Elements: Ether, Air, Fire
Increase: Vata and Pitta
Found in Pungent and Bitter tastes.
Balanced by Heavy, Sweet, Salty
Action: catabolic, cleanses, helps digestion and encourages appetite, reduces phlegm and purifies the channels, causes slimness and reduces bulk.
Positive effect: creates freshness and alertness, attention, release, freedom, love, happiness.
In the body, lightness creates agility and swiftness. Lightness of mind is associated with clarity and alertness. Lightness is inspiring: it improves oxygen levels and creativity. Foods that are light aid weight loss. Examples of light foods include popcorn (without butter and salt), salads, and black pepper. They also convince the body to scavenge for food, and this metabolizes residues in the blood, cleanses all fluids, and aids the healing of wounds. For this reason, Lightness is associated with purity. Light quality reduces viscosity of the blood.
Eating lightly, including gentle fasting and smaller portions, has shown to directly increase lifespan in studies. Fasting in general is an ancient cleansing practice to create lightness and lose weight; however it is often too harsh or misused.
In excess: lack of grounding and stability, hyperactivity, insecurity, fear, anxiety, emaciation.
Excess Lightness can cause frivolous behavior, a lack of appropriate seriousness. Mental lightness can create spaciness, ungroundedness, and distraction. Pathological lightness creates emaciation and weakness. Discomfort and pain are very light. Pathological lightness creates dryness, as seen in Osteoporosis which is lightness in the bones.
Lifestyle habits, including excess exercise, frequent awakening during the night (breastfeeding mothers), skipping meals, excess traveling, Vegan diet, smoking, drug abuse and continues stress may induce Light quality.
Qualities which Increase Lightness:
Natural attributes: Hot, Clear, Dry, Mobile, Delicate, Sharp, Refined,
Tastes: Pungent, Bitter, Sour
Herbs That Increase Lightness:
Alterative: Stinging Nettle, Burdock, Dandelion
Aromatic: Cinnamon, Rosemary
Carminative: Peppermint, Chamomile
Diaphoretic: Ginger, Cayenne
Diuretic: Celery, Parsley
Stimulant: Coffee, Green Tea
Treatments for excess Lightness
Although the mind enjoys lightness, it can aggravate Vata to the point of emaciation if unchecked. The body prefers stability to freedom. Sleep, rest, routine, and reducing stress are the most important ways to gain weight and become grounded and centered. Ojas building foods, such as a teaspoon of ghee with meals, helps nourish the body and bring heaviness. Ashwagandha ghee is a medicated ghee that helps ground the nervous system while nourishing Vata. Licorice root and salt help retain and rebuild fluids.
Elements: Earth, Water
Natural attributes: Heavy, Dull, Cold, Oily, Static, Sticky
Dosha: Vata pacifying diet and lifestyle
Going to sleep early and waking up late
Strength workouts to build muscle mass
Adding more animal protein, fats and carbs to the diet, while reducing vegetables.
Nutritive tonics: Ashwagandha, Shatavari
Ingredients that are Light
Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Popcorn, Puffed Rice, Quinoa, Rice Cakes
Alfalfa Sprouts, Aloe Vera, Artichoke, Asparagus, Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery stalk, Fennel Stalk, Okra, Red Bell Pepper
Arugula, Bean Sprouts, Beet Greens, Celery Stalk, Chard, Chickweed, Collard Greens, Dandelion Leaves, Endive, Mustard, Grape Leaves, Kale, lemongrass, Mustard Greens, Red Leaf Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, sage, Spinach, Stinging Nettles
Apple (cooked), Blackberry, Blueberry, Lemon, Lime, Papaya
Kombucha, Vinegar (Apple, Red Wine, White)
Ajuwan, Basil, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cayenne Pepper, Celery Seed, Chamomile, Chilies, Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Ginger, Cumin, Curry Powder, Dill, Fennel Seeds, Green Tea, Jalapenos, Mint, Paprika, Parsley (Fresh), Saffron, Sassafras Leaf, Turmeric