In the ancient Vedic texts of Ayurveda, it is said that ‘Kapha’ creates mucous, strengthens and stabilizes tissue as a method of protection. But what on earth is Kapha and why should you care if it’s ‘over-protecting’ you ??

Ayurveda originated the term Kapha as the name for one of the physiological functions within our body.

It should first be noted that Ayurveda talks about the body primarily in terms of it’s physiology rather than it’s anatomy and it talks about physiology in three succinct terms. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata is the direction of neurological impulses (energy flow). Pitta is the enzyme/transformational processes and Kapha is the protective measures of the body.

Kapha’s are:

  1. Tarpaka  Kapha
  2. Bodhaka Kapha
  3. Avalambaka Kapha
  4. Kledaka Kapha
  5. Shleshaka Kapha

Tarpaka Kapha is the protector of the brain, sense organs and cranial nerves from trauma and over-stimulation. This Kapha induces relaxation.

Bodhaka Kapha is the protector of the tongue and mouth area from harsh, sharp, hot, freezing, etc foods. It also manages the mucous membranes of the entire head area.

Avalambaka Kapha is the protector of the chest and lungs from dryness.

Kledaka Kapha is the protector of the stomach from acid.

Shleshaka Kapha is the protector of the joints from wear and tear.

If Tarpaka Kapha is over- protecting the brain, senses and cranial nerves you may have symptoms of sluggishness, over-sleep, blockage of ears, blockage of tear ducts and slow learning.

If Bodhaka Kapha is over- protecting the tongue and mouth you may have symptoms of excess salivary secretions, lack of taste for foods and thickened, blocked feeling around the mouth and tongue.

If Avalambaka Kapha is over- protecting the chest and lungs you may have symptoms of chesty cough with mucous, wheezing, feeling of ‘blocked’ breath and a lack of stamina.

If Kledaka Kapha is over- protecting the stomach you may have symptoms of poor digestion and excess mucous after you have eaten.

If Shleshaka Kapha is over- protecting the joints you may have symptoms of stiff and swollen joints.


If you have any of the symptoms above, try the following lifestyle remedies:

For tarpaka symptoms change your routines, challenge yourself with a new hobby and start exploring the world around you via hiking, fell walking and cycling each day.

For bodhaka symptoms start introducing facial massage to your daily routine concentrating on the following points:

  • Down both sides of the nose
  • The hinge of the jaw on both sides
  • Up and down the front of the neck

For avalambaka symptoms try aerobic exercise for 1/2 hour each day in early morning (between 6-10am). You could take the following in sequence or take your own class or aerobic morning walk:

  1. Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation 
  2. Chandra Namaskara – Moon Salutations
  3. Vinyasa Yoga
  4. Breathing Chair 
  5. 12 minute mini class 

For kledaka symptoms introduce a new diet that is dairy, wheat, meat and sugar free.

Example Menu:

Wake up: Ginger and lemon tea, hot water, herbal teas.

Breakfast: May skip breakfast, grapefruits, chywanprash with hot water, cooked fruits (eat 15 minutes before food or alone), herbal teas. 

Snacks: Herbal teas

Helpful Spices: coriander, pepper, chillies, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, long pepper (pippali), fennel, garlic.

Lunch: Sprouted barley, barley dishes, celery, soups, salads with spices, green vegetables.

Dinner: Cooked vegetable, stir fry vegetables with lots of spice, curry dishes, soups, vegetable soups, mung dhal soups, steamed vegetables, herbal teas.

Bedtimes: herbal teas.

For shleshaka symptoms start to use a yoga routine that opens and stretches around the joints such as this:

There are many ways to work with the energetic flows of the body, symptoms of Vata, pitta and kapha imbalance, seasonal yoga practices and ayurvedic health care practices. To learn more and read more please visit

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