Pitta Dosha: Characteristics, Symptoms, Diet, and Treatments
What Is Pitta Dosha?
In Ayurveda, Pitta is the principle of fire. Pitta roughly gets translated as fire. But this is not meant literally. It is the subtle energy that governs all metabolic functions within the body. It consists of fire and water elements. It also regulates digestion, absorption, assimilation, and body temperature. It is present in all body cells. Ayurveda has mentioned a few locations in the body like the small intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, and eyes that are the prime locations of this dosha.
In a balanced state, Pitta is responsible for digestion or the transformation of food in the body. It controls “Agni” or digestive fire, hunger, thirst, taste perception, vision, and skin complexion. It also regulates mental activities like intelligence, understanding, courage, and valor. Ayurveda states that all disorders arise due to weak Agni or digestion power. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain proper digestion.
Pitta Dosha Characteristics
It has hot, sharp, light, oily, liquid, pungent, sour, and spreading properties. These get reflected in various ways in a person having a Pitta constitution.
- The pitta body type is one of medium height and symmetrical build with good muscle development.
- Medium light-green, grey, or blue eyes with a deep and intentional gaze
- Fair, oily, and soft skin with freckles, prone to pimples and straight, fine hair with a tendency towards early thinning or greying
- Uncomfortable in warm, hot, or sunny weather and prefers the cold atmosphere
- Strong appetite and digestive strength. Consumes large quantities of food and drink.
- Love Sweet, bitter, and astringent foods
- Moderate but uninterrupted and sound sleep
- Gain weight quickly and can also lose it easily
- Alert, intelligent, quick learners with logical and investigating minds. They are competitive, aggressive, and have low tolerance levels.
What Are Aggravated Pitta Dosha Symptoms?
Excess consumption of pungent, sour, salty, deep-fried, and processed food, staying awake at night result in aggravation of this fiery dosha. This imbalance produces symptoms related to digestion, skin, and blood disorders.
Signs Of Pitta Imbalance Include:
- Fever and inflammation in the body
- Acidity, heartburn, indigestion
- Skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis
- Pitta rashes on the body
- Disorders of the liver
- Heavy or prolonged bleeding during menses
- Excessive sweating and body odor
- Hair thinning or loss and premature greying of hair
- Anger and irritability
How To Balance Pitta Dosha?
A combination of a healthy diet and an appropriate lifestyle helps to bring it into balance and prevent conditions caused by its imbalance.
Food plays a role in maintaining the balance of doshas. Foods that have qualities like Pitta aggravate it. These include sour, salty, pungent tasting, spicy and hot foods like peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, garlic, vinegar, fermented foods. You ought to consume sweet, bitter, astringent, cooling foods to combat the fire characteristics.
Here Is A List Of Recommended Pitta Dosha Diet:
- Whole grains: Oats, rice, wheat, barley
- Vegetables and beans: Sweet, astringent, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, and green beans
- Spices: Use spices sparingly. Include sweet and mild spices, such as coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, and mint.
- Fruits: Amla, bananas, coconut, pears, plums, figs, pomegranates, mangos, melons, grapes. Consume them at least one hour before or after meals. Avoid eating fruits in the evening.
- Dairy Products: Cow milk, unsalted butter, ghee, paneer, cheese
- Use coconut oil, sunflower or olive oil, ghee for cooking. Limit oily and fried foods. Drink plenty of cooling water, mellow, Amla juice, Aloe vera juice, fennel tea, aniseed, and caraway tea.
Try Not To Skip A Meal Or Fast For Too Long.
As mentioned earlier, the Pitta type has a strong appetite. Skipping a meal or fasting for a long duration lowers energy quickly, causes irritability, and increases Pitta. Have lunch as your principal meal of the day. Digestive fire is at its peak during this time which helps in better digestion.
Stay in cold places. Take a walk on green grass in gardens having pleasant and cold wind. If possible, sleep outside or on the terrace under the coolness of the moon. Use coconut oil or medicated oils like Brahmi oil for massage. Regular head and feet massage before discharging to the bed helps to reduce body heat, stress, and anxiety. It also helps to induce sound sleep. Wear light and airy clothes made of cotton, silks, or linen fabrics. Carry a hat and sunglasses when going out during summers.
Yoga For Balancing Pitta Dosha
Yoga helps balance the tridoshas. Cooling, relaxing asanas with slow and deep breathing can help to control fiery Pitta. Asanas working on the abdominal area like Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) help to reduce Pitta. Sitali and Sitkari Pranayam are some of the most beneficial breathing techniques for this type. It helps with hyperacidity and ulcers to which pitta body types are susceptible.
Pitta Dosha Lifestyle
Following a proper lifestyle is one of the most important things to keep the doshas balanced. Maintain a regular daily routine. Follow meal timings and do not wait to eat until you are ravenously hungry. Avoid unnecessary hurry and worry. Slow down and do not take on too much at one time. Add few drops of aromatic oils such as lavender or rose in massage oils. Swimming or aqua-aerobics help to keep you cool and fit. Reserve half an hour for meditation daily to help balance the emotions and enhance body-mind-spirit coordination. Stay cool emotionally and avoid unnecessary conflicts or arguments.
Pitta Dosha Treatment In Ayurveda
Ayurveda recommends few treatments like Abhyanga (Oil Massage), Snehan (oleation), Nasya (nasal administration of ghee or medicated oils), and Virechan (medicated purgation therapy) Enema with decoctions and medicated oils) to pacify Pitta dosha. Virechana cleanses the excess Pitta and purifies the blood by clearing the toxins from the body. Rakta Moksha or bloodletting helps to get rid of vitiated blood and benefits in skin diseases. Shirodhara balances Pitta and provides relaxing, soothing, and calming effects on the body and mind. You can consult an Ayurvedic doctor to know which procedure is beneficial for you.
Ayurvedic Medicine For Pitta Dosha
Cooling and nourishing Ayurvedic herbs like Amla, Shatavari, Giloy, Brahmi and spices like turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and mint are useful in pacifying Pitta.