Kapha Dosha is one of the tridoshas or one of the three energetic forces. Ayurveda acharyas describe types of Kapha , its qualities, sites and functions. This dosha gives strength and stability to body.
We all know that our body is made of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. All these have to be adhered to each other to function normally by complementing each other in a harmonious manner. This needs a binding energy which keeps all these together. Kapha is the main energy which functions as a binding force in our body. Kapha has synonyms in Ayurveda as balaasa and shleshma. Again vata balance also keeps kapha in balance
Qualities of Kapha
In ashtanga hridaya, acharya Vaghbhata describes qualities of kapha as
Snigdha : It is sticky and moist
Kapha is like a sticky substance which binds the body component like a glue. It keeps all body components connected and also nourish them. It provides moistness to tissues just like water. Water component of our body is mainly made of kapha.
Sheeta : Cool or Cold
It is cold and acts like a body coolant. Kapha reduces the heat generated by activities of pitta.
Guru : Heavy
It is heavy and imparts heaviness or weight to body tissues .
It is slow in movement. Kapha has a very slow movement like a thick slush (a thick mixture of sticky mud and water). It moves fast only with the help of vata or air.
Shlakshna and mrutsna – Smooth and slippery like wet clay
It is smooth and slimy or slippery. This quality of kapha makes it an excellent lubricant. Kapha provides cushion and lubrication wherever there is movement of body parts. Example – synovial joints.
Sthira : stable
Kapha brings stability to body. It provides strength, integrity, immunity and stamina to tissues.
Panchamahabhuta in Kapha
It mainly has earth element (prutvi) and water element (jala) .
Sites of Kapha Dosha
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Kapha is mainly located in upper parts of the body. It occupies major parts of chest and head. Apart from these it also shows its presence predominantly in
• Small joints of fingers
• Lymph, plasma
• Fat tissue
Types of Kapha Dosha
There are five types of kapha :
1. Avalambaka Kapha :
This is located in chest between two shoulders. It ensures smooth functioning of organs of chest and supports these organs.
2. Tarpaka Kapha:
Tarpaka kapha is located in head and brain. It supports sense organs and nourishes them.
3. Bodhaka Kapha –
It is in tongue. It moist the food and helps in perception of taste.
4. Kledaka Kapha :
This type of Kapha is present in stomach. It provides the required moisture and lubrication for the food to move in digestive system. It acts as a buffering agent to nullify hyper activity of pitta.
5. Shleshaka Kapha :
This type of kapha is present in joints. It helps in easy movement and lubrication of joints.
Functions of Kapha Dosha when it is in Normal condition
Kapha provides strength, stability and stamina to body. It helps to tone up muscles and improves physic.
It gives smoothness and oiliness to body structures. It facilitates body to flex and eases the movement of organs and joints.
Kapha supplies nourishment and strength to joints of bone and makes their movement easy without pain.
This energetic force supports proper growth and development of body.
Kapha in balanced condition helps to enhance immunity.
Optimum levels of Kapha positively influence the mind and enable one to control stress or face stressful situations comfortably while boosting enthusiasm.
It enhances sexual energy, stamina and potency. Its imbalance can cause erectile dysfunction and infertility in men. Women can become susceptible for PCOS and female infertility. Increased kapha can cause obesity and other metabolism related diseases like diabetes.
This dosha increases knowledge, memory power and intelligence.
Role of Kapha Dosha in balancing actions of Vata dosha and Pitta dosha
When there is an increase in vata dosha our body experiences dryness and instability due to lightness. Kapha balances this action of vata by providing moistness to counteract dryness and heaviness to counteract lightness. Kapha nourishes the dried tissues and stabilizes them.
When pitta dosha increases in body it increases agni or temperature of body environment. Kapha acts as a body coolant and reduces effect of pitta. This action of Kapha helps to maintain body temperature in normal limits.