Our body is working like a machine; it hasn’t rested since it started. That which is responsible for it to maintain the substance, to lubricate the parts is Kapha dosha.
Before knowing the Kapha meaning, it is important to know the right pronunciation too. I often hear the Ayurvedic terminologies being said incorrectly. So, in Ayurveda, Kapha is read as “Ka-Fa”, it is not “Kaa-Faa”. The pronunciation of Kapha is same as “cuff” or “cough”.
Before reading what is Kapha dosha, I recommend you to read what is Prakriti and what is dosha in this post- https://ayureasy.com/what-is-vata-dosha-everything-about-vata-dosha-decoded/
Kapha dosha is predominantly made up of Prithvi (Earth) and Aap (Water) elements. The Earth element gives Kapha the solid consistency coupled with Water element that makes it slimy. So what is Kapha dosha?
You can imagine Kapha dosha to be a mass that is semi-solid, slimy, sticky, of a lighter colour.
Qualities of Kapha dosha
- Snigdha– Oily
- Sheeta- Cold
- Guru– Heavy
- Manda– Slow
- Shlakshna– Soft
- Mrutsna– Sticky
- Sthir– steady
To understand the Kapha dosha symptoms and Kapha imbalance treatment, you should know the properties of Kapha dosha and their action on your body.
Snigdha (Oily)– This is the most important property of Kapha dosha. Anything dry makes a sound, be it our knee joint or the door of our bathroom. What we do then? Oiling, that is, we treat it with something unctuous, smooth and opposite to dry. This quality of Kapha dosha is needed for that lubrication in each of our organs- skin, between joints, between organs, between the organs and their covering.
The lubricant between the lungs and pleura is made up of Kapha dosha; synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid- all are made of Kapha dosha.
Sheeta (Cold) – This is required for obstruction or to hold; holding the things that are required by the body, thus forming matter/mass. The people belonging to North India or colder regions have a heavy built due to this reason.
Guru (Heavy) – The heavy nature of Kapha is important for nourishment and unification. This then helps in increasing the weight of the substance. This quality makes rice, black gram heavy to digest.
Manda (Slow) – Speed or action may not always be wanted. At times, when there is a need to slow down or calm down, this property of Kapha comes into use.
Shlakshna (Smooth) – Smooth is a property that a healing substance has. For example, honey is used for wound healing.
Mrutsna (Sticky) – This is required for living up to its action of Protection or coating. A glue applied to an envelope is sticky and protects the envelope from getting damaged.
Sthir (Steady) – Stability of body and mind is both necessary in this fast-paced life and Kapha dosha is responsible for its maintenance.
Actions of Kapha dosha
- Lubrication of joints, organs, even molecules
- Making the body strong and steady
- Healing, Unifying
- Filling– filling anything empty.
- Holding– Holding onto things; this is also the reason why Kapha dosha people remember things for the long term because holding naturally comes to them.
- Forgiveness– Kapha is soft, smooth, cool, steady. These properties make people with Kapha dosha body type forgiving.
- Spermatogenesis– Kapha dosha due to all of its properties helps in the formation and maintenance of quality sperm.
Kapha dosha body type characteristics
Body and appearance – Kapha dosha body type people are strong, heavy-built, and attractive
Skin– Fair, radiant, healthy skin; you will be in awe of their skin quality
Eyes – Big, round, clear, light red at the end, wet, appealing
Hair– Thick and black, rich in quality
Voice – They have a sweet, low voice and are sing beautifully
Sleep and dreams – Kapha personality people love to sleep and visualize tranquillity in their dreams such as swans swimming in peaceful water, birds flying in the clear sky and so on.
General characteristics –
Kapha body type is slow in action, they walk slow, think slow. Vata and Pitta prakriti people are especially irritated with Kapha people for this reason.
But Kapha personality people are also the ones who can sit and work for long at a stretch as opposed to Vata and Pitta who may easily give up.
A Kapha prakriti guy is a man of few words.
They love to be in cosy places, layer themselves up to maintain heat. They hardly sweat out.
They incline towards sweet food items.
They have an excellent memory which is useful in their studies. This quality of holding on also makes them remember both good and bad things against people, but with their calm nature, they also forgive people easily. So Kapha prakriti man is a balanced person overall.
All of these qualities make Kapha personality people everyone’s favourite and they are always surrounded by friends.
Types of Kapha dosha
Like Vata and Pitta, there are 5 types of Kapha dosha too. They are:
- Avalambak Kapha
- Kledak kapha
- Bodhak kapha
- Tarpak kapha
- Shleshak kapha
Their site and special actions are also given in detail in Ayurveda. We will discuss these in future posts.
Kapha Imbalance symptoms
Increased kapha dosha symptoms
- Decreased digestive fire: No proper digestion, a feeling of fullness, loss of desire to eat
- Increased salivation
- Increase in Meda (fatty tissue) leads to a decreased urge to carry out any action, a habit of procrastination creeps in
- Heaviness in the body
- Sagging: loss of tightness of skin and muscle tone leads to sagging of belly and other organs
- Feeling of cold
- Asthama and cough-like signs- Due to the obstruction created by the Kapha dosha in the chest, the Vata in that area loses its natural path leading to such Kapha dosha symptoms.
- Excess sleepiness during the day; this happens due to the covering that Kapha creates over the mind.
Decreased Kapha dosha symptoms
- Dizziness due to the decrease in the Tarpak Kapha at the site of brain
- A feeling of emptiness in the body
- Feeling your heartbeat similar to palpitations due to decrease in the property of steadiness of Kapha dosha
- Weakness in joints
Causes of Kapha imbalance
- Eating heavy food frequently like Urad daal (black gram), milk products like cheese, meat etc.
- Constantly sitting at a stretch
- Drinking excess water; this adds up to the Aap element of Kapha dosha.
- Lack of exercise
- Improper digestion of food
- Improper digestion of Rasa dhatu. Kapha dosha is the waste produced after digestion of Rasa dhatu; Its improper digestion may produce excess Kapha.
- Stress, overthinking
Kapha Dosha Remedies
- If the decreased digestive fire is due to increased Kapha dosha, then light food items like popcorn, sharp and spicy foods like ginger should be used in Kapha diet.
- Get up from your place at hourly intervals and move your body for 5 minutes at least.
- Exercise! The right food and physical activities are important Kapha dosha remedies.
- Honey is especially recommended as a carrier for any medicine used as Kapha dosha remedies.
- Spicy, bitter, astringent- the Kapha diet with these 3 decrease Kapha dosha.
- Sweet, sour and salty- the food items with these 3 tastes increase Kapha dosha.
- Barley should form a good part of Kapha diet.
- Triphala guggul, Chitrak etc are Ayurvedic medicine for Kapha dosha that is increased.
- Sleeping in the day should be especially avoided by Kapha prakriti people.
- In case the Kapha dosha decreases, have a diet which is similar to its qualities like Milk, ghee, sugar, coconut water, etc.
- Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Bala are Ayurvedic medicine for Kapha dosha that is decreased.
- There are many medicines available for Kapha dosha treatment, but they should be taken only after consultation with Ayurvedic doctors.
- Vamana therapy is one of the Panchakarma in Ayurveda which is especially recommended to take the vitiated dosha out of the body.
Now that you have understood Kapha meaning in this post, the basics of all 3 types of dosha- Vata, Pitta, Kapha is done. If you haven’t read, about Vata and Pitta, visit our other blog posts on the website .
You can read all three, identify the mix of doshas your prakriti is made up of, and live a balanced life accordingly.