The primary function of kapha is to provide structural integrity. The Kapha dosha is composed of two elements - earth and water - thus signifying stability. It maintains the body resistance by acting as a cementing agent, giving the body its weight, mass and stability. Lubrication of joints and organs, strengthening of the muscles & bones and regulation of cellular secretions are the major functions of kapha dosha.
A body with the pre-dominance of the kapha dosha is likely to have a heavier frame, be more stable and think and move more calmly. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. An imbalance in the Kapha dosha can result in weight gain, dullness, heavy & lethargic feeling in the body, excess salivation and may also make one resistant to change. When kapha is imbalanced, an individual suffers from sinusitis, cold, cough, asthma, pneumonia, obesity etc.
The seats of kapha dosha are the chest, throat, head, joints, tongue, nose and small intestine.
The Kapha dosha is further classified into 5 types according to its seat and the different functions it carries
Tarpaka Kapha: Residing in the head, sinus and spinal fluid, it nourishes and lubricates the brain tissue & nerves
Bodhaka Kapha: Residing in the tongue, throat and palate, it governs the lubrication of the oral cavity, enhances the sense of taste and aids digestion by making the swallowing of food easier
Kledaka Kapha: Residing in the chest and gastric area, it governs the moisture content in the stomach and intestinal mucosa. It lubricates the ingestion of food by facilitating the passage through the food pipe into the lower digestive tracts.
Avalambaka Kapha: Residing in the heart, chest and back, it governs the proper functioning of the vital organs - the lung and heart tissue - thereby influencing respiration and circulation
Shleshaka Kapha: Residing in all joints, it provides the necessary lubrication necessary to protect the body from friction/wear & tear
Measures to balance the Kapha dosha
1) Regular physical activity/exercise
2) Use of fresh fruits and vegetables
3) Use of light, dry, warm foodstuff with bitter pungent and astringent tastes
4) Avoidance of heavy, oily, cold, stale, sweet and salty food stuffs
5) Avoidance of excessive sleep and heavy meals
6) Staying warm in cold and damp weather conditions