Kapha (Earth) Herbs (Cool, Moist, Stable, Heavy)

Within the kapha dosha there is a predominance of the water and earth elements. Like these elements, kapha tends to be cool, moist, stable and heavy. In the body these qualities manifest as dense, heavy bones, lustrous, supple skin, low metabolism, and large, stocky frames. In addition, those with a kapha nature tend to feel cool. When out of balance, kapha individuals are prone to gaining weight and tend to have weaknesses in their lungs and sinuses where there is an accumulation of mucous. Those of kapha nature are also most prone to non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

The elements of water and earth also reflect in the personality. The heavy, stable nature of kapha reflects in a stable personality which is not prone to quick fluctuations. Those with a kapha nature handle stress very well, often not even noticing that it exists. They don’t like change, are generally conservative, and would prefer to keep things just the way they are. Those with a kapha nature are also comfort seekers. This relates to the soft, watery nature of kapha. Too much comfort, however, can lead to a lack of motivation and feeling of becoming stuck. When kapha is out of balance, the heavy emotions of depression and lethargy result.

In order to bring balance to a kapha nature the opposing qualities of lightness, dryness and warmth are recommended. These qualities are integrated in dietary and herbal programs as well as aroma and color therapies, detoxification, yoga and meditation. Grains such as quinoa and amaranth are recommended as well as hot spices like cayenne pepper. Lots of vegetables and very little nuts or dairy are prescribed. Cleansing herbs like guggul and pungent ones like clove bring balance to kapha.


Qualities of kapha are: solid, slow, heavy, stable, unctuous (oily), soft, predictable, dense, sweet, liquid, cloudy, sticky, cool, lubricating, protective, and loving.

In the body, kapha regulates: processes related to structure, shape, cohesion, stability, growth, lubrication (including the lubrication in the joints, in the digestive system, in the lungs and the skin), tears, fat, taste, strength, and love.

When balanced, kapha is able to love unconditionally, has a healthy balance of muscle, fat, bone and other tissue, resplendent with stamina, sleeps well, demonstrates good memory and focus, protective, has appropriate attachment.

When out of balance, kapha is: sluggish, heavy, puts on excess weight, dull, sleeps too much, hard to arouse, jealous, clingy, congested, full of mucous, dense, difficult to change.

Things that throw kapha out of balance: are excessive amounts of sweet, predominance of cold foods, heavy foods, sleeping during the day or sleeping excessively, old, fried or tamasic foods, wet, cold damp climates, cloudy days, rainfall, the middle of the winter.

Things that bring kapha back into balance: are bitter, astringent and sour foods, dry heat (sauna or desert), physical exercise and activity, pleasant smells, stimulating and invigorating herbs and spices such as rosemary, mints, ginger, wind, dry brushing, and hot drinks.

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