Pitta – the fiery dosha
Pitta is the fiery Dosha – the energy of digestion, metabolism, the sensations through which the organism perceives and reacts adequately to what is happening in the environment. Pitta manages the biochemical processes of transformations, of reformations of everything that enters the body: it must be processed and assimilated. Thus, the useful substances of the consumed food are assimilated for support of the life and development of the body, while the unnecessary and harmful substances are disposed of and eliminated, the appetite and thirst are controlled, hearing and vision function properly.
In Ayurveda‘s philosophy, Pitta combines the fire and water elements, from which the bile is formed.
The word is of Sanskrit, the meaning is “warmth”, “transformation”. When a person is born, Pitta is in equilibrium with the other two energies called Vata and Kapha. Each one of them manages a certain part of the other functions in the organism. The movements – bloodstream, breathing, blinking, nerve impulses, etc., and even the movement of the vital energies themselves depend on Vata. Control of liquids is carried out through Kapha.
The balance of these energies is unique for each person – the variants of ratios are endless. Usually one energy dominates, it is leading and determines the body type. There may be two leading energies, then the type is combined, but extremely rarely happens the Doshas to be in equal proportions.
If the equilibrium is met, one has no health problems. If a Dosha goes out of balance, diseases occur because the function of number of organs and types of processes is disturbed. This usually leads to imbalances in the other two doshas, so a complex of diseases occur.
The leading Dosha defines both all biological features of the person and the features of his character. People with Pitta dosha are energetic, ambitious, but also slightly prone to aggressive. They are able to focus on a task and invest all in its realization, which makes them leaders – they manage to mobilize the activity of people of Vata and Kapha type.
What diseases can occur due to imbalance of Pitta dosha
When Pitta increases and disturbs the balance, the bile goes into various tissues and organs, as infections and inflammations occur due to that fact, for example, acne, urticaria, etc. The disorders of Pitta in general lead to accumulation of toxins in the body because of the indigestion and weak metabolism. These toxins damage the cells, respectively the tissues, resulting in abnormalities in the function of organs and entire systems.
Increased Pitta causes processes that are similar to intensively burning fire. In such situations, people of the Pitta type lose their emotional balance very easily, as well as they become irritable and anxious, angry, jelaous and resentful.
Generally speaking, the disturbances and diseases caused by Pitta affect the skin, sweat glands, eyes, blood, gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissues. Of course, diseases and causes should not be accepted dogmatically – that any disease is caused only for one reason. Headache, for example, may be caused by Pitta, but it also may be related to imbalance in one of the other two Doshas.
One of the worst diseases that can occur due to increased Pitta is the blood cancer. Gastric and intestinal diseases are different, with a variety of symptoms. These may include heartburn and burning sensations, strong sensitivity to fried foods.
Intensive salivation may occur due to the increased acidity. Since the bile is in excess, there is often a feeling of hunger, resulting in vomiting, as well as very bitter taste in the mouth. Diarrhea and constipation also can occur. The diseases that can be mentioned here are ulcers, colitis and gastritis, and so on.
The excessive bile, accumulated in the tissues, can lead to jaundice. The sclera and skin become yellow, as well as the stools and urine. Pitta may also cause bile diseases, as well as diseases of the:
- disturbances in the thyroid function
- high blood pressure and tinnitus
- allergic rashes, dermatitis
- hair loss
- chronic fever
- epilepsy and many more.
How to balance Pitta dosha with food
Ayurveda has a special diet for balance of Pitta. The nutritional regime for this vital energy is based on its characteristics. Fasting, for example, is impossible for people with Pitta dosha because it makes them very irritable. They have excellent digestion and good metabolism, so they have a strong appetite. Their digestive juices are activated at noon and midnight, so eating during the day should be sufficient. If they do detoxification, they do not do complete fasting, but they eat raw fruits and vegetables.
Generally, the food should be cool and not spicy in order to decrease the hot “fiery” characteristics of this Dosha. Similarly, the other features of Pitta are balanced through the opposites: the food should not be oily, it should be heavy, mild and dry.
The recommended tastes are bitter, sweet and astringent. The chili taste must be avoided, as well as the salty and sour. The recommended wheat foods are barley, basmati rice, oats, einkorn, quinoa, buckwheat, etc., because they are dry, sweet and cooling.
The suitable legumes are black beans, adzuki beans, peas, soy. The recommended meats include chicken, turkey, ducks, seafood, fish. Milk should not be consumed during eating, but at least an hour after or before food intake. A glass of warm milk with 2 tablespoons of ghee butter should be consumed three times a day after eating, as it helps to soothe Pitta dosha.
The vegetables included in the menu should be sweet and bitter. Green leafy vegetables are recommended, for example, lettuce, asparagus and artichoke, and so on. the fruits should be ripe and sweet – cherries, apricots, apples, grapes, figs, watermelon, pears. The plant oils for salads include olive oil and coconut oil, because they are heavy and cold, and the sunflower oil is suitable for cooking. The purified cow butter ghee is universally usable.
How to balance Pitta dosha with natural remedies
In order to balance Pitta dosha and treat the diseases caused by it, first a cooling therapy should be applied. The use of natural remedies in Ayuveda, for example, herbs and oils is consistent with this therapy. The bitter, firming and sweet herbs are suitable, as the bitter ones reduce Pitta dosha the most.
In addition, balancing is always related to optimizing the digestive process and metabolism, and cleansing the toxins from the blood, body and especially from the liver. There is also an analgesic effect as well as a decrease in temperature.
The specific formulas are numerous, and usually balancing is required not only for Pitta but also of one of the other two doshas. Thus, for example, increased temperature, infections and inflammations, fever, increased acidity, are generally associated with Pitta, but at their core they may related to Kapha and Vata. Therefore, the complex approach should be determined by an Ayurveda specialist.
In case of fever, cold or skin inflammations, natural cooling diaphoretics may be applied. In case of internal inflammations, ulcers, boils and infections, are suitable herbs that improve the metabolism – firming or bitter, with antibacterial properties. Ayurvedic massages that are suitable to balance Pitta dosha, usually include base oils such as coconut and olive oil.
In case of very high temperature or high fever, antifebrile herbs are used, as they have the same effect as those for metabolism, but they penetrate deeper in the lymph, blood and tissues. Another option are the laxatives, because when Pitta is increased and in case of high fever, the heat focuses in the intestines, their content “dries up” and constipation occurs.
The release of the gastrointestinal tract decreases the temperature and reduces the hot Pitta. According to Ayurveda the laxative method is the most powerful measure to eliminate the excessive Pitta, because it moves its main accumulation into the small intestine. Diuretics are also suitable because heat and acidity are released thorough the urine, which in turn decreases Pitta dosha.
General rules to balance Pitta dosha
People of the Pitta type easily go out of balance and should therefore purposefully pursue certain rules of conduct that will help them avoid situations that may be risky for them. The problematic season for these people is summer because of the warmth that naturally boosts Pitta dosha and leads to problems.
For example, during family vacations, they should avoid beaches where they can easily “burn” and the Sun can increase Pitta dosha. Cool lakes where they can swim are recommended.
But if they are on a sea vacation, it is recommended to go to the beach early in the morning or in the afternoon, when the power of the Sun is decreased. Humidity and steam also should be avoided. Due to their easy irritability, this type of people have to spend longer time in nature among beautiful natural landscapes that will have calming and”cooling”effect, bringing them peace and relaxation.
They may also look for a relaxing creative hobby, for example, painting landscapes. Another option for their leisure time is charity or various social activities, visiting museums, exhibitions and other places, as well as practicing yoga. Thus, Pitta people start to appreciate beauty outside of themselves, they learn to be part of things, which decreases the narcissism that is so common in them, turning them into peaceful and loving creatures.
In addition, people of Pitta type purposefully should avoid intense disputes, as they will trigger their stress and irritability. This is especially true during Pitta’s active hours of the day – this Dosha activates between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and between 22 p.m. and 2 a.m. The flow of creative energy by midnight is good to be suppressed to avoid spending the night awake – the required sleep for Pitta dosha is between 6 and 8 hours.
Meditation is beneficial before sleep.
In general, Pitta dosha should strive for moderation in everything – in diets, in feast, in work and rest, as well as noisy companies should be avoided.