What is Vata dosha Doshas
What is Vata dosha?
MARCH 25, 2024


Why do we define the concept of health through Tridoshas in Ayurveda? Why do we need a physical constitution to describe the engender of vitality?

The psychosomatic factors or tridoshas and their balance draw the concept of health and disease in Ayurveda. Wellness doesn't just come from the absence of diseases but from remaining fit and immune to internal and external stresses. In classical science, the aggravation of these biological factors, called doshas, triggers a person's health. Vata dosha, Pitta, and Kapha doshas (often referred to as physical constitution) interpret the exuberance in human beings according to the timeless science of Ayurveda.

What is the Vata dosha?

vata dosha

Doshas are primary constitutional factors of the body, which maintain the body's integrity. Tridoshas represent groups of physiological activities going on continuously in the body; hence, we can assess health or illness by watching these physiological activities or their aberrations thereof, if any. All diseases, even those yet to evolve, can be managed by the knowledge of doshas.

Tridoshas are thus three in number, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

'Vata' is defined by Susruta as ‘Va Gati Gandhanayo', which initiates gati or movement and gandhanayo or sensory and motor functions of the body. Vata dosha is a self-generating and self-propagating force responsible for the body's movements, neurological function and other functions like respiration, speech, memory and intellect.

Vata Dosha Symptoms

The gunas [attributes/properties) of vata are exhibited in excess during the instances of its aggravation. The Vata dosha symptoms thus are as follows :

  • Rūksa (dry & coarse)
  • Laghu (light)
  • Sita (cool)
  • Khara (rough)
  • Sükshma (subtle) and
  • Chala (mobile).

vata dosha symptoms

Hence, in a person who is experiencing a Vata imbalance, his body exhibits the Vata dosha symptoms such as:

  • Dry hair, skin, lips and ears.
  • Painful joints.
  • Digestive errors including abdominal bloating, dehydration, gas, and constipation.
  • Gradual weight loss.
  • The feeling of restlessness and dizziness.
  • Unusual drop of body temperature.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Muscular constrictions and episodes of pain.
  • Rough hair, lips, and skin.
  • Constant fidgeting and anxiety.
  • Muscle twitching and palpitations.
  •  Interrupted sleep or insomnia.

Cause for High Vata Levels

Vata dosha, predominately in autumn and winter, is highly active, susceptible to vitiation during old age, and from around 2 am to 6 am during the day. These are natural Vata imbalances found in and around our biological atmosphere.

So, during the mentioned periods and climatic transitions, it's highly recommended that a person with a Vata type of bodily constitution avoid administration and exposure to further dryness, cold, non-unctuousness, and high mobility. This adaptation must also be extended to food and lifestyle practices to prevent Vata imbalances. 

An increased state of Vata dosha causes karsya (emaciation), karshnya (black discolouration), usnakamata (desire for heat), Kampa (tremor), änäha (abdominal distention), Shakrit graha (constipation), balahäni (weakness), nidrahani (loss of sleep), nidrabhramsa (loss of sleep), pralapa (incoherent talk) and bhrama (giddiness) as per the Ayurvedic classics.

Recommended Vata Dosha Diet

recommended vata dosha diet

One after the other, Vata imbalance can be problematic with time. So here's how to balance Vata dosha through diet techniques. Our individual Prakruti carefully sets these up to attain internal equilibrium. In the ancient system of medicine of Ayurveda, one which is adaptable, we don't overview diet as a mere concept for weight management. It is the chief component needed to attain the intramural psycho-somatic balance amid fluctuating doshas. Food is the energy channel, so we should eat carefully to preserve our unique constitution.

The energetic and flexible Vata dosha needs spices and warm and grounding food articles with a soft texture. A Vata bowl can be filled with Whole meat, stew, eggs, cooked or garnished Vegetables with oil, nuts, berries, melon, etc.

How to Balance Vitiated Vata Levels.

  1. Living calmly at a calm pace is essential in maintaining the balance of doshas—especially that of Vata dosha.
  2. A consistent daily routine and schedule that includes set hours for working, resting, and eating is recommended.
  3. A balanced diet chart that matches your bodily constitution is most important.
  4. A regular practice of Ayurvedic self-massage, known as abhyanga, using warm sesame or massage oils helps to keep Vata dosha in check.
  5. A mild workout regimen like swimming, walking, or a serene, grounded style of yoga can also be made a priority to remove excess Vata from the body.
  6. Keeping warm in any weather conditions. Trying to be in warm clothing, hot liquids, and hot baths helps in conditions of Vata aggravation.

A list of Vata pacifying foods to curb your body's Vata levels back to normalcy.

vata pacifying food

  • Fruits :

    Cooked Apples, Fresh Dates (either cooked or soaked), Apricots, Berries, Cherries, Ripe bananas, Coconut, Prunes (Either cooked or soaked), Figs (That are either fresh, cooked or soaked), Raisins (either cooked or soaked), Lemon, Tamarind, Mango, Grapes, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapple, Papaya, Plums, etc.

  • Vegetables :

    Asparagus, Beets, Chilies (in minimal quantities), Cucumber, Carrots (Cooked), Avocado, Green Chilies, Okra, Green Beans, Mustard Greens, Onion (Cooked), Sweet Potatoes, Olives (black), Peas (Cooked), Pumpkin, Spinach (Cooked) etc.

  • Spices :

    Basil, Black Pepper, Cloves, Garlic, Mustard Seeds, Peppermint, Turmeric, Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger

  • Grains :

    Durham Flour, Rice (all types), Wheat, Sprouted Wheat Bread, Oats, Quinoa etc.

  • Dairy and Meat products :

    Chicken, Beef, Salmon, Seafood, Eggs, Buttermilk, Butter, Cheese, Yogurt (fresh) etc.

  • Nuts and seeds :

    Almonds, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds etc.

List of foods you should be cautious while consuming if you are trying to keep Vata levels in check.!

  • Fruits :

    Bananas (green), Apples (raw), Dates (dry), Dried Fruits, Cranberries, Figs (dry), Pears, Pomegranate, Raisins (dry), Watermelon etc.

  • Vegetables :

    Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots (Raw), Mushrooms, Chilies (in excess), Cauliflower, Lettuce, Olives (Green), Onion (Raw), Peas (Raw), Radishes, Sprouts, Spinach (Raw), Turnips, Tomatoes etc.

  • Spices :

    Chili Powder, Neem Leaves, Fenugreek etc.

  • Grains :

    Barley, Yeasted Bread, Cereals (cold, dry, or puffed), Buckwheat, Millet, Corn, Muesli, Pasta (Wheat), Rice Cakes, Oat Bran, Oats (Dry), Wheat Bran etc.

  • Dairy and Meat products :

    Mutton, Lamb, Pork, Powdered Milk, Frozen Yogurt etc.

  • Nuts and seeds :


Ayurvedic Herbs that help to curb Vata Levels in Your Body.

ayurvedic herbs

  • Chamomile :

    Chamomile is known in Ayurveda for its calming properties and digestive functions. The magnificent herb also contains additional properties accounting for its mild and bitter flavour that is ideal for balancing Vata dosha. It also helps with digestion and relieves bloating and cramps problems a vata imbalance brings around. Traditionally, chamomile is widely used to promote calmness, particularly before bedtime, and to soothe the nervous system.

  • Ginger :

    Ginger is a universal remedy for people, especially the Ayurvedic medicine for Vata dosha imbalances. Its warmth helps to rebalance the disrupted vata dosha in the body. Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is hot in potency, helping with vata-based digestive errors. It improves circulation and works best if you incorporate it into your daily tea.

  • Ashwagandha :

    Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic plant that helps to soothe and strengthen the nervous system. The wonderful herb could be your all-rounder for Vata dosha treatment. Ashwagandha's reputation for fostering inner peace and core energy makes this an excellent herb for dealing with today's lifestyle pressures, which also causes vata dosha imbalances in our system.

Brahmi Ghritham

Brahmi Ghritham

Boosts Brain Functions & Memory

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(Boosts Brain Functions & Memory.)

Brahmi Ghritam is one of the renowned Medhya Rasayanas in Ayurveda and acts as the Ayurvedic medicine for Vata dosha imbalances. Curbing the Vata dosha symptoms helps enhance memory and acquisition by providing the brain with the necessary nutrients. Furthermore, Brahmi is blessed with the ability to balance Vata, which lessens the signs and symptoms of anxiety. Additionally, it reduces seizure episodes and helps balance the three doshas of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Balya (strengthening) characteristic of the herbs also aids in easing the signs of general weakness or exhaustion.

Mahanarayana Thailam (Oil)

Mahanarayana Thailam(Oil)
mahanarayana thailam

Post Workout Massage Oil, Relieves Stiffness

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(Post Workout Massage Oil Relieves Stiffness)

The herbal formulation of Mahanarayana Tailam enables sustenance of the bone and nerve tissues, which are crucial components of joint construction and function. Mahanarayana Tailam corresponds to the Ayurvedic medicine for Vata dosha that helps to bring balance to Vata dosha as well as sleshaka kapha (The kapha element that regulates joint health), which are essential components of the joints, assisting with structure and lubrication. The warming characteristic of the herbal allies balances Vata's tendency toward coldness and is highly recommended for the management of pain and swelling of joints in conditions of inflammatory arthritis. The herbs in the formulation help relieve morning stiffness and pain around the joints. They are also found to be beneficial for degenerative disorders involving restricted movements, chronic fatigue, and loss of functionality.

Home Remedies to Balance Vata Dosha.

  • Increase your dairy intake:

    When consumed in moderation, dairy products and sweets can remove excess Vata from the body, accounting for their sweet taste, unctuousness, and ability to promote immunity and vitality.

  • Add garlic to food:

    Garlic has long been known to balance Vata levels in the body. Adding a few crushed garlic to your soups and spicy mixes can do wonders like anything.

  • Food cooked with ghee:

    Ghee helps eliminate unpleasant dryness and excess Vata build-up in the body, restoring the natural antioxidants. Savour the nutritional properties of freshly made ghee by drizzling it on hot rice or chapatis to gain maximum benefits.

  • Herbal tea made with Brahmi leaves:

    To balance Vata, you can prepare herbal tea using Brahmi leaves. Antioxidant-rich herbal tea might serve as a beneficial substitute for coffee and also helps to pacify Vata dosha.

Key Takeaways

Managing excessive Vata is crucial to maintaining the natural biological balance of the body. The blog discussed the methods of alleviating aggravating Vata, the herbs to rely on and some home remedies to try.

Let's look back at the knowledge we shared.

  • High Vata dosha levels can afflict the body with dry skin, rough hair, parched lips, and painful joints. It also leads to digestive errors like bloating, constipation, gas and dehydration.
  • Freezing weather, cold foods, and similar factors can trigger the Vata dosha aggravation.
  • To manage the Vata levels of the body, it is advised to consume hot foods and edibles that aren't too dry and rough in quality and those that are unctuous and nurturing is to be added more to the diet.
  • Ayurvedic herbs such as Ashwagandha and Brahmi can help lower the aggravated levels of Vata dosha.
  • Several home remedies and recipes, including ayurvedic herbs, can help manage Vata levels in the body.

Conclusion :

Thus, in a hypothetical context, doshas can also be seen as bio-programmes trying to maintain and balance the body harmoniously. When these are vitiated, like viruses corrupting the programmes in a computer, the harmony in the body's homoeostasis would be at stake, and then there would be disease. You cannot see or weigh the software programmes of many code languages; they can only be perceived through their functions. Behind the curtain invisibly, day in and day out, in health and disease. Isn't that why it has been said that doshas are the causes of health and diseases?!

About the Author

Dr. Archana Sukumaran
Dr. Archana Sukumaran (BAMS, 12 years of experience)

Dr. Archana Sukumaran is a well-known Ayurveda Doctor (BAMS) at Kerala Ayurveda. Her practice of the age-old Ayurveda is deeply rooted in the traditional Kerala Ayurveda school of thought. She endeavors to seamlessly integrate holistic wellness into everyday life & filter out the noise from natural wisdom based on evidence-based research.

About the Reviewer

Dr. Natasha S. Lal
Dr. Natasha S. Lal (BAMS, 13 years of experience)

Dr. Natasha S. Lal is a devoted Ayurvedic practitioner at Ayurvedagram Bali. She is renowned for her expertise, empathetic care, and strong desire to help patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to Ayurveda, each individual has three Doshas/functional energies. Vata is one of these energies and is said to have derived from Aakash and Vayu Mahabhutas. All humans have individual Dosha levels that administer various functions of their body and mind. Vata Dosha is associated with rough, dry, cold, and light natures. Primarily, Vata Dosha helps control movement, coordination of the senses, efforts, tissue equilibrium, and inhalation and exhalation. When a person has a Vata body type, their bones and veins are more prominent, and they may have cold and rough skin. People with Vata dominance will be energetic and creative, with hyperactive tendencies and a weak immune system. They may be erratic with their eating and sleeping habits.

While the attempts at reducing Vata levels immediately may not reflect enough results, with a daily routine and suitable diet, you can optimise your Vata soon. The following tips may help optimise Vata Vikrithi: Eat sweets, salty, buttery, and hot foods. Practice Abhangyam (Oleation), Sweda ( Sudation), and Vasty karma. As the main seat of Vata is the colon, Vasti can help reduce Vata. Cook your food with Vata pacifying oils such as ghee, avocado, or sesame. Eat according to the Vata dominant season. Reduce the intake of astringent, dry, light, cold, raw, and processed foods while increasing sweet, sour, salty, warm, and cooked whole foods. Maintain an active lifestyle and get adequate sleep. Practice Yoga, meditation, or other preferred stress management and calming activities.

Managing high Vata can often be crucial for your body’s overall health. As excessive Vata can cause dryness and roughness, while dealing with high Vata, it’s best to stick to a Vata pacifying diet and follow practices that help lower Vata.In the sections above, we mentioned several foods, herbs and home remedies that can help optimise Vata Dosha. So ‌check them out.

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