Kapha people are blessed with a strong, healthy, well-developed body. They tend to have strong muscles and larger-than average, heavy bones. Because their larger frames are dominated by earth and water, they tend to gain weight and have difficulty taking it off. They also often have slow metabolic and digestive capacities.
Their skin is often smooth, lustrous, and thick and tends to be on the oily side. They have a steady appetite and thirst, and can comfortably skip a meal and work on an empty stomach. Because of their slow metabolic rate, Kapha’s who maintain health and balance generally enjoy a long life span. If they become out of balance however, they tend to become obese, one of the main causes of diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack. Kapha’s have a sweet tooth and love candy, cookies, and other sweet, salty, and oily foods. These foods unfortunately tend to contribute to water retention and weight gain.
Prior to the full moon, Kapha can become aggravated because there is a tendency toward water retention at this time. The most challenging time of year for a Kapha is winter and early spring, when the weather is heavy, wet, cloudy and cold. Vigorous exercise is good for them, but often they have trouble getting motivated for this.
Kapha’s tend to be blessed with a sweet loving disposition, with a stable solidity to them.
Kapha out of balance will tend to:
Convey physical problems related to the water principle, such as colds, flu, sinus congestion, sluggishness, and so on. When out of balance Kapha can also become overly attached, greedy, excessively emotional, envious, possessive, lusty, lazy.
How to aggravate Kapha:
Eating lots of mucous-creating foods, such as dairy, heavy moist foods, not exercising, staying in the same routine day in and day out, eating fatty and fried foods, drinking iced food or drinks. Sleeping during the day, although tempting, is another way to throw Kapha out of balance!
Kapha reducing therapy:
Getting plenty of vigorous exercise, avoiding heavy foods, staying active, varying routine, eating light, dry, healthy foods. Occasional fasting is very beneficial. Water should be taken warm. Dry or rough massage is excellent for Kapha. If using oils, using light oils such as flaxseed oil. Warm herbal or oil blend of wintergreen, camphor, eucalyptus, cinnamon, or cayenne are beneficial.
Choose stimulating fragrances and incenses such as frankincense, myrrh, cedar, cloves, cinnamon, and musk. Bright warm colors such as yellow, orange, gold, and red, are best. Pale shades of blue, green, and pink should be avoided.
Foods that are helpful for Kapha:
Kapha’s should emphasize bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes. Food should be warm, light, and dry, with hot spices. Avoid mucous-causing foods, especially in the spring when Kapha can easily become aggravated.
Fruits: Most astringent fruit ok, such as apples, apricots, berries, peaches, raisins.
Vegetables: Pungent and bitter best. Examples of these would be artichoke, broccoli, beets, celery, leafy greens etc.
Grains: Barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, oats all good. Legumes: Aduki, mung, lentils, chick peas, split peas, lima beans etc.
Dairy: In moderation, cottage cheese, goats milk, diluted yogurt. Nuts: Charole only.
Seeds: Sunflower, chia, flax in moderation.
Oils: Canola, sesame, ghee, sunflower best.
Sweeteners: Fruit juice concentrate, honey (uncooked raw only).
Herbs and Spices:
Digestion: Hot spices, such as cayenne, black pepper, dry ginger, mustard seeds, cloves, and cinnamon improve digestion.
Elimination: Bitter laxatives (aloe, cascara sagrada, rhubarb, and senna), mild laxatives (milk, ghee, rose), bulk laxatives (psyllium).
Energy: Pungent or bitter tonics; garlic, long pepper, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, myrrh, and aloe vera gel.
Mind: Stimulants and mild clearing herbs are indicated: gotu kola, basil, myrrh, sage, bayberry, skullcap, and betony.