In Ayurveda, every individual is recognized as unique, having a different balance of doshas or natural energies. This balance of doshas is known as Prakriti and it is what defines an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual traits. Depending on which dosha is predominant, you may be classified primarily as having a Vata, Pitta or Kapha type personality or Prakriti. To maintain health and wellbeing it is vital to maintain this natural balance of doshas using a variety of lifestyle measures and diet. In addition, Ayurvedic herbs can help to maintain this balance and also to correct imbalances when they do surface. Here are some of the best Ayurvedic herbs for each Prakriti.
Herbs For All 3 Prakritis
Vata Balancing Herbs
- Vidarikand: This herb is known to pacify aggravated Vata dosha because of its sweet, smooth and heavy qualities that counter the characteristics of Vata.
- Shatavari: Known as one of the best rejuvenating or Rasayan herbs that offer various health benefits, Shatavri is another herb that is effective at balancing Vata thanks to its heavy and oil nature that gives it a grounding effect to counter the mobility and activity of Vata.
- Ashwagandha: Most popular as a bodybuilding and immunity-boosting herb, ashwagandha is also regarded as an essential herb for the treatment of any Vata imbalance. However, due to its high potency, it should be consumed in moderation to prevent a pitta imbalance.
Pitta Balancing Herbs
- Bhringraj: Widely recognized in Ayurveda as a Tridoshic herb that can be used by any Prakriti type, it is particularly effective at relieving pitta aggravation and associated disorders, such as hair loss and inflammation. This makes it excellent for pitta Prakriti, but it should be used in moderation and must be combined with cooling herbs like mint.
- Pudina: Pudina or mint is again known to exhibit Tridoshic properties, but its cooling effects are most distinctive and this makes it particularly helpful for pacifying pitta aggravation. The herb is effective at soothing excessive inner heat and symptoms of pitta disorders.
- Brahmi: This is yet another Tridoshic herb that is an excellent remedy for soothing pitta because, despite the bitter and astringent taste of the herb, it also has a sweet post-digestive effect.
Kapha Balancing Herbs
- Bibhitaki: One of the three ingredients in Triphala, Bibhitaki is notable for its strengthening and astringent qualities, as well as its heating effects that make it the perfect antidote to balance Kapha aggravation. It is also known to be nourishing for the mucous membranes in the body.
- Punarnava: With its bitter taste, astringent effect and pungent post-digestive effect, the herb is ideally suited to anyone with a Kapha Prakriti. It possesses opposing qualities of heat, lightness and dryness that make it an effective counter to the qualities of Kapha.
- Chitrak: Chitrak is commonly used as a digestive aid in Ayurveda because of its strengthening effects on Agni or the digestive fire. This makes it a useful herb for Kapha imbalances that are characterized by indigestion and sluggishness. It is also effective at eliminating the build-up of ama, which is a common problem of poor digestion linked to Kapha aggravation.
Although these herbs are among the most notable choices for each Prakriti type, they are just a few of the Ayurvedic herbs that you can use to maintain your optimal balance of doshas. For more detailed and personalized recommendations on the use of herbs for each Prakriti type consult an Ayurvedic doctor or nutritionist.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Neena Sharma