Being healthy and vibrant is our natural state. However, staying balanced, as you may already have experienced, isn't always straightforward and it's not the same for everyone. There are many different components that come into play. Ayurveda, as a science, defines the many internal and external influences that are beneficial or detrimental to our bodies and minds.
It is nearly impossible in today's world to avoid every food, drink, substance or situation that is unhealthy. Because of that, it's important to use the science of Ayurveda to better understand what health looks like for you so you can support choices that lead to a more balanced state. Basically, so you can pick the ideal diet, lifestyle, herbs, Yoga poses and meditation.
Even the experiences we have in our relationships, including thoughts and emotions, can be influential on our state of health, just like food. It can be as difficult to digest hurtful criticism or a traumatic experience, for example, as it is to digest a plate of french fries.
What Is Pitta Dosha?
Pitta has hot, oily and sharp qualities. If you feel overheated or flushed, there could be excess Pitta Dosha in your physiological makeup. Pitta is the Dosha of fire and water, and controls actions in the body such as digestion and metabolism.
Ayurveda says detoxifying on a regular schedule is important to maintain optimum health during seasonal changes, such as from spring to summer. Summer is Pitta's season, and Pitta Dosha accumulates more easily in the body during this time. Particularly if your constitution is Pitta-predominant already, the increase in excess heat during the summer can settle Pitta deeply into the tissues and manifest as imbalances if it is not detoxified from the body.
Ayurveda offers effective solutions to support the body in detoxification before toxins have a chance to cause health problems. Common toxins are bacteria, viruses, drugs, heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals. Toxins are also formed when we eat food that is difficult to digest.
Excess Pitta can manifest in the body as:
- Uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
- Acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
- Indigestion, burning diarrhea
- Discomfort/nausea upon missing meals
- Anger, irritability, frustration
- Foul breath and body odor
- Excessive sweating
- Impatience, criticism, judgment, intolerance
- Perfectionist tendencies
A person's complexion may also be an indication of whether or not there is a toxic overload in the body. Excess pitta in the blood can result in breakouts on the skin such as hives, acne, and red rashes. Cleansing the body, particularly the liver and blood, through diet and herbs can result in clear, radiant skin and more balanced pitta dosha.
There are many causes that contribute to an excessive amount of pitta in the body including:
- Eating a pitta-provoking diet
- Exposure to chemicals
- Too much sun exposure, sunburn
- Emotional stress
As with any imbalance or disease, Ayurvedic treatments involve first stopping the cause of the imbalance and then using therapeutic remedies to bring the body back into a state of health. As a first step, Ayurveda offers simple, gentle and effective dietary, herbal and lifestyle guidelines to assist the body in eliminating excess Pitta Dosha/toxins. The therapies to balance Pitta are cooling and calming.
Food to Reduce Pitta
The stomach and the small intestine are two common sites for Pitta Dosha to accumulate and produce negative consequences. Ayurveda uses a Pitta-balancing diet as the first line of action.
Simple dietary guidelines to help your body detox from excess Pitta:
- Eat sweet, juicy fruits like plums and peaches
- Eat collards, kale and asparagus
- Add digestive spices to your food such as cumin, coriander, fennel and turmeric
- Eliminate spicy, fermented, overly salty, oily and fried food from your diet
- Eliminate alcohol and caffeine
- Drink cool water and stay well hydrated to flush away toxins
Lifestyle Tips to Reduce Pitta
Establish a Pitta-balancing routine by going to bed before 10 p.m. and eating meals at regular times, as well as using Eladi Coconut Skin Oil for abhyanga.
Here are some additional tips for keeping pitta dosha under control:
- Swim in cool water such as a natural spring, lake or ocean, or even a cool soak in a pool or bathtub.
- Meditate, chant, or sing to quell intense, reactive emotions of high stress
- Wear blue or purple or white clothing
- Do not exercise during the heat of the day. Instead, exercise in the cool morning or evening hours
- Limit sunbathing and try moon-bathing. The moon's cooling light helps to balance Pitta
Meditation to Balance Pitta
Meditating is an effective way to channel Pitta's naturally sharp focus. The practice of sitting and bringing your attention inward relieves stress. When Pitta is in excess, you're prone to excessive criticism, judgment, anger and envy. Meditation increases your ability to monitor and let go of negative emotions. Meditation relieves mental and emotional toxicity brought about through harmful relationships and stressful jobs, for example. Practicing meditation can be useful in cultivating patience and compassion for yourself and the rest of the world.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.