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Ayurvedic medicine, Kapha water/earth

2010/06/21

The Kapha dosha corresponds to the water element, along with earth.  The “watery” part of Kapha is best displayed in the physical attributes:  mucous, water retention, congestion in the body.  The “earthy” part of Kapha is portrayed in the emotional/mental attributes:  slow moving, lethargic, attachments, resistent to change.

Being a Pitta person mainly, I still have a leaning towards Kapha as well.  Few of us will be purely one dosha, and even our constitution will have “opposite” imbalances, as when Pitta dries up the internal system to the extent that it becomes a Vata imbalance {Pitta “pushing” Vata}.

Kapha people tend to have excellent bones, teeth, hair, eyes.  Where they lack are the qualities associated with Vata, for Kapha and Vata are diametrically opposed.

Here is a quote from the Maharishi Ayurveda website regarding Kapha:

Kapha: Corrected Weight • Increased Energy • Decreased Congestion

Kapha governs all structure and lubrication in the mind and body. It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all the seven tissues — nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues.

Kapha Governs

Moisture for nose, mouth, eyes and brain
Sense of taste, which is essential for good digestion

Moisture of the stomach lining for good digestion
Protects the heart, strong muscles, healthy lungs
Lubrication of the joints, soft and supple skin

Kapha out of Balance

Sinus congestion, poor sense of smell
Poor sense of taste, food cravings due to lack of fulfillment
Impaired digestion, poor absorption
Lethargy, respiratory problems, lower back pain
Weight gain, oily skin, loose or painful joints

Do you need to balance Kapha?

Kapha dosha governs structure and fluid balance in the body. Answer these questions to see if you need to balance Kapha.

  1. Do you tend to be overweight?
  2. Are you often over-settled and lethargic?
  3. Do you experience sinus problems?
  4. Do you sleep long hours yet wake up unrefreshed?
  5. Are your skin and hair oily?
  6. Do you find that you are possessive and over-attached?
  7. Do you feel discomfort in cold damp weather?
  8. Do you feel lazy, complacent?
  9. Do you experience bloating, water retention?
  10. Do you feel stiff and heavy, especially in the morning?
  11. Do you experience congestion?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you need to balance Kapha.

* * * * * * * *

In creating an herbal tincture for reducing Kapha, the keys are bitter/astringent herbs to reduce weight and water retention, as well as pungent/hot herbs to increase fire and reduce water.  I have not yet developed a tincture for high Kapha, but when I do it will contain herbs such as ginger, pepper, clove, burdock and dandelion.

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