FUNCTIONS OF THE TRIDOSHA
Vata = Ether + Air
Pitta = Fire + Water
Kapha = Water + Earth
At the time of fertilization, permutations of Vata, Pitta and Kapha determine the constitution of any living being. These three metabolic forces control all biological, psychological, and physiopathological functions of the body, mind, and consciousness and have subtle properties. These forces determine personality traits, and physiological structure, with the influence of gender and other important factors such as diet, lifestyle, behavior, emotions, seasons, and so on.
The unique individual constitution produces natural urges and individual tastes in food, flavor and temperature. The doshas govern the maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue and the elimination of waste products. They are also responsible for psychological phenomena, including emotions of fear, anger, and greed as well as the highest order of emotions: understanding, compassion, and love.
A balance of the dosha is necessary for optimal health. The doshas increase by similar properties and are diminished by the opposite ones. For example, Vata is dry, light, and cold; so any food, medicine, or behavior that increases these qualities will increase Vata within the body. Conversely, oily, heavy, or hot factors will decrease Vata.
Together, the doshas govern all metabolic activities; anabolism (Kapha), catabolism (Vata), and metabolism (Pitta). There can be up to ten different constitutions, depending upon the permutation and combination of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The combination of the three humors remains unchanged throughout a pet’s lifetime but can respond to environmental changes such as diet and lifestyle, thereby providing the opportunity for the pet to maintain health or compromise it.
The most common herbs and spices for pets include turmeric, cumin and coriander powders for balancing digestion. Try dried or fresh ginger for Vata pets, cumin and coriander for Pitta, and turmeric for Kapha. Take care not to be overindulge, as a 60 lb. dog only needs 1/8 of a teaspoon of any given herb.
For hyperactive dogs, ashwagandha has a calming effect (also a wonderful herb for humans!) These types of dogs also need to keep active. Some types of dogs are considered working dogs by breed (i.e. cattle dogs) and need to have a “job” that keeps them involved and moving.
Just remember most Ayurvedic principles that can apply to humans also apply to your pets. Provide them with an environment and nutrition that balances their doshas and they are sure to become a harmonious member of your family, contributing their unique gifts that express their dosha in its most beneficial form.
Dr. Tejinder Sodhi graduated from the College of Veterinary Science in Punjab, India in 1983. Dr. Sodhi came to the United States in 1985, where he did his ECFVG certification with the American Veterinary Association and opened his own clinic in Lynnwood, Washington, The Animal Wellness Center with clients coming to him from throughout Washington State and even from the East coast of the United States and Canada. In 1996, Dr. Sodhi opened his second location in Bellevue, WA. Dr. Sodhi is also president of the first ever chapter of Holistic Veterinarians in the state of Washington. As president, he works to promote Holistic care in the field