In Ayurvedic practice, the three doshas – the primary life energies that make up body and mind – must be balanced for true health and harmony. Of the many things that aggravate or ease doshas, the foods we eat and beverages we drink can have profound effects. Many of us feel like we can’t even function without a daily cup of coffee, but it is important to know whether coffee will aid or hinder your health and mental clarity. Here are three rules for coffee drinkers from Ayurveda:
- Have a cuppa if you’re kapha -The kapha dosha, associated with earthy solidity, responds well to coffee which has a mild diuretic effect. Signs of excess kapha include fluid retention and feeling low on motivation or foggy-headed. A good cup of quality coffee can help even the most lethargic kapha find the energy boost necessary to stay
- Be moderate or avoid coffee if pitta or vata dominate, it is important to be more careful with your coffee intake than a primarily kapha person needs to be if your pitta or vata doshas tend towards excess. Vata types often suffer from digestive problems such as constipation. The diuretic effect of coffee reduces fluid in the body more, and thus can aggravate this health complaint. As for pitta, the heating effect of coffee and its bitterness can cause more pitta to build up and can worsen problems such as acid reflux.
- Balance coffee intake with an Ayurvedic morning routine even if you can’t resist having an early morning cup of coffee, you can at least adopt an Ayurvedic morning routine that will compensate for any minor adverse effects. Drink a cup of hot water with the juice of one lemon each morning if possible. This alkalizes the body and helps to counteract the acidifying effect of coffee. Also eat a grounding breakfast that will counteract the tendency of coffee to make your mind race.
Coffee can be hard to resist, especially if you work in an office culture where a cup of stimulating coffee is always nearby. Know your dosha and use the three Ayurvedic rules for coffee drinkers and you should be able to keep enjoying this invigorating beverage.