What is Pitta Dosha
In this series, I am taking you into the basics of Ayurveda. But this is not a series just for beginners. Practitioners will also find a ton of information on how to live Ayurveda in a practical and easy way. If are unfamiliar with the topic, before continuing, go through What Is Ayurveda in order to truly grasp the topic.
In this article, we will go deeper into what is Pitta Dosha, one of the three main energies, and what you can expect if your constitution is predominantly Pitta. What happens when Pitta goes out of balance? What are the symptoms of Pitta?
Remember, all of us have Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. So even if your constitution is not predominantly Pitta, it is worth reading about it, as you may suffer a Pitta imbalance at some point in your life. If you still don’t know what constitution you are, don't forget to take a Dosha test
What is Pitta
Pitta is the energy of heat-based transformation. When you place your hand in front of your mouth and you exhale, you can feel all three Doshas. The air you feel is Vata, the heat is Pitta, and the moisture is Kapha.
Pitta is an intensity, a friction that points your awareness. In the body, Pitta is the function of digestion. When you eat food and it is transformed into energy, Pitta is the metabolic energy that transforms food molecules into your body molecules. Functional transformation is caused by Pitta.
In other words, Pitta is responsible for absorption in the small intestine, for your liver function and blood system, and your bladder. But this energy goes beyond your immediate image of digestion. When you think of the mind, you can see a level of digestion and transformation that happens on the mental level. The neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, part of the mind function, are all part of Pitta.
Your sight is also related to Pitta, as is your mind-heart connection. For that reason, Pitta has the function of allowing you to see the path forward. Ayurveda is a Mind-Body-Spirit science, so understanding how your emotional body, spiritual body, and physical body are connected is incredibly important.
What Is Pitta Constitution
Now that you have understood what is the energy of Pitta, let’s focus on how this energy feels like in your body and in your mind. There is a sharpness to Pittas. The nature of a Pitta mind is to process and digest a lot of information and bring it into a place of coherence and deeper understanding. The Pitta mind is also discriminating in nature. It keeps separating the truth from the B.S.
The superpower of the Pitta mind is its intensity and ability to have critical thinking. That can be one of the problems with Pitta imbalance. They can become hypercritical of themselves or others. They can even go to the extreme of fanaticism, and may have a hard time understanding they are wrong. Pitta’s ability to judge and evaluate can also make them quite judgemental. Being compassionate towards others and themselves can be one of the biggest difficulties for Pitta, as their standards are those of perfection.
When it comes to physical appearance, Pittas tend to be medium, both in height and weight, with an overall triangular shape. Pitta types will have broad shoulders and narrower waste if at their optimal weight. Their faces can be angular and their eyes are often quite sharp and intense. They tend to have a lot of sensitivity to light, and develop headaches under intense lighting, preferring to sleep in dark environments and using face masks.
Their sensitivity can also be felt in their skin, as they easily get sunburnt. Their skin is often smooth and oily. Their hair is often oily too. But it’s not only oil that constitutes Pitta. They are, in general, hyperacid. This quality can be best observed in their mouths, and it can make them have tender, easy to bleed gums.
Pittas tend to have a strong appetite and can often eat more, and more frequently, than the other types. They also tend to need more water. This happens because they have quick digestion and quick elimination. Usually, they tend to eliminate more than once a day.
When Pittas develop sleep problems, it is frequently because their mind is trying to solve problems. Pittas often need less sleep, or so they think. And yet their sleep is often sound and deep. Sometimes six to eight hours or more of deep sleep. And they wake up ready to rock.
What Are Pitta Imbalances
Most health issues associated with a Pitta imbalance appear in the digestive tract. Their tendency towards strong digestion can easily go towards hyperacidity, and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. They can also get headaches if they are not eating on schedule. Their high acidity levels can also lead to burning in their throats, rectum, and anus. The skin can also be a problem for Pittas. Their sensitive skin tends to develop rashes, hives or urticaria, and they can often have psoriasis or eczema.
But how do you calm Pitta down? Eating the biggest meal in the middle of the day seems to be crucial for Pittas. They should try to make it high in protein and fat. Their metabolisms are so quick that they need higher amounts of nutrients.
Pittas tend to want to go on working for long hours. That can lead to a Pitta imbalance. A good habit to cultivate is to not work after sundown. The practice of meditation can also help the Pitta mind to unwind, as it allows emotional digestion to happen. Pittas should have time each day to reflect on their interactions and develop compassion and empathy.
Because Pitta is about fire, spicy, hot, and oily foods can aggravate Pitta. So if you are eating a lot of spicy foods you may develop a Pitta imbalance. If that’s the case, you need to detox. Coriander, turmeric, and fennel are great detoxifying spices for Pitta.
Pittas should also avoid oily foods. Fried food and eggs can really affect a Pitta person. The tricky part is that Pittas are attracted to spicy, oily food. But when they start to avoid it, they actually start to appreciate a diversity of taste. They should turn their attention to really high-quality fats like avocado and avocado oil or coconut oil, these are on the cooler sides of oils. Almonds are a phenomenal source of fat for pitta. And avoiding rancid oils, avoiding any kind of fast food.
When it comes to their mind, Pittas should cultivate rejuvenation breaks. After one to two hours of intense work, they should stop for a ten-minute break and meditate or take a walk. Having these breaks throughout the day helps that intensity to fuse.
Those are the basics of what is Pitta Dosha. But if you want to dive deeper and really live and understand Ayurveda, you should try the Living Ayurveda Course. You can have a free conversation and understand how this ancient wisdom can truly change your life.