There are 3 Dosha which are called the basic governing factors of physiology in Ayurveda. They are Vata, Pitta, Kapha. The word Dosha literally means impurities as these Doshas when they are out of balance are mainly responsible for producing diseases in the body. They vitiate or impair the functioning of the tissues (chats), channels (sorts) and all the other organs of the body. They are also responsible for maintaining normal functioning of the physiology.
Just as all material creation can be classified as belonging predominantly to one of the 5 Elements, the Doshas are also classified in this way.
- Vata is made up of Vayu and Akasha, that is Air and Space
- Pitta is made up of Agni or Fire.
- Kapha is made up of Apa and Prithvi, that is Water and Earth.
In terms of elemental characteristics, Vayu is light, Pitta is medium and hot, and Kapha is watery and heavy.
Kapha is responsible for growth, strength and tissue development. Pitta burns the body tissue and reduces its strength, and Vayu produces all movements, actions and impulses through the nervous system. In this way the 3 doshas have got certain functions in physiology!