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The Subdoshas & the Water Element

by Sheyna Haisman-Holmes

Each of the three main doshas, Vata, Pitta & Kapha, have 5 subdoshas each that are represented though the 5 elements (ether, air, fire, water, earth). The subdoshas that are connected with the water elements are vyāna vayu, rañjaka pitta and bodhaka kapha. These subdoshic waters correlate to circulation, blood, salivary secretions, and organ function, which are important for nutrition, detox, digestion and vitality.

Vyāna Vayu~ whole body & heart. Has a circular direction.

Praspandanam= pulsation & throbbing.

Vyāna vayu maintains circulation of the blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body. It brings oxygen and nourishment to the cells that contribute to the health of the tissues and organs. Vyāna rules all reflexes in the body. The reflex arc in the spinal cord is energized by vyāna and allows movements of joints and skeletal muscles.

Disorders: Poor circulation, lack of oxygenation, clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, stagnation of blood and edema

Rañjaka Pitta~ Liver, spleen, intrinsic factor in stomach (B-12 absorption), produces bile, liver enzymes, gives color to blood.

Rañjaka means “to give color”. Through the liver, it gives color to the blood as well as all tissues (skin, hair, eyes, etc.). It helps create red blood cells in the bone marrow.

Disorders: hepatitis, anemia, mononucleosis, chronic fatigue, high cholesterol, fatty liver and gallstones

Bodhaka Kapha~ Oral cavity, salivary secretions, taste, swallowing, speech.

Bodhaka kapha is saliva that keeps the mouth, tongue and vocal chords moisturized. Each taste bud is covered by bodhaka and sends a message to the brain about which taste is being experienced. Through saliva production, bodhaka helps maintain electrolyte balance. During the chewing process, saliva and enzymes are produced to help break down food and bring it into the stomach.

Disorders: septic tonsils, inflammation of heart, bacterial mouth from excess sweet taste, thick saliva (may point to diabetes, worms, Parkinson’s, dental plaque)

Other kaphic qualities in the body are represented by the water element, as kapha is a combination of the water and earth elements. These are expressed through everything wet or oily, including the byproducts of the body. This can be blood, the secretions in our stomachs, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, lymph fluid, tears, sweat, urine, and more. The waters of our bodies help to carry nutrients, medicine, information and hydration to all parts.

It is important that we drink plenty of good water and eat juicy foods that are full of structured water. We can also practice good oral hygiene, chew food thoroughly, get our lymph moving through massage and exercise, nourish our blood through nutrient dense foods, consume all 6 tastes, support our circulation and take care of the liver. May we honor and cherish the sacred waters of our bodies, be hydrated and allow optimal health to flow :)


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