Ayurveda is a traditional holistic science which derives from Ancient India. It comes from a time when people understood nature and worked with it to bring about a state of optimum health. It only uses naturally based ingredients to cure and prevent illnesses. Ayurveda says do not put anything onto your body that cannot be put on your tongue. Ayurveda uses diet, lifestyle, yoga, massage and herbs to both cure and prevent disease.
Ayurveda is predominantly based around the five elements; space, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements are put into three subgroups known as doshas (body types); Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is made up of space and air, Pitta is made up of fire and water but is known as a fire dosha and Kapha is made up of water and earth but is known more as a liquid based dosha.
Vata governs mobility and the movement of prana (life force energy). Pitta governs the heat in the body such as the metabolic rate. Kapha governs immunity in the body and is responsible for nourishing the body.
According to Ayurveda the human body is made up of the five elements and categorized into the three doshas. These doshas are represented in seven possible ratios, for example a person could be Pitta/Vata type and the next person could be Kapha/Pitta. We all have characteristics of all three but the majority of the time one or two will be more dominant.
Vata people tend to be very thin, shy, anxious, creative people. They have great imaginations but tend to change their minds frequently. Pitta people are medium in build, intellectual beings and also well organised and punctual. They experience more heat related emotions such as anger, hate and jealousy. Kapha people tend to be larger in frame and have bigger bones, are well grounded, stable and loyal people. They can experience laziness and feel lethargic, and tend to have cooler emotions such as being laid back and being happy with life.
Illnesses are also put into these categories; Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Most inflammatory illnesses are Pitta related, which makes sense as it is a fire based dosha. Once we know what category an illness falls under it makes it easier to manage the condition.
According to Ayurveda your lifestyle and diet should complement your body type for example people with a high pitta should reduce spicy foods and not over expose themselves to heat. Understanding your body type will help you understand how your mind and body work, giving an insight into what your strengths and weaknesses are and helping you use them to your advantage.
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is excess Pitta within our system, which means we need to do things that counteract the heat. This means adjusting our lifestyle (work-life balance), diet and ensuring we get sufficient amount of sleep. We need to create the right environment internally & externally.