Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

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 lineIf 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, Amlagarlic, 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 

Can kapha person eat rice?

Dr Janardhana  Hebbar 
There are two meanings of Kapha person. 
1. A person with natural Kapha Prakriti. In his body and mind, Kapha Dosha is naturally dominant by his birth. 
2. A person suffering from a Kapha disease. 

In the first case, if a person has a Kapha body type, rice is fine to take. Rice can increase Kapha dosha. But no one eats rice alone. You would eat rice with rasam, sabji, sambhar etc. additives. If these additives contain a considerable amount of spices, bitter and astringent components, then these additives would negate the Kapha increasing effect of the rice and thus, the meal becomes Tridosha balancing. 
Generally, any staple food will be high in nourishment and thus, will naturally be Kapha increasing. For example: rice, wheat, corn, millet etc. 

Despite its Kapha increasing effect, food should comprise a major part of staple food such as rice, wheat etc. 
One would argue that millets can be substituted for rice as they are less in calories. Such an adjustment can be done in a person with high Kapha disease such as obesity, PCOS, hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. 
But, such a drastic food adjustment is unnecessary in a Kapha prakriti person. Though Kapha is dominant in her, she is still healthy and requires nutritious food components for the growth and repair of body parts. Also millets are not suitable for everyone and are not recommended daily, for a healthy person. 

Also, food choices depend on locality and what your pa and grandpas ate. For a south Indian person, since the origin of humanity, she might have eaten rice and drastically changing it to something else just because of Kapha Prakriti does not make sense. 
In a Kapha disease, the food choices have to be altered as long as the disease exists. 
Read: Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

I see some westerners, soon after discovering their Prakriti, changing their foods altogether. 
Shifting from unhealthy restaurant foods, canned foods to healthier options are good to do. Stopping aerated drinks, excess coffee, tea, sugar, chips etc. are good to do.  
But, shifting from your grandma’s healthy foods to something different is not always good to do. 

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). 

If you are new to dosha body types, then learn about Prakruti here and here (As per master Susruta)


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.
Advice –
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.

Sexual health

Kapha people are blessed with higher quality and quantity of sperm and ovum, more desire for sex and more children.
Advice –
Just to counter excess sexual urge, practicing Celibacy (Brahmacharya) is recommended.

Body parts

Firmness, compactness and stability in all body parts.

Organs –
Dense Plumpness and roundness of all organs
Advice –
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.
Advice –
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

Food intake

Slow eater.
Advice –
Exercise, spices, fasting to improve appetite.
Read related – Diet advice For Kapha Balance

Mental aspects

Mental aspects / Anger / mood
Slow to get irritated, long enmity
can tolerate pain and discomfort.
Slow to understand, slow to forget
Advice –
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
Rx –
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.


Less sweating
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

Ideal Daily Routine for a Kapha Person

Dr JV Hebbar  

A Kapha person’s body is usually cold, oily, with well developed chin, cheeks, joints and muscles. 
It is ideal for Pitta people (in fact, everyone) to wake up in Brahmi Muhurtha. Sometimes a Kapha person may lack motivation due to increased heaviness and oiliness. Getting up early keeps her body and mind active and energetic throughout the day. Brahmi muhurtha is approximately one hour before sunrise. 
For brushing teeth, astringent and bitter tasting herbal powders or paste prepared with herbs such as clove, black pepper, ginger, Khadira (Acacia catechu), neem etc. is ideal. 
Read: Kapha Dosha – General introduction – Easy Ayurveda

Jihva Nirlekhana – Tongue scraping:
In a Kapha person, the Agni is well balanced. But there are some chances of Kapha going up with the slightest provocation in the form of heavy foods, lack of exercise, sedentary habits etc. This can lead to coated tongue and weak digestion strength. Hence tongue scraping is required on a daily basis.
For oil pulling, a warmer oil such as sesame oil or mustard oil is ideal.
A collyrium / salve prepared with Triphala or aloe vera is useful. 

Nasya – Nasal Drops
Sesame oil or Anu taila is well tolerated in him, as it contains a well balanced set of hot and cold herbs. 

Vyayama – Exercise
Because of the good muscle strength, it is recommended for a Kapha person to do good amounts of exercises. If he does not exercise, there is a chance of weight gain and decreased digestion strength. Hence, exercise is almost a prescription for him.  

Abhyanga – Herbal oil massage
For hair and also for the body, a very long duration oil massage is not required, as they generally have oily hair and skin. Short time oil massage is sufficient.
Sesame oil based hair oils are good. 
For hair – Neelibhringadi taila is good.
For the body, Mahanarayana taila, Dhanwantaram oils are good, to keep body warm and active. 
Read: Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

Powder massage with Kolakulathadi churna or Kottamchukkadi churna keeps the body fat under control and also relieves excess oiliness. 
Usually, for a Kapha person, after oil massage, powder massage is recommended.  

Snana – Bath
Warm water is ideal.
Read: Kapha Increase Symptoms – Kapha Vruddhi Lakshana

Mental exercises – 
Trying to think quickly, playing rapid chess, keeping the mind active and alert, is very important for a Kapha person to avoid lethargy and lassitude. 

2 comments on “Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

  • Vijayalakshmi

    07/06/2021 - 4:16 pm

    To avoid kapha imbalance, certain foods are to be avoided. Those foods are generally foods which cause weight gain. I want to gain weight. If I take kapha increasing food will I gain weight without the side effects of.kapha imbalance.
    Recently I was setting thick creamy curd so that I can gain weight and also drinking high fat milk. But it caused so much problem to my health. Once I switched back to lot fat dairy, my health improved.
    So I would like to know how to gain weight while eating kapha causing food.

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