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Women's and men's health in Ayurveda

Whether we like it or not, much of a woman’s life is guided by hormonal cycles from adolescence through to post-menopause. We are all familiar with the term ‘PMT’ or pre-menstrual tension, right? This is just one indication of hormones being a little bit out of balance.

Understanding your Ayurvedic body type, or dosha, can help you to determine how best to manage your hormonal cycles and feel more balanced. In Ayurveda, there are three different body types or constitutions known as doshapittavata and kapha. These can be defined by patterns of behaviour and physical characteristics.

Here’s a little insight into how each dosha is affected by hormonal cycles:


Vata regulates movement in the body and will dominate during the menstrual cycle. An imbalance of vata can cause irregular periods during the menstruating years. In the menopause, vata imbalances can influence symptoms such as forgetfulness, absent-mindedness or heightened anxiety. This is where calming and balancing herbs like adaptogens become especially valuable. 

This is a time to keep warm, rested and safe. Manage your diary so that you have some calm space during this time to recharge and keep life on your terms. This is an opportunity for extended self-care. Calming, nourishing herbs that will strengthen and support your adrenal glands are key. Try to steer clear of stimulants and create space for relaxation.


Pitta is characterised by heat and fire. During the menstruating years this can manifest as heighted pre-menstrual tension. Similarly, in menopause, a pitta imbalance can create higher levels of hot flushes, vaginal dryness and irritation. Herbs with a cooling, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effect upon the liver can really help support pitta dominant women.

This is an important time to help the liver metabolise the high hormone levels; increase the amount of colourful vegetables, try to be active and let your spirit soar. Use heat-clearing and liver-regulating solutions such as aloe vera and classic greens like wheat-grass, chlorella and spirulina.


Kapha is naturally nourishing and strengthening but can become congested. They may experience heavy, long and painful periods when out of balance. Kapha types tend to store memories and emotion. If you notice you feel teary and a little low, it could be an indicator of imbalanced kapha.

kapha menopause can sometimes last longer than average and you might experience inflamed joints, weight gain and general feelings of ‘heaviness’ and fatigue. Kapha types will really benefit from warming, stimulating herbs to really get the blood flowing but also herbs that support hormonal balance.

We really recommend reading Maisie Hill’s Period Power if you want to learn more about your cycle and how it can affect everyday life.

Men's health in Ayurveda

When men get out of balance, they generally encounter physical conditions in three main areas: the prostate, sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. As you might expect, mental stress and health can also have a significant effect upon these core areas of male health.

Understanding your Ayurvedic body type, or dosha, can really help you to determine how best to manage your health and what will help you feel ‘well’.

Here is a little insight into how male health is characterised within each dosha:


When a vata man is in balance they will feel grounded, centred and creative. Vata imbalance can trigger anxiety, and loneliness, along with back and nerve pain and constipation. This can have significant affects on sexual functioning, especially when exacerbated by stress.

Vata men benefit from strengthening and nourishing adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and herbal teas containing licorice. It’s important for vata men to keep their energy levels maintained and to eat regularly, little and often. Balancing exercises such as yoga and meditation are excellent for vata types at keeping them physically as well as mentally strong.


A balanced pitta man will be charismatic, determined and passionate. When out of balance they can feel stressed, angry, competitive and will strive to take control of every situation. This can manifest in conditions associated with heat and inflammation such as high blood pressure, prostate inflammation and sore, painful joints.

Pitta types like to push themselves to the limit, so need to be aware of not overdoing it both physically and mentally. Exercises that allow them to expel some of their excess heat are ideal, so short, intense bursts of activity work well for them. Strong pitta types will benefit from cooling herbs that will help relieve stress on the liver and reduce circulating heat in the blood. Herbs that are characteristically anti-inflammatory like aloe vera and chlorella are ideal, alongside herbal teas containing cooling refreshing herbs like mint and fennel.


Kapha men are characterised by endurance, stamina and strength. When they become out of balance, they can become lazy, stubborn and resistant to change.

Kapha is dominated by the earth and water elements which can manifest as male health issues characterised by congestion and a slow metabolism like blood sugar imbalance, high cholesterol or generalised inflammation.

Kapha types need to remember to keep themselves active to prevent congestive build-ups. Exercises that are focussed more on endurance rather than speed are ideal, such as long-distance walking or swimming.

Herbs that support a healthy metabolism, but that are also stimulating can be of great benefit, such as turmeric or ginseng. Teas with mild stimulant actions such as green tea can also help fire a kapha into action.

Don't know your dosha? Take our dosha quiz to find out.

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