Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ayurveda for the Garden

Ayurveda is a natural system of health and healing which has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is based on the view that the elements, forces and principles that comprise all of nature are also seen in human beings. In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements (earth, air, water, fire and ether) combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. When a person’s doshas are imbalanced, physical and emotional imbalance may occur as well, resulting in sickness, lethargy, mental or behavioral problems and disease.The three doshas are called vata, pitta and kapha. Most people exhibit qualities from each of the doshas, with a tendency toward one or two. By knowing your tendencies, you can vary your diet accordingly to help balance your doshas. You could even plan your organic vegetable garden to grow foods which complement your dosha.

Vata dosha is the combination of air and ether. Characteristics of the vata dosha are creativity, lively personality, slenderness, impulsivity and generally dry skin and hair. Health problems of vata types may include headaches, nervous stomach, arthritis, anxiety, sore throats and earaches. If you are predominantly vata type, your diet should include soothing foods, especially warm foods such as soups, stews and hot cereals. Good vegetables to plant in the vata’s garden are carrots, beets, onions, green beans, turnips, radishes and sweet potatoes.

Pitta dosha is the combination of fire and water. Common characteristics of pitta types are self-confidence, orderliness, passion, romance, impatience and a strong appetite. They generally are of a medium build and have fine, straight hair. Health problems of pitta types may include rashes, acne, heartburn, vision problems and insomnia. The pitta’s diet should incorporate cool or warm foods and avoid oily and salty foods. The pitta’s vegetable garden should be planted with varieties of broccoli, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, potatoes and celery.

Kapha dosha is the combination of water and earth. Kapha types are generally easy going, affectionate, forgiving, physically strong, and not easily upset. Physically, they tend to have good muscle development but may tend to overweight. They typically have dark, soft or wavy hair and a fair complexion. Health problems may include allergies, sinus problems, colds, asthma and atherosclerosis. The diet for kapha should include light foods, foods cooked without much water and plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. The kapha gardener would want to plant cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, garlic, spinach, peppers and radishes.Of course, everyone of any dosha can enjoy a varied organic vegetable garden, and it is important to plant vegetables which appeal to your taste. By knowing your dosha, you can use the ancient practice of Ayurveda to help decide what you would like your garden to grow.
Reference:Ayurveda Infocenter

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