Ayurveda holds an elemental view of the universe and believes people are made up of various combinations of these elements. The five elements are Air, Ether, Fire, Earth and Water. These elements form the three biological humours of Ayurveda, called Doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The dominance of a particular dosha determines certain physical, mental and emotional characteristics, and importantly may predetermine potential health risks.
All three doshas are present in every cell of the body. However each dosha has an area of dominance, which is their site of origin; Vata primarily resides in the colon, Pitta in the small intestine and Kapha the stomach.
Constitution (Prakriti) – 7 main categories; Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata/Pitta (combined), Pitta/Kapha (combined), Kapha/Vata (combined), Tridoshic (equal amounts). These can be further divided into Vata/Kapha, with Vata or Kapha being dominant and, so on.
It should be noted that your ‘usual’ state should be taken into consideration when filling in your dosha questionnaire. If you are experiencing variations in the ‘usual’, this may indicate an imbalance of another dosha.
If your main dosha is kapha you are likely to be caring, loyal and have clear, slow speech.
Kapha consists of the element earth and water and is characterised by qualities such as oily, cold, heavy and slow. These qualities translate into things like, smooth soft skin, dislike for exercise, prefer warm conditions, prone to crave sweet and fatty foods.
Kapha types generally have a solid build and are prone to weight gain. They often have thick, oily skin and large, soft eyes. Kapha tend to be loyal and grounded. Kapha people and are often slow at learning new things but never forget once taught!
When kapha is imbalanced this can affect different parts of the body and mind. Kapha increases by eating inappropriate foods (too much heavy food, oily foods), being exposed to cold, wet conditions and by being sedentary.
When kapha is aggravated you may become lethargic, gain weight and become overly sentimental. Digestion will be decreased. As Ayurveda believes all disease is the result of digestion, it is very important to gain control of foods and lifestyle practices which alleviate kapha.
Kapha types are prone to allergies, diabetes type 2, sinusitis, bronchitis, mucous congestion and heart disease. Kappa dosha is prevalent during childhood, as a result many respiratory disorders, such as coughs, colds, allergies, asthma, are noted in this age group.
How to balance kapha:
SKIN, HAIR & NAILS
- exfoliate weekly to remove dead skin cells and keep skin smooth
- ensure skin is cleansed twice daily due to excessive oiliness
- use a light moisturiser
- for the body, try a light oil or moisturiser, such as coconut oil
- vigorous exercise
- regular exercise
- go to bed by midnight
- kapha requires the least sleep of all types
- eat light, warm, dry foods
- avoid too much raw food
- avoid oily, fatty foods
- eat in moderation
- avoid unhealthy snacks and eating when mood is low
- eat foods with predominantly pungent, bitter and astringent tastes
- avoid foods with sweet, salty and sour tastes
- meditate regularly
- try new things
- avoid getting stuck in routine
Have a look through our Ayurveda blogs for more information on how to pacify kapha here.
Products recommended for kapha dosha: