The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine

Scott Gerson, M.D., Ph.D. (Ayurveda) Medical Director, Jupiter Medical Center Dept. of Integrative Medicine Division of Education and Research






Lake Mary Clinic, Gerson Ayurvedic Spa, and Panchakarma Facility: at 635 Primera Blvd. Lake Mary, Florida 32746

Jupiter Medical Center at The Calcagnini Center for Mindfulness
1210 S. Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, Florida 33458, Suite M-117.2




 Telephone: (561) 263-MIND (6463); option 2 (407) 549-2800

Basic Principles Of Ayurveda

Kapha Dosha

The term kapha derives from the Sanskrit word "shlish" which means “that which holds things together; to embrace; coherent”. In fact, one of the other designations for kapha appearing in some of the older literature is shleshma.. It is the force which provides structure to everything from an individual atom or cell to the sturdy musculoskeletal frame. It gives strength, stability, and endurance--both physical and psychological--and promotes human emotions and capacities such as love, compassion, empathy, understanding, forgiveness, loyalty and patience. One very important function of Kapha dosha in the human body is that it governs immunity and resistance against disease; it’s energy promotes self-healing and the ongoing processes of self-repairs of which we are largely unaware. Where Vata and Pitta effects become active in the body, Kapha acts to limit and control these two forces and prevent their excessive activity. The two mahabhutas which compose Kapha are water and earth. Together, these two prototypical elements form the fundamental protoplasm of life. Kapha imparts mind-body-spirit stability and resilience. It is the anabolic force in the body which governs the formation of neuropeptides, stomach linings, and all new cells and tissues of the body which are constantly being destroyed and re-created.

Here is a table which summarizes the manifestations of balanced and unbalanced (excessive) kapha dosha:

Effects of Kapha Dosha

Effect of Balanced Kapha

Effect of Unbalanced (Excess)Kapha

Excellent nutritional status; firm musculature, strong bones Poor nutritional status, flabby, fatigued
Adequate moisture and lubrication throughout the body Dry; decreased mucous and saliva
Well-knit joints Loose joints, prone to sprains
Stable, compact, and strong physique Soft and weakened physique; obese
Sexual potency, strong immunity Sexual impotency, sedentary, diminished immunity
Calm, forgiving, understanding, patient Intolerant, insecure, jealous, rude
Strong digestion, regular appetite Slow digestion, appetite unregulated
Physiological amounts of respiratory moisture Excess mucous production