“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire” – Ferdinand Foch
According to Vedic wisdom, the human body is made up of five distinct elements present in Nature – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether and these elements play a major role in deciding your body’s constitution. Ayurvedic texts describe that these elements in various combinations give birth to three principles that affect a person’s constitution, also known as prakruti or doshas. An imbalance or vikruti in these doshas can cause all kinds of physical and emotional illnesses. Pitta is one of these doshas, the other two being Kapha and Vata. To know your dosha take this quiz.
Pitta Dosha and the Human Body
The Pitta dosha’s chief element is fire, and Pitta is associated with heat and is referred to as the bilious humor, secreted within the abdomen and flowing through various parts of the body. It is related to Agni, the digestive fire and affects metabolism. The main characteristic of Pitta is energy, of which heat is representative. People with dominant Pitta are also found to have a fiery nature. The parts of the body affected by Pitta are:
- Temperature Regulation
- Bowel movements
People with Pitta dosha are prone to extremes in mind and body and imbalances can be easily spotted. Here are some of the symptoms of a Pitta imbalance:
- Skin prone to rashes and other ailments
- Thinning or gray hair
- Extreme discomfort in summers
- Loose motions
- Liver disease
- Fiery temper
Types of Pitta Dosha
There are five types of Pitta dosha, depending upon the physical functionality it governs.
- Pachaka Pitta – This is the actual digestive Pitta, located in the lower abdomen and dealing with the breakdown of food.
- Ranjaka Pitta – This Pitta is situated in the liver and spleen and is responsible for giving red blood cells its color.
- Alochaka Pitta – This Pitta resides in the eyes and is related to vision.
- Sadhaka Pitta – This Pitta is associated with thoughts and emotions along with memory and is present in the heart.
- Bharajaka Pitta – This Pitta lives in the skin, giving it its glow, complexion and pigmentation.
Diet for Pitta Dosha
Since Pitta has an excess of heat, a diet for Pitta will include a lot of cooling foods. Liquids are also important for Pitta, to cool down the mind and body equally. Nutritional guidelines for Pitta include:
- Dairy products help Pitta, especially milk, ghee and butter. Sour foods like cheese and yoghurt should be avoided.
- Sweet foods work well with Pitta, with the exception of honey.
- Boiled and steamed food works better with Pitta than food cooked with dry heat like baking or grilling.
- Lunch is an important meal for people with Pitta, and regular mealtimes should be maintained.
- Spices with heat like pepper, cumin and mustard should be avoided; opt for coriander, saffron and fennel.
- Prefer well ripened and sweet fruits like grapes and mangoes.
- Water laden fruits and vegetables like melons and cucumbers also work.
- Reduce the intake of ‘hot’ vegetables like bell peppers, onions and garlic.
- Avoid pungent, salty and sour foods and opt for sweet or bitter flavors.
- Sunflower, coconut and olive oils work better than sesame or almond oils.
- White rice, wheat, oats and barley work well for Pitta; avoid brown rice, corn or rye.
Sticking to a regular schedule for meals and eating at least 3-4 regular meals in a day goes a long way to keep the pitta dosha in balance. Eating at regular times will also help to balance an overactive digestive fire. In our next post, we will introduce you to a few yoga asanas that will help to keep the pitta dosha in balance.
You can also check out our exhaustive list of products especially meant for pitta dosha type individuals.
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