Kaphaja Kasa – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Kaphaja Kasa means cough produced by vitiated kapha. It is one among the five types of cough. Due to the impact and obstruction of kapha and blockage of pathways of vata by kapha, this cough presents with chest congestion and consolidation of phlegm. The quantity of phlegm expectorated in this cough will be more than that in vataja and pittaja types of cough.
Read – Charaka Kasa Chikitsa – 18th Chapter

Causative factors

Excessive consumption of –

  • heavy-to-digest foods
  • foods which cause too much ooze and flow
  • sweet tasting foods
  • unctuous / oily foods

Related to activities and lifestyle


The kapha aggravated by the above etiological factors will obstruct vata and cause kaphaj type of cough.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Expectorated thick sputum
  • Phlegm is more in quantity
  • Phlegm is unctuous and sweet in taste
  • During coughing the person feels as if his chest is filled with phlegm
  • Absence of pain during coughing
  • Low digestion capacity / indigestion
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nausea
  • Heaviness of the body parts
  • Horripulation
  • Sweetness in the mouth
  • Weakness / exhaustion in the body
  • Excessive dampness and discharges
  • Headache
  • Feel as if mouth has been coated with mucus
  • Laxity of body parts
  • Itching in body parts
  • exhausted and weariness

Sanskrit Verses


Vamana – emesis

If the person is strong, he should be administered with purifying therapies, mainly emesis which is a treatment of choice to combat increased kapha.

Pathya anna – kapha balancing diet

Food comprising of Yava – Hordeum vulgare (barley), dry and hot foods and foods predominant with pungent taste, all of which destroy kapha are ideal.
Read – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Kapha Dosha Body Type

Other treatment principles:

If in kaphaj cough due to the association of pitta if tamaka shwasa i.e. asthma / bronchitis manifests, treatment should be done on the lines of pittaja type of cough.

In vataja type of cough if there is association of kapha, kapha destroying treatment should be done. If in cough caused due to dual vitiation of vata and kapha if pitta is associated, pitta destroying treatment should be administered.

If vata-kapha type of cough is wet in nature i.e. if there is excessive expectoration of phlegm, foods and drinks which are drying in nature should be administered. On the contrary if there is dry cough i.e. if phlegm / mucus are not being expectorated unctuous foods and drinks should be given.

If in kaphaja type of cough pitta is associated, foods and drinks mixed / prepared with bitter tasting herbs should be administered.
Read – Ghee Home Remedy For Dry Cough



1. Pushkaradi Kwatha (Chakradatta – Kasa Chikitsa) – decoction prepared with below mentioned ingredients –

  • Pushkaramula – Inula racemosa
  • Katphala – Myrica nagi
  • Bharangi – Clerodendrum serratum
  • Ginger – Zingiber officinale
  • Pippali – Piper longum

Benefits – cures cough of kapha origin, dyspnea and heart discomfort

2. Dashamula Kwatha (Chakradatta – Kasa Chikitsa) – Dashamula decoction cures cough caused by kapha, dyspnea, fever and pain in flanks when administered mixed with powder of Pippali i.e. Piper longum.


1. Pathadi Kalka (Cha.Chi.18/114) – paste of the below mentioned ingredients should be mixed in hot water and mixed thoroughly. It should then be sprinkled with powder of rock salt and asafetida and consumed to cure cough caused by kapha.

  • Patha – Cissampelos pariera
  • Ginger – Zingiber officinale
  • Shati – Curcuma zedoaria
  • Murva – Marsdenia tenacissima
  • Gavakshi – Citrullus colocynthis
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Pippali – Piper longum

2. Pippali Kalka (Cha.Chi.18/116) – paste of Pippali – Piper longum, 1 karsha in quantity should be fried in sesame oil, added with equal quantity of sugar, mixed in soup / decoction of horse gram and consumed.
Read – Easy Home Remedy For Cough With Trikatu

Hima – cold infusions

Paushkaradi Hima (Cha.Chi.18/111)

Equal parts of powders of the below mentioned herbs should be dipped and left overnight in water –

  • Pushkaramula – Inula racemosa
  • Aragvadha mula – roots of Cassia fistula
  • Patola – Trichosanthes dioica (pointed gourd)

The ingredients are crushed with hands in the water early in the morning and filtered. This water is mixed with honey and given to the patient during all three meal times i.e. at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It should also be given before, in the middle of and after food.


1. Devadarvadi Churna (Cha.Chi.18/118) – powder of –

  • Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
  • Shati – Curcuma zedoaria
  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Karkatasringi – Pistacia chinensis
  • Duralabha – Fagonia cretica

2. Pippalyadi Churna (Cha.Chi.18/119) – powder of

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Shunti – Zingiber officinale
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
  • Sitopala – powder of sugar candy

Both the above said formulations cure cough caused by kapha when consumed mixed with honey and sesame oil.

Leha – confections (Cha.Chi.18/119-121)

The four confections explained below are highly effective in kaphaja kasa when taken mixed with honey.

1. Pippalyadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Pippalimula – roots of Piper longum
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Hastipippali – Scindapsus officinalis

2. Pathyadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Pathya / Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Tamalaki – Phyllanthus niruri
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Pippali – Piper longum

3. Devadarvadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
  • Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Vishvabheshaja / shunti – Zingiber officinale

4. Vishaladi Leha – prepared with –

  • Vishala – Citrullus colocynthis
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Trivrit – Operculina turpethum

Ghrta – ghee formulations (Cha.Chi.18/123-129)

1. Kantakari Ghrta

2. Dashamuladi Ghrta

3. Kulatthadi Ghrta

Dhumapana – medicated smoking

All the medicated smoking formulations used in Vataja Kasa can also be used to relieve kaphaja kasa.

Koshataki – Luffa acutangula and Manashila – realgar mixed together should be used for smoking.
Read – Herbal Smoking – Benefits, Rules, Side Effects, Blends To Try


Ideal food preparations for Kaphaja cough

Light and digestible food shall be consumed with one or more of the below mentioned food inclusions –

  • Soup of horse gram or dry radish topped up with powder of Piper longum and alkali of barley plant
  • Meat juice of animals and birds living in the desert like regions or in hives and burrows added with fats and herbs having pungent taste
  • Sesame oil or mustard oil
  • Oil / fat processed with fruit pulp of Aegle marmelos
    Read – Importance Of Diet (Pathya) For Specific Diseases

Anupana – after drinks

After consuming food or medicines, one of the below mentioned after drinks may be consumed

  • Honey
  • Sour gruels
  • Juice of sour pomegranate
  • Hot water
  • Buttermilk
  • Pure wine

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