What is Pitta?
In Ayurveda Pitta is known as Energy of Digestion and Metabolism. Pitta dosha (bio-energy) is a combination of water and fire elements and formulated by the dynamic interplay of the both. These elements are transformative in nature thus they constantly modulate and control each other. In human body Pitta represents the fire element; it includes gastric fire or digestive fire, action of enzymes and amino acids that play a major role in metabolism, and the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved in thinking. People with pitta personality are known for warm friendly behavior and leadership qualities.
Pitta is hot, sharp, light, oily, liquid, and spreading in nature. It is sour, bitter, pungent to the taste, and has a fleshy smell. All these characteristics are revealed in the body of the pitta person. The main centers of pitta in human body are small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin. Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. It gives the person appetite, vitality, and the capacity to learn, understand and determine what is right or wrong. The imbalanced pitta can cause many physical and psychological problems like anger, criticism, negative emotions, acidity, ulcers, heartburn, rashes and thinning hair. Pitta can be thrown out of balance by, eating spicy or sour food; being angry, tired, or fearful; or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to heart disease and arthritis.
Distinctive Features of Pitta people
Body Frame – Pitta prakriti people have light to medium body frame with well-built physique and medium height. Their chests are not very flat and they show a medium prominence of veins and muscle tendons.
Skin & Hair Type – The pitta person may have coppery, yellowish, reddish or fair complexion with fair or reddish, fine, soft, shiny, warm skin. The hair may be fine red, fair or dark brown in color and straight or thinning, shiny, fine and silky in texture.
Eyes – Pitta people have distinct, bright eyes that are usually blue, grey or hazel in colour.
Teeth – Pitta people may have sharp but yellowish teeth with soft and, at times, bleeding gums.
Other – Pitta person has heart-shaped face with tapering chin and pointed nose that is sharp and tends to be reddish at tip. The nails are usually soft.
Some distinctive physical problems faced by pitta people include rashes or inflammations of the skin, sunburns, acne, boils, skin cancer, sensitive and burning eyes, hair loss, premature graying of hair and baldness.
Pitta people usually have a sensitive and reactive body with a medium frame and weight. They usually keep in shape as they rarely gain or lose much weight.
Pitta constituent people usually have strong metabolism, good digestive fire and strong appetites. Thus they usually take large quantities of food and liquid at a time and often get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal.
Pitta type people have a natural longing for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and enjoy cold drinks.
Pitta people usually have average or medium sleep but keep fresh and active, as their sleep is sound and uninterrupted.
Pitta is a fire element, thus people with pitta constitution tend to have higher body temperature with warm hands and feet. They do not feel comfortable in sunlight heat or hot weather as heat makes them tired.
Pitta people do not like hard work as well as they also have a tendency toward excessive perspiration.
Pitta people produce a large volume of urine and the feces are yellowish, liquid, soft and plentiful.
These people also show tendency toward grey hair with thinning hairline or baldness.
Pitta prakriti people are passionate and romantic and sexually have more vigor and endurance than Vatas, but less than Kaphas.
Behavioral or Psychological
Pitta people have sharp mind and superior memory hence they boast outstanding learning, understanding and concentrating powers.
These people are orderly, focused, assertive and entrepreneurial by nature.
Pitta people have inborn leadership skills with good comprehension power, focused vision and blessed wisdom. They are usually good public speakers and also capable of sharp, sarcastic, cutting speech. They have a desire to spread their name and fame all over.
They have natural fondness for noble professions and often make large amounts of money. They like to spend on luxurious items like perfume and jewelry.
Pitta people appreciate material prosperity and they tend to be moderately well off financially. They enjoy exhibiting their wealth and luxurious possessions and like to surround themselves with beautiful objects.
Pitta person is often stubborn, pushy, prejudiced, and authoritarian.
They have emotional tendencies toward hate, anger and jealousy.
Pitta people become commanding, irritated, angry, aggressive, demanding, assertive when out of balance.
Pitta people usually show extremist behavior and never yield an inch from their principles. They can be judgmental, critical and perfectionist, and tend to become angry easily.
Pitta person is subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger.
Indications of Balanced Pitta
A balanced pitta is an indication of sound physical and psychological health of an individual. When in balance pitta ensures:
Good problem-solving skills
Keen powers of intelligence
Boldness and courage
Indications of Imbalanced Pitta
Pitta is imbalanced when any property exceeds or decreases from its normal level. There are many factors that can cause pitta imbalance including alcohol and cigarettes, hard work, overexertion, and overheating. Pitta is a fire element thus summer season is time when it gets easily aggravated. When pitta is out of balance or disturbed the body shows some distinctive signs or symptoms both physical and behavioral.
Physical symptoms include:
Fitful sleep, Disturbing dreams, Insomnia
Diarrhea, Food allergies
Bad breath, Sour body odor
Sensitivity to heat, Hot flashes
Skin rashes, Boils and Acne
Ulcers, Hot sensations in the stomach or intestines
Bloodshot eyes other vision problems
Weakness due to low blood sugar
Fevers, Night sweats
On behavioral Front one may feel:
Angry, Irritable, hostile
Destructive and Impatient
Critical to self and others
Frustrated, Willful, Reckless
Health Problems caused by Imbalanced Pitta
Pitta is an element of fire hence any imbalance in pitta usually causes fevers, inflammatory diseases, acidity, ulcers, rashes, digestive problem etc. It can also cause loss of strength, heart problems, skin problems, jaundice and hair problems.
General Tips on Health and Wellness For Pitta
When in balance, pitta promotes intelligence and understanding but when disturbed or imbalanced it produces anger and jealousy. To ensure sound and healthy living one should be aware with the causes and factors that can influence pitta dosha and also the ways to regulate them.
It is very important for Pitta people that they lead a pure and moderate life and try to keep cool. Pitta is a fire element; hence to balance it one should avoid excessive heat, oily, steamy and salty food, rigorous exercises that increase body heat, etc. Such people should opt foods, attitudes, behaviors, personal relationships, and environmental conditions that can be instrumental in balancing pitta.
They should take food that is sweet, bitter, and astringent because these tastes decrease pitta influences, do exercise during the cooler part of the day, and do things that cool the mind, avoid conflicts and choose cool climates. On behavioral front developing the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control also help in balancing pitta dosha.
Pitta prakriti people should do meditation as it helps to control negative thoughts and calm mind and body. Optimum meal times for pitta people are: breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch at noon, a snack at 3 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.
The pitta people should use colors that are cool and calm, for example, blues and greens. These colors provide a soothing effect and help to control pitta. The stone should be worn by pitta people is Moonstone as this stone associate well with pitta dosha and drive positive influences.
A Food Plan to Balance Pitta Dosha
Pitta is related with fire and control digestion and metabolism, body temperature, and biological transformations in the body. Usually Pitta people have strong efficient digestion, they can generally eat just about everything but they should include cool or warm food in their diet with less butter and added fat. Excessive use of salt, overuse of sour and spicy food and overeating are the main causes that trouble pitta so such food items should be reduced, instead starchy foods such as vegetables, grains and beans, salad, milk and ice cream should be included in the diet.
Alcoholic and fermented foods should also be avoided. Pitta person should not take coffee also as the acid in the coffee is also pitta aggravating, instead they can have herb teas like mint, licorice root or other that pacify pitta.
If your basic constitution is mixed like pitta-vata or pitta-kapha, then you should include portion for the second influential dosha.