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Balancing the Attributes or Qualities of Kapha (Water and Earth)

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AVOID the CAPITALIZED by DOING the following to help balance Kapha

COLD //Sheeta//

Avoid situations which promote, provoke, increase or otherwise bring your attention to depression, attachment, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, insecurity, helplessness; avoid cold food and cold drinks (“ice is not nice!”); avoid cold weather / air conditioning; avoid dairy, sweets, yogurt (especially in evening); avoid cheeses, cucumbers; to promote and increase digestive function eat hot-spicy foods and use spices such as chilies, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, cumin, ajvain, hing (asafetida), mustard seeds; drink copper water (water stored overnight in copper container); favor hot / dry saunas, hot living climates; meditate daily while standing up (standing meditation) to stimulate mental fire; use mustard oil in cooking or externally for its heating property (when oil is not contraindicated). Do 108 Breaths of Fire (Bhastrika Pranayama) daily.

OILY //Snigdha//

Avoid oils, fats, dairy, coffee; favor dry foods, eat unbuttered, toasted breads with no jam or jelly; eat raw fruits and vegetables; dry pan-roast grains prior to boiling; favor living and working in dry climates like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah; drink arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) or babbul (Acacia arabica) tea (helps breakdown oily substances, clears channels). Be Vegan! – No Milk, Cheese, Butter, Dairy Products.

LIQUID //Drava//

Avoid excess fluids (4 to 6 eight ounce cups water max / day – hot water only, some warm water, no cold or ice water ever); avoid hydrophilic food and drink such as yogurt, desserts, sweets, salt (except mineral salt, which is diuretic), sour foods, cucumbers, cheese, juicy fruits and vegetables, etc.; avoid sedentary lifestyle (exercise promotes sweat); drink only hot liquids when and if thirsty, dry pan-roast grains prior to boiling; favor living and working in dry / windy or desert climates (winter and spring seasons are problematic for liquid in many geographical areas); favor panchakarma elimination techniques (vomiting) during this time (junctions of winter and spring or spring and summer) to control increase of liquid in physiology; use eucalyptus or camphor-like substances to control congestion buildup; use dry saunas to promote sweating.

HEAVY //guru//

Avoid situations which promote, provoke, increase, or otherwise bring your attention to depression, attachment, greed, hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, isolation; avoid oils, fats, dairy, wheat / carbohydrates, sweets, and over-eating; eat barley, consider skipping breakfast, fasting on liquid juice or vegetable diet one or two days per week, eat only light foods in evening.; never eat within 3 hours prior to be time; take honey water or herbal wines after eating; avoid day sleep, sleeping beyond sunrise, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, leftover, canned, frozen foods; exercise daily to 50% of capacity, engage in more mental activity, physical work, sex, and sleep less (Ca. Su. XXI.28); use light bedding, light clothing—silk, or cotton, choose small or light (feathered) pets when desired, listen to light music; favor windy living areas; do lightening therapies seasonally. NOTE WELL: It is best for Kapha to be Vegan – no animal flesh or dairy products.

STATIC / STABLE //Sthira//

Avoid foods such as cheese, meats, excess sleep (more than 6 to 7 hours or sleeping after 6 AM), sedentary lifestyle and artificial stimulants; in the early morning to get going be sure to exercise daily to the point of sweating; favor activities that are strenuous but invoke varied, stop and go functioning; listen to dynamic and complex music, use lively and bright colors in clothing and environment; avoid use of remote controls for controlling electrical appliances to facilitate movement in your life.

HARD //Kathina//

Avoid excess meats, mineral supplementation, lack of movement/exercise. Hard growths.

SOFT //Mrudu//

Avoid soft furniture, favor hard mattress & chairs. John Goodman is soft, Schwarzenegger is hard.

DULL //Manda//

Avoid leftover, canned, frozen foods, excess meat, sweets, cheese, dairy; eat pungent/sharp foods including Ayurvedic herbal wines for digestive purposes (Pippali Asava; Sudarshan Wine; Dashamula Wine)

SLOW //manda//

Avoid situations which promote, provoke, increase, or otherwise bring your attention to depression, attachment, greed, hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, isolation; avoid sedentary lifestyle; totally avoid cheese (except occasional [once a month] goat cheese [not feta]); avoid candy; avoid sleeping in past sunrise or day sleep/napping; exercise daily to 50% of capacity; use pungent spices to stimulate digestion.

STICKY //Picchila//

Avoid situations which promote, provoke, increase, or otherwise bring your attention to attachment, greed; avoid sweets, oils, excess liquids, wheat products etc., refined grains & other refined foods.

SLIMY //shlakshna//

Avoid sweets, oils, excess liquids wheat products etc., refined grains and other refined foods. NOTE WELL: Kapha should be Vegan – no dairy products (no ice cream, no cheese, no yogurt, no milk)

CLOUDY //Avila//

Avoid sweets, oils, excess liquids, avoid all dairy products; whenever possible live / work in sunny and bright climates instead of rainy and overcast climates; use full spectrum lighting to simulate natural sunlight conditions; meditate daily to promote mental clarity – Ideally standing mantra meditation.

SMOOTH //Shlakshna//

Avoid sweets, oils, fats; use raw fibers in clothing whenever possible — wool, silk, cotton, mohair, tactile surfaces should have the quality of roughness if possible; eat vegetables (¼ to ½ raw) and other foods with high fiber (roughness); take 1 tspn raw honey with 1 tspn amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and 1 to 2 tablespoons dry roasted barley; take 1 tspn honey with ½ tspn ginger, ½ tspn vidanga (Embelia ribes) with very small pinch (1/16 tspn) of lauha bhasma (black iron ash) (Ca. Su. XXI.23); do dry kapha dusting-powder massage.

DENSE //Sandra//

Avoid excess food and drink, oily, fatty, old foods, sweets, excess meats and fishes.; avoid sedentary lifestyle; favor mountain/high altitude environments for living; simplicity with variety are important themes mentally; favor natural stimulants — daily exercise and spicy digestives — to control this attribute.

SOLID //Sthira//

Avoid excess food and drink, oily, fatty, old foods, sweets, etc.; avoid sedentary lifestyle.

GROSS //Sthula//

Avoid eating more than 2 handfuls of food and drink per meal; no oily, fatty, old foods, sweets, etc.; avoid sedentary lifestyle; in French “gross” means “fat.” Interact with children whenever possible.

SWEET //Madhura//

Avoid candies, sweet grains/carbohydrates; Bitter taste is better for helping digestion and cleansing the body channels (enjoy bitter melon, bitter green lettuces, dandelion, endive, green tea, chicory bitter coffee substitute); sweet or salty taste in mouth is indication of kapha imbalance. Use raw honey instead.

SOUR //Amla//

In general avoid sour foods (no lemons, lemonade, no grapefruit) with exception of small amounts ( ¼ tspn) of apple cider vinegar in hot water as they tend to promote secretions and congestion.

SALT //Lavana//

Most kinds of salt are heating (balancing to kapha) but they are also hydrophilic (causing water retention); use mineral salt (saindhava – predominantly in small quantities.


This mental attribute is inertia, lethargy, dark, ignorant — avoid those behaviors promoting them. Chant out-loud 21x Great Compassion Jeweled Mirror Wisdom Mantra 20: “Shr nwo Shr nwo. Nan.” or to increase wisdom and dispel confusion, chant 21x “Bwo na ni, Fa la ni” (Shurangama Mantra lines 113-114). The Big Picture

1.Remove the causes of the imbalance by direct behavioral avoidance; give particular attention to the attributes of the imbalance as detailed above. This attention requires daily meditation for awareness.

2.Remove excess kapha by elimination therapies — pancha karma (Ayurvedic cleansing-rejuvenation):

• Do therapeutic vomiting as indicated with licorice or vacha tea; do daily Super Nasya Oil nose drops.

• Do heating, roughening (drying), and lightening therapies as indicated. Eucalyptus is great.

3. Balance kapha (water and earth): Decrease oily, greasy, cold, heavy, slow, slimy, mucousy, slippery, milky, sweet, salty, fleshy, fatty, and liquid qualities.

• Avoid kapha’s attributes in food, forms, feelings and emotions, thinking, activities, lifestyle, relationships, and consciousness – this takes daily meditation in order to develop mindfulness, awareness or samadhi.

• Increase metabolism with changes in dietary (eat less), lifestyle (sleep less), and activity (be more active) to promote lightness, warmth, liveliness (stay busy and active), and dryness

4. Balance / strengthen digestion: Decrease excess cool, cold and decrease water intake (manda agni – slow metabolism) and increase dry heat in metabolism.

• Increase pungent, spicy, bitter and astringent foods in diet especially when oily, cool, heavy, slow, mucousy, fatty, sweet or salty qualities are in excess. No deserts, cut out all dairy products, eat little to no meat.

• Increase fire component in food, lifestyle.

• Eliminate mental and body tissue toxicity – Herbal and dietary strategies that help eliminate heavy metals, petrochemicals etc. Also avoid suppression of needs-urges – but balance them with proper

1. Eat Less Food, 2. Sleep Less, 3. Daily Sweaty Exercise, 4. Moderation in Sex (1 orgasm per week max.) Eat dry, spicy, warm, light, Kapha soothing foods at 7 AM, 12 Noon, 7-8 PM; No snacks except for freshly juiced carrot, celery, cilantro juice with cayenne pepper power added. Also allowed are room temperature snacks of apple juice (rajasic stimulating), cherries, dried fruit, peaches (sattvic clear mind), pears (sattvic clear mind), pomegranate juice (sattvic clear mind), prunes, raisins. Sleep on left side at 11-12 PM – wake up between 4:30 and 5:30 AM; No more than one orgasm each week in order prevent weakening of liver and kidneys and in order to build ojas and give energy. To detoxify and bring warmth, chant 21x Great Compassion Sun Mani Mantra 8: “Shr fwo la ye. Nan. Sa wa he” or “Bwo na ni, Fa la ni” (wisdom).

5. **Rejuvenation of mind and body with herbals and behavioral programs as indicated**

Punarnava //Boerhaavia diffusa// as main herb, Kutki //Picrorrhiza kurroa// for liver fat metabolism, Chitrak //Plumbago zeylanica// for metabolism, Brahmi //Centella asiatica// for depression and mental fog, Vacha //Acorus calamus// perks one up better than coffee, Talisadi for allergies and lungs, Mahasudarshan for allergies and lungs, Chandraprabha or Shilajit for weight control, kidneys, pancreas. Enjoy the sound of fast Indian and Western Classical, bright, and lively but not loud music. Daily self-massage with Kapha-Dusting Power or Kapha Oil from Wear mostly red, yellow, orange, purple, and indigo clothing. Surround yourself with these colors. Go out and get some sun 2x daily during a brisk walk or run where bright stimulating colors abound. Chew quarter to half slice of fresh ginger root (1 piece every hour) or 15-20 fenugreek seeds or a clove. Aromatic, spicy, dry scents aromatherapy: Amber, camphor, cedar, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, Himalayan cedar (deodara), hina, jatamamsi, juniper, musta, myrrh, orange, pine, rosemary, tulsi. 2x daily standing or sitting meditation at 4:30 or 5 AM and in early evening for minimum 30 minutes along with bhastrika pranayama (breath of fire) using 3 drops Super Nasya Oil (

//Source: Scanned in from Lad, Vasant, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., Ayurvedic ASP Handouts, Albuquerque, NM: Ayurvedic Institute, 2001 //

balancing_kapha.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)