Color Therapy

Ayurveda uses holistic methods to prevent and treat dosha imbalances, including those caused by stress. When chosen carefully and in keeping with a person’s dosha, colors can help harmonize emotions, promoting peace of mind.1

In addition to the different psychological and physical effects of each color, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend using soft and not fluorescent lighting, and full-spectrum lights in the winter when there is less sunlight to counteract depression.1 Manufacturers of full-spectrum lights generally describe them as clear white lights that match the color of sunlight at noon, when it is at its brightest. Although there are many unproven health claims linked to full-spectrum lights, some studies do support that they are perceived as brighter—probably because colors appear more saturated (similar to how they appear in daylight).83-84

Each color has different attributes. As with everything Ayurvedic, a proper balance must be maintained—for example, while bright colors generally increase energy and stimulate emotion, too much of them can lead to burn-out and fatigue. Used wisely and without excess, color can have beneficial health effects:1

Color
Benefits
Effect if Used Excessively
Black
  • Stimulates ability to resist negative emotions
  • Can increase fear and paranoia
  • Increases all doshas when used excessively
Blue
  • Encourages independent thinking and spirituality
  • Anti-tumor
  • Can reduce fever
  • Antibiotic
  • Neutralizes anger
  • Cools emotions
  • Regulates sleep
  • Loss of compassion
  • Sky-blue color can decrease vata
  • Increases all doshas when used too much
Brown
  • Stabilizing
  • Coarseness of personality
  • Loss of subtlety, refinement
Gold
  • Increases self-awareness and spirituality
  • Stabilizing effect on the mind
  • Strengthens cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine systems
  • Reduces vata and kapha
  • Increases pitta
Green
  • Calming effect on mind and nerves
  • Can reduce fever and headache
  • Balances metabolism
  • Stabilizes weight
  • Increases kapha
Grey
  • Promotes objectivity and neutrality
  • Cools emotions
  • Depressing
  • Loss of vitality
Orange
  • Increases energy and intelligence
  • Can help with thyroid problems and menstrual cramps
  • Can aggravate sexual problems
  • Reduces vata and kapha
Purple
  • Promotes confidence
  • Reduces angina
  • Eases joint stiffness
  • Suppressed and stagnant emotions
Red
  • Increases energy and warmth
  • Strengthens cardiovascular system
  • Promotes objectivity and neutrality
  • Cools emotions
  • Reduces kapha
  • Increases vata and pitta
Violet
  • Antibiotic
  • Immune-boosting
  • Suppressed emotions
White
  • Reduces fevers
  • Antibiotic
  • Antiviral
  • Pain relief
  • Calming effect on heart, emotions, and nerves
  • Promotes compassion and vitality
  • Increases spirituality
  • Can cause lethargy
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Increases inhibitions
  • Increases kapha
  • Reduces vata and pitta
Yellow
  • Motivates
  • Promotes clarity
  • Improves communication
  • Increases energy
  • Can cause hyperactivity
  • Lack of focus and depth
  • Reduces vata and kapha
  • Increases pitta
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