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The Kapha Dosha

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

In Sanskrit Kapha means “That which is flourished by water” and is made of Water and Earth elements. Kapha is the principle of cohesion and conservation of life. Responsible for lubrification of the joints and organs, memory retention, muscles, fat and cellular secretions.

Kapha is cold, heavy, immobile, stagnant, dense, soft, sticky, slimmy, slow. This is an anchoring and grounding energy which gives stability, structure and nourishment.

These qualities will resonate in all aspect of your bodily and mental functions...

The Kapha dosha is responsible for: the tongue, the procreation process, the genitals, the sense of taste and is associated with water. The earth element rules over the nose, the excretory organs, the sense of smell and the root chakra.

Its taste is sweet, salty and sour: so every time you eat foods wiht these attributes you will aggravate the Kapha dosha. But cravings for sweets and salt leads to water retention and other related Kapha issues..

The tastes which alleviate the Kapha dosha are Astringent, bitter and Pungent (spicy)

The Physiological Kapha

You probably are on the strong-build side. As a man, you show broad shoulders and heavy bones. As a female, you might have wide hips and a heavy breast. Large and soft eyes rule over a beautiful regular opened face and broad smile. Your hair is likely thick and lush, healthy and shiny. Your immunity is the best out of all constitutions. You are the archetypal mother: a nourishing and generous soul. You tend to show off curvy forms, have struggled with your weight, and have tried many diets. As far as you can remember you’ve always wanted to shed the extra weight but it’s never been easy.

Your appetite is strong and healthy and your relationship to food complex: you both love and hate it somehow. Don't forget though: in societies were plum full women are seen as beautiful, you wouldn't have spent so much time trying to slim down. The reality is that you might be perfectly healthy with your few extra kilos. It's excess that you have to control. Diabetes and obesity are indeed Kapha related conditions. So it's the limit you need to set rather than wishing to become slim at any price.

You actually don’t mind skipping a meal (which would be intolerable for a Pitta person for example) but you often eat emotionally. You like rich and grounding foods and could indulge a bit too far sometimes... Your digestion is slow and eating meats in the evening, leaves you quite lethargic. Your transit is regular and you don’t really need any help in that area.

Your skin, your hair and your eyes, all shout: “soft, moist, smooth and tender”.

You aren’t a fan of exercise. Cardio is truly a pain. You'd prefer swimming over running. Yet, due to the static and immobile nature of Kapha, movement is crucial to balance the dosha.

Environment: Your body is cold by nature, so you’d prefer hanging out by the beach than in a ski resort. Damp, wet and cold weather truly is your enemy. You could live in a Saharan desert and find more balance than in London.

Tips for the Kapha Type body type:

Concentrate on moving a little everyday. 15 to 20 minutes of Yoga, tai chi, Chi Gong, swimming or walking in the park would change the game if performed on a regular basis (5 times a week).

Expose yourself to the sun to warm those chilly bones. Avoid daytime sleeping which slows your digestive fire even further. Siestas and lethargy are not advisable. Basically avoid hanging out in your PJs on the sofa for too long and be sure to increase your physical daily activity even if it’s by walking to work. Movement is crucial to Kapha who is static and heavy by nature.

In terms of food, stick to natural sugars by eating cooked beans and pulses. Avoid all artificial sugars and replace them by brown sugar and honey. Do not cut entirely on sugars but monitor which you eat and their quantity. Eat more rice and cooked vegs. Use coriander, cumin and ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil in the summer when cooking. Limit your consumption of dairy which are Kapha food s and will aggravate your condition. Prefer goat cheese and goat milk. Go for a Vata diet instead (a diet which would aggravate Vata will alleviate Kapha) but avoid too much water content food such as raw vegs and avoid juicing as it dilutes your already weak digestive fire. Instead introduce more spicy foods (pitta foods) to help the digestive system and eliminate toxins properly.

Kapha emotional and mental make up

You show deep stable faith in the Universe. There is an unconscious trust in you that leads you to believe. Love and compassion are your "weapons". You are indeed the Archetypal mother figure: nurturing, soothing, the one we can rely on and fall back onto. But beware when betrayed: the Kapha type holds a grudge and doesn't easily forget. For such a private and secretive individual, it's difficult to talk truly and deeply about your emotions. You often swallow the pain rather than expose your vulnerability. Suppressed Kapha emotions are often responsible for fibroids, ovarian or breast cancers. Your Melodious voice can charm but the quiet force within is also responsible for a monotonous or dull speech pattern at times. You tend to be a family person and closed bonds are crucial to your wellbeing. Affectively, you can become attached and possessive or jealous. A Vata partner who likes to roam free would often misunderstand your insistences and feel burdened by them not realising that security is essential to your balance.  Security both financial and emotional are important to you. Material possessions contribute to giving you the sense of safety you require. But be careful of not becoming greedy or too attached to the material world. Being involved is one thing, being attached or obsessive is another. You are actually good at saving money. Even if you tend to spend on luxuries you plan ahead and retain that acute sense of responsibility which makes you stay on the safe side. You tend to think before you act. So decisions take time as you see the pros and cons of all situations. You may procrastinate to retain your slow living and comfort. You avoid stressful situations, confrontation and facing motions. Secretive, deeply affected when it comes to sentimental matters, you can't communicate your feelings easily. You succumb to emotional eating often and compensate emotional scarring with wholesome foods which gives you the grounding you need to strive.

You are precise, an accurate slow thinker who develops ideas in a healthy way with very good memory. Focus on providing a loving surrounding rather than a materialistic one. 

Your strong points are peace, love and longevity (your immune system being by far the strongest).

The Dark Side of Kapha: The Kapha Dosha is responsible for greed, possessiveness, attachment, laziness and wants to accumulate properties for the sake of being reassured. The Kapha type could be obsessed with money or rather fear of lacking it. If Pitta does it for the fame, Kapha does it for the security. The static nature of Kapha often leads to lethargy, napping and dullness which when happening for prolonged periods can turn into depression and melancholy.

Overal: limit sugars and dairy. Choose natural sugars and goat cheese. Limit yeast, meats and heavy or hard to digest foods in the evenings. Avoid napping and lethargy. Keep a warm and stay away from damp cold environments. Try to open up emotionally so that you can release those repressed emotions. Increase your physical activity even if it's just by walking everyday.


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