Pitta

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Introduction to Pitta Dosha

Ayurvedic medicine believes that the world is composed of five elements— aakash (space), jala (water), prithvi (earth), teja (fire), and vayu (air).

It is said that a perfect combination of these elements results in three doshas, known as vata, kapha, and pitta. According to Ayurveda, these doshas make up a person’s physiological, mental, and emotional health.

All of us have a unique combination of these doshas, usually one’s levels exceeding another’s. For example, a person’s body may have maximum vata while others may have mostly pitta. This unique combination defines an individual’s health and helps maintain it.

What is Pitta Dosha

Pitta refers to fire. It manifests itself in the metabolism. Pitta is involved in the digestion of food. The food you consume is broken down to simpler forms in the stomach and intestine. This process can take place only when enzymes are formed or hormones are released into the bloodstream. This also means that everyone has Pitta bio-energy, which is primarily made up of the fire element.

The Pitta type and their characteristics

Ayurveda categorizes people on the characteristics of the dosha that is more dominant in their body. These are categorized as:

Fiery Pitta: These people are quick in taking up work with their powerful intellect and ambition. They are potential leaders and may be highly energetic. They often are passionate perfectionists.

Pitta-influenced: Such people love challenges in profession and sports. They have an athletic buildand carry a fiery aura. Pitta types love sweet things just as much as bitter flavours. And they love cold drinks.

Pitta Dosha Disorders

Pitta disorders are known to be caused because of emotional strain or anger, high temperatures, excessive alcohol, meat, sugar and white flour. Such foods and anger can lead to upset stomachs, heartburn and diarrhoea. People with pitta disorders face hyperacidity, heartburn, frequent burps, perspiration etc. they can also become emotionally sensitive, have headaches or inflammation. Pitta disorder is commonly seen in workaholic individuals.

Controlling Pitta Dosha

What can help keep the pitta in optimum levels? Studies show that taking up mental challenges, sport activities, appropriate nutrition, following regular meditation, practising sufficient relaxation, at least seven hours of sleep and the chance to retreat can keep the pitta at optimum levels.

Correct nutrition for the Pitta type:
What should one eat to maintain the pitta?

People with pitta characters can usually digest all kinds of food as they have a strong digestive system. The food, however, should calm the fire associated with Pitta. The food should not be too pungent, salty or sour for these kinds of people. Such foods strengthen the pitta dosha and can cause troubles to the individuals. These foods stimulate the gastric juices and the body’s inner fire and invigorate its cells with a heat-generating effect.

Bitter, astringent and sweet flavours reduce the pitta dosha. These foods usually have a constricting, reductive and cooling impact. Regular intake of such food is crucial for Pitta individuals as their equilibrium can otherwise easily be lost and the heated element can prevail. The focus should always be on the moderation of food and the dosha. The Pitta is dominant in the summer period and hence people with Pitta characters must take more care to keep themselves cool internally in the warm months.

Pitta dosha diet

One should eat sweet, bitter, astringent and cool flavoured food to combat the Pitta fire.

Stay away from food that increases pitta: pungent, sour, salty or too hot foods or foods that stimulate the pitta should be avoided. One should emphasize consuming moderate meals.

Pitta dosha symptoms

  • Physical Symptoms
  • Increased hunger and/or thirst
  • Infection
  • Greying and/or loss of hair
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Giddiness and/or migraines
  • Hot flashes and want for substances that have a cooling effect on the body
  • Bad breath/body odour
  • Sore throat

Balancing the pitta dosha can foster the ability to live a balanced life, increase focus and confidence.