In the Mind
Signs that kapha is increasing in the mind include a generalized feeling of heaviness or lethargy, sluggishness, drowsiness, brain fog, and a tendency towards excessive sleep, laziness, melancholy, or depression. If kapha accumulates in the mind unchecked, it can lead to severe kapha-type depression, withdrawal, or loss of consciousness, as occurs in a diabetic coma.
In The Digestive Tract
Early signs of kapha aggravation in the digestive system include a sense of heaviness, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness in the stomach, nausea, excess salivation, a poor appetite, a sweet taste in the mouth, indigestion, and a slow or suppressed metabolism. Excess kapha can also cause the stools to be heavy, oily, pale, or sticky, and can lead to mucoid diarrhea and pre-diabetes. A long-standing kapha imbalance can cause diabetes, anorexia nervosa, hyperglycemia, and blood or pus in the stools.
In the Respiratory System
In the respiratory system, kapha can cause colds, coughs, excessive accumulation of mucus, a runny nose, excess nasal crust, hay fever, congestion (or a feeling of tightness) in the sinuses, throat, or chest. On a more severe level, it can cause chronic sinus infections, phlegm adhered to the throat, inflammation of the mucus membranes, and cystic fibrosis of the lungs.
In the Circulatory System, Skin, Muscles, and Adipose Tissue
As kapha accumulates in these areas, it may cause lymphatic congestion, swollen lymph glands, mild (and intermittent) hypertension, hives, itching, pallor, cold sweats, reduced sweating, loss of strength, the formation of lipomas, and/or weight gain. Long-standing kapha disturbance can lead to varicose veins with thrombus, deep vein thrombosis, stagnation of the blood, hardening of the vessels, severely high cholesterol, profuse edema, solid edema, congestive heart failure, leukemia, hypertension, hypertrophy, extreme hypotonia, obesity, and the formation of malignant fatty tumors such as liposarcomas.
Elsewhere in the Body
Excess kapha is also behind water retention, excess urination, low grade fevers, fungal infections, excess ear wax, dental tartar, excess hair growth, low libido, an exaggerated desire for sex, premature ejaculation (emotional), enlarged prostate, cold or heavy testicles, fibrocystic lumps, leucorrhea, and prolonged, slow menstrual cycles. Imbalanced kapha can also cause a foul smell, swelling and stiffness in the joints, a sense of heaviness in the eyes, whiteness in the urine, eyes, or feces, impacted wisdom teeth, tumors, goiter, an enlarged spleen, an enlarged liver, glaucoma, protruded eyes, gangrene, fibroid tumors, gall stones, calcifications, bone spurs, osteoma, scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, hydrocephalus, neurofibomas, prostatic calculi, endometriosis, and cystic ovaries.
1 Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice. Churchill Livingston Elsevier, 2006. 54-56.
2 Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Three Rivers Press, 1998. 68-70.
3 Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 2: A Complete Guide to Clinical Assessment. The Ayurvedic Press, 2006. 30, 235, 242-279.
4 Morningstar, Amadea. The Ayurvedic Cookbook. Lotus Press, 1990. 17-19.