Diet to reduce kapha

A congestive state is any state in the body that is characterized by symptoms including excess mucus, heaviness, lethargy, lymphatic congestion and mental dullness.  In Ayurveda, this state of congestion is correlated with kapha dosha, consisting of cold, heavy, smooth, moist and dull qualities.  A kapha-reducing diet is predominant in bitter, pungent and astringent flavors, expressing the qualities of hot, light and dry, to keep the cold, heavy and wet qualities of kapha in check.

  • Soup stock made from spicy herbs such as garlic, ginger, onion, and chili, e.g. Mulligatawny Soup p. 170)
  • Limited amounts of lean meats, prepared baked or grilled, e.g. poultry, fish, bison, elk, wild game (e.g. Goat Curry, p. 197)
  • Leafy greens and other vegetables, steamed or stir-fried with only a little fat (e.g. Garlic-Basil Rapini, p. 179)
  • Light and drying grains such as barley, buckwheat, millet and wild rice (e.g. Northwest Wild Rice Infusion, p. 214)
  • Most legumes, prepared with warming herbs and spices (e.g. Urad Mung Dahl, p. 218)
  • Sour and bitter fruits such as lemon and lime
  • Fermented foods, made with bitter and pungent vegetables such as onion, daikon, radish, cabbage, tomato, peppers (p. 183)
  • Warming and stimulating herbs and spices, e.g. ginger, cardamom, cayenne, ajwain, black pepper, mustard
  • Honey, in limited amounts