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Western Herbalist's Use of Ayurveda in the Clinic - Page 4

Tridosha Theory - A Constitutional Model

The five elements are present in the universe and combined in the following manner are known as the TRI-DOSHIC theory. The five elements condense into the three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.


Vata means "wind," or "that which moves things." and is the principle of movement. It is associated with the elements of air/space. It, however, is not the air which is outside of us, but is the force that governs biological movement; it is the prime impetus of the nervous system. It controls the sensory and mental balance. It gives a mental adaptability and understanding. It is the basic life force called Prana and is enhanced by the Life force of whole and vitalized foods, from the breath and from our connection with the Divine within which is the deepest energizing force for the entire body. In the mind, Vata is our flexibility, communication and our creative resources.

Vata flows through and rules the nervous system, and can accumulate in the large intestines as gas, in pelvic cavity as pains and aches, in the bones as arthritis, in the skin as dry eczema, in the ears as ringing ears, and in the thighs as sciatic pain. If the body develops an excess of Vata (air qualities), these are the first areas in which it will accumulate. Vata is the MOTIVATING FORCE behind the other two humors which are incapable of moving themselves. Fire would go out without air and water/earth would be stagnant if there was no air.

Vata dosha governs:
  • breathing
  • inhalation / exhalation
  • blinking of the eyelids
  • movements in the muscles and tissues
  • pulsations of the heart
  • all contractions and expansions
  • movements and signals in the nerve cells
  • movement of digestion
  • movement of elimination/urine/menstruation
  • generally all the movements in the body

Vata rules the emotions of:
  • mental power and movement
  • coordination
  • adaptability
  • inspirations
  • spiritual aspirations
  • nervousness
  • fear
  • anxiety

Vata's main locations are in:
  • the colon
  • the hips
  • the thighs
  • the ears
  • the bones
  • the organ of touch (skin)
  • the nerve tissues
  • Its primary site is the colon

ATTRIBUTES (Qualities) OF VATA: - The Mover and Shaker of Life
  • light
  • cold
  • rough
  • dry
  • mobile
  • clear
  • agitated
  • subtle
  • hard
  • dispersing

  • movement
  • catabolism (breaking down of substance)
  • astringent (drying taste)
  • old age
  • dawn and dusk
  • Fall season (cold, dry, windy season)

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Wisdom from the Ages

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