Subtypes of Kapha Dosha


The characterization of Kapha is directly related to Jalamahabhuta. There are five subtypes of Kapha Dosha. It is the fault that increases with water or watery expression. Jal is the source of Kapha. Synthesis of mutually decomposed molecules of the body is done by mucus. Body growth and metabolism depend on Kapha. Body growth is faster than expected during fetal life, which slows down after birth. Tissue fluid (tissue) allows new cells to form and grow. Kapha nourishes and metabolizes the various organs of the body through the sap. The kapha dosha produced by the cooperation of Prithvi Mahabhuta with the excess of Jal mahabhuta produces Kledan, Snehan, Dravati, Nourishment, Vyadhikshamatva, etc. in the body.

Since Kapha has the opposite properties to pitta dosha, they maintain their balance against each other and hold the body. Kapha acts as a lubricant-moisturizer against the dryness caused by gas. Mucus is the agent of compound karma of body sources. Kapha Dosha is fivefold and resides in the body in two forms: gross (Anjaliparimeya) and subtle (Karmapalakshit).

1) Kledaka Kapha

_. ‘स तत्रस्थ एवं स्वशक्त्या शेषाणां श्लेष्मस्थानानां शरीरस्य च उदककर्मणाउनुग्रह करोति’ ।  (S.Su. 21:14)

Kledana means moisturizing or wetting. Kledaka kapha provides watery content to ingested food, which is helpful to moisten and soften the food. Pachaka pitta, then can act more potently on this food. For the process of digestion, moistness, softness, and unctuousness is necessary. For this reason, Kledaka kapha exists in Amashaya. Consider the cooking of vegetables or curry. In addition to the fire, the next important thing is not to forget to put oil, ghee, or water into the cooking pan.

Normal digestion is dependent on Kledaka Kapha. Naturally the functional capacity of other types of Kapha, at all other places is dependent on Kledaka Kapha. Ayurveda says Kledaka kapha does obligation on other types of Kapha. Udaka karma of Kledaka kapha means, to keep adequate moisture in the body with the properties like liquid, cool and unctuous. Kledaka kapha is also important for the protection of the stomach, and colon from the action of acidic digestive juices.

2) Avalambaka Kapha

“हृदयस्यान्नवीर्याच्च तत्स्थ एवाम्बुकर्मणा ।

कफधाम्नां च शेषाणां यत्करोत्यवलम्बनमू ॥

अतोवलम्बक: श्लेष्मा–‘ !।  (A.H.Su. 12:15)

Avalambaka kapha stays in the chest and supports trik — three elements. Avalamban means to give strength and to help the normal functioning of that organ. Trik denotes heart, lungs, and mediastinum. The unctuous and slimy properties of Kapha give protection to these organs. Heart and lungs perform their duties from birth to death, wherever there is more movement, the possibility of wear and tear is maximum. To minimize this damage and to provide nourishment is the function of Avalambaka Kapha. Avalambaka kapha from the chest by its Udaka karma (hydration) like Kledana (moisturizing), Tarpana (replenish), and Purana (supplementary) help other types of Kapha for their smooth functioning.

Trik is also understood in a different way by some Ayurvedic scholars. Dalhan says — trik means the joint of the head and both arms. Avalambaka kapha gives strength through its own action to the entire body.

Arunadatta and Hemadri describe Prishthadhara i.e. sacrococcygeal region. ’

At both of the above places head and the whole body is balanced; naturally, support of Avalambaka kapha is necessary.

3) Bodhaka Kapha

‘रसबोधनात्‌ । बोधको रसनास्थायी’ ।  (A.H.Su. 12:17)

“जिह्मामूलकण्ठस्थो जिहेन्द्रियस्य सौम्यत्वात्‌ सम्यग्‌ रसज्ञाने वर्तते’ । (S.Su. 21:14)

Bodhaka kapha does the bodhan of taste of the food. Bodhan means to make understand. Sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes are understood because of Bodhaka Kapha. Understanding taste is a type of transformation (digestion). This digestion also requires moisture, which is provided by Bodhaka Kapha. It also protects buccal mucosa from very hot and spicy food and harmful substances.

4) Shleshaka Kapha

“–सन्धिसंश्लेषात्‌ श्लेषक: सन्धिषु स्थित: ।  (A.H.Su. 12:17)

Sandhi word generally refers to bony joints like knee joints, and wrist joints. But Ayurveda has a broader understanding of the word sandhi. Sandhi means the union of any two elements like bone and tendons, muscle and nerve, etc.

The unctuous and slimy properties of Kapha bind the two elements of sandhi together. If the binding is good, the joint works very smoothly and naturally, otherwise deformity develops in the joint. In old age Vata Dosha dominates and synovial fluid becomes less in joints like the knee, hip, etc. This makes diseases like osteoarthritis and patients complain of joint pain and swelling, difficulty in joint movement, and cracking sound during movement. The slimy (Picchil) property of Kapha avoids friction of bones during joint movements.

“सन्धिस्थ: श्लेष्मा सर्वसन्धिसंश्लेषात्‌ सर्वसन्ध्यनुग्रहं.करोति’ ।  (S.Su. 21:14)

Sushruta says that due to Shleshak kapha joint movements occur easily, just like the movement of the wheel around the central axis due to lubricating oil.

5) Tarpaka Kapha

–शिर:संस्थोक्षतर्पणात्‌–तर्पक:’ ।  (A.H.Su. 12:17)

“शिर:स्थ: स्नेहसन्तर्पणाधिकृतत्वात्‌ इन्द्रियाणामू । आत्मवीयेंण अनुग्रहं करोति’ । (S.Su. 21:14)

Tarpaka kapha from the head provides nourishment and protection to the centers of sense organs in the brain. Due to the cool and unctuous properties of Tarpaka kapha, senses can function smoothly and remain active for a longer time. Tarpaka kapha keeps control of the Vata activity of the brain. This Kapha gives nourishment and protection to all parts of the cranium.




Pathology of Kapha

1) Kapha-vriddhi (Hyperactivity)

“श्लेष्माउग्निसदनप्रसेकालस्यगौरवम्‌ ।

श्वेत्यशैत्यश्लथाङ्गत्वं श्वासकासातिनिद्रता’ ॥  (A.H.Su. 11:8)

1) Agne-Sadan — means weak digestive fire or agni-mandya. Loss of appetite, improper digestion, and constipation result due to this. These complaints occur due to Kapha provocating causes like a heavy diet, cold food, and drinks. This lowers the hot property of Pitta and indigestion occurs. Fasting and use of garlic, and ginger can reduce this problem.

2) Praseka — Excessive salvation. Due to the vitiation of Kledaka kapha, digestion gets disturbed and then other types of Kapha also suffer.

3) Alasaka — Lethargy. Due to a heavy, high-calorie diet, cold food/drinks, sedentary lifestyle Kapha provocation occurs and obesity develops. This obstructs natural Vata stimulation and lethargy develops.

4) Gauravam — As said above, due to Kapha provocation body becomes heavier.

5) Shwaitya~ Whitish color or paleness. Kapha aggravation produces this color.

6) Shlathangatva — Laxity and flabbiness in the body organs develop due to excess Kapha. The tone of the organs becomes less. Especially when Kapha provocation causes obesity, fat accumulation occurs on the abdomen, breast, thighs, etc. Then these organs lose their tonicity and become flabby.

7) Shwasa (breathlessness) – Due to obstruction in the respiratory passage by hyper-secreted Kapha, Prana, and Udana activity gets disturbed. This causes breathlessness.

8) Kasa (cough) – Cough is a natural reflex to remove obstructions. (Excessive cough causes obstruction)

9) Ati-nidra (excessive sleep) – Drowsiness. Due to excess Kapha properties like heavy, cold increases. Then this obstructs the stimulatory activity of Vata, the senses can not remain alert and the person feels drowsy.

2) Kapha-kshaya (Hypo activity)

                                         – कफे भ्रम: ।

श्लेष्माशयानां शून्यत्व॑ हृद्द्रव: श्लथसन्धिता’ ॥ (A.H.Su. 11:16)

1) Bhrama — Giddiness. This is due to the loss of Tarpaka kapha in the brain. Hence sense organs cannot get proper nourishment which produces giddiness.

2) Shleshma-shayana-shunyatvam — Hollowness in Kapha organs. The feeling of hollowness develops especially in the chest, head, and bony joints. This indicates the disturbance in Kapha’s activity of nourishment and stability.

3) Hrid drava — Means palpitation. This symptom indicates the deficiency of Avalambaka kapha activity like nourishment and stability.

4) Shlatha sandhi — Due to deficiency of heavy, unctuous, stable qualities of Shleshaka kapha, bony joints become weak and flaccid.

Principles of Treatment

In the Hyper state of Kapha dosha, one should follow diet, behavior, and medication opposite to the qualities of Kapha (unctuous, cool, and heavy). For example, adequate exercise, no fatty food, no cold drinks, use of ginger, garlic, spices, Chitrakadi Churna, Higvashtaka Churna, Bhallatakaksara, Triphala Guggulu, etc.

By Dr.Dimpal Baldha

I'm DR. Dimple Baldha, an Ayurvedic doctor and I have treated more than a thousand patients in my couple of years of experience in this field. This has given me a lot of insights and positive areas to work with people from different parts of the world managing arthritis issues, Dietary changes, healthy lifestyles, and metabolic disorders. I have good knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine, Panchkarma treatment, Healthy lifestyle and yoga. I have treated so many diseases like spondylitis, psoriasis, allergies and bronchial asthma. Talks about #health, #ayurveda, #wellness, #healthylifestyle

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