Kapha dosha can be compared to a thick heavy viscous oil. Heavy semisolid oil is usually cold, semi solid, heavy, viscous and has cushioning effect. All these qualities can be attributed to Kapha.
Functions of Kapha Dosha in the body
- Stability and Compactness – Kapha is responsible for holding all parts of the cell together. In case of joints, Kapha is responsible for stability and compactness of the joints.
- Stability of mind – In the mind’s thinking process; Vata helps to explore more options. Pitta helps to analyse which options are good and which options are bad. Kapha helps to settle down with that one option. So, in the process of thinking, Kapha is responsible for stability. People with Kapha body type are well organised and stable. They like to sit and can do the same work for longer periods of time. (As opposed to Vata person).
- Lubrication – Oil avoids friction in engine, similarly Kapha ensures lubrication between the joints and ensures smoothness. When food enters the stomach, kapha moists the food particles and helps in easy breaking down of food particles.
- Kapha has properties like – sturdiness, nourishment and bulkiness.
Types of Kapha Doshas —
- Avalambaka Kapha
- Kledaka Kapha
- Bodhaka Kapha
- Tarpaka Kapha
- Shleshaka Kapha
Kapha Dosha Dominant Places in the Body
Kapha dosha occupies the upper half of the body. Its main function is to maintain compactness, moistening and cushioning. Kapha Dosha is dominant in-
- Chest – The respiratory system and heart are greatly influenced by Kapha dosha. Hence, most of the respiratory disorders are Kapha and Vata origin.
- Throat – The depth and oiliness of the voice is contributed by Kapha dosha.
- Head and Brain – Head and brain are influenced by kapha. Activities like – memory,tolerance, forgiveness, patience are influenced by Kapha dosha.
- Bone Joints – The cushioning effect in the joints with the presence of lubricating liquid called synovial fluid or discs between the back bones are due to Kapha.
- Rasa Dhatu – After completion of digestion process, the food is divided into essence part and waste part. The essence part is called Rasa Dhatu. Rasa Dhatu is a nourishing fluid which circulates all over the body. This nourishing action is brought by Kapha dosha.
- Fat – Fat and cholesterol are influenced by kapha dosha. Usually kapha body type persons are usually obese.
Symptoms of Kapha Dosha Imbalance —
- Weak Digestion Strength
- Feeling of Heaviness
- White Discolouration
- Dyspnoea/ cough/asthma/COPD
- Excess of sleep
- Stiffness/ loss of movement
- Weight gain/obesity
Diet to Balance Kapha Dosha
Diet rich in bitter, astringent and pungent tastes balance Kapha. Intake of diet which is ununctuous is recommended. Running, jumping, walking, exercise should be the part of daily schedule. Foods that are dry in nature, intake of less and light food, intense acting foods and medicines, hot and fresh foods, pungent foods and medicines, bitter foods and medicines, dry massages, intake of soups, fasting, rejecting all sorts of comforts help in balancing Kapha dosha.
- Ginger – To kindle the digestive fire, a slice of fresh ginger with a pinch of rock salt must be chewed before taking food. This helps to prepare the digestive system to receive food and to process it effectively.
- Honey – Honey is an excellent for reducing Kapha. Reduce sugar products in diet as they increase Kapha.
- Low fat milk is a better option for balancing Kapha. Avoid boiling of milk which makes it easier to digest. Add one or two pinches of turmeric or ginger to milk as they help to reduce any Kapha increasing qualities in the milk.
- Spices – All spices are good except salt.
- Barley – Usually sweet substances that improve body strength cause Kapha increase. But barley is an exception. Barley is sweet and astringent in taste and coolant in nature, yet it helps to balance Kapha. Hence it is an ideal ingredient for Kapha imbalance.
- Include light fruits such as apples and pears. Reduce heavy or sour fruits like – oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates.