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Apr 25, 2014

Kapha Dosha

Kapha represents the biological elements of water and earth.  Kapha has the qualities of heavy, cold, wet, slow, steady, soft, smooth, oily, and sweet.  It governs all structure and lubrication in the mind and body.  It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all seven tissues in the body.

Characteristics of Kapha Type
-Solid, heavier build
-Great strength and endurance      
-Slow, methodical in activity
-Oily, smooth skin
-Tranquil, steady personality
-Slow to grasp new information
-Slow to forget (good memory)
-Sleep is heavy and long      

Imbalanced Kapha
Physical Manifestations
-Congested sinuses, nose, throat
-Cough with mucus  
-Sore throat with runny nose
-Frequent colds
-Intolerance to cold and damp       
-Allergies, asthma     
-Edema and fluid retention             
-Bloating, nausea, indigestion
-Pale and cold skin   
-Cysts and other growths

Psychological Manifestations
-Mental inertia
-Daytime drowsiness
-Lack of motivation

Guidelines for Balancing Kapha
-Stay warm
-Avoid cold and damp (consider using a dry sauna or doing Bikram yoga)
-Eat a Kapha-reducing diet:
-favor warm, light, dry, spicy foods
-favor bitter, pungent, astringent tastes
-reduce oily, cold, heavy foods
-reduce sweet, salty, and sour tastes
-it is particularly important to reduce sweetness (irrespective of  calories, Kaphas    will gain weight and go out of balance when eating sweet foods)
-prepare fresh meals, avoid leftovers
-avoid eating early in morning  (before 10am) or late at night (after 7pm)
-it is important not to overeat if you are a Kapha type
            -Learn the joy of fasting (seasonally or one day per week)
            -Use herbs and spices that are Kapha-reducing
                        -Heating spices
                        -Trikatu (dry ginger, black pepper, pipilli)
                        -Triphala (amla, bibhitaki, haritaki)
                        -Honey (but no more than 2 tablespoons per day)
                        -Stimulants: green tea, yerba mate’, coffee and black tea (all in moderation)
-Drink only warm fluids and warming herbal teas, in moderation
-Perform a full-body dry massage each morning to stimulate circulation (using gloves or dry loofah)
-Try right nostril breathing exercises (close your left nostril with your index and middle fingers, breathe in and out of the right nostril slowly) (this is heating to the body and raises digestive fire and increases metabolism)
-Engage in regular and vigorous exercise, preferably everyday
-Avoid excessive sleeping and napping during the day
-Break free from old habits, seek variety in life, and accept motivating challenges
-Healing Mantra: “move your body”

Kapha reducing tea is available at Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic & Natural Pharmacy