Originally, Ayurveda defined seven body types. These, referred to as doshas, were Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Sama, Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta, and Pitta-Kapha. The first three types occur in their pure form very rarely and so seldom is it that anyone is primarily influenced by one dosha alone. Most Ayurveda reference the following three doshas:
The vata dosha combines the elements ether and air. It is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls very basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing, discharge of waste, and the mind. Vata can be aggravated by, for example, fear, grief, staying up late at night, eating dry fruit, or eating before the previous meal is digested. People with vata as their main dosha are thought to be especially susceptible to skin and neurological conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, anxiety, and insomnia.
The pitta dosha represents the elements fire and water. Pitta controls hormones and the digestive system. A person with a pitta imbalance may experience negative emotions such as anger and may have physical symptoms such as heartburn within 2 or 3 hours of eating. Pitta is upset by, for example, eating spicy or sour food, fatigue, or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to hypertension, heart disease, infectious diseases, and digestive conditions such as Crohn's disease.
The kapha dosha combines the elements water and earth. Kapha helps to maintain strength and immunity and to control growth. An imbalance of the kapha dosha may cause nausea immediately after eating. Kapha is aggravated by, for example, greed, sleeping during the daytime, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). Those with a predominant kapha dosha are thought to be vulnerable to diabetes, cancer, obesity, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
The key to maintaining physical and mental health is in keeping these elements and doshas in harmonic balance through proper diet, herbs and life style, otherwise early aging and various diseases can manifest. These three doshas can even be traced back to the very beginning of creation as representing the three Gods in Vedic wisdom Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. One or more of these doshas or elements will predominate in every individual living entity creating seven possible body types. By knowing which type you are by symptoms, the proper diet and herbal treatment can be established for you.
Eliminating impurities. A process called panchakarma is intended to cleanse the body by eliminating ama. Ama is described as an undigested food that sticks to tissues, interferes with normal functioning of the body, and leads to disease. Panchakarma focuses on eliminating ama through the digestive tract and the respiratory system. Enemas, massage, medical oils administered in a nasal spray, and other methods may be used.
Reducing symptoms. The practitioner may suggest various options, including physical exercises, stretching, breathing exercises, meditation, massage, lying in the sun, and changing the diet. The patient may take certain herbs—often with honey, to make them easier to digest. Sometimes diets are restricted to certain foods. Very small amounts of metal and mineral preparations, such as gold or iron, also may be given.
Increasing resistance to disease. The practitioner may combine several herbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins in tonics to improve digestion and increase appetite and immunity. These tonics are based on formulas from ancient texts.
Reducing worry and increasing harmony. Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes mental nurturing and spiritual healing. Practitioners may recommend avoiding situations that cause worry and using techniques that promote release of negative emotions.
Cold Water Extracted. It extracts and concentrates the medicinal properties of the herbs. Removing all the fiebers and unnecassary parts to make the herb as pure as possible. Making just a little bit go a very long way, allowing ¼-1 teaspoon more then enough.
Ashwagandha can be used as an antispasmodic and it increases the bodies’ resistance to adverse influences as well. It is traditionally prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness. It is also frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its ability to rejuvenate the body. The recommended dosage is between 600 to 1000 mg, twice daily. People who suffer from insomnia and anxiety may benefit by adding a teaspoon of Ashwagandha to a cup of hot water or juice before bed time.