Almost everyone has experienced that feeling that something’s off and you can’t quite figure out what’s wrong. You feel sluggish, bloated, and off-center. Your menstrual cycle is going haywire, your weight is fluctuating, and you’re breaking out, too.
You’re most likely dealing with a hormonal imbalance. I’m no stranger to these symptoms. Once in a while, I feel like my body is battling against me.
Some medicines and treatments can manage hormones, but they have many side effects. To me, it’s just not worth it. So, I did a deep dive, searching for ways to heal the body naturally. The answer I found was in age-old practices that focus on holistic health.
Through Ayurveda and the three doshas, you can observe the energies in your body and how they correspond to hormones. Then, you can apply healthy methods to restore harmony.
What is ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient holistic healing system that takes a natural approach to health. It existed way before modern medicine and is still practiced worldwide today.
Many people don’t believe in Ayurvedic medicine or anything that strays from institutionalized medicine. However, the number of practitioners and believers worldwide tells us much about its power to change people’s lives. Ayurveda isn’t so far detached from current medicinal knowledge. It simply understands bodily processes and healing through a different lens.
Modern medicine (also known as allopathy) focuses on treating symptoms. Meanwhile, Ayurveda focuses on solving the problem at its root. Go to the doctor with a stomachache, and you’ll receive a prescription to ease your symptoms, whereas an Ayurveda specialist will focus on natural healing methods and lifestyle changes. The goal is not just to soothe your stomachache but to find out why it’s happening in the first place and how to stop it at the source.
What are the doshas?
In Ayurvedic medicine, the world is made up of five elements:
- Akasha (Ether, space)
- Vayu (Air)
- Tejas or Agni (Fire)
- Apas (Water)
- Prithvi (Earth)
These elements are believed to be the source of the doshas:
The doshas are three fundamental energies that govern the body’s physiological and psychological functions. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, each person embodies all three doshas, but one or two are usually dominant in each person.
Your unique dosha combination is determined at birth, but this can fluctuate throughout your life based on diet, age, climate, and other factors. In Ayurveda, practitioners use these doshas to determine how best to diagnose and treat health problems.
Healing hormones based on doshas
The body produces hormones that regulate growth, reproduction, and metabolism, and they must be balanced for normal bodily functions to continue. A lack or excess of hormones can affect the body negatively.
Even before the term “hormones” was coined, Ayurveda has always understood the importance of balance and how it affects someone’s health. Proper diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle improvements can help maintain harmony in your body.
You can use doshas to pinpoint the source of a hormonal issue. Then, you can apply Ayurvedic methods to restore balance.
Let’s explore the three doshas in more detail.
People who are Pitta-dominant tend to be strong-willed, intense, and persistent. Those with abundant Pitta are intelligent, quick-witted, and fast learners. They are considered natural-born leaders.
People with a lot of Pitta are more muscular and athletic. They are competitive and highly motivated individuals. The downside is Pitta can make people prone to impatience, conflict, and mood swings.
- Elements: Water and fire
- Qualities: Hot, wet, sharp, combustive, oily
- Function: Digestion and emotions
- Health advantages: Pitta is associated with quick metabolism and good circulation. People with more Pitta have hearty appetites, a fast metabolism, and are physically strong.
- Health disadvantages: An abundance of Pitta can lead to acne, inflammation, and an overactive thyroid. People with more Pitta are also prone to sweat and are intolerant of heat and humidity.
Healing hormones for pitta
- Diet: Try eating cool, soothing foods instead of aggravating ones. Go for fresh fruits, leafy greens, and cucumbers. Avoid acidic, spicy, or fermented items.
- Exercise: Engage in moderate exercise that won’t overstimulate or overheat the body. You can also try calming activities like meditation and yoga.
- Lifestyle: Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, which can aggravate your health.
- Remedies: Incorporate cooling herbs like mint and coriander into your diet. You can also use the herb shatavari, but contact a practitioner before you start on any adaptogenics.
Vata people are highly creative and flexible spirits. Individuals who have more Vata are naturally slim. They are vibrant and full of energy, always ready to solve problems. However, they can also be forgetful and anxious, with a tendency to become overwhelmed.
- Elements: Air and Space
- Qualities: Dry, light, cold, clear
- Function: Movement, heart function, muscle contraction
- Health advantages: Vata-abundant people are great multitaskers and can process data quickly. They are fast-moving and always on the go.
- Health disadvantages: People with more Vata can have poor circulation and be sensitive to the cold. They have trouble sleeping or keeping a regular appetite, leading to stomach issues. Vata can influence hormones related to stress.
Healing hormones for vata
- Diet: Consume warm, cooked food. Avoid cold and raw food and opt for hearty foods that nourish the body.
- Exercise: You can incorporate relaxing exercises like yoga, tai chi, and walking into your routine.
- Lifestyle: Heal an imbalanced Vata by reducing stress and finding a way to integrate calming activities throughout your day. Additionally, ensure you’re getting adequate, undisturbed sleep every night.
- Remedies: Add warming herbs and spices to your diet, like ginger and chamomile. You can also use the herb ashwagandha to help manage your stress.
People with abundant Kapha are stable, empathetic, compassionate, and loyal. They are also more level-headed and often think before speaking or acting. Kapha-abundant people are great at supporting others. However, they might need more encouragement to motivate them.
- Elements: Earth and water
- Qualities: Heavy, cold, wet, dense, stable
- Function: Structure, lubrication, growth
- Health advantages: Kapha is characterized by strength and athleticism. People with Kapha have a healthy immune system and strong joints and bones.
- Health disadvantages: Kapha’s weaknesses include a tendency to become depressed and gain weight. They may also struggle with sluggishness, slow metabolism, and respiratory issues like asthma or congestion.
Healing hormones for kapha
- Diet: Counteract heaviness by choosing light and energizing foods. You can also incorporate spices into your cooking to combat sluggishness and stagnation.
- Exercise: Incorporate regular aerobic exercises into daily life to strengthen circulation and energy levels.
- Lifestyle: Find ways to be more active in your daily life. Instead of taking a taxi, try walking to your destination. Spend time in warmer climates, regularly use a sauna, or run a warm bath.
- Remedies: Go for lighter and more aromatic herbs like turmeric and black pepper. You can also use the adaptogenic herb triphala to help with detox and weight loss.
Ancient wisdom for hormone health
If you’re experiencing hormonal imbalances, Ayurveda can alleviate the symptoms, treat the root cause, and help you connect more deeply with your body.
If you want to know more about Ayurveda, there are many free online resources, books, and online courses designed for beginners to help you start your holistic health journey.