Shleshaka Kapha

Last Updated: December 2, 2019

Definition - What does Shleshaka Kapha mean?

According to Ayurveda, Shleshaka Kapha is one of the five sub-doshas (sub-types) of Kapha dosha. Sub-doshas are responsible for overseeing specific actions, organs or emotions, and relative imbalance in these energetic sub-categories tends to be the root cause of illness, disease and ill-health.

Shleshaka Kapha is a fatty substance, responsible for lubricating joints, protecting bones from deterioration and fostering freedom of movement. It is found in all 360 joints of the body, and is often likened to synovial fluid from the perspective of Western medicine. Shleshaka Kapha also acts as a shock absorber for the bones.

Yogapedia explains Shleshaka Kapha

Doshas are the functional energies that regulate all physiological and psychological characteristics within a person's body and mind. The three primary doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, a unique ratio of which makes up an individual's constitution (Prakriti). Within each of these doshas are five sub-doshas, or sub-types.

Shleshaka Kapha is the fifth sub-dosha of Kapha. In Sanskrit, the word Shleshaka means 'binding;' without Shleshaka Kapha, there would be no connection between bones and movement would be impossible. Joint problems indicate an imbalance in Shleshaka Kapha. If there is too much, joints become swollen or inflamed. If there is too little, joints become dry and achy.

Herbs, such as punarnava and shilajit, can be used to treat swelling or fluid retention in the joints, helping to bring Shleshaka Kapha back to balance. In the case of decreased Shleshaka Kapha, localized massage with sesame oil can help to encourage lubrication in the joints.

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