Keep Your Head Clear of Cold and Moisture
by Eva Dusch
Bathing is one of the important steps in Dinarcharya of our daily routine. According to the Ayurvedic texts, it’s a therapeutic ritual that purifies, kindles Agni, and is strengthening and life-promoting. But knowing that Kapha Dosha already has this beautiful abundance of the water element, it’s helpful to shower “in the right way”.
Guidelines for showering? By now, you might have already noticed that Ayurveda is not so much about strict rules and regulations, but more about being a helpful hand, guiding you in the right direction. Helping you to make choices based on Dosha, season, and other factors. And yes, that applies to even the most mundane things like showering. In the case of Kapha, that means keeping the head clear from cold and moisture.
Kapha is more sensitive to being overloaded, especially when it comes to water, so make sure to ‘protect’ the head from too much Kapha (earth and water) influence. One way to do that is to avoid too much water on the head during morning showers. Particularly, avoid showering with too much (cold) water, for too long - even warm water can be disturbing. The Ayurvedic advice is no head showers as you may increase Kapha.
Herbs and Remedies
When too much Kapha spills out of the gastrointestinal tract upwards into the body, it can enter different tissues. It shows especially in the Kapha sites of the body such as the head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat. In these areas, the increased Kapha Dosha can cause tissue-specific complaints, often depending on the Kapha properties - cold, wet, heavy, stable, solid, unctuous - that are, in particular, out of balance. Below are some specific examples that might sound familiar to you or the people around you.
Taking care of your Kapha can help prevent:
Clogged forehead cavities
Udana Vayu is one of the upward moving winds of the Vata Dosha and can push too much Kapha into the head. It then settles in the forehead cavities and leads to recurrent colds and stuffy nose, foggy brain, and blocked sinuses.
Clogged ear cavity/ear canal
Vata is responsible for movement and it can propel Kapha into the ear canal, where it can lead to blockages and ear infections. This can sometimes even lead to balance disorders.
Eye disorders in which Kapha plays a role (e.g., glaucoma)
An excess or disturbed Kapha in the eye fluids can lead to cataract and glaucoma, sometimes as an accompanying symptom to the typical Kapha disorder diabetes.
It’s one of the diseases of the sclera (white part) of the eye. A growth/swelling of the conjunctiva covers the white part of the eye over the cornea, that arises from the immature Kapha molecules on the cornea. It’s a curable condition.
Swollen pharynx / larynx (sore throat)
A mild type of inflammation of the pharynx (area behind throat) or larynx (voice box) is due to Kapha, usually combined with Pitta. Kapha symptoms are itching, swelling, whitish patches over tonsils, and hoarseness of voice.
Thyroid problems (under-function)
When Kapha affects the thyroid gland, it’s caused by Manda Agni (slow digestion) in the Bhuta and Dhatu Agni's (metabolism of liver and tissues). It’s an expression of the heavy and slow qualities of Kapha. It’s quite common amongst Kapha individuals and those with a Kapha imbalance.
The lungs form an area that is very susceptible to Kapha-related disorders and emotions (grief and sadness). Examples include bronchitis and pneumonia. Remedies that can support the removal of too much Kapha in the lungs are:
- Sitopaladi Churna
- Abhrak Bhasma
It’s when we look beyond the gross outer layers of life that we find our way to the more subtle layers that can shift your whole being and perspective on life. That’s how it felt when Eva encountered the path of Ayurveda. After years of practising yoga and meditation, it was the cherry on the cake. The foundation she was looking for, that connects everything. No matter where you go. After working for years as a writer and freelance journalist, she took a big break in 2016 to travel the world. She went to all corners of the planet, living in New Zealand and South America for a while. As unstable and challenging the circumstances sometimes were, it was through yoga and Ayurveda that she found stability, balance, and inner peace. Something she brought back home with her when she returned to Amsterdam in the spring of 2019. That same year, she started her journey with the Delight Academy to deepen her knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of Ayurveda. Her motivation to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner is to help people reconnect with their bodies and inner knowing again. Encouraging them to take their health into their own hands, using nutrition, awareness, and balance as tools. She believes in conscious, healthy, and joyful living inspired by the beauty and depth of Ayurvedic wisdom and holistic philosophies. Photo credit: Kiki Reijners