As most of the internet users know from numerous write ups about ayurveda, the three doshas are the basic functioning units of the body. All the activities of the body are governed by these intangible entities. The increase or decrease in the functioning of these is bases upon a very simple principle called the samanya-vishesha siddhanta, which states that when things with qualities similar to any dosha are given to the body, the functioning of that particular dosha increase and when things of opposite quality are given, the functioning decreases of that particular dosha. Thus to maintain the equilibrium of dosha which is the condition of health, all we have to do is decrease any dosha that has increased beyond its limits and vice versa. Let us quickly see what all can effect each dosha and how it can be used to maintain health.
Things that increase Vata
Vata is a dosha of degeneration so it gets increased not by any particular type of food but by the lack of it and since it is the dynamic one among the three it gets increased also by activities done by the body. The following are a few things that can increase vata ;
- Staying awake at night
- Excessive exercise, talking, singing , running etc
- Not having food at proper time, skipping meals
- Foods with bitter, astringent and pungent taste
- Excessive use of pulses, green leafy vegetables etc
- Very dry food or deep fried food
- Lack of water consumption
- Cold weather and cold foods
- Old age etc
Signs of increased vata
The increase of vata dosha in the body is characterised by dryness of skin, hair, and other parts of the body, stiffness of muscles, pain in joints and muscles, blackish discoloration, neurological problems etc,
How to reduce vata
Vata can be reduced by giving extra nourishment to the body. Food that are sweet, sour and salty in taste, hot in potency and are nourishing in nature can reduce the vata in body. Some common vata controlling food items are; milk, ghee, nuts, rice, wheat, meat, eggs etc. It is not only foods that can control vata but also external procedures like oil application and giving local heat. Proper sleep and hot fomentation with steam can also help in reducing the discomforts that are due to increased vata. The approach should be based on the assessment about which quality of vata has gone up; for example we can use oil application is there is excessive dryness and pain whereas for stiffness and coldness we can opt for hot fomentation.
These are a few tips about how to manage the most dynamic dosha among the trio. Have you ever experienced such symptoms and faced the dilemma of what to do? Hoping that this was helpful to you.
For more information and specifics about vata diseases, please contact our panel of Ayurveda experts.