Common Remedies

It is quite clear that the forms taken by various commonly occurring illness and the appropriate remedies will vary according to wether you have vata, pitta or kapha dosha.  The following sections therefore aim to give you individually a plan of action, setting out all the do’s and do not’s.  Note that in the case of any persistent, or indeed serious illness, you must immediately contact a qualifies professional expert.

Any vata-increasing influence can contribute to your insomnia, including regular travel, stress, an irregular lifestyle, and the excessive use of stimulants such as tea and coffee. The herbs used to treat vata-based insomnia are brahmi (Centella), jatamansi, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and nutmeg. Any good massage using brahmi oil will also produce considerable, quickly noticed benefits.
Insomnia in the pitta dosha is brought on by anger; jealousy, frustration, fever; excess sun or heat. Follow the pitta plan, which is cooling, and take brahmi, jatamansi, bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), shatavari and aloe vera juice. Massage brahmi oil into the head and feet. Again, this is marvellously refreshing.
As kapha types like to sleep and tend to be rather sleepy and sluggish, they rarely suffer from attacks of insomnia.

Vata headaches cause extreme pain and are related to anxiety and tension. Relevant treatments include triphala to clear any congestion, jatamansi, brahmi and calamus.

Pitta headaches are associated with heat or burning sensations, flushed skin and a visual sensitivity to light. They are related to anger; frustration or irritability, and will be connected to the liver and gall bladder. Treatments are brahmi, turmeric and aloe vera juice. Kapha headaches are dulr and heavy and can cause nausea. There may also be congestion, such as catarrh. Have a stimulating massage with minimal oil

A tendency to mucus production or catarrh/phlegm is unpleasant for the sufferer; and is usually the result of poor digestion of foods in the stomach which increases ama (toxicity) and kapha. In general, kapha is generally considered the most highly effective dosha.
Vata-type colds involve dry symptoms, such as a dry cough or dry throat. Herbs for vata coughs and colds are ginger; cumin, pippali, tulsi (holy basil, Ocimum sanctum), cloves and peppermint, licorice (not to be used with high blood pressure or oedema), shatavari and ashwagandha. Put one or two drops of sesame oil up each nostril, and then follow the vata plan until all the symptoms are seen to subside.
Pitta-type colds involve more heat, the face is usually red and there may even be a fever. The mucus is often yellow and can actually contain traces of blood. Herbs for tackling pitta coughs and colds include peppermint and various other mints, sandalwood, chrysanthemum and small quantities of tulsi (holy basil).
Kapha colds are thick and mucusy with a feeling of heaviness in the head or body. Avoid cold, damp weather and exposure to cold and damp conditions. Eliminate sugar, refined foods, meat and nuts dairy products.  Bread, fats and oils from the diet and use plenty of hot spices. Drink a spiced tea of hot lemon, ginger and cinnamon with cloves or tulsi, sweetened with a little raw honey. Herbs for kapha colds are ginger, cinnamon, pippali, tulsi (holy basil), cloves and peppermint. Saunas and hot baths will help to increase the heat of the kapha person but they should not be used in excess as this would actually increase the pitta too much. Follow the kapha plan until the symptoms subside.

Skin Problems
These are often caused by internal conditions taxicity (ama) and are mainly related to the pitta dosha. Vata skin problems will be dry and rough. Avoid letting the skin dry out. Herbal remedies for vata skin are triphala and satisabgol. Pitta skin problems will be red and swollen, often with a yellow head, Avoid sun heat or hot baths, and increase your intake of salads. Follow the pitta plan and add turmeric, coriander and saffron to your diet. The remedies are manjishta (Rubia cordifolia), kutki (Picrohiza kurroa), turmeric anc aloe vera juice. Kapha skin problems involve blood congesion which can cause the skin to form thick and mucusy whiteheads. Increase your level of exercise, and follow the kapha’s plan. Treatments should always include a small amount of calamus with some dry ginger and quantities of turmeric.

Urinary lnfections
Excess cold water, tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks will weaken the kidneys, Salt, sugar or foods that are rich in calcium, such as dairy products or spinach, will similarly tend to weaken and toxify the kidneys. The best kidney tonic to use in Ayurveda is shilajit, a mineral-rich compound from the Himalayan mountains, but avoid it if you suffer from kidney stones. Pregnant women, children or those on medication should consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before treatment.


Vata coughs are fry and irritated with very little mucus, the chief symptom being a painful cough often accompanied by adry mouth. Herbs and spices for the vata cough include licorice (do not use this if you have high blood pressure or oedema), shatavari, ashwagandha and cardamom. Follow the vata plan until the symptoms subside.
Pitta coughs are usually associated with a lot of phlegm. The chest is congested and very uncomfortable but the mucus cannot be brought up properly. There is often fever or heat combined with a burning sensation in the chest or throat.  High fevers should be treated bya physician and people suffering with asthma should consult their doctor immediately if a cough or cold leads to wheezing and difficult breathing.  The best herbs for pitta coughs include peppermint, tulsi (holy basil) and sandalwood. Follow the pitta plan until the symptoms have completely subsided.
With Kapha coughs the patient usually brings up lots of phlegm and suffers a loss of appetite combined with nausea. The chest is loaded with mucus, but this may not be coughed up because the kapha individual is likely to feel tired.  Treatments for kapha coughs are raw honey, lemon, cloves and chyawanprash (a herbal jam). Follow the kapha plan until the symptoms subside, increasing your intake of hot spices and do try to use trikatu powder. Also Keep warm.

In vata people, cystitis will tend to be less intense. Remedies are shilajit (to be avoided if you suffer from kidney stones) with bala (Sida cordifolia), ashwagandha and shatavari,
Cystitis is mainly a pitta condition because it burns and is hot.
Follow the pitta plan, using plenty of coriander (cilantro) and avoiding hot spices. Remedies include aloe vera juice (not to be used in pregnancy), lime juice, coconut and sandalwood. Kapha­type cystitis is accompanied by congestion and mucus in the urinary tract. The treatments are cinnamon, trikatu combined with shilajit, gokshura and gokshurdi guggul.