Kapha body-type imageKapha Dosha is the Ayurvedic mind-body type associated with earth and water. It’s slow and steady in nature and embodies structure and stability in the mind and body.

Slow to anger and easy-going, Kapha-dominant types tend to take their sweet time. While Kaphas may be slow to get going, they are dependable and dedicated.

At their healthiest, Kaphas possess excellent immunity; a robust figure; the ability to sleep soundly; and oftentimes thick, voluptuous hair, large eyes, and radiant skin Those who are Kapha-predominant may have larger-frame bodies and heavier builds. When in balance, they are the teddy bears among us – sweet in nature and a pleasure to be around.

All about Kapha + lifestyle recommendations

If you are Kapha-predominant, you may have a large frame and steady build. Your temperament is stable, and you likely have a good long-term memory. Though you may be prone to lethargy and weight gain, you have a healthy, robust physiology. You are strong and compassionate, and your sleep is often sound.

Kapha in balance

  • stable temperament
  • good long-term memory
  • healthy robust physiology
  • strength and stamina
  • compassionate and affectionate
  • sound sleep

Kapha out of balance

  • gains weight easily
  • sluggish digestion
  • prone to sinus and respiratory issues
  • lethargy
  • feelings of sadness
  • difficulty waking up
  • food cravings

The Five Subdoshas of Kapha

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 is the dosha that helps fiery Pitta and whirlwind Vata to slow down! Within Kapha dosha, there are five distinct subdoshas that are responsible for moderating transformation in various parts of the physiology.

They are as follows:

Tarpaka Kapha: Governs moisture for the nose, mouth, eyes, and brain. When out of balance, Tarpaka Kapha can lead to sinus congestion and a poor sense of smell.

Bhodaka Kapha: Governs the sense of taste, which is essential for good digestion. If out of balance, Bhodaka Kapha can manifest as a poor sense of taste or food cravings due to lack of fulfilment.

Kledaka Kapha: Governs the moisture of the stomach lining for good digestion. If out of balance, Kledaka Kapha can lead to impaired digestion or poor absorption.

Avalambaka Kapha: Protects the heart, strong muscles, and healthy lungs. When out of balance, Avalambaka Kapha can cause lethargy, respiratory problems, or lower back pain.

Shleshaka Kapha: Governs lubrication of the joints, soft and supple skin. If out of balance Shleshaka Kapha can lead to weight gain, oily skin, and loose, or painful joints.

For more info about the five subdoshas of Kapha, click here.

Tips for Balancing Kapha

Kapha Dosha elementsBecause Kapha Dosha is cool and slow in nature, it benefits from getting fired up a little with stimulating activities and foods. Cold, wet foods can weigh sluggish Kapha down further. If you have a predominance of Kapha dosha, you’ll benefit from foods that are warm, light, dry, and lightly spiced.

Changing things up is good for Kapha, too, as Kapha types can sometimes get stuck in a rut or be prone to inertia, lethargy, oversleeping, and melancholic moods. Fresh air and regular exercise are some of the best ways to fire up Kapha, as are: learning new hobbies, taking new classes, taking a different route to work each day, listening to upbeat music, and making sure to socialize with uplifting friends and family members.

Here are some other easy ways to pacify Kapha Dosha:

  • Kapha products: drink Organic Kapha Tea and season meals with Organic Kapha Churna; diffuse Kapha Aroma Oil.
  • Enjoy vigorous regular exercise, a little each day.
  • Favour warm temperatures.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  • Favour pungent, bitter, astringent tastes and light, dry, and warm foods.
  • Reduce heavy, oily, cold foods and sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
  • Seek out variety and new experiences.
  • Stay warm in cold, damp weather.
  • Follow the adage: early to bed, early to rise.
  • Give yourself a daily oil massage with Kapha Massage Oil.

The Kapha-Pacifying Diet

In Ayurveda, food is medicine. A Kapha-pacifying diet will go a long way toward nourishing Kapha Dosha to stay balanced. Follow these guidelines to keep Kapha balanced:

Food should be fresh, well-cooked, tasty, pleasing, and satisfying. Take your meals regularly, at the proper time – morning, noon, and evening. Eat the proper amounts of food at each meal, avoid over- or undereating. You should feel hungry by the next meal, but not ravenous. Snack a bit between meals as long as it does not dampen the feeling of hunger by your next meal. Eat in a quiet, relaxing environment. Favour organically grown foods and avoid genetically modified foods (GMO’s). In general, diet is a self-referral process. When you eat, listen to your body and be quietly alert to how you feel over the next 12 hours and adjust your diet accordingly. Remember that your body also responds differently to foods during the different seasons, so you can adjust your diet seasonally. Times to favour a Kapha-balancing diet may be during Kapha season (spring; cool to warm and wet weather); childhood, adolescents to young adults (Kapha is prevelant in our bodies as we grow older, so we can follow a Kapha-balancing diet if this brings comfort); and in case of a Kapha imbalance in the physiology.

Category Favour Reduce or Avoid
Summary Lighter diet; dry, warm food and warm drinks; pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes Avoid large quantities of food, especially at night; reduce unctuous, cold, heavy food; minimize sweet, sour, and salty tastes
Grains Old grains (minimum one year), barley, millet, corn, buckwheat, rye, oats, wheat, rice (good quality, like basmati rice) Reduce new grains, especially wheat and rice
Pulses All, except soya, tofu and urad dal Avoid tofu. Soybeans and urad dal
Dairy Lassi (yoghurt and water drink — preferably made thin), buttermilk, low-fat milk; small amount of ghee Reduce cheese, whole milk
Sweeteners Honey, old jaggery (caramelized sugar cane syrup) Reduce sugar cane products (except old jaggery)
Oils Ghee (for cooking), olive (for low temperature cooking), mustard, sunflower and corn. All fats and oils should be taken in small amounts and be organic. Best to avoid cooking with most plant-based vegetable oils as they are high in polyunsaturated fats, which produce toxins when heated.
Nuts and Seeds Sunflower and pumkin seeds Reduce nuts
Spices and Condiments All spices except salt, especially pungent and sharp spices (pepper, ginger, etc.), lemon juice; Kapha Churna and Kapha Tea Reduce salt
Vegetables Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, artichoke, carrot, cabbage, beetroot (beets) (small amounts), broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas, pepper, sprouts, white pumpkin, zucchini (courgette), green papaya, tomato, tender eggplant, tender radish Reduce sweet potato, cucumber, potato, tapioca, other tubers
Fruits Pomegranate, persimmon, cranberries, raisins, peach, rose apple, guava, cashew fruit, grapes, figs, sweet apple Reduce avocado, banana, sour pineapple, sour orange, melons, mango, coconut, apricot, date


Guidelines provided in this table are general. Specific adjustments for individual requirements may need to be made, e.g., food allergies, strength of agni, season of the year and degree of dosha predominance or aggravation. Before making any changes to your diet, it is recommended that you check with your physician. This ayurvedic dietary guide is educational and is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.


The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Ayurvedic Herbals That Balance Kapha

Our traditional Ayurvedic formulas contain synergistic botanicals that work together to balance Kapha dosha and its five subdoshas on very subtle levels of the mind and body for the greatest benefit.