Signs and Symptoms of Kapha Imbalance

Is your kapha out of balance? If so, you are probably experiencing some of the following signs or symptoms:


  • Excess mucous

  • Thick, white tongue coat

  • Slow, sticky, sluggish bowel movements

  • High body weight

  • Difficulty rising in the morning

  • Feeling slow, foggy, dull, lethargic or heavy

  • easily attached or possessive

  • Overly sentimental

  • complacent or stubborn

  • tendency for “emotional overeating


To reduce or pacify kapha, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. Here are a few underlying concepts that these strategies are based on:


  • Stimulation

  • Exercise

  • Lightening

  • Warming

  • Drying

  • General Guidelines for a Kapha-Pacifying Diet




  • Foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent in taste.

  • Warm foods, both energetically and in temperature.

  • Heating spices—like chili, black or cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin.

  • Whole, freshly cooked foods.

  • Light, dry, and warm foods.

  • Honey.

  • Only room temperature or warm drinks.

  • Most beans. Mung dahl, well-cooked tofu or tempeh, or warm soy milk are all okay.

  • Lots of veggies.

  • A minimal amount of high-quality corn, canola, sesame, sunflower oil, or ghee in your daily diet.

  • Routine times for your meals.

  • Taking a deep breath after swallowing your last bite and heading off for your next activity.

  • Eating your meal in a peaceful environment.




  • Foods that are sweet, sour, and/or salty.

  • Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature.

  • Heavy and oily foods (e.g. cheese, pudding, nuts, cake).

  • Highly processed foods (e.g. canned or frozen foods, “TV” dinners or pastries).

  • Cold or carbonated drinks.

  • Overeating or eating heavy meals.

  • Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within ½ hour of any other food.

  • Red meat.

  • Foods or drinks that contain refined sugar or corn syrup.

  • Deep fried foods.

  • Alcohol, except for an occasional glass of dry red or white wine.


Kapha-Pacifying Herbal Remedies

Herbs are useful allies when it comes to balancing the doshas. Ayurveda has a long history detailing the use of herbs and herbal combinations.








  • An energetic routine. Avoid stagnation.

  • Stimulating your body and mind on a daily basis.

  • A 10–20 minute self-massage daily with ½ cup warm sesame oil before bathing. Aabhyanga.

  • A vigorous exercise routine that includes jogging, hiking, biking, vigorous forms of yoga or martial arts, or other challenging forms of exercise, a minimum of five times per week.

  • Keeping warm and dry, no matter what the weather.

  • Lively and invigorating music, smells, experiences, and company.

  • Our lives, environments and health change regularly.