Kapha imbalance can lead to symptoms such as cold, cough, obesity, pale discoloration of skin etc symptoms. Here is the diet, lifestyle and body type based advice for achieving balance of Kapha Dosha.
Note: If you have not yet read about kapha imbalance, it may be difficult for you to understand what we are talking about here.
Activities for Kapha Balance
Nidana Parivarjana – keeping away the causative factors of Kapha vitiation (causes for Kapha vitiation)
Vamana, Nasya, Dhoomapana – Vamana is an Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatment procedure. It is a process lasting for about one hour, where patient is induced to vomit. Nasya means nasal instillation of medicated herbal liquids. Dhoomapana means herbal smoking.
Langhana – Not taking food, fasting or taking very limited food that are light to digest. This helps in improving digestion. Remember, indigestion is related to Kapha imbalance. Read more about Langhana therapy
Anjana – There are specific collyrium treatments that can reduce Kapha. This is specially beneficial with symptoms like lack of enthusiasm, lethargy, excessive sleepiness etc.
Powder massage, steam therapy – These procedures bring lightness to the body and stimulate the body organs and helps the person to be more active.
Stressful activities – Activities that make you think hard, that leave you a little stressed helps in naturally getting rid of laziness and lethargy.
Jagarana – waking up till late night. It makes the mind alert and keeps the excessive sleepiness at bay.
Walking, restricting on liquid intake, exercise – These will stimulate the body and mind.
Residing in a warm place – so, if you think you have some Kapha imbalance in you, try switching off the air conditioner.
Bottom line – If you have Kapha imbalance, then make sure to be more alert and active.
Diet for Kapha balance
Kapha diet should include – Beans, green gram, Bengal gram (Chickpea), horse gram, Amla, garlic, neem, radish, bitter-gourd, mustard oil, hot water, Mustard, banana flower, Yam (vegetable), honey, betel leaf, old wine, cow urine pepper, long pepper, ginger, Triphala.
Fruit of Ankota / Ankola – Alangium salvifolium
Barley for Kapha balance – Usually sweet substances, that improve body strength cause Kapha increase. But barley is an exception. Though barley is sweet – astringent in taste and is coolant in nature, it helps in balancing Kapha. Hence, it is an ideal diet ingredient for weight loss.
Diet rich in bitter, astringent and pungent principles balance Kapha.
If you have Kapha imbalance, it makes sense to take foods that are rich in these tastes.
Foods to avoid
Avoid these during Kapha increase:
Cotton plant seed – Gossypium herbaceum
Chironji oil (Buchanania lanzan)
Mashaparni – Termanus labialis
Madhuka – Madhuca longifolia
Read more about Tridosha in my Tridosha book
Kapha balancing therapies
The following therapies alleviate Kapha Dosha:
(Charaka Vimana Sthana 6th chapter)
Proper administration of strong and hot elimination therapies – Vamana
Intake of diet which is mostly not unctuous and is composed of ingredients having pungent, bitter and astringent tastes
Running, jumping, swimming whirling, keeping awake during night, fighting, sexual intercourse, exercise, unction, bath and oil massage.
Intake of strong wines preserved for a long time.
All lightening therapies (Langhana) along with Dhumapana – herbal smoking
Use of warm apparels and
Giving up comforts of life to enjoy happiness ultimately.
Giving up comfort means, doing physical activities, restricting sleep to just 6 – 7 hours at night, avoiding day sleep, avoiding sweets, fried foods etc.
Any fat – only in limited quantities are allowed for Kapha persons.
Management of High Kapha
(By Dr Raghuram)
Below said are the measures to combat vitiation of kapha:
- Virechana – therapeutic purgation
- Ruksha anna – foods that are dry in nature
- Alpa anna – intake of less food and light food (light to digest)
- Teekshna – intense acting foods and medicines
- Ushna – hot and fresh foods
- Katu – pungent foods and medicines
- Tikta – bitter medicines and foods
- Kashaya – astringent foods and medicines
- Rati preeti – indulgence in sexual activities
- Deergha kala sthitam madhyam – old fermented medicinal alcoholic drinks
- Prajagarana – keeping awake late at night
- Aneka roopa vyayama – various types of physical exercises
- Ruksha vimardana – dry massages
- Yusha – soups
- Kshoudra – honey
- Medaghnam aushadham – fat depleting medicines (medicines indicated in obesity and weight gain)
- Upavasa – fasting etc
- Nisukhatwam – rejecting all sorts of comforts
Advice For Kapha Prakriti Persons
Here are the advice related to sexual health, skin health, diet, mental health that can be helpful for people with Kapha Dosha Body Type (Kapha Prakriti).
Kapha prakruti persons have oily skin, cold to touch
Skin is soft, tender. Complexion has clarity.
Whenever oil massage is done, usually less amount of oil is used for Kapha persons.
Within 30 minutes after oil massage, the oil is washed out.
If the facial skin is very oily, then a powder made from licorice and sandalwood is good to apply.
Creams such as Kumkumadi Lepam, Mahatiktalepam are very useful in balancing down the excess oiliness of skin.
Hair, nails, mustache
Hair is rich, abundant and oily.
Apply less amount of oil to hair.
In Kapha persons, rather than shampoo, herbal hair wash powders such as Meera, Karthika, Trichup are very useful to get rid of the oil and stickiness from hairs.
Kapha people are blessed with higher quality and quantity of sperm and ovum, more desire for sex and more children.
Just to counter excess sexual urge, practicing Celibacy (Brahmacharya) is recommended.
Firmness, compactness and stability in all body parts.
Dense Plumpness and roundness of all organs
Because Kapha persons are blessed with good and stable organs and body parts, they can take up exercise for 40 – 60 minutes per day.
Read related: Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Pitta Dosha Body Type
Action, speech and movement
Kapha people take a long time for speaking, walking etc. They are generally slow.
Make a habit of walking fast.
Try to think and analyze situations faster.
Try to speak fast. This can be practiced by reading a book loudly and speedily for 20 minutes per day.
Play rapid fire chess. It makes you think and decide faster.
Hunger and thirst
Usually hunger and thirst is less in Kapha dosha body type persons.
Include a variety of spices in diet, such as ginger, pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom etc. Exercise for at least 30 – 40 minutes per day. It improves digestion strength and metabolism.
Practice fasting at least once or twice a month. Fasting is beneficial to improve digestion strength.
Kapha persons are more prone to obesity. So, fasting and exercise are crucial for them.
Kapha persons have very healthy stomach mucosa. This makes them to tolerate fasting better. So, out of all the three Dosha persons, Kapha persons are more suited for fasting and exercise.
Read related: How To Do Fasting? A Step By Step Guide For you
Exercise, spices, fasting to improve appetite.
Read related – Diet advice For Kapha Balance
Mental aspects / Anger / mood
Slow to get irritated, long enmity
can tolerate pain and discomfort.
Slow to understand, slow to forget
Try to think fast and act faster.
Try to write fast,
Try to understand fast
Walking / gait
Authoritative gait, stable gait with the entire sole of the feet pressing against the earth
Try to walk fast.
Cold or hot sensitivity
Less sensitive to heat.
Cannot tolerate cold climate.
It is very ideal for Kapha persons to undergo sweating therapy from time to time. This counters the cold quality of Kapha Dosha. It also reduces the fat deposition.
Exposure to steam helps to keep away productive cough, sputum collection, asthma etc.
Hot water is more suitable for Kapha persons than cold water bath.
Compact and stable joints
Walking and exercises are highly recommended to Kapha persons. If they do not move around, they may suffer with joint stiffness and associated pain, at a later stage of their lives.
Sweating measures such as covering body with bed sheet, exercise, spicy foods, fasting etc are highly recommended for Kapha Dosha persons.
Read related: Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Vata Dosha Body Type