Signs of Kapha: My Insights

If you’re experiencing mostly Kapha symptoms only, than makes it easy – just go for a straight Kapha-reducing protocol. Kapha increases in winter, staying a bit solid until the spring melt when you might see a lot of liquid symptoms of Kapha aggravate you (think mucus, sinus allergies, swelling).

Kapha Signs

Kapha signs are:

(according to Ashtanga Hrdayam, one of our central medical texts)


  • Weakened digestive fire, especially due to excess fluid dampening the fire. Basically when watery Kapha dilutes the intensity and ‘fire’ of the digestive enzymes
  • Excess salivation. How to notice this? Drooling, obv. But maybe also if you find yourself spitting alot when you’re animatedly talking. Relatedly, post-nasal drip (do nasya!)
  • Lethargy, ie., feeling sluggish like you plain don’t want to get up and do something
  • Heavy feeling upon exertion, like when your legs feel like lead when you walk up stairs
  • Whitish discoloration. A rather gross example, but white pus versus yellowish pus
  • Cold. Not so much personality, more cold to touch. Clammy cold hands and feet, Swellings that are cool to touch (versus warm)
  • Breathlessness (and diseases involving breathlessness). I think we’ve all been getting an education on breathlessness during covid, but if you’ve never experienced breathlessness, ask a friend who has asthma what is the sensation. Some of you the closest you’ve ever experienced this is flying into a place with high altitude and trying to hike, or walking up a flight of stairs when you have a cold and you’ve lost your full lung capacity and it takes effort to take a full breath.
  • Cough. In Ayurveda we pay special attention to whether a cough is dry or productive (ie, the mucus comes up), but with both Kapha is involved
  • Excess sleep. If you can regularly fall asleep early and sleep in late, plus throw in a nap midday, it’s pretty safe to say you show this sign of Kapha. That’s not the only thing at play (ama can give similar sleepiness, and Vata’s and Pitta’s can zonk out for a day or two when catching up from exhaustion or illness, but regular and consistently sleeping for 9+ hours involves a Kapha excess)

From these Signs of Kapha, you might have been able to pick up that Kapha’s qualities are a lot like clay – moist, sticky, slimy mixed in with earth. And the imbalances often show a lot of slime.

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