Understanding Pitta dosha

After yesterday’s foray into the world of the windy Vata dosha, it’s now fiery Pitta’s turn…and no, this isn’t anything to do with hot pitta bread!

Hot and fiery – introducing Pitta dosha

Pitta comes from the word “tapa”, which means to heat; it can also mean austerity and concentration. Unsurprisingly, Pitta dosha is associated primarily with fire/heat (tejas) and water (jala) (approximately 80%/20%, respectively). Pitta is sometimes thought of “that which digests” or bile. In nature, the principles of Pitta are observed in the sun. In the body, Pitta exists as water or oil and is often acidic. It is responsible for transformation and  governs a variety of  processes (including digestion, skin quality, absorption, assimilation, body temperature, endocrine function, hunger, thirst, intelligence, and understanding). Pitta people tend to be the academics amongst us and are often drawn to science and law.

Pitta locations

The primary seat of Pitta is the small intestine, but as we saw with Vata, Pitta can also be divided into five subtypes.

  • Alochaka Pitta –  eyes (transforms light).
  • Bhriajaka Pitta – skin.
  • Pachaka Pitta – stomach and small intestines.
  • Sadhaka Pitta – heart.
  • Ranjaka Pitta – liver, red blood cells, and spleen.

Characteristics of Pitta

If your predominant dosha is Pitta, you are likely to have many of the following characteristics:

Physical characteristics

  • Fair skinned.
  • Freckles, birthmarks, or moles.
  • Fine or red hair (with a tendency to premature greying or falling out).
  • Light, penetrating eyes.
  • Pointed nose.
  • Medium, slender body frame (weight usually stable).
  • Strong appetite and good digestion.
  • Active.
  • Sweat profusely.
  • Large volume of urine.
  • Short, but sound, sleep.

Emotional characteristics

  • Self-disciplined.
  • High standards.
  • Organised.
  • Intellectual.
  • Good concentration and memory.
  • Persuasive speakers.

Balancing Pitta

 

Pitta in balance

When a Pitta person is in balance, they tend to have good digestion, a bright complexion, and great energy. They perform mental task with dexterity and achieve their goals. They also tend to have good humour and are loyal and warm-hearted.

 

 

Pitta out of balance

When Pitta becomes imbalanced, a person may experience:

  • Fever.
  • Rashes.
  • Anger and irritability.
  • Inflammation.
  • Ulceration.
  • Jealousy.
  • Low stamina.
  • Loss of appetite or an excessive appetite.
  • Criticalness.
  • The need to be controlling.
  • Intolerance.
  • Stubbornness.
  • Judgementalness.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Heartburn.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Heart issues.
  • Indigestion.

Things that may increase Pitta

  • Hot weather or over-heated rooms.
  • Hunger (pittas get “hangry” – always have a snack with you or stick to regular mealtimes!)
  • Competition.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Exercising between 10am and 2pm (pitta time of day – more on that another time!)
  • Mental over-exertion without the balance of physical exercise.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Over-work.
  • Coffee.

Top tips for Pitta

If you are predominantly Pitta, here are a few tips which might help you stay in balance.

  • Eat a Pitta-pacifying diet (more on that another time, but basically food with sweet, bitter, astringent, heavy, and cool qualities)
  • Eat at regular times.
  • Practice anger-management techniques.
  • Spend time doing something that makes you laugh and feel light-hearted.
  • Have oil massages (such as Ayurvedic massage with olive, sunflower, coconut, or castor oil or ghee).
  • Meditate daily (focusing on meditations which develop compassion and patience).
  • Avoid cardio or other strenuous exercise during 10am to 2pm (Pitta time).
  • Do relaxations and take gentle exercise like yoga (moon sequence is great), swimming, or evening walking.

Remember, nothing in this blog should take the place of advice given to you by your healthcare practitioner, so always be safe!

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with the final dosha – Kapha. Namaste!