Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces represent transformation. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes to occur. Here you will know some ways to balance pitta dosha.
What is pitta dosha?
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks.”
It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body that functions through carrier substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. While Pitta is most closely related to the element of Fire, it is the liquid nature of these substances that accounts for the element of Water in Pitta’s make-up.
A Pitta individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state (1).
The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat.
Physiologically, Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body.
Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the intellect (2).
Types of pitta dosha (Subdosha)
Pachaka pitta The Pitta that digests the food and processes it further use in gastrointestinal tract. Pachaka means which helps in digestion and metabolism in the body. It plays role in breaking down the food and extracting nutrients for the body. As compared to other types of Pitta, it has less drava (liquid) quality, but more ushna (hot) quality. Therefore, it is also called agni (digestive fire) in ayurveda.
The digestion of food and differentiating the useful part and waste part of the food is main function of Pachaka pitta. Some diseases due to its aggravation are loss of Appetite, Indigestion, Malabsorption.
Ranjaka pitta Ranjaka pitta is present in liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine. It imparts red color to the blood and plays a vital role in hemoglobin synthesis. The main location include Liver, Spleen, Stomach, Small intestine. Its normal function are Hemoglobin synthesis, Imparting red color to hemoglobin. Jaundice, Anemia, Liver and spleen disorders can occur due to its aggravation.
Sadhaka pitta Sadhaka pitta resides in brain. It is responsible for metabolic activities in the neuron and processing information and thought processes. The main locations are Brain & Nerves. Its function include Metabolic activities in the neuron, Processing information and thought processes, Maintaining the functions of mind and Memory. Some emotions like ego, intellect, anger, joy, attachment, fear and determination are due to Sadhaka pitta. Memory impairment and deterioration of natural mental functions are diseases due to its aggravation.
Alochaka pitta The Pitta that helps perceiving the light in the eyes is called Alochaka pitta. Metabolic activities in the rods and cones in the retina are due to Alochaka pitta. The main function of Alochaka pitta is vision. It perceives the light and further process it to the brain. Eyes disorders or impairment of vision are due to aggravation of Alochaka pitta.
Bhrajaka pitta Pitta responsible for color and complexion of the skin and keep it warm is called Bhrajaka pitta. The skin is the main location of Bhrajaka pitta. Some function of this includes Color & complexion of the skin, Maintaining warmness of the skin, digesting the local medicaments applied externally on the skin. Many skin diseases with Pitta symptoms are due to aggravation of Bhrajaka pitta.
Common Causes of Pitta Imbalance
- Hot, spicy foods
- Fermented foods
- Sour foods
- Extreme heat
- Direct sunlight
- Skipping meals
- Too much critical thinking/problem solving
- Debating, arguing, conflict
- Anger, hate, jealousy
- Aggressive energy
Qualities or Attributes of Pitta Dosha
- Sharp or penetrating
- A little oily or “unctuous” (some ayurvedic texts describe it as moist)
Signs & Symptoms Of Imbalanced Pitta Dosha
- Increased feeling of heat in the body
- Redness and inflamed rashes, cold sores and feeling thirsty all the time
- Acidity, heart burn and ulcers
- Unexplained bleeding – Gums, Piles, Menstruation
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Redness in eyes
- Blood Pressure
- Skin diseases
- Obsessed to make things perfect
- Anger, irritability, loose temperament and too much of it leading to hatred, jealousy, intolerance, impaired memory
- Premature aging – Premature graying of hair
- Decreasing eye sight
- Indigestion, Gas, Flatulence, mild Pain in abdomen after eating food (3)
How to Balance Pitta (Pitta balancing)
Eat breakfast and lunch before the sun gets hot
Our agni, or digestive fire, is low in the summer, so our appetite is weaker than it is in cooler seasons. In fact, it’s lowest during the hottest part of the day. Try to eat breakfast and lunch before 11 a.m. and a light dinner when the sun begins to set.
Avoid hot, spicy, and salty foods during the summer months
They’ll increase the pitta dosha. Hard liquor, red wine, and red meat are also too heating for the summer. Eat sweet, bitter, and astringent foods instead. These tastes are pitta-pacifying. The best summer foods are made with milk, yogurt, ghee, cucumber, apples, pears, melon, watermelon, fresh cilantro, asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, and basmati rice.
Avoid arguing and conflict
Although Pitta types love a good debate but serious debates and arguments are sure to get the blood boiling and the Pitta rising. If your Pitta is high, it is best to avoid these situations and instead place yourself around pleasant people and conversation. Pitta types hate to hear the word “no” and therefore should be surrounded by more agreeable company.
Drink 4 to 6 cups of water daily, along with cooling beverages like fresh coconut water and watermelon juice.
Pitta Diet Tips
The following are some general suggestions for a diet to soothe aggravated Pitta in the system. Since every individual has different needs, none of these are absolute.
- generally refreshing, light foods with lots of liquid.
- fresh fruit and vegetables, organic if possible. Choose sweet, ripe fruits over unripe, sour ones
- sweet, bitter and astringent flavours, like fresh milk and butter, natural sweeteners (except for honey) and lots of fruit, green vegetables, green smoothies or coconut
- hot, spicy or fried foods or anything prepared with cheap oils
- too much of pungent, salty or sour flavours, like hot spices, salt, yoghurt or other sour-cultured foods
- too many vegetables from the nightshade family (tomatoes, aubergines (4), peppers, potatoes) and heating vegetables like garlic, onion and radishes
- be careful with heating spices like chilli, pepper, mustard seeds, asafoetida, dry ginger and salt