home

Upvasa (Fasting) in the ‘Hindu religion’ is considered as a ritual.  But if we look at it in the medical framework, it holds an astounding advantage. According to Ayurveda, if we throw too much fuel (food) in the fire (Agni in our stomach/ digestive fire), it will obstruct the burning process and will result in manda-agni (low digestion power). Fasting is a powerful approach that facilitates the re-ignition of Agni and expels the toxins accumulated in our body. Fasting once a week or continuously three days a month helps us cleanse our body naturally.

  1. 2. Require Ayurveda physician’s supervision

In Ayurveda, there are three procedures which are performed under the physician’s guide and supervision:

  1. A. Snehana
  2. B. Swedana
  3. C. Shodhana

  1. Shodhana has further three types:
    1. C1. Vamana Karma (emesis) – For aggravated Kapha dosha.
    2. C2. Virechana Karma (Purgation) – For aggravated Pitta dosha.
    3. C3. Basti Karma (Suppositories) – For aggravated Vata dosha.


Ayurvedic Massage (Abhyanagam)

Acharya Vagbhatta describes Abhyanga as daily morning regimen. It alleviates the excess Vata Dosha and relieves tiredness (Shramahara). It decelerates the aging process (Jarahara). It is a good darsanakar (improves vision). Daily massage under feet, specifically under big toe, spine, head, and neck keep eye diseases at the bay. It nourishes and strengthens the body (Pushtikar), prolongs age (life-span), and induces good sleep (Swaspnakar).

It is an efficient Twakadhikara (improves skin complexion). Dryness is the definite sign of the provoked Vata element in the body. According to Acharya Charaka, oil massage daily on the navel area helps significantly in alleviating Vata dosha.

Massaging with certain herbal medicinal oils helps us fight against the microbes (Krimihara).

Abhigata Sahatwa (resilience against injuries) is another advantageous factor of Abhyanga. It is scientifically proven that people receiving daily massage tend to have great recovery speed compared to those who don’t.

Immunity Booster Drink during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: All Natural Home Made Ayurveda Recipe

In this short video, we are going to show you how you can make an effective and delicious immunity booster drink in just 10 simple steps. This is an all natural and homemade Ayurveda recipe. You can find all its ingredients in your local grocery store. So let’s watch and learn.

Below is the simple 10-step recipe for Immunity Booster Ayurveda drink shown in the video above.

Step 1

Fill up a medium sauce pan with water, all the way to the top.

Step 2

We are going to need cloves. Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which help the immune system in fighting off oxidative damage and free radicals. But the main ingredient that makes cloves very powerful for increasing immunity, is the substance eugenol, which is also what gives cloves their distinctive odor. Eugenol has been proven effective against many harmful bacteria and viruses and also is effective in fighting funguses.

Step 3

We are going to need black peppers seeds. Black peppers have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, which could help fight rogue cancer cells as well as boost the immune system.

Step 4

We are going to need ginger roots. Ginger contains gingerols, paradols, sesquiterpenes, shogaols, and zingerone, all of which have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, ginger may boost immune health.

Step 5

We are going to boil cloves, black peppers, and ginger in the medium sauce pan full with water. Add 20 cloves, 20 black pepper seeds, and about two table spoons of ginger roots cut in small pieces into the water. Boil the water to full heat and bring it to full boil.

Step 6

Add a couple of cinnamon sticks to the boiling water. Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage.

Step 7

Add a few basil leaves to the boiling water. Basil contains disease-fighting antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Basil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and infections.

Step 8

Add a couple of lemon slices to the boiling water. Lemons are high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, which enhances the immune system. Lemon also has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Step 9

This is an optional step. Add a few honey drops to the boiling water. Honey’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties help improve the digestive system and boost immunity. However, if you are diabetic, you can skip adding honey. Your drink already has great immunity boosting ingredients.

Step 10

Boil all the added ingredients to full heat until the water level goes down to half the original level. You will notice that the water color has changed to golden brown.


Information provided in this video should not be taken as medical advice for Coronavirus or any other medical condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. We do not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. In case of symptoms, you should consult your primary care physician or health care provider.