Understanding Pitta Dosha
Pitta dosha comprises of the elements of fire and water, which means that its dominant qualities are those of heat, lightness, intensity, and fluidity. As a pitta type individual, you’re intelligent and focused, but with intense emotions. When your dosha levels are balanced, you would enjoy mental fortitude, strong digestion, and relatively good health.
Risk Factors that Cause Imbalance
Some of the advantages of having a pitta type constitution can also prove to be disadvantageous if you don’t take adequate precautions to maintain your doshic balance. Because of their strong digestive fire or agni, pitta type individuals tend to over indulge and can be inclined towards excessively spicy and hot foods. This can severely aggravate pitta levels in the body. Similarly, sour and citric fruits have a pitta aggravating effect.
Other behaviors and habits like smoking cigarettes and consuming sour wines also increase the risk of pitta imbalance. Pitta individuals can also experience pitta type disorders due to excessive exposure to heat, such as when working outdoors or in industries with furnaces and in bakeries.
Signs of Imbalance
When there is a dosha imbalance, pitta type individuals could experience the following symptoms:
- Increased sebaceous oil production and acne outbreaks
- Frequent skin rashes and inflammatory skin conditions
- Dehydration and excessive food craving
- Buildup of heat in the extremities and increased perspiration
- Acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, or peptic ulcers
- Weakened immunity that results in frequent infections
- Higher incidence of eye strain and headaches
- Premature graying or balding
- Mood swings with frequent outbursts of anger
Balancing a Pitta Constitution
No matter your dosha type, Ayurveda offers detailed recommendations on the ideal daily routine, diet, and yoga activities to preserve an optimal balance of doshas. As a pitta type individual here’s an overview of the lifestyle changes needed to promote a healthy dosha balance for better health and wellbeing.
Pitta Balancing Daily Routine
Dinacharya or daily routine is an important concept in Ayurveda and you need to follow a routine that is best suited for your dosha type. The ideal pitta balancing daily routine would see you start your day by around 5:30 am, with elimination of bodily wastes being the first activity. This is followed by a cleansing routine, abhyanga, meditation, and so on before you proceed with your working day. For a more detailed account of your recommended daily routine with morning, mid-day, and evening schedules check out our Pitta Balancing Daily Routine page.
Man meditating at sunrise
Pitta Balancing Diet
Every food and beverage contains unique properties that influence the way they interact with the three doshas. While Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a wholesome diet that includes every food group, it lays down clear guidelines for the specific foods to support your unique constitution.
Healthy herbal tea
As a pitta type, it is advisable that you opt for cooling and drying foods served at room temperature or lower. The intake of really spicy, heaty, or hot foods is best restricted, as they will aggravate pitta. Foods with drying or astringent qualities are also ideal for a pitta type diet, as they work as a counter to the excess oil and fluid buildup associated with your dominant dosha. Similarly, there are certain tastes like sourness and pungency that can aggravate pitta, while sweet and bitter tastes have a pacifying effect. For a more detailed account of the dietary recommendations for your unique doshic makeup, visit our Pitta Balancing Diet page.
Pitta Balancing Yoga
As is the case with diet and eating habits, your yoga routine also needs to encourage those qualities that are in contrast to your dosha. As pitta is characterized by its hot and intense qualities, your asanas should have a cooling and calming influence.
Man doing cat pose
Pitta type individuals are advised to follow an asana practice that is characterized by slow and fluid movements or stillness. Conditions associated with the aggravation of pitta are generally inflammatory in nature, as pitta tends to settle in the tissues or dhatus. Since pitta encourages compulsive and impulsive behavior, it is important to take up a more casual yoga practice that requires less effort and isn’t horribly goal oriented. Focus more on breathing and relaxation, including asanas with bends and twists to balance pitta levels. Some of the best asanas to include in a pitta balancing routine include the cat stretch, Surya Namaskar, Padottanasana, Back Vinyasa, Viparita Karani, Balasana, and so on. For a more detailed account of the yoga asanas, sequences, and other recommendations for your unique doshic makeup, visit our Pitta Balancing Yoga page.
Pitta Balancing Herbs
Ayurvedic herbs are commonly used to treat a variety of health conditions. But, these herbs also have an important role to play in the maintenance of health through their dosha balancing effects. Ayurvedic herbal products are in fact the most effective solution to countering imbalances in doshas, as and when they arise. Ayurvedic herbs are carefully classified on the basis of their therapeutic properties, tastes, and other qualities that have a direct influence on the three doshas.
The most effective herbs for pacifying and balancing pitta levels include guduchi, bhringraj, brahmi, and turmeric, among others. For more detailed information on Ayurvedic herb recommendations for your dosha type, visit our Pitta Balancing Herbs page.
- Cavanagh, Danny, and Carol Willis. Essential Ayurveda: A Practical Guide to Healthy Living. Ayurveda UK, 2004.
Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Three Rivers Press, 1999.
- Frawley, David, et al. Yoga for Your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice. New Age Books, 2003.
- Khare, C P. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. 1st ed., Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2004.
The information on this page has been contributed by Dr. Pratik Bhoite, M.D. (Ayu), M.S. (Couns.&Psy.) and is intended for the sole use of Allayurveda. Information contained within this article may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of Allayurveda.