A dosha (doṣa), according to Ayurveda, is one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory.

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

  • Vāta or Vata (wind) is the impulse principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system. It affects the windy humour, flatulence, gout, rheumatism, etc.
  • Pitta is the bilious humour, or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat. It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism.
  • Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucus, lubrication, and the carrier of nutrients.

According to Ayurvedic medical practitioners, any problem, whether physical or psychological, is caused by the imbalance in the tridosha. Similarly, any problem can be solved if the three doshas are balanced. All the treatments and principles of Ayurveda are based upon one goal; that is to balance the tridosha.

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