Now that we’re in the season of all things ORANGE, what does Ayurveda say about it?

We are smack dab in the middle of the “orange” season. Pumpkins, Jack-o-Lanterns, tangerine-colored leaves, pumpkin pie, orange gourds abound. Ayurveda teaches that what we bring in through the five senses always carries with it some effect. So what about the color orange? What effect does it have on our doshas?

Here’s what Dr. Marc Halpern has to say about it in his popular book, Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda :

Best Use of the Color Orange: Increases Joy

Orange is pacifying to Vata and Kapha, agitating to Pitta.

“The color orange is made up of several elements, primarily fire and air. But, unlike the color red, it also contains some earth and water. If you could taste the color orange, it would be rather sour. Orange has many of the qualities of the sour taste. It is warm, light (but not too light), dry (but not too dry), mobile and sharp. The brighter the color, the greater the amount of fire and the hotter and drier it becomes. 

Like the color red, orange is exciting but not nearly as intense. It is uplifting, joyful and stimulating to the mind. It helps to lift depression and stimulate the intellect. In the body, it improves digestion and, if it is bright, it stimulates sexual energy. 

Being warm, orange increases pitta dosha and can overheat the body and mind if it is used in excess by a person with a pitta nature or imbalance. This is especially true if the color is very bright. However, pastel oranges are some- what cooler and safer to use. If you have a pitta imbalance, I would not recommend using much orange at all. However, if you have a pitta nature and are in reasonably good balance, you can use orange with little concern. Just try to avoid excessively bright shades. 

If you have a vata constitution, you will benefit from some orange in your environment. It will help you to create a feeling of warmth while also being uplifting. If there is a vata imbalance or weakness present, it is best to stick to earthier shades of orange. These are still warm but are less stimulating. 

Those with a kapha nature can enjoy bright shades of orange. These are warm, stimulating and uplifting while being less agitating than the color red.” ~ Dr. Marc Halpern, “Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda.”

Healing Your Life: Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda is available on Amazon: