Doshas - Dr Marilyn Allen PhD

Ayurveda philosophies believe we each contain varying traits of doshas/energies, generally one or two dominating, signifying who we are in our most balanced healthy state. When there is an imbalance in the harmony of mind and body, the doshas become aggravated.


These three correspond to our physical and personality traits in Ayurveda:


Earth - Kapha

Wind - Vata

Fire - Pitta


It is said that combination of these doshas determine the spiritual, physical and mental needs of the person. How does one identify body type?


Kapha - Larger built body. Very affectionate and compassionate, even tempered and sweet natured. Tends not to be keen on damp and cold. Methodical. Stable and easy to get on with. Oily skin.

Vita - Thin/Slight body frame. Sensitive. Dry skin. Ability to enthuse and motivate people. Tends to be vivacious, eager/quick to learn new things and does no like the cold e.g. food and climate.

Pitta - Medium built body. Kind. Extremely intelligent and tends to set and achieve goals. Hard working but can be irritable. Prefers the cold weather. Fair skin.


Signs of Vata Imbalance - the system becomes irregular and depleted, affecting organs and tissues.


- constipation

- anxiety

- craving warmth

- frequent infections

- dehydration

- disturbed sleep

- weight loss


Balancing Vata


- soupy grains like rice and wheat

- moderate dairy substitute

- boiled vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, leafy vegetables, cauliflower

- teas like camomile, fennel, ginger, liquorice, lemon


Signs of Pitt Imbalance - the person becomes irritable and aggressive, awakening the self critic and sometimes triggering perfectionist behaviour.


- over eating

- heartburn

- frequent infections

- violent/colourful dreams

- cravings for food


Balancing Pitta


- sweet fruits

- dairy substitute

- tea: red clover, liquorice, spearmint, fennel, camomile

- mild cooling spices like mint, coriander, tumeric, cloves


Signs for Kapha Imbalance - the person suffers from mental and physical stagnation and a feeling of lethargy.


- frequent candida

- craving warmth

- craving spicy foods

- water retention

- weight gain

- sluggish bowels

- procrastination

- need to sleep more


Balancing Kapha


- Ripe fruits except banana

- Grains: millet, rye, oats, barley, wheatbran, corn

- strong spices: paprika, salt, garlic, fennel, mustard, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, cloves, basil, allspice, tumeric, ginger, cardamon, cumin.

- honey instead of sugar

- tea: fenugreek, peppermint, rasberry


Gupta, M. 2016. Handbook of Doshas. Amazon

Rao, K. 2014 Ayurveda Remedies by Dosha Types - a Guide to Homeopathic and Herbal Ayurveda Remedies. Create Space Independent Publishing