Kapha dosha is the Ayurvedic mind-body type that is associated with earth and water. It’s slow and steady in nature and embodies structure and stability in the mind and body. Slow to anger and easygoing, Kapha-dominant types take their sweet time, too. While Kaphas may be slow to get going, they are dependable and dedicated. At their healthiest, Kaphas possess excellent immunity; a robust figure; the ability to sleep soundly; and oftentimes thick, voluptuous hair, large eyes, and radiant skin. Those who are Kapha-predominant may have larger-frame bodies and heavier builds. When in balance, they are the teddy bears among us—sweet in nature and a pleasure to be around.
Kapha governs the structure and lubrication of the mind and body. It controls your weight, physical growth, lubrication for the joints, and formation of all the seven tissues. This includes nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow, and reproductive tissues.
Consider the following questions to see if you might need to balance excess Kapha.
1. Do you tend to be overweight?
2. Do you often feel lazy, fatigued, or lethargic?
3. Do you experience sinus problems?
4. Do you sleep long hours but still wake up tired?
5. Is your skin and hair oily?
6. Do you find that you are possessive and over-attached in your relationships and with life?
7. Do you feel discomfort in cold, damp weather?
8. Do you experience bloating and water retention?
9. Do you feel stiff and heavy, especially in the morning?
10. Do you experience congestion and constipation?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you probably need to balance Kapha.
· Vigorous regular exercise four to five times a week
· A daily or twice-daily brisk walk in the morning and evening
· Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes
· Favor pungent, bitter, astringent tastes and light, dry and warm foods
· Reduce heavy, oily, cold foods and sweet, sour and salty tastes in your food
· Seek out variety and new experiences
· Be spontaneous!
· Stay warm in cold, damp weather
· Go to bed early and get up early
1. Avoid dairy for the most part. Low-fat milk is better if you are going to drink cow's milk. Always boil milk before you drink it, which makes it easier to digest, and drink it warm. Do not take milk with a full meal or with sour or salty food. You might add one or two pinches of turmeric or ginger to whole milk before boiling it to help reduce any Kapha-increasing qualities in the milk.
2. Eat fruit! Lighter fruits, such as apples and pears, are the best. Reduce heavy or sour fruits such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocados, coconuts, and melons, as these fruits increase Kapha in the body and mind.
3. Reduce sweeteners in your diet and avoid refined sugar. Honey is excellent for reducing Kapha however!
4. All beans are fine to eat and good to get your digestion moving because of their extractive qualities.
5. Eat grains like barley and millet. Do not eat too much wheat or rice, as they increase Kapha.
6. Use spices in your cooking! Reduce salt however until Kapha is more in balance.
7. Eat a lot of vegetables. However avoid tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and zucchini because their qualities increase Kapha.
Kapha In The Body In Balance
Tarpaka Kapha: Moisture for nose, mouth, eyes and the brain
Bhodaka Kapha: Sense of taste (which is essential for good digestion)
Kledaka Kapha: Moisture of the stomach lining
Avalambaka Kapha: Protects the heart and makes strong muscles and healthy lungs
Shleshaka Kapha: Lubrication of the joints and soft and supple skin
Kapha In The Body Out of Balance
Tarpaka Kapha: Sinus congestion and poor sense of smell
Bhodaka Kapha: Poor sense of taste and food cravings due to lack of nutritional fulfillment
Kledaka Kapha: Impaired digestion and poor absorption of nutrients
Avalambaka Kapha: Lethargy, respiratory problems and lower back pain
Shleshaka Kapha: Weight gain, oily skin and loose or painful joints.
HERBAL REMEDIES TO BALANCE KAPHA
In Ayurveda, herbs are a part of a complete plan for the mind-body-spirit balance. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle, along with herbs, are used to make changes that address the root causes of your digestive issues.
Now let’s look at a few herbs that are particularly balancing for Kapha Dosha!
· Bitter, pungent, astringent
Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to prevent and treat a variety of diseases. In Ayurveda, turmeric is a detoxifying agent. Since it possesses the bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes and is mildly heating, it is useful in balancing excess Kapha.
· Protects the liver and can help to reduce elevated blood cholesterol
· Reduces pain and stiffness
· Turmeric can prevent or inhibit the development of certain cancer cells
· Turmeric has a soothing effect on the digestive system
· Turmeric can inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast and viruses
A safe dose of turmeric for anyone is 500 mg, twice daily, though eating it in food rather than taking it through pills is preferred.
Ginger is often used in Ayurveda to treat Kapha disorders such as sinus congestion, sluggish digestion, and obesity because of it's pungent and warming nature. Ginger strengthens the digestive fire and removes accumulated toxins.
· Consuming ginger on a regular basis can help reduce osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
· Ginger is effective in preventing nausea, dizziness, and vomiting associated with motion sickness or pregnancy
· Ginger may also be helpful in stabilizing metabolism, including reducing the risk of diabetes
It’s better to use fresh ginger rather than dried because it has more of the potent properties. Drying ginger takes away some of the nutritional benefits. If you do need to use dried ginger powder, try to find it organically.
Taking one gram of powdered ginger is good for inflammatory conditions but it is a blood thinner so stop taking several weeks before surgery.
· Sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent
· Both heating and cooling. Amalaki is cooling and Bibhitaki and Haritaki are heating.
Triphala is an herbal blend made from the fruits of three trees that grow in India. The fruits are dried, ground into powder, and blended in a precise manner developed by the ancient herbalists.
Triphala balances Kapha Dosha as well as Vata and Pitta. It also contains five of the six tastes, lacking only the salty taste. The herbs that comprise Triphala have potent healing and purifying properties. Triphala gently cleanses and detoxifies the body without irritating the colon. In addition, unlike other laxatives that deplete the body, Triphala actually strengthens and nourishes the bones, nervous system, and reproductive organs.
The recommended dose is 500 to 1,000mg, twice daily.
· An energetic, early morning routine
· Stimulate your body and mind every day
· A 10–20 minutes self-massage daily with ½ cup warm sesame oil before bathing.
· A vigorous exercise routine that includes jogging, hiking, biking, vigorous forms of yoga or martial arts, or other challenging forms of exercise, a minimum of five times per week.
· Keeping warm and dry, no matter what the weather.
· Lively and invigorating music, smells, experiences, and company.
Disclaimer The purpose of this article is to provide information about Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have serious acute or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional or physician. If you are seeking the health advice of a certified Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, please call us at (800) 215 – 9934 or email us. We will provide you with the contact information of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your physician before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.