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Pitta Dosha

Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces represent transformation. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes to occur. (For example, too much fire and too little water will result in the boiling away of the water. Too much water will result in the fire being put out.) Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.

Pitta Body Structure

  • Medium height and build
  • Fair to reddish complexion and hair colorin
  • Small yellowish teeth, soft gums
  • Green/Grayish Eyes
  • Average size mouth

Pitta Characteristics

  • Sharp/Clear voice
  • Light sleeper
  • Intelligent
  • Clear memory
  • Jealou
  • Ambitious
  • Sexually passionate
  • Dislikes hot weather
  • Dislikes cold and damp
  • Loves luxury
  • Loose stools / diarrhea
  • Strong appetite
  • Thirsty

Signs of Pitta Aggravation

  • Angry, Irritable
  • Hostile, Enraged, Destructive
  • Impatient
  • Critical of self and others
  • Argumentative, Aggressive
  • Bossy, controlling
  • Frustrated, Willful, Reckless
  • Acidity, heartburn, Stomach ulcer
  • Fitful sleep, Disturbing dreams
  • Diarrhea, Food allergies
  • Bad breath, Sour body odor
  • Very sensitive to heat, Hot flashes
  • Skin rashes
  • Boils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Acne
  • Weakness due to low blood sugar
  • Fevers, Night sweats

When you experience symptoms such as, excessive body heat, digestive problems, a tendency to be hostile or angry and controlling, impatience, a tendency to exert excessive effort to achieve goals, vision difficulties, and being prone to make errors in judgment because of mental confusion or because passion or emotion blurs powers of intellectual discernment, there is a good possibility that you are suffering from pitta imbalance.

Indications of balanced pitta influences are strong powers of digestion, vitality, goal-setting inclinations, good problem-solving skills, keen powers of intelligence, decisiveness, boldness and courage, and a bright complexion.  

General Tips on Health and Wellness For Pitta Persons 

Pitta constitutions will be upset by alcohol and cigarettes, as well as by overwork, overexertion, and overheating. When out of balance, they are susceptible to feeling such negative emotions as hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Therefore it is very important for Pittas to keep cool (literally and figuratively) and to lead a pure and moderate lifestyle. Choose foods, attitudes, behaviors, personal relationships, and environmental circumstances which can be instrumental in balancing pitta characteristics. Because sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes decrease pitta influences, include these in your food plan if pitta characteristics are too pronounced. Complex carbohydrates, milk, and some fruits are sweet; some green, leafy vegetables are bitter; beans and some green vegetables are astringent. Do things that cool the mind, emotions, and body. Avoid conflicts. Cultivate the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control. 

A Food Plan to Balance Pitta Dosha

These guidelines can be used for pitta mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance and to restore balance if necessary regardless of the basic constitution. Pitta influences digestion and metabolism, body temperature, and biological transformations. 

Favor:

  • Cool or warm but not steaming hot foods.
  • Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes
  • As far as practical use less butter and added fat. Consume food with moderately heavy textures.
  • Since Pittas have strong efficient digestion, they can generally eat just about everything. Most Pittas get into trouble by continued use of too much salt, overuse of sour and spicy food and overeating.
  • Take cool, refreshing food in summer. Reduce the consumption of salt, oil, and spices, all of which are "heating" to the body. Salads are good, so is milk and ice cream.
  • Avoid pickles, yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. Avoid vinegar in salad dressing; use lemon juice instead. Alcoholic and fermented foods should be avoided. Their sour Rasa aggravates Pitta. Coffee is also pitta aggravating due to the acid in coffee. Herb tea is good. Prefer mint, licorice root or other pitta pacifying tea
  • Breakfast: Cold cereals, cinnamon toast, and apple tea is a good breakfast for Pitta. Avoid coffee, orange juice and doughnuts - they aggravate pitta.
  • The vegetarian foods are the best for pitta. Consuming red meat tend to heat the body from the fat. Consume abundant amounts of milk, grains and vegetables.
  • Avoid oily, hot, salty, and heavy foods such as fried food. Instead consume starchy foods such as vegetables, grains and beans. Avoid the tendency to overeat under stress.
  • Avoid processed and fast foods as they tend to be heavy on salt and sour tastes. Japanese and Chinese food are good choices. Avoid highly spicy food such as is found in Mexican restaurants.
  • To bring down aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a glass of warm milk. (Avoid taking the ghee if you have problem with high cholesterol).

Summary:

Avoid egg yolks, nuts, hot spices, honey, and hot drinks. Cool foods and drinks are better. Add sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Reduce use of sour tastes. Spices: black pepper, coriander, and cardamom.  

Food Classified By Group

Vegetables

FavorReduce or Avoid
Sweet and bitter vegetables:
Asparagus
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
Green beans
Green (sweet) peppers
Leafy green vegetables
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Okra
Parsley
Peas
Potatoes
Sprouts
Squash
Sweet potatoes
Zucchini

Beets
Carrots
Eggplant
Garlic
Hot peppers
Onions
Radishes
Spinach
Tomatoes

Fruits

FavorReduce or Avoid
Sweet Fruits:
Apples
Avocados
Cherries
Coconut
Figs
Dark grapes
Mangoes
Melons
Oranges
Pears
Pineapples
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Note: Fruits should be sweet and ripe
Apricots
Bananas
Berries
Cherries (sour)
Cranberries
Grapefruit
Papayas
Peaches
Persimmons
Avoid fruits that come to market sour or unripe.
Also avoid fruits such as green grapes, oranges, pineapple and plum unless they are sweet and ripe.

Grains

FavorReduce or Avoid
Barley
Oats
Wheat
White rice (prefer basmati rice)
Brown rice
Corn
Millet
Rye

Dairy

FavorReduce or Avoid
Butter
Egg whites
Ghee (clarified butter )- unless you are watching cholesterol
Ice cream
Milk
Buttermilk
Cheese
Egg yolks
Sour cream
Yogurt

Meat

FavorReduce or Avoid
Chicken
Shrimp
Turkey
(All in small amounts)
Red meat and sea food in general

Beans

FavorReduce or Avoid
Chickpeas
Mung beans
Tofu and other soybean products

Lentils

Oils

FavorReduce or Avoid
Coconut
Olive
Soy
Sunflower 
Almond
Corn
Safflower

Sweeteners

FavorReduce or Avoid
All are acceptable except honey and molasses Honey and Molasses

Nuts & Seeds

FavorReduce or Avoid
Coconut
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds 
All, except as noted

Herbs & Spices

FavorReduce or Avoid
Spices are generally avoided as too heating.
In small amounts, the following sweet and astringent spices are OK
Cardamom
Cilantro(green coriander)
Cinnamon
Coriander seed
Dill
Fennel
Mint
Saffron
Turmeric
Plus small amounts of cumin and black pepper
All pungent herbs and spices, except as noted.
Take only the minimal amounts of the following:
Barbecue sauce
Catsup
Mustard
Pickles
Salt
Sour salad dressings
Spicy condiments
Vinegar
If your basic constitution is mixed (pitta-vata or pitta-kapha), to maintain balance, include smaller portions for the second dosha. Pitta dosha is aggravated and increased during summer. During hot, dry seasons, all mind-body types can choose some of the above foods and decrease others. Mental and emotional peace and constructive lifestyle routines are important to restoring and maintaining balance.
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