Monday, May 5, 2014

How to balance your Kapha dosha child

Our Kapha children are blessed with a strong, healthy, well-developed body. They tend to have strong muscles and larger-than average, heavy bones. Because their larger frames are dominated by earth and water, they tend to gain weight and have difficulty taking it off.

Kaphas also tend to be blessed with a sweet loving disposition, with a stable solidity to them.

They also often have slow metabolic and digestive capacities. Their skin is often smooth, lustrous, and thick and tends to be on the oily side. They have a steady appetite and thirst, and can comfortably skip a meal and work on an empty stomach. Because of their slow metabolic rate, Kaphas who maintain health and balance generally enjoy a long life span. If they become out of balance however, they tend to become obese, one of the main causes of diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack.

Kapha children have a sweet tooth and love candy, cookies, and other sweet, salty, and oily foods. These foods unfortunately tend to contribute to water retention and weight gain. Before the full moon, Kapha can become aggravated because there is a tendency toward water retention at this time.

The most challenging time of year for a Kapha is winter and early spring, when the weather is heavy, wet, cloudy and cold. You will notice more production of mucus at this time of year. This happens because when sinuses get dry or irritated, the body makes more mucus in an attempt to increase lubrication.  However, it becomes too much of a good thing as it clogs up sinuses and mucus membranes leading to congestion and a good environment for infections to develop.

Turmeric is a very powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory herb. It also has tissue repair properties and can heal and repair damaged or irritated cells e.g. asthma, bronchitis, intestinal disorders, etc.

Vigorous exercise is good for them, but often they have trouble getting motivated for this.

Out-of-Balance Kapha Children Tend to:

Convey physical problems related to the water principle, such as colds, flu, sinus congestion, sluggishness, and so on. When out of balance Kapha can also become overly attached, greedy, excessively emotional, envious, possessive, lusty and lazy.

What Aggravates Kapha Children?

Eating dairy, heavy moist fatty and fried foods, drinking iced food or drinks, lack of exercise, routine, and sleeping during the day are all aggravating to Kapha, inducing fluid retention, mucous formation, lethargy and weight gain.

How to Balance the Kapha Child:

Getting plenty of vigorous exercise, eating light, dry, healthy foods and avoiding heavy ones, staying active and adding variety to routine all work well. Water should be taken warm. Dry or rough massage with light oils like grape seed and flaxseed oil, mixed with stimulating essential oils like camphor, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and ginger is excellent for this constitution, as well as burning incense of frankincense, myrrh, cedar, cloves, cinnamon, and musk.

Wearing bright warm colors such as yellow, orange, gold, and red and avoiding pale shades of blue, green, and pink will all bring balance for this child.

Foods Tips for the Kapha Constitution:
The Kapha child should eat foods that are predominantly bitter, pungent, and astringent, as well as warm, light, and dry, and flavoured with warming spices, like cinnamon. Avoid mucous-producing foods for these children, especially in the spring when they can easily become aggravated.

1.              Most astringent fruit is appropriate, such as apples, apricots, berries, peaches, and raisins.
2.              Pungent and bitter vegetables are best, such as artichoke, broccoli, beets, celery, and leafy greens.
3.              Barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, corn are good grains for Kapha.
4.              Legumes such as aduki, mung, lentils, chick peas, split peas, and lima beans are also a must.
5.              Dairy products, (e.g. cottage cheese, goats milk, diluted yogurts) are acceptable in moderation.
6.              Only charole nuts are recommended.
7.              Sunflower, chia, flax seed are good in moderation.
8.              Grape, sesame, ghee, and sunflower are best.
9.              Sweeteners: like fruit juice concentrate and uncooked raw honey are acceptable.

Herbs and Spices:
       For digestion, use hot spices, such as: dry ginger, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper. *young children should not have spices in their food.
       For elimination, milk, ghee and rose will act as mild laxatives.
       For energy, include pungent or bitter tonics; garlic, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, myrrh, and aloe vera gel.
       For mind stimulation and clarity, use gotu kola, basil, myrrh, sage, bayberry, skullcap, and betony.
       Caution: The guidelines and information provided in this booklet are not intended to be a substitute for qualified medical advice. Children have acute senses and are very sensitive to tastes. Serving bland food when they are young is the most supportive.

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