Ayurveda and Healing with the Colors of the Season: RED


Ayurveda teaches that through our five senses, we interact with the world, bringing into our body and mind that which will either lead towards health or disease. So choose wisely what you see, taste, hear, small and touch! 

Let’s take a look at our sense of vision. Have you considered the effect that different colors have on you? Right now we find ourselves in a season filled with the color red. What effect does red have on our body and mind?

“The color red is made up primarily of fire and air. These are the same elements that make up the pungent taste and, if red had a taste, it would be pungent (fire and air). The qualities of the color red include being hot, sharp, light, mobile and dry. The brighter the color, the more fire in it. Darker reds, like magenta, have some secondary earth and are slightly cooler and heavier. 

The color red is the hottest color, is very exciting and can be intense. It is an aphrodisiac, stimulating the senses more than any other color. Red lipstick, red nails and red underwear are very provocative. Red is powerful and makes a statement that you are to be noticed and reckoned with. If the color is over- used, however, it expresses narcissism and a strong ego. 

The color red, being hot, increases pitta dosha. I do not recommend that those with a pitta constitution or imbalance use much of the color red. While a red accent here and there will not greatly increase pitta dosha, too much red in the environment will and it will result in overheating the mind and the body. Excessive use of the color red increases judgment, passion, anger, and intensity, and makes a person more critical. In the body, this can result in an overheated liver, increased inflammation, red eyes and red skin rashes. 

The color red being light, dry and mobile increases the vata dosha. Thus, I don’t recommend that those with a vata nature or imbalance use much of it either. Again, accents here and there are fine and won’t cause much imbalance. 

For much of the same reason that the color red aggravates the vata and pitta doshas, it brings balance to kapha dosha and it is the kapha dosha that thrives the most in a red environment. The color red provides many qualities that balance out kapha’s tendencies, which are heavy, moist and stable, as well as cool. Still, if the color red is too bright or intense, it will eventually cause agitation, even to kapha. 

How much of the color red you can handle in a healthy manner depends a lot on your level of internal strength, which is called ojas. The weaker or less stable you are, the less you should use it. If your internal strength is high and your mind is stable, you can use it with little concern.” ~ Excerpt from “Healing Your Life, Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder of the California College of Ayurveda. Available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GP7m28 and Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1PsYDUA