What is Ayurveda? 

Ayurveda is defined as, "the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing." It has been around for five thousand years and is still used today in eastern medicine for alternative healing and as a general way of life. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda translates to "the wisdom of life" or "the knowledge of longevity." 

The 3 Doshas 

The doshas are a principle of ayurveda that refer to your unique physical and mental constitution. Each dosha has a particular pattern of energy and represents a combination of physiological, emotional and mental characteristics. Each dosha represents a different element in nature. Knowing your dosha can help you become more self-aware, as there are different ways to balance your mind, body and spirit specific to each dosha.  

  1. Vatta = space and air 
  2. Pitta = fire and water 
  3. Kapha = water and earth 

Click here to find out your dosha! 

You can also use food to heal and balance your body! See below for a recipe for flaxseed pesto, tailored to compliment and balance each dosha. 

Flaxseed Pesto on Spaghetti Squash - serves 6

Pesto | Ayurveda

Each pesto variation is meant to compliment and balance each respective dosha. These recipes contain cheese, but can easily be made vegan by eliminating the cheese or substituting with nutritional yeast. 

Vata Dosha Sauce Recipe

2 cup fresh basil leaves

2 garlic clove

1/2 cup golden flaxseed

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated romano cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Vata is a blend of Air and Space which has qualities of light, dry, changeable, mobile, cold, rough, quick, etc.  The digestive track of a Vata person therefore is mainly dry and changeable from constipation to irregular bowel movements.  This dosha does not have the fire or water element to help metabolize and breakdown the foods digested.  

In this recipe we use basil leaves which are warming, garlic for warming, olive oil - a heavier oil to coat and lubricate the digestive track, salt to bring moisture into the body and pepper is warm.  Make it vegan by eliminating the cheese or substituting with nutritional yeast! 

Pitta Dosha Sauce Recipe

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves 

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup flaxseed

1 cup sunflower oil

1 cup goat cheese 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Pitta is the fire element with a dash of water; its qualities are hot, spicy, light, intense, sharp, pungent, acidic.  Being predominantly fire the pitta dosha has a very good digestive system, able to metabolize food and emotions efficiently.  If the digestive system is over heated which can happen when Pitta is out of balance it is best to use cooling foods.  In this recipe we use Cilantro leaves which are cooling, sunflower oil which is lighter than olive oil, goat cheese instead of parmesan as it is cooler and lighter.  

Kapha Dosha Sauce Recipe

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup gold flaxseed

1 cup sunflower oil

Omit Cheese or substitute with soy cheese (1 cup)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Kapha is the element of earth and water; its qualities are cold, heavy, solid, stable, smooth, slow.  When out of balance we use foods that are opposite to bring back in balance.  Here we use the combination of basil and cilantro to bring in warmth and cilantro for lightness.  Sunflower oil instead of olive oil which is lighter. Omit cheese as it is heavy.