Doshas help us to define body types and proclivities, plus they rule certain functions and organs. When we have an ailment, we have an imbalanced dosha, because each Dosha represents a force in the body. If that force is coming on too strong or too weak, we suffer.
The three doshas are Vata, Kapha and Pitta. Vata is the element of Air, and the other doshas depend on Vata because it is responsible for movement. Kapha is the element of water, Pitta is fire, or bile.
When applied to body type, a person can be predominantly one dosha, two doshas or all three, so there are more than just three body types. A person can be physically one dosha but mentally and emotionally another dosha, such as a solid Kapha body type but quick and fast Vata mind – Rodney Dangerfield.
When applied to ailments, you can have a Kapha person with a predominantly Pitta ailment, such as a hot, congested liver and toxic bile from too many heating spices, tomato sauces and deep-fried oils.
Vata people are almost always thin, unless they really overindulge. They are quick thinkers, alert, live on nerves. They tend to have nervous habits like nail biting, pencil biting, smoking, etc. Vata means air, and their proclivities and symptoms increase when it is windy. They hate too much wind or air conditioning. They have fine bones, slight builds.
Vata ailments are anything having to do with dryness and cold. Dry skin, dry hacking cough, cold extremities, chills, spastic colon, gas, bloating, flatulence, are all Vata derangements.
Kapha people are the solid types. They tend to be what we call “large boned.” They are easy-going, placid, steadfast, good at planning and saving money. Kapha means water, and they do tend to get the water and mucous type complaints: sinus and ear infection, asthma, bronchitis. They gain weight easily and lose it slowly. They enjoy fasting for the lightness of being it gives them.
Kapha ailments are anything having to do with phlegm and the ear/nose/throat, stomach and upper respiratory area. Bronchitis, asthma, sinus infection are all Kapha imbalances.
Pitta people are the fiery types. Pitta means fire or bile. They have the strongest digestion and metabolisms. They can go out into the coldest weather without a sweater or scarf and shake their heads at people who bundle up. Their symptoms are increased in hot weather, which makes them perspire more, which they are already prone to do, and lose their temper and get irritable. They tend to have medium builds.
Pitta ailments have to do with certain kinds of acne and hives, pancreas, spleen, small intestine. Problems with absorbing nutrients, food intolerances, diarrhea, are typical Pitta issues.