Vata Dosha – An Overview
Vata dosha refers to the forceful, energetic, yet subtle energy field that permeates our bodies. It also represents the dynamic aspect of our energy systems. Vata dosha can be seen as the solid base upon which all chakras operate; it is also considered to be the foundation for energy fields in the visible form.
Vata dosha has a dual effect on the human being: It can cause pain and damage, but it can also cause happiness and well-being, sometimes even bringing peace of mind. Vata dosha literally means “moving energy.” Vata dosha vibrates at a level above the sub-atomic level. Vata dosha consists of the five elements earth, water, fire, metal and air. Vata dosha consists of a variety of energy centers located in different areas of the brain and each corresponds to an emotional style or response:
Sattva-Sarva-Rakta, Jnanadi-Guggulu, Maha-Svadhisth, Chandrakala-Ras, Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Kumari (Aloe vera), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis). The energies produced by the organs of the body are then transferred through a complex network of energy channels to influence the different chakras. These energy channels, which can be either open or closed, are known as a person’s “navel chakra.” Close natural chakras are not affected by external stimulus. Open chakras respond to outside stimuli such as sound, touch, or feelings of pain. Vata dosha, which consists of the primary chakras, opens and energizes the five main types of energy channels:
Vata qualities are considered to be the most vital energy aspects in an organism. Vata dosha affects the functioning of the nervous, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, respiratory, immune, musculoskeletal, and endocrine systems. Because Vata qualities are responsible for the balanced functioning of the entire human body, Ayurveda provides numerous useful treatments for Vata dosha. Some of these Vata dosha treatments include:
Chandraprabha-Vati, Triphala-Guggulu, Sutshekhar-Ras, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Sutshekhar-Ras, Chandraprabha-Vati, Ras-Sindur, Saarivadi-Churna, Erandhadi-Churna, Praval-Panchamrut-Parpati, Abhrak-Bhasma, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Ikshumool (Saceharum officinarum), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka), Vasa (Semicarpus santalinus) and Karanj (Pongamia pinnata). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari, Tulsi and Karanj are used to reduce doses. In addition, medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Yograj-Guggulu, Chandrakala-Ras and medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Maha-Yograj-Guggulu, Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Kushmand (Benincasa hispida), Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Agnitundi (Aegle marmelos), Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Dashmool (Ten roots), Shalparni (Desmodium gangeticum), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha (Cissampelos pareira) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus) can be used on a long term basis to promote doshas. Herbal medicines which can be used on a long term basis in the treatment of an affected person include: Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Pippali (Piper longum), Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka) and Jayphal (Myristica fragrans). A special course of medicated enema called ‘Mankatha’ is basically intended to deliver oxygen to the lungs and also to cleanse the system.
Vata dosha and its three doshas have a vital role in the overall treatment of an affected person. Vata dosha should not be ignored in favor of any other type of treatment and should be taken very seriously. Any Ayurvedic treatment should only be used as prescribed and not in excess.
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It is generally agreed that Vata Dosha and doshas are two completely independent types of energy pattern. This implies that they have their own distinct cellular composition and their own cellular mechanism. It has been shown experimentally and theoretically that the regulation of genes, particularly those regulating cardiovascular physiology, plays a major role in determining the pattern of Vata dosha in the body. Researchers have isolated and studied the effect of various genetic variations on Vata dosha and its patterns. Most studies reveal a positive effect of genetic variation on Vata dosha.