Pitta, a combination of the fire and water elements has the qualities of being hot, sharp, penetrating, oily, light, spreading, and liquid.
The functions of Pitta include:
- Digestion, absorption, and assimilation
- Maintenance of body temperature
- Appetite and thirst
- Coloration of blood factors
- Visual perception
- Cognition, reasoning, understanding
If there’s a disturbance in any of these functions, it means your Pitta is out of balance.
Some of the major causes of a Pitta imbalance include:
- Eating too much hot, spicy, or fried food
- Eating too much sour or fermented food
- Prolonged fasting
- The summer season
- Exposure to toxins, chemicals, or allergens
Pitta-type emotions including anger, aggression, hate, competitiveness, comparison, judgment, and criticism.
One of the main indicators of Pitta is inflammation, infection, redness, or bleeding.
Any inflammatory conditions are indicative of an increased Pitta, it being the only dosha that has heating tendencies due to the presence of the fire element. Inflammation can occur in the skin, muscles, joints, or organs, and usually, produces symptoms of redness, bleeding, and sharp/hot pain. Treatment would vary depending on where the inflammation occurs in the body and what is causing it. This could be anything from food allergies to chronic stress.
How to manage Pitta related conditions?
Tips 1-12: Steer Clear Of Pitta-Aggravating Foods
Avoid these 12 foods.
- Sesame based food item
- Nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant
- Hot, spicy foods
- Citrus fruits (except lime)
- Fermented foods such as vinegar and kombucha
- Salty, sour and pungent foods
- Fatty, fried foods
- Oils such as peanut, sesame, safflower and almond oil
- Red meat
- Coffee (even decaf)
- Refined grains (aged basmati is alright)
- Allergenic foods (different for different people but commonly soy, dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, shellfish and nuts)
Most of the above are Pitta increasing foods. It is common sense that when you have any kind of inflammation (high Pitta), you should try to avoid them.
Tips 13-23: Enjoy These Pitta Pacifying Foods
Include these 11 Pitta-pacifying foods in your diet.
- Clarified butter: Ghee
- Coconut oil
- Tender Coconut water
- Cooling spices such as coriander, fennel, and cardamom
- Bitter greens such as kale, collards, and dandelion etc.
- Sweet, juicy fruits such as dates, apples (in less quantity), avocado, red grapes, ripe mango and coconut
- Aloe Vera juice
- Pomegranate juice
All of the above decrease and pacify Pitta.
Tip 24: Learn About The Pitta Pacifying Diet
Incorporate cooling and soothing foods in your diet.
Tip 25: Cool Down With Massage
You can use coconut oil and sunflower oil to massage your body. Do not massage in an acute stage of inflammation.
Recently researchers have found that altered response of the body to handle inflammation is the prominent mechanism through which stress may influence the progression of chronic diseases. Hence it is prudent to manage stress by all means.
Tip 26-37: Find New Ways To Reduce Stress
Consider doing the following to reduce your stress.
- Restorative yoga
- Mild exercise
- Nature walks (or any walking)
- Reduce your workload and prioritize your obligations
- Make time to relax your mind and body every day (even if it’s just for a few minutes)
- Avoid conflicts and disagreeable people
- Surround yourself with pleasant company
- Focus on your breathing. Take multiple deep breaths throughout the day
- Take it easy and keep activity low during menstruation
- Take a bath in water treated with khus, lotus, and white sandalwood.
- Herbs like shatavari and bacopa help reduce Pitta.