In Ajurveda, “Prakriti” refers to the individual’s unique constitution or natural physique. It is essentially a comprehensive description of the physical, mental and emotional characteristics of an individual, which provides guidelines to leading a healthy and balanced life. Our “Prakriti” or defining physical build is determined at the moment of conception and remains relatively stable throughout our lifetime. However, our mental and emotional constitution can alter as the balance of energies changes, so it is worth taking our extended dosha test if you feel out of balance and want to understand which energy is in excess and causing the problem.
In Ayurveda, each person’s individual constitution (Prakriti) is determined by the balance of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We all have all three! Some people may have one dominant dosha, you may have a dual dosha constitution, where you share the characteristics of two doshas, or in some cases your constitution may be a tridosa, meaning that the three energies influence your physique in equal proportions.
Kapha dosha is associated with the elements of water and earth, kapha meaning “that which holds things together”. The kapha-dosha is the mass of our body, providing the stability of the physical body. It also includes mental and emotional resilience and the ability to forgive. Most of our body is made up of water, kapha-dosa is responsible for keeping our body hydrated, moisturising our skin, joints and cells.
The characteristics of Kapha dosha are: Kapha type individuals tend to have a strong, robust build, with broad shoulders and chest, and a stout body, prone to gaining weight. Their skin is typically pale and thick, with no visible veins. Their hair is dark, oily, shiny and thick. They typically have broad foreheads and thick, strong limbs.
Kapha type people are thoughtful, kind, loyal and love romance. They are patient, obedient, but generally shy and conservative. They are surrounded by many friends and feel most at home around their family. They rarely venture outside their usual sphere of activity. They travel little, preferring to stay at home. Their affectionate nature makes break-ups extremely painful for them. They are cautious and thoughtful.
Kapha (earth-water) is typically aggravated through raw, heavy, sweet or salty foods lacking spices. Excessive consumption of cold drinks and dairy products can be harmful, as well as cold, damp weather. Too much sleep, laziness and feeling needy also increase kapha. When kapha excess starts to accumulate, it leads to slower digestion, general heaviness, nausea, feeling cold, indifference, asthma, too much sleep, difficult breathing and gaining weight. A build-up of mucus in the body is a sign of too much kapha.
The diet for Kapha dosha is warm, light and dry. Avoid greasy, heavy, cold foods. Kapha increases through sweet, salty and sour taste, but reduces through pungent, bitter and astringent taste. People with Kapha dosha need less food and may also reduce the frequency of meals. It is best to eat three meals a day. The main meal should be at noon and the other two meals should be light. Avoid eating late in the evening, especially heavy meals. Fasting once a week is also helps.
|Recommended||Should be avoided|
Fruit increases the body’s water content, which can lead to mucus build-up. Their consumption is not recommended for people with a Kapha dosha.
|dried fruit, apples, cranberries, pomegranates||cherry, date, grape, banana, mango, melon, orange, pineapple, plum, raspberry, strawberry, peach, pear, papaya, lemon, lime, blueberry, grapefruit|
Most warm vegetables are suitable for Kapha dosha when warm, steamed and seasoned.
|artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Swiss chard, aubergines, green beans, chilli peppers, lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, coriander leaves, green peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, horseradish||avocado, fresh corn, cucumber, okra, summer squash, sweet potato, tomato, pumpkin, zucchini, olives|
They are considered a heavy food, so they are not ideal for people with Kapha dosha.
|barley, buckwheat, maize, dry or cracked cereals, millet, rye, amaranth, quinoa, tapioca||basmati rice, brown rice, couscous, oats, wheat, white rice, pasta|
Most legumes are suitable for people with a Kapha dosha when eaten warm.
|kidney beans, mung beans, soy, yellow peas, tofu, lima beans, lentils||chickpeas|
Most seeds and nuts are heavy, squeaky and not recommended for Kapha dosha.
|pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds||almonds, tomatoes, cashew nuts, coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts|
People with Kapha dosha should eliminate dairy products that cause mucus and allergies from their diet.
|soya milk, goat milk, buttermilk||cheese, cottage cheese, cow’s milk, cream, ice cream, kefir, rice milk, sour cream, yoghurt|
Most oils are thick and heavy, so they are not recommended for people with Kapha dosha, or only in small amounts.
|canola oil, corn oil, linseed oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil||almond oil, butter, ghee, margarine, olive oil, peanut butter, sesame oil|
Sweetness is the most harmful taste for people with Kapha dosha, and perhaps the most frequent cause of their illnesses.
|old honey||fructose, raw honey, cane sugar, molasses, maple syrup, white sugar|
All spices are perfect for Kapha dosha. The warm, spicy flavours speed up metabolism and prevent water accumulating in the tissues.
|asafoetida, basil, bay leaf, pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, coriander leaf, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, soy sauce, turmeric||salt, tamarind|
Kapha dosha types need less fluid. Avoid cold, icy water and drink tea regularly. Spicy tea is especially recommended (ginger, cinnamon, dandelion, dandelion, katanga).
Vitamins & minerals
People with Kapha dosha need fewer vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B is useful.
The key words are inspiration and motivation!
If a kapha person is not motivated, he will become depressed.
To exercise you need a good coach or partner to help motivate you. Exercise, including sports that help to improve heart function and circulation, is very important: for example, regular daily walks, swimming, cycling, dancing. Martial arts that require discipline and concentration, such as karate or kravmaga, also help, and team sports are also useful for the company.
The consumption of warming and drying herbs such as chamomile or mustard oil is recommended.
Eating three meals a day is recommended, with lunch being the only substantial meal. Choose warm, cooked and light foods, favouring spicy, bitter and sour flavours and minimising the consumption of sour, salty and sweet foods that increase kapha.