Gut Immunity for Your Ayurvedic Body Type

While stress will be processed through everyone’s gut, our digestive tracts do not always respond in the same way. Some folks will become sluggish, while others battle discomfort, mood issues, and loose stools. Ayurveda has mapped out some of these individual tendencies according to your body type. 

In This Article

Understanding Your Body

According to Ayurveda, taking care of your digestion might just be the most important step you can take for your health. And not just your physical health, but your emotional and mental health, too! 

Stressed

Strong evidence suggests psychological stress has a marked impact on gastrointestinal health and digestion. Stress is processed through the intestinal tract, where 95% of our serotonin and other neurotransmitters are manufactured and stored, leaving only 5% of the body’s serotonin in the brain at any given time.2

Overstimulation of the intestinal epithelium or “skin” can alter gut microbiology. This sends stress signals to the brain.1

Once the brain gets the message that there is an emergency brewing, it sends this stressed message to every cell in the body and, in particular, back to the gut, where more stress, intestinal discomfort, and altered microbiology ensue.1 

For optimal intestinal health, one must take a comprehensive approach that includes: 

  1. Stress prevention techniques 
  2. Protect the gut and nervous system from effects of day-to-day stress 
  3. Support intestinal skin 
  4. Reboot beneficial microbiology 

But first, let’s examine the individual nature of your intestinal health. 

Your Individual Plan for Intestinal Health 

While stress will be processed through everyone’s gut, our digestive tracts do not always respond in the same way. Some folks will become sluggish, while others battle discomfort, mood issues, and loose stools. Ayurveda has mapped out some of these individual tendencies according to your body type. 

Learn your Ayurvedic body type.
body-type-quiz-vata-banner

Vata Intestines 

In highly sensitive vata body types, the individual often has a strong radar and feels everything. Intestinal skin is easily overstimulated, altering good bacteria and neurotransmitter production. The result can be sluggish, slow, dry, hard elimination, along with mood and sleep concerns. 

The protocol for vata intestinal support is to help soothe the nervous system, lubricate intestinal skin, and support a new population of beneficial microbes. For this, I suggest: 

slippery elm prebiotic immunity tea
brahmi
triphala for immunity and digestion
  1. A combination of slippery elm, marshmallow root, and licorice to be sipped throughout the day as a concentrated tea. 
  2. A combination of triphala, licorice, and slippery elm to reboot bowel function4,5 by lubricating the intestinal tract. 
  3. To support the nervous system, I suggest some of my favorite herbs such as brahmibacopa, shankpushpi, skullcap, and passionflower.6-8 
body-type-quiz-pitta-banner Gut Health

Pitta Intestines 

Pitta intestines are marked by occasional heartburn and reactive production of intestinal mucus that can cause looser stool and abdominal discomfort. This is commonly triggered by overworking or pushing the body too hard. 

To balance pitta-based intestinal concerns like acid production and sporadic loose stools, I suggest the following:

Amalaki_Amla-berry-background_340-1 march spring seasonal eating
slippery elm prebiotic immunity tea
neem
  1. Herbs like amalaki and avipattikar to cool and strengthen digestive fire.9, 10 
  2. LifeSpa’s leaky Gut Support combines bilva fruit with triphala, licorice, and slippery elm to support healthy bowel function.4, 5, 11, 12 
  3. Neem: the queen of the skin breaks up biofilm in the gut while supporting an healthy intestinal environment for the robust proliferation of beneficial bacteria.15 
body-type-quiz-kapha-banner Gut Health

Kapha Intestines  

Kapha intestines are marked by a slow, boggy digestive system. If this body type becomes stressed, the intestinal skin produces excessive reactive mucus. This can result in seeing mucus in a looser stool with digestive congestion.  

This can prevent the intestines and microbes from assimilating the needed nutrients and detoxifying effectively through the intestinal wall. To support a kapha-based intestinal tract, we have to pull mucus off the intestinal wall and decongest the intestinal tract. To accomplish this, I suggest: 

turmeric-plus_curcumin-longa-background_340 spring march seasonal eating
  1. Lifespa’s Leaky Gut Support (AKA ELIM II) employs bilva fruit and triphal to scrub excess kapha or mucus from the intestinal lining. 
  2. Turmeric is traditionally used to dry and reduce unwanted intestinal mucoid material. For best absorption, LifeSpa’s Turmeric Plus uses turmeric in combination with black pepper at a ratio of 16:1. That increase absorption by a whopping 2000%3 
We recommend "The Confusing World of Eating, Dieting and Cleansing": https://lifespa.com/confusing-world-of-eating-dieting-and-cleansing/

Support All Three Doshas: Boost Microbiome + Gut Health 

Stress damages the health of the intestinal mucosa—this is where our microbes either live and die.13 In fact, in one study, a group of subjects with intestinal discomfort and bloating had five times less bifidobacteria (a well-known beneficial bacteria) than the control group.14 

yeast bacteria petri dish

In another study, stress was found to damage the intestinal mucosa and gut microbiology in such a major way that it caused an increase in gut permeability, allowing toxins and pathogens to enter directly into the bloodstream.15 

A probiotic regimen would introduce colonizing microbes into the gut and digestive tract that support microbial diversity and ultimately promote digestive self-sufficiency. In an effort to accomplish this, I suggest a four-step comprehensive plan for perfecting your gut health: 

slippery elm prebiotic immunity tea

Step 1:Slippery Elm Prebiotic: Supports the intestinal mucus membranes by introducing prebiotic soluble fiber. This creates the best possible environment for healthy microbes to thrive. 

Step 2:Gut Revival: Introduces probiotics that will remove undesirable, non-functional microbes and simultaneously introduce new, beneficial, permanent residents (called colonizing probiotics) to proliferate. 

flora restore max probiotics

Step 3:Flora Restore Max: After the gut is primed, boost colonizing microbes to achieve thriving microbial diversity. Eat small amounts of fermented foods and practice seasonal eating.

To accomplish this, I suggest using a specific progression of synergistic prebiotic and probiotic products, formulated to efficiently create a healthy microbiome.

Learn To Meditate to Handle Stress 

Try my One-Minute Meditation. Repeat 5-10 times a day for best results. 

References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921083/ 
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202343/ 
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120 
  4. http://www.bioline.org.br/abstract?id=pt06008 
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480757/ 
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116297/ 
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153866/ 
  8. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874107000438 
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21317655 
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1263137/ 
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968698/ 
  12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480795/ 
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20886335 
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21829582 
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22483040
  16. https://lifespa.com/inhibit-intestinal-biofilms-neem/ 

11 thoughts on “Gut Immunity for Your Ayurvedic Body Type”

  1. ,I started drinking tripala for the first time,I drank 3 glasses over a period of 2 days and now I’m constipated can anyone please tell me if this is normal?

    Reply
    • Without more information on your situation it’s impossible to tell. Triphala may cause constipation in the case of severe vata – where vata’s dryness met with triphala may reduce the last remaining ability of your body to excrete fluids. Additionally, excessive kapha (as mucus) may have been dissolved by triphala and be awaiting removal by the body, which could temporarily cause bowel movement delays or backlog. Use of medicines like triphala has been simplified for the modern world, but used to call for special dietary instructions per person being treated, to avoid unwanted side effects. Perhaps stop the triphala for now and try warmer methods, such as ushnodaka (basically boiled spiced water) 3x per day. Instructions for this can be found online. Hot purgatives that are more common at the store would be good too, such as initiating bowel movements using magnesium chloride (magnesium oil) internally. Either way, make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy fat, if you’re able to. Otherwise, definitely don’t use purgative herbs or therapies.

      Reply
  2. Hi Dr.Douillard,

    I am in Europe this season. Any suggestions for slippery elm substitutes? I can only find it in tablets locally. Or can I make the teas without it and take the slippery elm tablets with the teas as a supplement? 🙂

    Thank you very much!
    Milena

    Reply
  3. Not to sound like a know-it-all, but these therapies having been so simplified for the lifespa audience may lead to side effects during application. For example: in vata types, except for in special cases, you should not give the patient bacopa and other such drying herbs without fats and diet counseling, no matter how good they can be for the nervous system. A dry vata who is deficient in nerve, marrow, and fatty tissues, water, or electrolytes, and especially those vata-types that also suffer from concurrent dry heat, general exhaustion, with uncontrolled mental habits, etc, will suffer and worsen from bacopa use over time. Special procedures are done to enable this herb to be used for vata, by a competent, knowledgeable physician who is guiding his patient step-by-step through the therapy.

    Similar contradictions are seen in recommendations for the other herbals for vata. Triphala as sold in the united states contains the ground kernel of amalaki, which makes it even drier than it was. This can still be used for vata, but with guidance. Almost all other items mentioned are strictly cooling in nature, and a great deal of the vata imbalances seen in the modern world are seen with concurrent kapha and pitta problems, due to poor diet in the past, other health issues and inheritance. If the strictly cooling therapies are applied for a long time in a vata-kapha or kapha-vata situation, the therapy is contraindicated and may worsen health problems in the long run, despite immediate effects on the bowels.

    For pitta, amalaki and licorice may be fine, but may also disturb the system. This is because pitta may be water or fire dominant, and like vata and kapha, it rarely comes purely by itself as an imbalance. Give amalaki is therapeutic doses to a vata-pitta who locks onto “pitta” as the sole cause for their issues, and they dry up, burn up, or deplete, which can cause uncomfortable side effects and long term health decline at worst. Some pure pitta types are fire dominant, and present with dryness, burning sensations, and hyperacidity despite any association with the other doshas. For these types, dried amalaki by itself may worsen issues – though as part of a wholesome therapy it can be a life-saver. In water-dominant pitta imbalances, licorice may drastically increase blood pressure – because not everyone is going to purchase DGL specifically.

    Attention to these details shouldn’t be ignored in maintaining a good practice and clean conscience. The ayurvedic scripts are available with professional translations for free. Though they’re difficult reads for those wanting to understand the basics, those wishing to practice and apply ayurvedic medicine to other people need to be well-versed in the traditional application of herbs and ayurvedic therapies, with a very strong understanding of the doshas and metaphorical concepts that go into consideration of formulas, as well as adjunct therapies and diet prescriptions for the specific location the patient is located (information on this is also in the scripts). Practicing in contrary to the above is salesman-like, and when it doesn’t do harm, it’ll still prevent patients (out of trust and for other reasons) from seeking health through more effective means. Please pardon me if this sounds rude; I’d like for people to find success when seeking health advice.

    Reply
    • wow! deep ?? gratitude for your wise, insightful and comprehensive information C … your deep caring for others is very clear and i agree that reductionist, decontextualized, and incomplete approaches to applying the extensive wisdom of ayurved can be ineffective at best or disruptive at worst especially for sensitive individuals… thank you for generously sharing your wisdom … your share is not rude at all … it’s necessary to correct and inform misinformed individuals particularly when the cost of not doing so can cause harm to many …

      Reply
    • Yes, you sound like a know it all. Both you and emma need to get REAL. I’ve been following Douillard for over a decade, now. The guy saved my life. The majority of people are eating SO BAD and their health is SO BAD that anything you get them going on outside of mainstream medicine is an improvement and headed in the right direction. It might not be micro Auyrvedic, as you’re discussing, but he’s dealing with trying to get MILLIONS of people on board. You’re trying to jeopardize that! It’s hard enough to get westerners onboard with eastern medicine, and you’re throwing a wrench in it. If you have this SO perfected, then why don’t you open up a practice and run it YOUR way. What I’m reading is that you’re a big-time wanna be and you have some jealousy and sabotage for Douillard because he got off his laurels and got it done. You’ve got one finger pointed at Douillard and three fingers pointed back at yourself.

      Reply
  4. Hi ,
    I am not sure if I have vata or pitta type body , or may be combination of vata pitta.
    I am suffering from anxiety, burning sensation in stomach and throat, loose stools, feeling for bowel movement after eating, lower back ache sometimes. I tried probiotic Florastor which helps with loose stools but its temporarily.
    Should I try Triphala or amalaki or any other suggestions please assist.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Melissa,

      If you have two dominant body types, find a balance of solutions provided for those body types and find which aspects work for you. Not every vata solution will be perfect for you, nor every pitta solution. Experiment and see what your body needs.

      For more individualized advice, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. John: https://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurvedic-clinic/

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply

Leave a Comment