Kapha; 15 Definition(s)


Kapha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Kapha (कफ) refers to one of the three doṣas (the other being Vāta and Pitta), according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga), verses 67-68. Accordingly, “the substances, which alleviate vāta, are good digestive and appetizers. Similarly, a drug which alleviates kapha, is also appetizer and slightly digestive stimulant. But, a drug reducing the action of pitta, is not a good digestive. A substance which is heavy (guru), śīta, vīrya and anti-pitta, will aggravate vāta-doṣa. Similarly, a substance which is light, uṣṇa, vīrya, anti-vāta, will alleviate kapha and increase pitta-doṣa”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu

Kapha (कफ) refers to one of the three Doṣas (tridoṣa), representing the “water element” of the human body. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. The three doṣas are three bodily humors, which when in balance, sustain perfect human health. According to Dṛḍhabala, Kapha-doṣa is situated in the śiras (head). The quantum of Kapha-doṣa fluctuates during Childhood, morning and early hours of night and after meals. It also fluctuates according to the different seasons: during during early winter (hemanta) it accumulates, during spring (vasanta) it aggrevates and during summer (grīṣma) it pacifies. It is important to keep track of these fluctuations in order to prevent seasonal disorders.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Kapha – Water or Phlegm, composed of Water and Earth (see Tridosha).

Source: Google Books: Exploring Mantric Ayurveda

Kapha (कफ) is the principle of water and as such maintains the body-fluid, controls growth and strength in the body.

Causes of aggravation:—Kapha is aggravated by intake of sweet, sour, salty, unctuous, slimy and heavy substances, day-sleep, lack of physical exercise, in spring season, first phase of day and night, and childhood.

Symptoms:—Aggravated Kapha gives rise to heaviness, diminution of digestive fire, nausea, salivation, lassitude, horripilation, sweetness in body and mouth, itching in throat, drowsiness, excessive sleep, depression of body and mind, pal,lor or whiteness and abnormal growth.

Treatment:—Vāta, Pitta and Kapha should be treated with eliminative therapy (known as ‘pañcakarma’). Thereafter they should be pacified with prescribed measures relating to diet, drug and activity. Kapha is pacified with bitter astringent and pungent substances; application of irritant, hot and rough items; keeping awake in night and physical activity.

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Kapha (कफ).—One of the three biological humors (tridoṣa).—Often kapha is translated as mucus or phlegm, which is an important part of kapha, particularly in disease, but kapha is much more than that. It represents potential energy in the body. Kapha-doṣa provides nourishment to all parts of the body and regulates the other two doṣas, pitta and vāta.

Kapha provides moistness, oiliness and smoothness to the body organs. It lubricates and connects joints and bones, increases libido, strength, enthusiasm, heals wounds improves immunity, provides energy for mental and physical activities, and it is responsible for behavioral and psychological changes. Kapha is also the pramry cause for sleep, lethargy and inertia (tamas).

The five types of kapha according to their locations and functions are:

  1. kledaka (located in the stomach),
  2. avalambaka (located in the chest),
  3. bodhaka (located in the tongue and throat),
  4. tarpaka (located in the head),
  5. śleṣaka (located in the bones and joints).
Source: Google Books: A Practical Approach to the Science of Ayurveda

The origin of Kapham is ascribed to the presence of watery (Saumya) principle in the body.

Sweetness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and sliminess form the specific properties of Kapham.

Source: archive.org: Sushruta samhita, Volume I

Kapha can be managed by avoiding foods which are cold, oily, stale, refrigerated, heavy to digest, slimy, food rich in sweet, sour and salt taste, keeping away from low moods and depression, avoiding excess of sleep, lack of exercise and sex, sedentary life activities, managing cold season etc – This will prevent stagnations and blocks in the cells and tissues and thus prevent pressure on nerves and tendons

Source: Easy Ayurveda: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Kapha is also called Śleṣma. One of its main functions is to provide nutrition to the bodily tissues. Kapha is also of five types viz.

  1. Kledaka Kapha,
  2. Avalambaka Kapha,
  3. Tarpaka Kapha,
  4. Bodhaka Kapha
  5. and Śleṣaka Kapha.
Source: Hand book of domestic medicine: Basic principles of Āyurveda

Kapha performs the functions like protection, strength, stability and resistance. Functions of immune system and all such other protective mechanisms in the body have been grouped under ‘Kapha’ in Ayurveda.

During the first stage of digestion, there occurs the release of froth-like ‘Kapha’ (Carakasaṃhitā Cikitsāsthāna 15/9). Salivary juice and mucous secreted in the stomach serve many protective functions but do not directly participate in the actual process of digestion. These are therefore indicative of froth-like ‘Kapha’, which is ‘Malarūpī ’ in nature.

Ojas is also closely related with Kapha. When the Śleṣma (Kapha) is in normal state, it is called ‘Bala’ as well as ‘Ojas’; but when it attains an abnormal state, it is then called ‘Mala’ (Waste) and ‘Pāpmā ’ (Disease) (Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 27/117).

Source: Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda
Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Kapha is the body fluid principle which relates to mucus, lubrication, and the carrier of nutrients.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

India history and geogprahy

Kaphā.—d8ī (Chamba), same as kapahad8ī. Note: kaphā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

kapha (कफ).—m C (Or kapa) Cotton or similar substance used as tinder. 2 A block (with or without a pulley).

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kapha (कफ).—m (S) Phlegm, one of the three humors: also the mucus hawked up. 2 Watery froth or foam gen.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kapha (कफ).—m Phlegm; watery froth.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kapha (कफ).—[kena jalena phalati phal-ḍa Tv.]

1) Phlegm, one of the three humours of the body (the other two being vāta and pitta); कफापचयादारोग्यैकमूलमाशयाग्निदीप्तिः (kaphāpacayādārogyaikamūlamāśayāgnidīptiḥ) Dk.16; प्राणप्रयाणसमये कफवातपित्तैः कण्ठावरोधनविधौ स्मरणं कुतस्ते (prāṇaprayāṇasamaye kaphavātapittaiḥ kaṇṭhāvarodhanavidhau smaraṇaṃ kutaste) Udb.

2) A watery foam or froth in general.

Derivable forms: kaphaḥ (कफः).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 244 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kaphāri (कफारि).—m. (-riḥ) Ginger. E. kapha and ari foe.
Kaphaghna (कफघ्न).—a. removing phlegm, antiphlegmatic; -m. Name of a plant (Mar. laghu śeraṇī)....
Samudrakapha (समुद्रकफ).—m. (-phaḥ) Cuttle-fish-bone. E. samudra the sea, and kapha phlegm.
Kaphakṣaya (कफक्षय).—pulmonary consumption. Derivable forms: kaphakṣayaḥ (कफक्षयः).Kaphakṣaya i...
Sindhukapha (सिन्धुकफ).—m. (-phaḥ) Cuttle-fish-bone. E. sindhu the sea, kapha phlegm.
Kaphajvara (कफज्वर).—fever caused by excess of phlegm. Derivable forms: kaphajvaraḥ (कफज्वरः).K...
Avalaṃbaka Kapha:—Situated in the thorax, ‘Avalaṃbaka Kapha’ protects the ‘Trika’ and ...
Tarpaka Kapha:—This sub-type of ‘Kapha’ is present inside the head and is responsible ...
Bodhaka Kapha:—This is said to be present in oral cavity and helps in the perception o...
Kaphavardhana (कफवर्धन) or Kaphavarddhana.—mfn. (-naḥ-nī-naṃ) Exciting phlegm. m. (-naḥ) The na...
Kaphanāśana (कफनाशन).—mfn. (-naḥ-nī-naṃ) Antiphlegmatic. E. kapha, and nāśana destroying.
Meghakapha (मेघकफ).—m. (-phaḥ) Hail. E. megha a cloud, and kapha phlegm.
Śleṣaka Kapha:—This Kapha is present in the bony joints and is responsible for lubrica...
Kledaka Kapha:—This is present in stomach and it moistens the ingested food (Aṣṭāṅgahṛ...
Maulikapha (मौलिकफ).—the phlegm secreted in the head. Derivable forms: maulikaphaḥ (मौलिकफः).Ma...

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