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4.). Prakriti : Your Constitution & Kapha Dosha - Today's Feature Article
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2.) Editor's Note :
The feature article of today's issue is the third part on the concept of Prakriti or body
constitution in Ayurveda. Upon understanding of Prakriti, one can modify his/her life style to
remain healthy and disease free. This issue is devoted to the Kapha
type of body constitution.
We have tried to put the appropriate Kapha pacifying herb and recipe in the respective
sections. It provides the whole thing at once. This issue of newsletter is the last and final part
of the series on Prakriti (body constitution). We hope these valuable inputs will help our
readers to be healthy and to remain healthy. Your feedback will be highly appreciated.
3.) Important Announcement : There is a very good opportunity for personal
consultations and counseling for our subscribers. Our founder Director Dr. Rajesh
Kotecha 'Vaidya' is visiting UK and US in coming months. He will be in different parts of
Arizona, Nevada and Oregon from 1st to 15th March'2001. He will visit London and
Leicester in the 3rd week of March. Any person who wants to get personal
consultations on Ayurveda with him may contact at email@example.com at
earliest and can fix up the appointment.
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4.) Prakriti : Your Constitution & Kapha Dosha -
Today's Feature Article, edited by Manish
In our previous issues of AyurvedaNews, we discussed Prakriti, (an individual's inherent
constitution). The three predominant Doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the forces that create
one's Prakriti. The word Dosha,
when directly translated, means fault, strain or an inaccuracy
that leads to chaos. From an Ayurvedic viewpoint, Dosha means that which has the capacity to
cause chaos or disease under certain circumstances. The Doshas are formed from the tissues
that they govern, which in turn, influence them.
The gentle and slow Kapha Dosha
is the third angle of the triangle. Being formed of earth and
water it embodies the properties of stability and serenity. Always calm the Kapha Prakriti
individual continues to look a little like the baby in the baby oil advertisement at the age of
thirty - with thick dark hair , large but tranquil eyes, puppy fat which never seems to go away.
This makes such an individual pleasantly plump and a mite too slow for the counterpart Vata
or Pitta Prakriti
type. The Kapha Prakriti
child learns slowly is contented and willing to listen to
elders. He or she eats well, plays well and sleeps well. Although fair, he or she does not have
a rugged constitution as seen in the Pitta Prakriti
type. Layers of subcutaneous fat prevents
veins of the hands being seen at all quite unlike the Vata Prakriti
person whose hands show
blue veins creating an intricate pattern. Weight gain is a problem that haunts them throughout
life. Such people forever lament on the fact that even they though live on love and fresh air
(with a few fruits salads thrown in for good measure) they invariably tend to put on weight.
Paradoxically and unlike the Pitta
counterparts a Kapha Prakriti
person never feels extreme
hunger. He or she eats because its time to have lunch or dinner but the hunger pangs never
They are usually slow and never in a hurry to get anywhere. Typical y they never take rapid fire
decisions and are a little lassies-faire about everything in life. They lack the spark of the Vata
person and the intensity of the Pitta
individual. Instead, they are always humble and happier to
be second in command. They are respectful and in keeping with the stability that earth and
water confer on them, they form very firm relationship. They are very loyal friends, good
listeners with very little urge to talk and are happy to follow the adage of "live and let live
Their slowness tends to border on laziness and sometimes they have to be prodded into
is located in the respiratory system and hence most of the diseases afflicting the Kapha
person will be related to this system. Blocked noses, headaches due to sinusitis,
intolerance to cold weather and cold food items are characteristic features of these people.
The joints are another area where Kapha Prakriti
predominates. Thus the Kapha Prakriti
individual suffer from joints pains. Among food items, Kapha increasing fatty substances, like
The Kapha Dosha
controls anabolic or synthetic processes unlike Pitta Dosha
which is in
control of the catabolic or breakdown process. Kapha dosha
is most powerful in the childhood
phase. A Kapha Prakriti
child suffers from problems related to the respiratory system (coughs,
colds, asthma, etc.) more than the one whose Prakriti is Pitta
. This holds true even at a more
advanced age. Pitta
becomes dominant in youth and Vata
increases in old age. Thus an
interplay of genetic, chronological and envirnomental factors control the day to day functioning
Among the diseases that the Kapha Prakriti
individual suffers from obesity and atherosclerosis,
asthma and cough including other metabolic diseases like diabetes mel itus are most common.
How to Pacify or Balance Kapha
: Warm; light foods with a minimum of fat and sugar, stimulating foods. Raw fruits and
vegetables and spicy foods for digestion and to warm the body. Bitter and astringent foods
such as dark leafy greens, cabbage, beans, apples, cranberries, persimmons and peaches to
Don't be a lazy bones! Rev up your engine with any aerobic activity such as running, aerobics,
rowing, stair machines or dancing. With your strength and endurance, weight training can be
Warm and spicy for Kapha. Try cinnamon, ginger, patchouli, black pepper, eucalyptus,
Loud music and upbeat rhythms will give Kapha energy a much-needed boost.
Hot, stimulating colors for you; try reds and vibrant oranges
Selection of Treatment Rules
Among the Panchakarma therapies that go to help a person of Kapha Prakriti
, Vaman or
forced vomiting is recommended. Selection of herbs, which has got similar properties of Sunthi
(Zinziber officinale), Pippali (Piper longum), Lasun (garlic), Bhal atak (Semicarpus
anacardium), Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), Methica (fenugreek seeds) and Kiratatikta
Wish to try above Kapha Dosha pacifying herbs? Want genuine and reliable Kapha pacifying
remedies? Ask at firstname.lastname@example.org for getting them in India and neighboring
countries or email@example.com for getting them in US, Canada or any country of Europe.
We acknowledge that we have taken help from a book entitled "Ayurveda Unravelled" written
by Sharadani Dahanukar & Urmila Thatte to prepare this article. This book is published by
National Book Trust, A - 5 Green Park, New Delhi - 110 016, India. One can get a copy of it
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at our site. Click here to have this facility.
5.) Medicinal Plant of this issue : Sunthi (
Zinziber officinale) - The herb for Kapha
is a popular seasoning for foods in many different cuisine. In India and
Southeast Asia where it probably originated, it has also been put to a range of medicinal
purposes in Ayurveda. It is considered good for the digestion and beneficial against
congestion. One of its synonym in Sanskrit is 'Vishva-Bheshaj
' means it is useful in almost
all ailments in one form or the other. It is considered as a pacifying herb for all the three
Dosha. One of our favorite home remedies for colds is a cup of ginger tea: Peel a piece of
fresh ginger root about the size of your thumb and grate it into a cup. Pour boiling water over it
and steep for five minutes. Strain the liquid into another cup, sweeten to taste with honey, and
enjoy the spicy flavor. It does make one feel better, at least for an hour or two. More research
has been conducted on the ability of ginger to prevent motion sickness than on any other
aspect of its use. The part of the plant used is the rhizome ("root").
Chinese fishermen have known for centuries that ginger can stave off seasickness. In
the last few decades, this has been confirmed by scientific studies.
In one, ginger (administered in capsules of 940 mg), Dramamine (100 mg), and a placebo
(chickweed) were compared for their ability to keep susceptible subjects from becoming
nauseated while seated on a spinning chair. Ginger did better than Dramamine, surprising
many physicians. Not all of the subsequent research has led to the same conclusions, but
several investigations support these findings. Another study took place on a passenger cruise
ship on rough seas. In this double-blind study, ginger (500 mg every four hours) was equally
effective as Dramamine (100 mg every four hours). Ginger proved significantly better than
placebo for a group of naval cadets on a sailing ship in heavy seas and also proved its value in
a test conducted among tourist volunteers on a whale-watching cruise.
It is believed that ginger exerts its antinausea properties directly on the gastrointestinal
tract, rather than through the central nervous system as most of the familiar motion-sickness
Ginger has been studied for its ability to prevent nausea and vomiting in other situations.
In two separate investigations of women undergoing gynecological surgery, ginger given
before the operation reduced postoperative nausea significantly compared to placebo. The
prescription drug metoclopramide (Reglan) was equivalent to ginger in effectiveness. This
property may explain the popularity of ginger ale as a home remedy for nausea in America
decades ago, when the beverage actual y contained more than trace amounts of ginger. If you
can find real ginger ale, 12 ounces is enough to prevent motion sickness and presumably may
help ease nausea from other causes as well.
Ginger has also been used in folk medicine for indigestion and to pep up the appetite and get
saliva flowing. It is reputed to prevent flatulence if included in a meal, such as beans, that
In addition, a closely related herb, Z. capitatum, which is sometimes used in place of ginger,
contains an interferon like compound that can stimulate immune system activity.
Minimum dose for an adult is 250 mg. Doses of 500 mg and 940 mg have been used in
clinical trials for motion sickness. For motion sickness, ginger should be taken at least half an
hour before departure. It is most effective at preventing nausea and does not work well at
The dose may be repeated every four hours, to a maximum adult dose of approximately 4 gm
a day. Candied or fresh ginger might be substituted, but the dose could be difficult to calculate.
Like many commonly used culinary herbs, ginger has very few side effects.
In clinical trials, heartburn was reported rarely. A few people may develop an allergy to ginger,
You can order the powder of Sunthi by asking at firstname.lastname@example.org or at
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6.) Recipe of the issue: Kapha Tea
“Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing"
Boil the water and add the spices. Cover; turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes.
From: Ayurvedic Cookbook for Westerners
by: Amadea Morningstar
7.). Home Remedy of the issue : Bad breath
Cleanse the mouth with licorice powder and chew fennel seeds. For
internal usage make an infusion cardamom, cinnamon and bay
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