Vata dosha generally has weak, dry, and cold digestion with a lot of variability. This type of digestion is called vishama agni in Ayurveda. A Vata's gut is the most unpredictable of all the body types. The digestive tract in general is an ever shifting, ever changing environment. With every new meal, the cocktail of microbes in your gut changes according to your food choices. The weather, stress, hydration, and your location also have an effect on the gut. It seems there are endless variables determining the fate of your digestion.
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A person with vishama agni may have acute hunger, but suddenly feel full after very little food. This is because they lack enough enzymes to eat a hearty meal. On other days, a Vata person may forget to eat altogether. Some days they have three bowel movements, other days they have none. Some days their digestion is great, other days it's terrible.
SymptomsVata makes its home in the colon, and therefore, Vata people are more prone to colon disorders. Vata people commonly get indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, and abdominal distension. Due to the mobile nature of Vata, Vata people may find that pains in their digestive tract move around a lot. They may experience colic, which is an asynchronous movement of the intestines, and/or weak peristalsis because of an imbalance in the mobile quality.
Vata tends to have enzyme deficiencies because of dry and cold qualities. This may cause poor absorption of nutrients and undigested food in the stool. Lack of absorption is part of the reason they are often hungry and underweight. They may eat a lot of food, but their body doesn't get much nourishment from it.
To improve digestion, Vata should add spices to warm up their digestion, such as ginger. They should keep hydrated with plenty of fluids and electrolytes and a pinch of sour taste. Hingvastak churna is an ayurvedic herbal formula specifically designed for Vata digestion. Digestive Comfort & Support Tea is a nurturing blend designed to heal and nourish a Vata gut.
If you don't know your body type yet, take the quizzes on Joyful Belly to find out. If you do know your body type, continue learning how to balance Vata by clicking one of the links below!
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
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I'm taking the Balance My Digestion course,I have all the Vata digestive issues to the max. I am wondering if I should change my diet, given I do have parasites, systemic candida, fungus and yeast issues. I have been advised by my Ayurvedic practitioner to eat cooked bananas, raisins and dates... She says she can not detect that I have parasites...but, I have had them for years, and I have seen them. I have done a number of herbal purges. The Vata diet is a high carb diet. I have found I am less bloated, distended and easy, but, I still have severe chronic constipation...have any advice? I've taken Haritaki,but have not found that to be helpful..Unfortunately a lot of herbal formulas seem to not work for me.
We would recommend following the advice of your practitioner in a complicated situation like this.