Ahh, Kapha. A Dosha that we all have, made up of earth and water. It gives us many of our best human qualities, such as our grounding, stability and warm emotions. When in excess however, it can have negative consequences on our overall health.
To reduce or pacify kapha, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. To reduce Kapha, emphasize stimulation, exercise, lightening, warming and drying in your diet and lifestyle.
Signs and Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance
- Excess mucous and/or a "thick" cough
- Chronic exhaustion
- Feeling foggy, slow, lethargic
- Thick, white coat on tongue
- Sticky, sluggish bowel movements
- High body weight
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Possessive and overly attached to people and outcomes
- Extremely emotional
- Irrationally stubborn or complacent
- Tendency to overeat and "eat emotionally"
To pacify Kapha, follow these guidelines for food:
- Eat whole, freshly cooked foods that are pungent, bitter or astringent in taste
- Eat foods that are warming energetically and temperature-wise, including heating spices like chili, black or cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cumin and honey
- Eat light, dry, and warm foods and only drinks that are warm or room-temperature
- Foods that are sweet, sour, salty, heavy and oily like cheese, pudding, nuts and cake
- Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature, as well as highly processed items like fried, frozen or canned food and red meat
- Cold or carbonated drinks or drinking fruit juice within an hour of eating food
- Overeating or eating heavy meals.
When it comes to excess Kapha, Triphala is your friend.
Herbs are useful allies when it comes to balancing the doshas. Ayurveda has a long history detailing the use of herbs and herbal combinations. Some Ayurvedic practitioners will customize herbal formulas to suit the unique constitutions of their clients. General formulas based on traditional combinations of herbs are also used. Below are some formulations that are especially useful for balancing kapha.
- If you have a thick, white coating on your tongue, consider Triphala to support natural detoxification
- To support healthy elimination consider Triphala
To pacify Kapha, follow these lifestyle guidelines...
- An energetic, early morning routine
- Stimulate your body and mind every day
- A 10–20 minute self-massage daily with ½ cup warm sesame oil before bathing. Click here for more information on abhyanga.
- 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.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.