Elements: Water and Earth
The Doshas of Kapha is an alliance of water and earth elements. Kapha represents the Energy of Lubrication and Structure in Ayurveda. Kapha comprises all our cells, tissues and organs. Kapha molecules act as glue that hold the body together and provides it the basis for physical structure. Water is the main constituent of Kapha and provides biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. Kapha is heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, hard, smooth, dense, soft, static, viscous, and cloudy. It is white in color and has a sweet and salty taste. These attributes of Kapha can be seen with an individual who has predominant Kapha Dosha.
The main centers of Kapha in the human body are chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and the liquid secretions of the body such as mucus. The chest is the dominant seat of Kapha. Kapha provide body resistance, lubricates the joints, moisture the skin, heals wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; supports memory retention; gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity. Psychologically, it is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, and long-standing envy, calmness, forgiveness, and love.
In a balanced state Kapha individual shows terrific endurance and physical strength with slow and steady speech and a calm, loving and forgiving attitude. But excess of Kapha can lead to lethargy, weight gain, congestion and allergies along with envy, greedy and possessive behavior. Kapha can be aggravated by, sleeping during the daytime, eating excessive sweet foods, overeating, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). The main health ailments associated with Kapha Dosha include diabetes, gallbladder problems, stomach ulcers, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
Kapha Prakriti people usually have strong and large body frame with heavy bones and muscles. Their chests are expanded and broad. Their veins and tendons are not obvious because of their thick skin but the muscle development is good. The bones are not prominent. Eyes are prominent feature of Kapha people. They usually have large and attractive eyes. Kapha people generally have strong and white teeth.
Balanced Kapha people enjoy excellent health with strong immune system. Kapha people have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring, not explosive. Kapha people have a tendency to gain weight as they have slow digestion and metabolism. Kapha people enjoy sound and prolonged sleep. They feel cloudy and foggy in the morning and often desire tea/coffee as a stimulant to start the day. Kapha people have dislike for cold and damp weather as they are more prone to colds, congestion and cough problem.
A balanced Kapha people have physical strength, a strong immune system, serenity or calmness, steady mind, rational thinking and mental determination, endurance and adaptability etc. Any of the properties of Kapha in excess can cause an imbalance. Kapha can be aggravated by, sleeping during the daytime, eating excessive sweet foods, overeating, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water. It also increases during winter and early spring or when weather is heavy, wet, cloudy, and cold. Full moon also aggravates Kapha. Kapha people should avoid heavy, oily foods, dairy and iced drinks; instead they need to include pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes that decrease Kapha influences. Food items such as spices, green leafy vegetables, chilies, beans etc. should be included in diet. Kapha people should avoid daytime naps. Going to bed early and rising early is always beneficial for them.
When Kapha is aggravated or imbalanced one may feel:
- Sluggish and dull in thinking
- Lethargic or tired
- Depressed, sad, sentimental
- Slow to comprehend, slow to react
- Clingy, hanging on to people and ideas
- Greedy, possessive, materialistic
- Sleepy or very tired in the morning, hard to get out of bed
- Drowsy or groggy during the day
- Weight gain, obesity
- Mucus and congestion in the chest or throat
- Mucus and congestion in the nose or sinuses
- Hay fever
- Pale, cool, clammy skin
- Edema, water retention, bloated feeling
- Sluggish digestion, food "just sits" in the stomach
- High cholesterol
- Aching joints or heavy limbs