What Does Ayurveda Say About Coffee?

Is it healthy to consume coffee on a daily basis? Am I addicted to coffee? Is this addiction harmful to my health? Can I survive a day without my warm, cup of coffee? I’m sure we all had these kind of questions in our mind, at one point of time. As for me, personally, I come from a foundational standpoint or a bringing up in this world of not drinking coffee. So it’s not a regular part of my life, but I know for many people, it is.

Is Coffee Good Or Bad For Me?

We all should prefer using coffee as a medicine instead of a habitual habitat. We’re just unconsciously doing everything and it has led to an impact on our bodies and our minds, where we do something without looking at all. Rather, let’s do things mindfully! And coffee is a really good way to start. So let’s just jump in and look at how we view coffee from an Ayurvedic standpoint. Looking at Western medicine, coffee can be demonized, or it can be a hero. Many people believe that, coffee is good for you to study their sighting or they do a lot of research showing the coffee’s really bad for your body. So let’s look at both sides of the coin.

The Good Part: Benefits Of Coffee

According to western medicine, the health benefits of coffee are:

✓ Improved brain functions

✓ Approach memory

✓ Boosts thinking ability

✓ Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes

✓ Decreases the risk of dementia and Parkinson’s disease

✓ Lowers the risk of depression

✓ Decreases the rate of liver and colon cancer

The Bad Part: Side Effects Of Coffee

Some of the negative claims that we hear about coffee is that it causes an – Increase in blood pressure and hypertension. This is a long-running complaint that we’ve learned about coffee that, it can contribute to:

• Gastric ulcers

• Constipation

• Adrenal fatigue

• Insomnia

• Panic disorders

• Anxiety

• Irritable bowel syndrome

• Chronic fatigue

There’s also a claim that coffee can overstimulate the gastro colic reflex.

Are You Addicted To Coffee?

Many people drink a morning cup of coffee to warm up for the day. We don’t want our body to be dependent. And as any medicine, we want our bodies to take it when we need it and to not become dependent. If you are taking coffee on a regular basis. Analyze, how your body is responding to it. Particular day that actually helps. Of course, you don’t want that to be regular.

As Ayurveda mentions that all plants have a specific purpose. So coffee is best viewed as a medicine. It can promote energy, stimulate digestion, increases the blood pressure. These might be good for some doshas, but they also might not be so great for other doshas. If you want to decrease your consumption or eliminate it because those are not the outcomes you’re looking for. So just like any Medicine, we need to ask our body, “Do we want that or not”? Every type of food can be a poison or medicine. Be it coffee or any other food item. Each type of food has a right time. You can drink it in moderation. Just remember that coffee has a stimulating effect on the body and mind. It has an astringent and bitter taste. Hence, will draw water out. Thereby, having a negative impact on our body.

What Happens When A Kapha Individual Drinks Coffee?

If you have excess kapha, you’re going to have the following symptoms:-

❖ Water retention

❖ Swelling

❖ Weight gain

❖ Congestion in the sinus

❖ Excess of mucus

❖ Lack of motivation

❖ Depression

❖ Lethargy

❖ Inaccurate thinking

If they’re drinking coffee, that can be stimulatory to them. It can be a little hot and dry which can balance out the heavy, Sluggish, lethargic qualities of kapha. They’re going to warm things up a little bit and draw some of that extra moisture out. But if a kapha person is drinking excess coffee on a regular basis. They’re really a big target to getting addicted to coffee, in short, they just can’t do anything without it, and that’s how they have to start their morning. And then it, becomes the opposite effect where they’re consuming too much and it causes more depression, lethargy and obesity. You have to be really careful. Remember, this is medicine, excessive amounts would be like taking too much of an allopathic medicine. So you should make sure that you’re taking in the right amounts.

What Happens When A Vata Person Consumes Excess Coffee?

There is tremendous energy and immense motion happening in these people. So we can feel that exhaustion coming on, rather than pushing through and adding in more stimulation. Take a break and rest, drink some water, hydrate your body, and bring yourself back into balance.

What Happens When A Pitta Individual Consumes Coffee?

Now for our pitta Coffee drinkers, they could become increasingly driven and irritable. So drinking a lot of coffee is actually going to affect the emotions. It can cause a lot of

▪ Anger

▪ Intensity

▪ Criticism

▪ Judgment

▪ Physically, you can see a little more heat

▪ Hypertension

▪ Development of ulcers

▪ Acne

▪ Skin rashes

▪ Heat burn

▪ Acid reflux

A very well-known Ayurvedic doctor from India says that, the western diet is very deficient in the bitter taste. Bitter is one of the flavors that actually can be balancing the Pitta in the right quantities, but it is very high and concentrated in coffee. It can increase that emotion of being bitter, inside a pitta person. So, if you know someone who’s really bitter and they’re kind of grumpy, leading an unhappy life and they’re drinking lots of coffee. Maybe even just taking a coffee out, could cause a huge shift in their emotional energy.

Like Increases Like

What’s really important is that we understand the qualities of a substance and the fact that “like increases like”. It is an authentic, standard Ayurvedic principle. If you already have this quality in you and you bring in more of that quality, you’re now going to have double the amount. So if you’re already dry, vata type. Bringing something dry, you’re going to be even drier. So for a pitta and vata person, they need to be really careful. Because, if someone has a high pitta and is over-heated, they’re going to be emotionally and physically hot.

So the hot qualities of coffee is going to make them even hotter for vata and pitta individual. Both of them use a lot of adrenaline and energy to function. Coffee is going to make this even worse because it is very stimulating to the adrenals. It is going to pull on the reserve energy in the kidneys.

How Can We Avoid Coffee?

  • If you are experiencing excessive vata symptoms like dehydration, dry hair, dry skin, constipation insomnia, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, restlessness, having a hard time focusing, you feel like your energy is being pulled in all different directions, it is certainly not a great time for a cup of coffee. Coffee when taken with cream and sweetener is great. Drink between 0-1cup daily, if needed.
  • If you’re not having pitta at balance and experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, then sweeten your coffee with maple syrup and organic cane sugar or sweet cream. 0-1 cup daily, if extremely necessary.
  • For kaphas, they should consume straight black coffee. You can add any milk sugar or cream, which is probably going to add congestion or mucus. And if you’re adding in any sweeteners, it will increase kapha, which we are trying to avoid. This can cause weight gain, hence drink one cup daily, but not more than one cup a day.

Things To Keep In Mind While Consuming Coffee

❖ Drink it before 10 a.m.

❖ Manage the portion size- don’t drink excessively.

❖ Consume organic, good quality coffee.

❖ Do not drink coffee on an empty stomach.

❖ Have a grounding breakfast, then drink coffee.

❖ It might take some time to weed into that schedule, but that’s going to be a more beneficial way to take your coffee.

Coffee Substitutes

  • Black tea
  • Green tea
  • Ayurvedic roast – Comprises of ashwagandha, no caffeine
  • Dandelion root tea- Half a cup, to get rid of the coffee habit


Vata – brahmi tea, triphala tea, warm lemon water
Pitta – a perfect morning substitute for coffee is Coriander coffee.
Kapha – organic ginger tea. It stimulates the digestive fire. Go for a jog or brisk walk.

How To Cut Down On Your Coffee Intake?

It is crucial to understand that coffee can be used medicinally within the body and we need to use it by considering our Dosha and its imbalances. Even the seasons play an important role in this. Naturally, we need to drink coffee during winters, to get that warmth and stimulation. Whereas during the summer time, it is going to be extremely heating. So we must avoid it in summers.

Spring or kapha time, will be the most apt season to drink coffee.
So looking at all of these factors together, start evaluating your own habits around coffee and see, is it something I need to eliminate from my life and will it serve me better without it? Do I actually need it in there? Is it giving me a medicinal benefit? Am I just reliant on it as an outside source of stimulation? Has it been a long time, since I’ve been feeding my body with this foreign stimulant? Does my body actually need that stimulation?

Ironically, the body will end up needing it, which will be really hard in letting go and it will definitely cause immense strain on the nervous and adrenal system. The more we create that internal stimulation through things, like movement or pranayama, yoga or brisk walking or working through our thoughts, the more beneficial it will be in leading a healthy, joyful life.

“Anything done in excess, causes more harm than good”. Hence, consume your delicious coffee only occasionally and opt for healthy choices every day!”


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