The Principle of Tridosa- Vata, Pitta and Kapha

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When we consult an Ayurvedic physician, they usually correlate our ailments with an increase in one or more of the three dosas- Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Many of you must be getting these words as a confusion! Today we will be discussing about the Fundamentals of Ayurveda which is called ‘Tridosa‘.

It is important that we understand these important terms of Ayurveda, in order to know about our individual characteristics and inclinations.

What is Tridosa?

Tridosa is composed of two words: ‘tri+dosa’. Here ‘tri’ means ‘a group of three basic elements i.e., Vata, Pitta and Kapha’ and ‘dosa’ means ‘which is capable of vitiation’. When Vata, Pitta and Kapha are vitiated they produce disease and when they are in equilibrium, or in their natural state, they maintain a perfect balance or harmony between the body and saptadhatus thereby upholding and maintaining the body.

What are Body constituents?

As Tridosas, our body too has three constituent elements ‘dosa, dhatu and mala’. The human body is made up of related factors of dosa, dhatu and mala. All the constituent elements of our body are a part of these three, out of which dosas are the most important as they are the most powerful forces in the body which create either health or disease. This is the energy source of the body.

The Tridosa Theory:

Human body is made up of five principles (Panchamahabuthas)

1. Akasa (air)
2. Vayu (vital force)
3. Tejas (some mineral, acids, alkalies etc.)
4. Jala (water)
5. Prithvi (organic substances and earthly matter not included in others)

Fundamentals of Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta and Kapha


Concept of Tridosa

1. Vata-

Vata derives from the elements of Space and Air and translates as “wind” or “that which moves things.” It is the energy of movement and the force governing all biological activity. Vata is often called the “King of the Doshas,” since it governs the body’s greater life force and gives motion to Pitta and Kapha.

The qualities of Vata are dry, rough, light, cold, subtle, and mobile. The main locations of Vata in the body are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and nerve tissues.

2. Pitta-

Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks.” It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body that functions through carrier substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile.The qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid, and acidic.

A Pitta individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state. The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat.

3. Kapha-

Kapha derives from the elements of Earth and Water and translates as “that which sticks.” It is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and the smooth functioning of all its parts. The qualities of Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static.

A Kapha individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state. The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons.

These are the three pillars which governs our body design, texture, capacity and all other characteristics. So, this was a small brief description on Tridosa which is known as the fundamental of Ayurveda. Every person seeking the knowledge of Ayurveda, or interested in Ayurveda, must be knowing about this.

It is like ABCD in the world of Ayurveda. Ayurveda says “Arogya (Health) is our birth right”. Take care and live well!


She is a learner and health conscious person. She is always interested in seeking knowledge regarding Ayurveda, herbal medicine and Yoga to cure any health ailments naturally.

She holds a Bachelor Degree in Alternative Medicine and interested in Naturopathy.

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