Like Increases Like In Ayurveda: How To Use It To Balance Tridosha?
Like Increases Like
Like Increases Like is a basic concept of Ayurveda that involves increasing the inherent qualities of your dominant dosha will increase that dosha in your body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurveda recommends maintaining the balance of three doshas in your body using the concept of ‘Like Increases Like’ such that the foods or environmental factors that can worsen the dosha need to be eliminated in order to subdue it.
Understanding the concept ‘Like Increases Like’
‘Like Increases Like’ is a unique practice of maintaining balance in your mind, body, and soul. It teaches us that similar qualities attract or contribute to a similar quality while the opposite qualities bring in balance. It further explains that when your body is not in balance due to the excessive Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dosha, you need to take in the opposite quality of the dosha that is in excess to restore balance.
You may take in these opposite qualities from your external surroundings through 5 special senses: smell, taste, touch, hearing, and vision.
Here are a few examples of how you can use this concept in your day-to-day life to prevent imbalances in your health.
Treat warmth with cold
It’s as easy as it sounds!
When you feel very hot, what do you do? You switch on the fan or air conditioner to expose your body to the opposite quality, which is coldness.
Similarly, when you feel cold, you put on a sweater, or sip hot soups or tea or build a fire to imbibe the opposite quality, which is warmth.
What would you do if your body tends to run hot always, as with someone who has a dominant pitta dosha?
If you have an imbalance in the Pitta or have an excess of this dosha in your mind and body, you would experience symptoms like loose stools, burning sensation in the stomach, sour eructation, indigestion, heartburn, skin rashes, anger, irritability, and frustration. These symptoms occur due to too much pitta or heat in your mind and body. It can create disruptions in your bodily functions resulting in the hypersecretion of acids in the stomach due to which you may experience heartburn and gastritis.
Similarly, it would also create imbalances in your thoughts making you more restless, anxious, and angry. To restore balance, you need to cool down the Pitta dosha. Coldness is the quality that opposes heat and warmth that characterize Pitta. Applying cool and avoiding heat are the keys that will calm the Pitta dosha and help you avoid the symptoms caused due to imbalances.
When you do this, you will be amazed to see how your symptoms subside naturally and resolve completely over a period of time.
How to do this?
- Choose cool foods (not cold)
- Avoid exposing yourself to warmth from the sunlight, especially during afternoon hours
- Avoid spicy foods and alcohol
- Smell cooling aromas
- Choose cooling colors like white, and light blue, yellow, or green
- Perform non-competitive yoga and quiet meditation
Treat dryness with moisturization
Have you ever experienced how annoying dry skin or throat can be? What do you do when your throat or skin feels too dry?
You drink water when your throat feels dry and apply moisturizer to your skin when it becomes dry and itchy.
Ayurveda teaches us that the drying of the skin defines the aging processes.
Just think of those fresh and new green leaves that adore the plants during spring. They look so moist, soft, and supple just like your skin in your younger days. Now, think of how the same leaves look in autumn or after they are exposed to the harsh summer months. By autumn, these leaves dry up, and fall off the trees. They are not longer soft and tend to crackle under your feet.
This is definitely not something pleasant to think of what can happen to your own skin! But, the fact is this is the exact process that occurs in your skin when it ages after years of exposure to the sun. It simply dries out!
So, what does Ayurveda tell us about dryness?
It teaches us to apply the concept of ‘Like Increases Like’ and avoid anything that will increase dryness and bring in anything that will reduce it. For example; Ayurveda recommends applying special oils that can balance the excessive dosha.
In fact, applying essential oils to the skin is one of the treatments included in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. It is called abhyanga.
It involves the application of oil to your skin and massaging it gently to hydrate it from within. It makes the skin soft, moist, supple, and youthful.
You can choose oils according to your dominant dosha as explained below:
- Warmer oils like almond and sesame are suitable for calming the Vata dosha
- Cooler oils like coconut and sunflower are good for calming the pitta dosha.
Dry and spicy oils like safflower and mustard are suitable for balancing the excessive Kapha dosha that is characterized by increased secretion of mucus.
Treat heaviness with lightness
If you are overweight, you can apply the concept of ‘Like Increases Like’ and avoid eating foods that are heavy to restore the lightness of the body.
You need to eat more lightly, which means consuming foods having low-calorie content and avoiding foods that contain fats and sugars as they bring in more heaviness.
Ayurveda is a medical science based on unique concepts and laws of nature. It allows us to learn and recognize the laws which exist in the world and apply them to our lifestyle and diet for maintaining optimum well-being.