Ayurveda holds an elemental view of the universe and believes people are made up of various combinations of these elements. The five elements are Air, Ether, Fire, Earth and Water. These elements form the three biological humours of Ayurveda, called Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
The dominance of a particular dosha determines certain physical, mental and emotional characteristics, and importantly may predetermine potential health risks.
All three doshas are present in every cell of the body. However each dosha has an area of dominance, which is their site of origin. Vata primarily resides in the colon, Pitta in the small intestine and Kapha the stomach.
Constitution (Prakriti) – 7 main categories; Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata/Pitta (combined), Pitta/Kapha (combined), Kapha/Vata (combined), Tridoshic (equal amounts). These can be further divided into Vata/Kapha, with Vata or Kapha being dominant and, so on.
If your main dosha is Pitta you are likely to be warm, have clear penetrating thoughts and be passionate.
Pitta consists of the element fire and is characterised by qualities such as slightly oily, hot, light and liquid. These qualities translate into things like, abundant sweet, prone to diarrhoea, sun sensitivity and anger.
Pitta types generally have a medium build, with good muscle mass. They often have fair skin and blue or grey eyes. Pitta tend to be motivated people and are quite determined.
When pitta is imbalanced this can affect different parts of the body and mind. Pitta increases by eating inappropriate foods (too much spicy, oily foods), being exposed to hot, wet conditions and excessive sun exposure.
When pitta is aggravated you may become critical, hot tempered and impatient. Digestion will be increased due to the fire element. As Ayurveda believes all disease is the result of digestion, it is very important to gain control of foods and lifestyle practices which alleviate pitta.
Pitta dominates during middle age (20-55years), and is prevalent in disease such as blood disorders, digestive upsets, metabolic disorders, poor vision and skin disorders.
How to balance Pitta:
SKIN, HAIR & NAILS
- exfoliate weekly (at most) to remove dead skin cells and keep skin smooth
- use gentle calming and cooling products
- avoid harsh chemicals and additives which may irritate
- try using Ayurvedic hair oils containing Amla to reduce early greying & thinning
- for the body, try light oil or moisturiser, such as coconut oil
- exercise in moderation
- avoid being too competitive
- go to bed between 10 - 11pm
- eat heavy, nourishing foods, with healthy oils
- eat plenty of raw foods and salads
- avoid excessively hot/spicy foods
- keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum
- eat foods with predominantly sweet, bitter and astringent tastes
- avoid foods with salty, sour and pungent tastes
- meditate regularly
- try being more patient
Have a look through our Ayurveda blogs for more information on how to pacify Pitta.
You can find products recommended for Pitta dosha here.