Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest medical sciences and the first to recognize the individuality of each human being. The holistic health system offers a personalized diet, lifestyle, and herbal medications to prevent and treat health conditions. This approach is based on the core philosophy of Dosha and Prakriti, which you need to understand in order to use Dosha balancing techniques to improve metabolism. Although these ancient Ayurvedic concepts are not clearly understood by modern science, there is growing evidence connecting such concepts to metabolic pathways and different genotypes. To use this traditional knowledge to boost your metabolism, let’s first explore the key concepts.
There are three Doshas or energy forces that permeate all of nature, including the human body.
|Vata Dosha||Pitta Dosha||Kapha Dosha|
|Consisting of air and space, Dosha Vata influences movement and bodily functions like respiration, cardiac function, cellular activity, and muscle and tissue movement.||Consisting of fire and water, this Dosha has the strongest influence on your metabolism and digestion. Pitta levels directly impact the digestive and metabolic processes, including utilization and absorption of nutrients.||Comprising earth and water, Dosha Kapha works as a binding force or fabric that holds cellular structure together. It influences both the lubrication and development of physical structures, affecting immune health, skin health, and joint function.|
Every individual has a unique balance of Doshas, called Prakriti. This not only has an influence on different facets of your physical being, personality traits, and health, but it also affects your metabolism and metabolic health risks. Metabolism meaning is quite simply the set of complex chemical processes that take place in the human body to ensure normal functioning of almost every activity that sustains life. This includes digestion and breakdown of food, regulation and utilization of energy, regulation of body temperature, building and repairing body tissue, and other functions.
Maintaining your natural balance of Doshas can help to improve your overall health because of its influence on metabolism. To elaborate, individuals with a Pitta dominant Prakriti tend to have higher metabolic rates, while those with Kapha dominant Prakriti tend to have slower metabolism. This is why individuals with a Kapha constitution or Kapha imbalances are vulnerable to weight gain and obesity. In fact, failing to balance or pacify Kapha levels is regarded as a significant risk factor for sedentary and unhealthy dietary habits that can cause metabolic syndrome disorders such as obesity, cardiac disease, and diabetes.
Although the best way to strengthen your metabolism would be by consulting an Ayurvedic doctor to identify your Prakriti and get personalized diet and lifestyle recommendations, you can also use Tridoshic and Kapha pacifying herbs to help improve metabolism. Some of the best herbs and herbal ingredients in Ayurvedic medications to boost metabolism include the following:
You may be familiar with Bibhitaki as one of the primary ingredients in the popular Ayurvedic formulation of Triphala. Noted for its astringent and heating qualities, the herb is perfect for treating Kapha aggravation. Studies show that it has strong immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and antiproliferative effects, protecting against a wide range of metabolic syndrome disorders.
Long used in Ayurveda to treat the most threatening metabolic syndrome disorder – diabetes, the therapeutic benefits of Meshashringi are now also recognized by modern research. Studies have shown that supplements containing the herb can improve metabolism and aid weight loss through various mechanisms. It reduces sweet cravings by suppressing sugar receptors in the taste buds and helps to lower both blood sugar and cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Many of these benefits are also linked to the herb’s high content of tannins and saponins.
This Ayurvedic herb is known for its effectiveness at strengthening Agni or the digestive fire and boosting metabolism, making it an excellent choice for anyone with dominant Kapha Ddosha or Kapha aggravated disorders. It is effective at detoxing the body, with toxicity being a common side effect of weak digestion and metabolism. Research suggests that its therapeutic benefits may be linked to its potent antioxidant content.
Although this Rasayana herb is most strongly associated today with bodybuilding and muscle growth, much of its benefits are connected to its influence on metabolism. The herb offers wide-ranging benefits for all Dosha types, with studies highlighting both adaptogenic and cardiorespiratory benefits. Its effects of lowering cortisol levels and boosting cardiorespiratory endurance directly support a healthy metabolism, lowering the risk of obesity and other metabolic syndrome disorders.
Moringa has been used for millennia in Ayurvedic medicine, but thanks to modern research it has also become popular as a metabolic booster supplement in the west. The herb has been used traditionally to pacify Kapha and boost low Pitta levels, therefore making it the perfect antidote to weak metabolism. Research shows that it has a complex nutritional profile, packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that make it helpful in the management of metabolic disorders like heart disease, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
To effectively use Dosha balance to strengthen and boost metabolism, you should also consider making changes to your diet and lifestyle. The best starting point would be to get an Ayurvedic expert to diagnose your Dosha type or Prakriti.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Jyoti Lakhani