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
Because 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.
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.