Doshas: body-types in Ayurveda


Ayurvedic doshas: The human body structure


In Ayurveda, everything around us is made up of five elements: ether, air, water, fire and earth. As long as these five elements are in balance in the universe, the world will continue to function properly. Where the balance is upset, natural disasters, floods, earthquakes, temperature spikes can occur. It works the same way in the human body: we are healthy when the elements of our body are in balance.


Complete our online Dosha test to learn more about your Ayurvedic body type

Prakriti and the Doshas

In Ayurvedic medicine, the definition of the personal body type (prakriti) is of primary importance. Each person is born with a particular body type, it is their personal prakriti that determines their physical attributes, height, eye and skin colour, bone structure. It also includes a large part of their mental characteristics, such as whether they are withdrawn or more combative. It determines what foods are good for them and their metabolism. Without establishing prakriti, Ayurvedic treatment is not possible.

When discussing the dosas, we noted that the varying proportion of them gives a person their uniqueness. A person who has more Vata doshas in their natural body type (prakriti) is called pure Vata. In the same way, there are pure Pitta and pure Kapha types. Those who have equal amounts of two doshas are called vata-pitta, vata-kapha or pitta-kapha. Although very rarely, it happens that the three doshas are present in equal proportions, in which case we speak of a tridosa, or a vata-pitta-kapha, subtype.


The 7 main physique types:

  1. vata
  2. pitta
  3. kapha
  4. vata-pitta
  5. pitta-kapha
  6. vata-kapha
  7. vata-pitta-kapha

The 7 main physique types:

Vata type

Usually they are physically underdeveloped, their chest is flat, veins and muscles are visible. Skin is cool, coarse and dry, broken. They usually have birthmarks. Typical to their height is that they are either too high or too short with a thin body form. They need sweet, salty and sour tastes. You can read more about the Vata dosha here.

Pitta type

Medium height, thin, their body type is delicate. They have several birthmarks, freckles. Their muscle development is medium. Their skin is soft, warm, their hair is often red, graying early and have a tendency to balding. They seek the sweet, bitter and acerbic tastes. You can read more about the Pitta dosha here.

Kapha type

Their body is well developed, have a strong tendency to overweight. Their chest is wide, veins and sinews are not visible because their skin is thick and have a good developed musculature. Their skin is soft and oily but cool and pale. Their hair is thick, dark and wavy. You can read more about the Kapha dosha here.

The susceptibility to diseases is determined by the individual type.

For example people of kapha type have a tendency for kapha diseases, such is the tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, colds and catarrhs. The pitta type people are prone to bladder, bile and liver abnormalities, hyperacidity, stomach ulcer or they have frequent different skin problems. The vata type people are exposed to high flatulence, arteriosclerosis, back pain and they have regular digestion problems, difficult stool, or a typical vata problem is the osteoporosis.

The vata illnesses originate in the colon, the pitta illnesses originate in the small intestine, while the origin of the kapha type illnesses is in the stomach


Energy impacts throughout the year:

The winter months are under the rule of kapha dosha, at which time kapha diseases are typical. The spring and autumn is ruled by the vata dosha, anyone of the vata type are used to be ill within this transitional period, this is a difficult period for them.

Summer is under the rule of pitta, so fiery people typically get sick during summer.


Energy impact within the hours of the day:

  • From sunrise to 10 o’clock in the morning, the water force acts, anabolism, in the physical sense tissue building is going on in the body. From 10 o’clock in the morning to about 2 o’clock p.m. the fire force acts. This is the period of digestion, so it is advisable to eat at this time.
  • After 14 hours — until sunset, the wind, the vata force acts.
  • From sunset to 10-11 o’clock in the evening, the water force acts again, but now in terms of spiritual function. That is, the meditation, resting, relaxation is the best at this time because this is the time for spiritual recovery.
  • At 12 to 01-02 at night, fire energy acts again in spiritual terms, while from 02 to sunrise the period of spiritual degradation, wind or vata works.

FIt may be important to observe the time when a particular disease symptom occurs, because, especially if it is repeated, it shows which energy is predominant. This is also important because herbs and medicinal products should be taken in such way that we know which energy overload they are taken against.

It may be important to observe the time when a particular disease symptom occurs, because, especially if it is repeated, it shows which energy is predominant. This is also important because herbs and medicinal products should be taken in such way that we know which energy overload they are taken against.


It’s the flavors that build up the tissues. Basically, it is necessary to strive to consume possibly from all tastes, however, it is important to pay attention to the proportions. Eat more of those flavors that help restore the upset balance. That is, when the vata-pitta-kapha is in balance. Therefore, if one of them becomes predominant, it should preferably be restrained, so this is done by varying the tastes.

  • Vata energy is supported by the acerbic and bitter flavor. Therefore, if a person has heavy vata problems, he should avoid these flavors, because they enhance the vata.
  • Pitta energy is supported by piquant (strong) and sour flavor, while kapha energy is supported by sweet and salty flavor.
  • Bitter flavor reduces pitta and kapha, but enhances the vata. That’s why it’s not good for the vatas, but it’s good for pittas and the kaphas.
  • The acerbic flavor reduces pitta and kapha, but also enhances vata.
  • The sour flavor reduces vata and enhances pitta and kapha.
  • A piquant (strong) flavor, reduces kapha, enhances pitta and vata.
  • Sweet flavor reduces vata and pitta, but enhances kapha.
  • Salty flavor reduces the vata, enhances pitta and kapha.
  • Thus the sweet, sour and salty flavor is good for vata abnormality, the bitter, acerbic and sweet is good for pitta abnormality, and the bitter, acerbic and piquant is good for the kapha abnormality.

Source: dr. Vasant Lad, Hémangi, Mireisz László

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