The science of Ayurveda classifies body constitution on the three factors – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. People having Pitta predominance will have features such as – having frequent stomach and digestion related disorders, feeling excessive heat, redness in eyes, palms and feet.
The best way to understand Pitta dosha is to compare it to liquid fire. Fire burns fuel to generate energy. In the same way, Pitta in the form of digestive fire helps to digest food and yields energy to the body. So, whichever functions of the body that is associated with fire (e.g. in digestion), light (e.g. vision, body appearance, skin colour) and temperature, Pitta is involved.
Functions of Pitta Dosha in the Body
- Digestion and Metabolism – Pitta is directly involved with digestion and metabolism which is not only restricted to stomach and intestines but also extends to cellular level. Like rising up of nutrients at the cellular level to produce energy are controlled by Pitta dosha in the body.
- Maintenance of body temperature – Pitta means hotness, it keeps the body hot and healthy. In all the conditions like—inflammation, fever etc. there is an involvement of Pitta.
- Skin complexion and aura -Blood tissue and Pitta are inter-connected. Skin complexion, skin health and aura are directly controlled by Pitta dosha.
- Vision – Fire is also related with light. Vision is always co-related with light. Hence, vision is a Pitta function.
- Hunger/thirst/appetite – Initiation of hunger, thirst and appetite control is handled by Pitta dosha. Person with Pitta body type has more hunger and thirst.
- Intelligence, courage and valor – Light is also compared with knowledge. Hence, all mental activities pertaining to intelligence, courage and valor are controlled by Pitta dosha. Person having Pitta body type has more of these mental features.
Pitta, Digestive fire and Health– There is a famous Ayurvedic saying— “All disorders arises due to low digestion strength”. If digestion and metabolism are healthy, then all systems of the body are healthy. Hence, efforts should be done to have proper digestive fire—“Agni”.
Types of Pitta
- Pachaka Pitta
- Ranjaka Pitta
- Sadhaka Pitta
- Alochaka Pitta
- Bhrajaka Pitta
Diet for Pitta Dosha Balance – Intake of foods having sweet, bitter and astringent tastes because these tastes decrease Pitta. All sweet tasting food substances are Pitta pacifying in nature e.g. sweet apples, grapes, berries, water melon, papaya, ripe falsa fruit etc. and vegetables like—asparagus, cucumber, sweet potatoes, oats and dairy products like- butter, cottage cheese etc.
Inhaling of fumes from herbs that are coolant, pleasant are useful in headaches of Pitta origin.
Diet to Balance Pitta Dosha
- Cow’s ghee consumption – Cow’s ghee mitigates Pitta and increases digestion strength. Hence, regular use of ghee in diet is very useful for Pitta balance. It can be plain or medicated ghee based on the physician’s advice.
- Cow’s milk – Cow milk is a natural coolant. Hence, it helps in decreasing Pitta. Hyper-acidity is also related with Pitta. Milk helps to relieve hyper-acidity.
- Fennel seeds – Fennel seeds helps in calming Pitta and it is also a good natural mouth freshener herb.
- Neem leaves – In India, it is a common practice to chew neem leaves. Apart from calming Pitta, it is also good for skin.
- Coriander – Coriander is an excellent natural cleanser and helps to balance Pitta dosha.
- Cucumber – Taking cucumber in diet is quite beneficial in balancing Pitta dosha. Its face pack is equally good for Pitta body type individuals.
- Amla – For Pitta imbalance, it is advisable to take amla powder with jaggery. Amla has tridosha balancing effect. Take 25 grams Amla powder in a wide mouthed container, add 200 ml water to it, boil in mild heat, stir continuously and reduce it to approximately 50 ml, filter it and allow it to cool down. Take 10-20 ml of this amla drink along with 3-5 grams of jaggery powder. It can be taken before food for maximum effect.
- Rose – Rose water, rose petals are excellent to calm Pitta. Rose is also helpful in reducing acidity.
- Dates – Dates used regularly is good for calming Pitta.
- Sugarcane – Sugarcane calms Pitta and also a kidney bladder cleanser.
Avoid mango that ripens on the tree which is sweet but little sour slightly increases Pitta dosha (Bhavaprakasha). Unripe mango, sour mango, cinnamon, fenugreek, chillies, pepper, asa foetida, linseed oil, flax seed oil are not recommended.