Kapha comes from two Sanskrit words, Ka meaning Water and Pha meaning to flourish – that which is flourished by Water. Kapha’s nature is also Earth, so Earth and Water give Kapha its definitive qualities. Kapha comprises all our cells, tissues and organs. Kapha makes things stick together and form mass, it is the physical infrastructure of the body, responsible for stability, solidity, sturdiness, lubrication of joints, strong muscles and bones, cellular secretions and memory retention are all part of Kapha’s function.

Kapha is characterized by growth of tissue. Hence it is anabolic. Kapha people tend to produce more mucus and fat, and retain more fluids. Kapha is the stable, relaxed dosha defined by Oily, Cold, Heavy, Dull, Gooey, Soft, and Stable qualities. Kapha tends to consolidate, solidify, and have denseness. Kapha people are great homemakers. Kapha is water and earth element. Kapha signs tend to be more white in color. Kapha’s best senses are taste and smell.

Water and Earth elements give Kapha the universal attributes of Heavy, Slow, Cold, Oily, Liquid, Slimy, Dense, Soft, Static, Sticky, Cloudy, Hard, and Gross.It is associated with the white color.

Times of increased Kapha:

  1. Between 6:00 – 10:00 A.M.
  2. Between 18:00 – 22:00 P.M.
  3. Morning, a common time for phlegm, vagueness, heaviness and a sticky sensation in the mouth.
  4. Winter
  5. Full moon.
  6. Infants and childhood – children have a supple structure, the muscles are tender and the skin is fairly oily. They easily develop excess dampness. Kapha Dosha naturally decreases with age.

Primary seats of Kapha in the body:

  1. Head.
    2. Sinuses.
    3. Nose.
    4. Mouth.
    5. Throat.
    6. Chest.
    7. Lungs.
    8. Stomach.
    9. Joints.
    10. Lymph system.

Exaggerated Physical attributes of Kapha characters:

Kapha persons have a strong, dense, wide and possibly large body frame, large eyes, strong teeth and thick hair. They have thick, smooth, oily and hairy skin. Kapha people have a steady appetite and thirst, but tend to have a slow digestion and metabolism. These characteristics often result in weight gain, which Kapha people may find difficult to lose.

Exaggerated mental attributes of Kapha characters:

Kapha people are stable, loving, compassionate, and loyal. They have a steady and calm mind, a good memory, a deep melodious voice, and a monotonous pattern of speech. They can easily earn and tend to save money. Kapha people make pleasant companions and loyal friends. They have an amazing ability to nurture.Unbalanced and increased, Kapha suffers from greed, attachment, possessiveness and laziness. Excess Kapha will create neediness and passiveness. Rules of what is permitted and what is forbidden will benefit them and give them borders, they need clear limitations for eating and sleeping hours, this helps them define themselves more clearly and has a great positive effect on them. Seeking the warmth that is missing in their structure, they may abide to a burning religious faith or belong to a group that nourishes them with warmth and security. Food and security are important for Kapha people who tend to attach to possessions, habits, memories, desires, and food items. They may stubbornly hold on to ideas and conceptions that are no longer relevant and may suffer physical disease on their account. The ability to let go is healing for them. Tendency to passiveness, makes keeping a routine easy. Breaking and changing routine is balancing. Kapha people tend to love eating even though they don’t need to eat much. They find comfort in food, especially sweets. For this reason, Kapha should be careful to avoid overeating and emotional eating

Underneath their calm constitution, however, Kapha suffers from terror of the unknown. For this reason, Kapha people naturally gravitate towards secure, stable lifestyles. Change is very threatening to Kapha. Like an ostrich, they may bury their head into the sand. For this reason, Kapha can sometimes get into a rut.

Kapha in balance are loving, dependable, nurturing, and loyal. Kapha folks provide stability and affection in relationships. They make great listeners. Of all the Doshas, they have the greatest stamina and immunity. Their bodies are as solid as their wills. When out of balance, Kapha can become stubborn, depressed, tired, and possessive. They easily tend toward weight gain, stagnation, and congestion and need to be mindful to move daily and to challenge what is comfortable by being adventurous. Kapha does best on a diet of lighter foods like green vegetables and legumes. They should avoid sweets, oversleeping, and withdrawing from the world.

Kapha related Sense organs:

  1. Smell – related to Earth element.
  2. Taste – related to Water element.

How taste influences Kapha Dosha:

  1. Increase Kapha: Sweet, Salty, in some situations sour and astringent will also increase Kapha.
  2. Decrease Kapha: Pungent, Bitter, in some situations Sour and astringent will also decrease Kapha.

Life habits to decrease and balance excess Kapha:

Keeping a high level of activity, stimulating activity, exiting experiences, warm and dry sun bathing, dry sauna, less sleep at night, refraining from day sleeping, early rising, mental stimulation, diverse activity, challenging activity, extreme sport, endurance traveling, avoiding the coach potato position in front of a screen, keeping motivated, enthusiastic and diversity in activity.

Ayurveda says to treat Vata like a delicate flower, Pitta as a sweet friend, and Kapha like an enemy. Since movement and change don’t come easily to Kapha, they need to be prodded and motivated. Kapha needs a coach that can rip the Band-Aid off. Most Kapha people appreciate individuals that hold them accountable. Their tendency is to stay comfortable in familiar surroundings. Instead, they should shake things up a bit and branch out into new territory. Travel, signing up for an online e-course or a night out dancing can lift Kapha’s spirits and provide much needed inspiration.

Kapha’s cold, heavy nature leads to poor circulation, water retention, and hypothyroid. Kapha fluids are generally thick. They need cardiovascular activity to get things moving. Kapha needs stimulation on multiple levels. Dry and vigorous massage invigorates Kapha and prevents stagnation in bodily channels. Spicy and invigorating foods can help stimulate Kapha out of their rut.

Kapha should wear bright, stimulating clothing and choose stimulating surroundings. Rising with the sun helps keep Kapha’s clear headed and light on their feet. As a Kapha, you should not oversleep or take daytime naps, which make you feel sluggish.

Kapha’s poor circulation leads to respiratory congestion and low immunity. They should keep warm to protect their lungs and sinuses.

On the bright side, once Kapha is committed they have great stamina, and see a project through to completion. Like a bowling ball, they may be hard to lift and swing, but once they are rolling, they will go a long distance. As in the story of the tortoise and the hare, Kapha is the slow and steady one that will win the race.

Quick tips for Kapha people:

  1. Can eat more freely if perform a lot of exercise.
  2. Will benefit occasional fasting or just skipping dinner from time to time.
  3. Can give up early breakfast and start later with some toast or granola.
  4. Going to sleep a little later and waking up earlier, recruit service life style.
  5. Challenge laziness.

Key words for balancing: Stimulation and Diversity.

Life habits that increase Kapha and create imbalance:

  1. Heavy greasy food.
  2. Cold food, uncooked food.
  3. Snacking on chips and bear.
  4. Prolong sitting.
  5. Excess sleeping.
  6. Day sleeping.
  7. Excess nourishment.
  8. Falling asleep after meals.
  9. Denying your artistic side.
  10. Presuming someone else will do it, or just waiting for things to happen.
  11. Avoid exercising.
  12. Doing drugs.
  13. Suppressing emotions.
  14. Desert every day, especially ice cream or cheese cake.

Signs of increased (excess) Kapha Dosha:

Weak digestion, phlegm formation and congestion, itching, laziness, heaviness, lack of motivation, bored, tired, cold, hay fever, respiratory infections and difficult breathing, Slow to change, difficulty learning but good memory. Food cravings,overweight, flabbiness, diabetes, edema, high cholesterol and depression.

Signs of decreased (deficient) Kapha Dosha:

Dizziness, a feeling of emptiness and floating, pronounced heart beats, joint stiffness.

Foods that Increase Kapha:

Fried foods, oily foods, cold or frozen foods or drinks, sweets, bread, excess liquid, excess salt, milk and most milk products, soy milk, wheat, meat.

Foods and eating habits that decrease and balance excess Kapha:

Light meals, eating only when truly hungry, eating after the previous meal has been digested, warm and dry foods, well spiced foods, less oil, mustard oil, spicy condiments (hot peppers, ginger, turmeric, black pepper), popcorn, rye crackers, corn tortia, steamed vegetables, green vegetables, root vegetables, occasionally some animal protein (long term vegetarian diet might not benefit them).

Kapha loves comfort and the good life. They love sweets and satisfying comfort foods like mashed potatoes. Some Kapha’s love the creamy texture of pudding and ice cream, others love salty, crunchy chips. Kapha people like familiar foods and resist trying new things.

It’s best for Kapha to avoid eating after dark, when their body is tired and metabolism starts to wane. Kapha people who eat late at night will store their calories as fat and quickly gain weight. Kapha’s do best on a diet of light and dry foods with plenty of vegetables and legumes.

Most Kapha’s have trouble resisting food cravings. Since discipline is a struggle for Kapha, sweets and cakes should be removed from the home. Foods with bitter taste can help Kapha overcome food cravings, as bitter taste refreshes the palate. Bitter taste gives Kapha an opportunity to be more disciplined. It is also the most cleansing taste, which may help Kapha lose weight.

Kapha’s nature is cool and dull. Generous amounts of spices can add vitality to their cooking and energize their life. Hot spices such as cayenne, black pepper, and fenugreek reinvigorate Kapha. These spices will make you feel hot and increase your heart rate, positive signs that your fluids are circulating and that the spices are working to stimulate you from within.

Kapha people tend toward slow, heavy digestion and do well avoiding dairy, wheat, and sugar. Cold foods are generally contraindicated. Raw food astringes Kapha’s moist nature and the roughness of raw vegetables scrub their GI tract clean.

Remedies for the following imbalanced qualities:

Heavy – light foods, exercise, avoiding oversleeping and eating at night

Dull – spices, movement

Oily – astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes, dry massage

Cool – spices, warm foods and drinks

Static – movement, trying new things

Cloudy – pungent spices, rising early

Cereal grains: Cereals general quality is heavy and nutritious, and they contribute to weight gain. Therefore, cereals suitable for Kapha are whole grains with a cleansing, diuretic and drying effect. A menu based on these grains and steamed vegetables is usually beneficial. Bread is less appropriate because it is considered stickier and causes blockages.

The most suitable grains are buckwheat, quinoa, millet, barley (grits), dried corn and rye.Also good are rye crackers and buckwheat rice cakes.

Second priority: basmati brown rice, red rice, black rice, roasted oats (granola), fryki (smoked green wheat).

Third priority: spelt grains, wheat (bulgur), Indian bread (chapatti), rye bread or bread made from sprouted and grounded grains.

Best avoid bread and pastries made from wheat flour / spelt / oatmeal, or pasta from either durum flour or whole wheat flour.

Legumes: Are relatively difficult to digest, and therefore their preparation is critical and they must be cooked well. Assuming digestion allows, legumes are a very good food for Kapha, thanks to their drying and diuretic quality. The most suitable is the Adzuki bean followed by red beans, lentils and green mung beans.

Second priority: all other types of beans and chickpeas.

Cooked vegetables: Most vegetables, steamed or baked, are good for balancing Kapha because of their light and dry quality. It is better to eat well spiced vegetables to counteract their cooling quality.

Excellent vegetables are cabbage, broccoli and celery stalks. Very good are cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, radish, turnips, bitter pungent sprouts, carrots, string beans, green peas, beets, asparagus.

Also good are potatoes, celery root, parsley root, fennel, artichoke, chard and red pepper.

Less appropriate are tomato, zucchini, pumpkin, chestnut pumpkin, squash, eggplant, okra and sweet potato.

Fresh vegetables: Most appropriate are bitter and pungent green leaves. Rocket, garden cress, water cress, mustard leaves, arugula, baby leaves, endive, coriander, parsley, green onion, chives.

Second priority: Arabic lettuce, onions, carrots, kohlrabi, radish. Only when digestion is strong, a small amount of tomato and cucumber are appropriate.

Algae: The most suitable are the Nuri seaweed (lightly roast over a flame and crumble over the food on the plate) and Higiki.

Animal food: (quality is very significant)

Kapha people do not require large quantities of animal protein because tissue depletion is rather rare. On the other hand, a vegan diet for many years is neither beneficial, since it contributes to a buildup of excess cold quality in the body. For most, the recommendation is to eat small amounts of turkey or chicken (preferably low fat, breast) and eggs, not very often, either once or twice a week in average, or less often. Fish may be consumed infrequently, and usually it is better to avoid beef, pork and lamb.

In some cases, when the diagnosis of excess cold is pronounced, and when digestion is very familiar with processing animal protein and when the consumption of grains distinctly creates heaviness, a diet based upon animal protein and vegetables may be the most appropriate*.

Milk and dairy products: (quality is very significant)

Dairy products can easily disturb Kapha. Likely choices are small portions of boiled goat milk or goat yogurt or semi-solid Ricotta cheese. Best avoid beef or buffalo milk, white cheese, yellow cheese, labaneh, sour cream and ice cream.

Fruits: Fruits should be consumed moderately since they are mostly sweet, cooling and moistening. On the other hand, fruits may increase the sense of lightness in the body when eaten separately from other foods. Sour fruits such as lemon and grapefruit can encourage fat burning. Other good fruits are apple, pear and quince. Other options are guava and pomegranate and dried fruits (blueberries, apples, pineapples, and apricots).

Less appropriate are plum, strawberry, raspberry, grape, cherry and papaya. Better avoid persimmon, orange, tangerine, pineapple, melon, watermelon, fig, mango, banana and dates.

Nuts and seeds: Most nuts and seeds are not recommended for Kapha, since they are heavy and sticky. Any type should be consumed in small quantities only. Most appropriate are sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Less appropriate are sesame seeds and coconut flakes. Best avoid almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, acorns and Brazil nuts.

Oils: Oils should be consumed in very small doses. The most suitable are sunflower oil, corn oil, mustard oil. To a lesser extent sesame oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil. Least appropriate are ghee, tahini, coconut, avocado and butter.

Sweeteners: In this category there is no great variety to say the least. It is best to eat a little of this group. The selected sweetener is bee’s honey that has not been warmed, with a solid texture, preferably at least a year old.

Spices: Spices are an essential addition to a Kapha diet, and can also allow and improve the digestion of less appropriate food items with minimal damage. Almost all the spices are good, especially the sharp ones, which heat and dry, increase the metabolic rate and prevent the accumulation of water in the tissues. At the top of the list are chili, black pepper, mustard, horseradish, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cloves, and cardamom. Also very good are hing, fenugreek, cinnamon, cilantro seeds, cumin, ajuwan, caraway, celery seeds, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, and hyssop. Also mint, nutmeg and fennel have a positive effect. Salt should be minimized.

Beverages: Kapha people need less water, and should avoid cold drinks and ice drinks. Drinking black tea or herbal tea is recommended, especially ginger tea, cinnamon, sage, moss and so on. A little honey can be added to the tea, but it is better to avoid sugar and milk. Black coffee with cardamom is appropriate in low doses. Cereal milk such as spelt milk or quinoa milk or brown rice milk is best used occasionally or moderately. Suitable Alcoholic beverage is dry red wine, and in special occasions a short drink of liquor is acceptable.

Optional daily menu for this condition:

Drink options following awakening: hot water or herbal tea or chicory coffee or chai without milk or with a touch of cereal milk.

9:00 Breakfast:

Fluffy Buckwheat with stir-fried / oven baked vegetables and green salad

“Tabula” salad – quinoa and millet

Granola without nuts with carrot juice / pomegranate juice / green smoothie

Sprouted bread Toast / chapatti with olive oil and hyssop / homemade pesto / bean spread / vegetable spread / honey


12:00 in between snack:

Best avoid

A few raw vegetable slices such as carrots, radishes, kohlrabi

A fruit


14:00 Lunch:

Vegetarian meal:

Barley Grits / brown basmati rice / friki, 30% of the meal

Baked Vegetable, 50% of the meal

Legumes (if digestion allows), 20% of the meal


Non vegetarian meal:

Buckwheat / quinoa / millet, 30% of the meal

Baked Vegetable or green salad, 50% of the meal

Chicken/Turkey breast, 20% of the meal

A cup of green tea


17:00 in between meals:

Best avoid

A fresh fruit

A few items of dried fruits and a handful of lightly roasted pumpkin seeds


19:00 Dinner:

Green Vegetable omelet and rye/sprouted toast/cracker with homemade pesto and green salad

One of the recommended cereals and oven-baked vegetables

Buckwheat noodles and stir-fried vegetables, with Mung bean sprouts

Homemade chickpea omelet, one of the recommended spreads, cooked vegetables (green beans, peas, asparagus, corn, etc.)

Vegetable millet pie / millet-mung patties and green salad


22:00 before bedtime:



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