Ayurveda and Digestion

Last week, we had our first live which was an introduction to Ayurveda and we covered women’s reproductive health.

This week on our live, we are talking about Ayurveda and Digestion. Once again, it was a pleasure talking to Reetu, an ayurvedic practitioner and founder of ahahealth.

According to Ayurveda, one size does not fit all and hence treatments are usually suggested based on the type of energy/dosha a person has. Hence, before we dived into digestion, we first had a quick intro into the doshas as below.

Doshas (Energy Types)

In Ayurveda, there are three types of doshas. Each person is either one of these doshas or a combination of them.

  1. Pitta Dosha

The Pitta dosha is comprised of the elements of fire and water, with fire dominating in most cases.

It is thought that this dosha is a transformative dosha and most people who have this as their dominating dosha have good digestion/metabolism. They are able to eat a lot and not put on weight, or they are able to drink lots of alcohol and don’t get a huge hangover. If they go to the gym, they can easily gain muscle. Having a transformative energy, people from this dosha are able to achieve results faster compared to other doshas.

They generally tend to have an athletic look with sharp facial features and a sharp gaze. People with a dominant pitta energy are natural born leaders, driven, motivated, competitive and can become aggressive if their pitta goes off-balance.

Given the fire this dosha possesses, incase of an imbalance, it can be beneficial to eat a cooling diet.

2. Vata Dosha

The Vata dosha is comprised of space and air. Space and air are vast and constantly flowing hence people with this dominating dosha tend to crave a care-free lifestyle.

They are thin and find it difficult to put on weight. They have a small appetite too. As this is an air dosha, they experience irregularity on a frequent basis whether its to do with their digestion or their mood. People with a vata dosha are creative, pure, genuine and find happiness in the small things in life.

They tend to be talkative and use a lot of hand gestures when communicating. They also love change and do not like to be stagnant. They are often afraid of commitment and will find it difficult to settle down.

Incase of an imbalance, they could experience anxiety, be fearful, get constipation and arthritis too. It could be beneficial for those of a Vata dosha to create a more regular routine e.g. eating more regularly or having a regular sleep routine.

3. Kapha Dosha

The Kapha dosha is comprised of Earth and Water.

People with a dominant kapha dosha have broad shoulders and their bone structure is quite dense. They gain weight easily and struggle to lose it.

They are strong and have good endurance. For people with this dosha, it is more beneficial to have an intense short interval workout such as HIIT, rather than a slow paced exercise such as walking to lose weight.

People with this personality are often compared to a cat. They prefer to sit in one corner, listen and observe. They want everything to be given to them and they don’t like change. They can be very loyal. They are risk averse and prefer to play it safe.

Incase of an imbalance, they should eat a healthier diet and do more intense workouts.


According to Ayurveda, if any of the following occur, then a person is experiencing digestive issues:

  1. Frequent Constipation
  2. Brain Fog (there is a possibility of a digestive issue)
  3. Tongue discolouration. Digestive issues in a vata dominant personality will cause their tongue to be blackish-brown in colour. Digestive issues in a pitta dominant personality will cause their tongue to be yellowish/ red in colour. Digestive issues in a kapha dominant personality will cause their tongue to be whitish in colour.
  4. Pitta dominant personalities will have a strong body odor
  5. Skin irritation/discolouration could indicate digestive issues
  6. Smelly bowels/urination indicate a digestive issue
  7. A feeling of pain could also indicate a digestive issue

Vata and Digestion

For Vata dominant personalities, these people tend to have an erratic lifestyle whereby sometimes they are hungry and at other times, they are not hungry. They easily get constipated and experience bloating. Furthermore, if these personalities smoke, they will experience even more constipation.

For such people, eating legumes or cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower which cause gas could be troublesome. This can put pressure on the back bone causing sciatica. If this vata is in imbalance, they may also experience irritable bowel syndrome.

If food is not digested properly, toxins could accumulate joints which could cause arthritis.

Inorder to get back into balance, these personalities should:

-Aim to have a regular eating routine.

-They should cook their food and have warm light meals.

-Raw foods are not great for these people.

-For legumes, these should be washed and soaked overnight to release the gassy elements. Infact, one should keep washing the legumes in water until the froth emanating from the legumes disappears. Split lentils can be soaked for 12 hours but beans should be soaked for 24 hours ideally.

Pitta and Digestion

People with a dominant pitta dosha tend to have good digestion and due to their good digestive fire, may be hungry quite often.

However, if these people eat a lot of oily and spicy food or have a lot of stress at work, this could result in an pitta imbalance.

Sometimes hyper metabolism could also occur whereby food is digested very quickly and toxins are also created. This could result in heart burn, hyper acidity, ulcers, dysentery – these are ways in which heat is released in a pitta person’s body.

Furthermore, incase of digestion issues, these people will experience eczema.

In extreme cases, they could also experience bleeding piles which is blood in faeces or urine.

For pitta dominant personalities, they can fix an imbalance by:

  • Eating food on time. If these personalities do not get food on time, they can get “hangry” 🙂
  • Given that they have a heating nature, they should eat cooler foods such as salads. They are also better able to digest raw foods. They should eat more fruits.
  • They should endeavour to have a good eating routine at regular intervals.
  • They should also have frequent mental breaks. As these personalities tend to be quite focused on work, they can fall into a loop whereby they get overworked and then have a meltdown. Hence, they should make it a habit to get atleast 10-15 min breaks regularly which will enable them to be more productive.

Kapha and Digestion

People with Kapha personalities love food but sadly, have a slow metabolism.

Kapha personalities love rich food especially carbs which will cause obesity. As they have a slow metabolism, they will feel heavy and experience brain fog incase of an imbalance.

They will also experience heart burn or hyperacidity. They may also experience over salivation.

At some point, they will feel nauseated with food and experience a loss of appetite.

To fix this imbalance, kapha personalities should:

  • Fast for a day once a week to come back to their natural rhythm. This will also help with over-weight issues.
  • They should eat more protein and veg and cut back on carbs.

Practical tips for every one

To rekindle one’s digestive fire, one should:

  • Slice up some ginger, sprinkle salt on it and chew for a few minutes before lunch/dinner
  • Dry roast cumin seeds and blend into a fine powder. Mix 1 tsp of this powder with honey and eat before food.
  • Try either of the above two methods for 3 weeks before lunch/dinner and see which works better. Then take a break for 1 week.
  • Triphala is also beneficial for all three doshas. Soak overnight and take in the morning.

To remove toxins, one should:

  • After your meal, drink a ginger & lemon tea. Boil water, add ginger, lemon and honey.
  • Mix 1 part cumin seeds, 1 part fennel seeds and 1/2 part caram seeds. Dry roast these. After 15 mins of your meal, chew 1 tsp of these to remove toxins and gas formation – this is especially beneficial for the vata dosha. Incase they don’t like the taste, they can simply use cumin seeds and fennel seeds.

What an informative live this was thanks to the lovely Reetu and I hope you find this super useful too! Tune in for our final live next week on Ayurveda and Mental Health!

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