Taking Charge of Your Health

Hello friends, The National Library of Ayurveda Medicine is pleased to present a new episode on Ayurveda. The present release is part of a video lecture series prepared for the education of Ayurveda literature in accordance with the academic curriculum of Ayurveda studies in India. My name is Dr Sumit Kesarkar and I will be your host throughout this video, which gives a brief explanation of Kapha Dosha and its 5 subtypes. Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of Aapah and Prithvi. Kapha is structure and lubrication. It can be looked upon as the force that keeps the planets in their orbits through their movement around the sun. If disrupted, it can cause a disaster. Of the universal qualities, KAPHA dosha has a predominance of TAMAS. Kapha dosha as described in the “Introduction to Tridosha videos“ is responsible for stability. It is a force that insures that the universe goes on through continous supply of energy. It is stored energy which Pitta transforms for usability and Vata disperses to various entities. To understand KAPHA dosha from a human perspective we need to understand its functions as depicted by Vagbhat in Ashtanghrudaya Kapha in its normal state governs Stability , Lubrication, Compactness or firmness of the joints It also governs forbearance and Unification of joints & healing, as per Mahrishi Sushrut. KAPHA dosha’s primary seat of location in the human body is described in Ashtanghrudaya Kapha dosha is located in the Chest, Tongue, Throat, Head, Meda-Dhatu which we can attribute to Fat tissue, Joints, Nose & Stomach. Of these, the chest is considered most important. Ashtanghruday mentions one more location called Klom, whose identity with respect to the human body is arguable but many consider it to be the pancreas, or soft palate in the mouth The pathology of KAPHA dosha can be studied when its proportions increase or decrease in the body. Since Kapha dosha governs stability of the body, prevents it from degenerating before time and ensures constant supply of energy in a stored form, its abnormal increase logically would cause obstructions in the channels, increase of body mass and wastage of nutrients The increase of KAPHA dosha is described in Ashtanghrudaya as: In brief the symptoms include Paleness, Hypothermia. Rigidity, Heaviness Disturbed digestion, Excessive sleep. Sensation of looseness of joints. Lack of enthusiasm, Obesity.Obstruction of channels. Loss of consciousness.Excessive secretions in mouth. Shortness of breath, Cough. The decrease of Kapha dosha would cause an opposite reaction leading to quick degeneration of body parts, loss of body mass instability etc. The Decrease of KAPHA dosha is described in Ashtanghrudaya as In brief the symptoms include Low self esteem, Delirium. Dryness, Palpitations. Joint malfunctions. Pricking pain, Body tremors.Varied burning sensations. KAPHA dosha carries out its various functions through its subtypes. We have already looked at the subtle relation of KAPHA dosha and its subtypes which are co-related to humors in modern terms in the video giving Introduction to Tridoshas. You are requested to watch that video to get more understanding of the relationship. KAPHA dosha is the all-governing force in the cosmos and humans are one part of its manifestation. In humans KAPHA dosha sustains the body along with the other two doshas, Pitta and Vata. However, KAPHA dosha functions in the body are subject to malfunctions, which ultimately proves to be a contributing factor to the physical death of the body. Kapha dosha has various functions as described earlier which are more specifically carried out or identified by its subtypes. The five subtypes of Kapha are Tarpaka Kapha , Bodhaka Kapha, Kledaka Kapha, Sleshaka Kapha and Avalambaka Kapha. They are different forms of mucous secretions or lubrication in the body. Let us have brief description of each of the Subtype. Tarpaka is originated from the word “Tarpan” which means “to nourish”. Tarpaka Kapha means the ONE that gives contentment Ashtang hruday gives description of Tarpak kapha as It is located in the HEAD and heart. It gives strength, nourishment and lubrication to the nerves. Inwardly, it governs emotional calm and stability, happiness, as well as memory;the capacity to retain ideas. The practice of Yoga increases this mental form of Kapha as contentment and bliss It has an inward motion and allows us to feel happiness in our own nature. It orients us towards inner forms of joy. Meditation promotes its secretion. Kledaka is originated from the word “Kledan” which means “to moisten”. Ashtang hruday gives description of Kledak kapha as It is located in the stomach It can be co-related to the alkaline secretions of the mucous lining and as the mucous lining of the digestive tract in general. It is responsible for the liquification of food and for the first stage of digestion. It has a balancing action and mediates between the contents of the Gastro-intestinal tract and our internal tissues, as well as regulates the moisture content in the digestive process. It works in harmony with Pachaka Pitta to protect the mucous lining of the digestive tract from being damaged by the heat of Pachaka Pitta and Agni, the digestive fire. Shleshaka is originated from the root “shlish” which means “sticky”. Sleshaka Kapha means the one that gives lubrication. Ashtang hruday gives description of Shleshak Kapha as It is located in the joints as the synovial fluid and is responsible for holding them together and affording ease of movement. It has an outward going action and affords us strength and stability in outer movement. Avalambaka is originated from the word “avalamb” meaning “to be dependent”. Avalambaka Kapha means the one that gives support or upon whom the body is dependent. Ashtang hruday gives description of Avalambak kapha as It is located in the chest and trik, which can be co-related to the Sacrum bone In the Chest region, it is located in the heart and lungs and gives lubrication to the chest. It is the storehouse of Kapha and upon it depend the actions of all the other Kaphas in the body. It creates not only the mucus and fluid lining of the lungs, but also of the heart and throat. Avalambaka corresponds to RASA DHATU, which is distributed by the lung and heart action. The heart and lungs is the area where all Kapha is produced as a by product and hence it bestows strength to all Kapha sites. It has a downward action and gives support. Avalambaka is the main form of Kapha in the treatment of KAPHA diseases. Clearing the chest of phlegm through VAMANA or emesis a procedure of Panchkarma is the main approach to treat Kapha disorders throughout the body. Like Apana Vayu, and Pachaka Pitta, AVALAMBAK KAPHA is the key Kapha subtype for the treatment of Kapha Dosha Bodhaka originates from the word “Bodhan” meaning “to percieve”. Bodhaka Kapha means the ONE that gives perception. Ashtang hruday gives description of Bodhak kapha as It is located in the Mouth and Tongue. It governs the Sense of Taste Like Kledaka kapha, it is also part of the first stage of digestion. It has an upward moving action and gives us Knowledge. Like Alochaka Pitta, it resides in the head and affords perception. It governs our sense of taste in life and our refinement of taste as we seek subtler forms of enjoyment as we evolve. This concludes the video on Kapha dosha and its five subtypes. I hope this video was informative and made the subject clear. Comments and feedback are highly appreciated and you can leave them by visiting the NLAM website at or likewise by writing to me at Thank you for watching. [SUBTITLES CREDIT:NLAM]

14 thoughts on “What is Kapha Dosha Ayurveda, Concept of Kapha Dosha and its 5 subtypes

  1. Hello Dr Sumit i am a Kapha Dosha body type can you make a video on KAPHA DOSHA DIET please by the way your explanation on the subject is very informative thank you

  2. very informative, thank you! I am learning so much thanks to your lessons.
    I have a question however; I have heard the terms pranas and agnis, is there one for the waters?

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