The word Pitta is derived from the Sanskrit word Tap, meaning to heat, and represents the fire principle in the body, the principle of transformation and digestion in the body. Pitta Dosha is responsible for metabolism, body temperature adjustment, vision, feeling of hunger and thirst, skin coloration, body tenderness, intelligence and courage.

Everything that enters the body must be digested or “cooked”; a sight, sound, thought, emotion and anything that is swallowed. Pitta Dosha function includes the gastric fire, enzymes, and amino acids that play a major role in metabolism, and also the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved in thinking. Pitta responsibilities are regulating the body heat through chemical transformation of food and giving the feeling of appetite, vitality, concentration and comprehension.

Fire and Water elements give Pitta the universal attributes of Hot, Sharp, Light, Liquid, Spreading, fleshy smelling and slightly Oily. It is associated with the colors red and yellow.

Times of increased Pitta:

  1. Between 10:00 – 14:00, people with excess Pitta Dosha can “lose it” during the hottest noon hours, they should decrease their activities and find a cool and shady space to calm down their burning minds.
  2. Between 22:00 – 2:00, time for youth party hours or for spiritual studies. People with low Pitta Dosha, low fire energy, should go to sleep before 22:00.
  3. Summer – season for vacation and traveling outdoors, involving movement and excitement.
  4. Youth and adulthood – Pitta Dosha phase of life begins soon after puberty, until the age of 50-60, when the kids are grown up and leave the house. Pitta era is the time when people are most active to achieve in life.

Primary seats of Pitta in the body:

  1. Small intestine.
    2. Stomach, Spleen, Pancreas.
    3. Liver, Gall Bladder.
    4. Blood.
    5. Eyes.
    6. Skin.
    7. Sweat glands.
    8. Fat tissue.

Exaggerated Physical attributes of Pitta characters:

Pitta persons have a masculine body with a medium frame and weight. They seldom gain or lose much weight, but can relatively easily gain or lose weight if they decide to. They often have bright and colorful eye and rosy cheeks. Usually they have strong appetite and thirst and like cold drinks and sweets.

Exaggerated mental attributes of Pitta characters:

Pitta types are fast and forceful, determined, with a strong will, that needs to learn how to express their feelings and desires in a nondestructive manor. They have excellent capability for learning, understanding and concentrating, they are highly disciplined and excellent leaders. They are initiative, practical, and care much for looks and esthetics. Loyal to their principles, they sometimes may become fanatic. They can become judgmental, critical and perfectionistic, and tend towards anger easily. They are attracted to noble professions and prefer to spend money on luxurious items.

Sense organ:

Vision – related to the fire element.

How taste influences Pitta Dosha:

  1. Increase Pitta: Sour, Salty, Pungent.
  2. Decrease Pitta: Astringent, Bitter, Sweet

Life habits to decrease and balance excess Pitta:

Keep calm, shorten the daily schedule, keep cool, avoid direct exposure to the sun, enjoy a gentle breeze, exposure to the moon light, sleep as much as you really need, take a siesta nap during the hottest hours, calm down the aspirations and efforts, Cut down your to do list, make life more simple, grow flowers, travel and drive less, avoid arguments and confrontations, forgive, want less and feel content with the present. Avoid excess heating, vapor and humidity, end the shower with a cold wash, spend time outdoors, especially in the early morning and during evening, to breath fresh air and release any excess heat accumulated and to nourish the eyes with natural colors. Express feelings in a supportive way to yourself and your environment.

Pitta people have a high metabolism characterized by heat and sharpness. They are intelligent and effective problem solvers. They are goal-oriented individuals and often successful in their pursuits.However, sometimes Pitta individuals are too intense, critical, and forceful. They may be irritable, easily angered, or frustrated. Their criticism is often directed at themselves and those closest to them, which may disrupt relationships. Their pride is easily wounded. They often push their bodies and relationships beyond their limits.

To bring themselves into balance, Pitta people must avoid bullying their body. They must stop working when tired, stop running or exercising when strained, and stop thinking or fighting when their mind needs a rest. Many Pitta individuals appear perfect on the outside, with limitless endurance. But their hyper vigilance quickly burns up their biological resources, especially their adrenals and nervous system. Pitta must restore calm and pace their intense ambitions for the long haul. Keeping busy and productive past midnight is incredibly tempting for them, but ideally Pitta should retire to bed with the lights out by 10pm.

Pitta’s sharp quality leads them to hyper-focus. They forget to give themselves space and time for creative solutions, and miss the bigger picture perspective. They often take control of situations and engineer their own solutions – at great personal investment of energy and time. Instead, Pitta should allow grace to operate in their lives and relationships. They need to learn to trust that time will lead to the answers.

Contemplative practices are especially attractive to the Pitta mind. However, for the sake of balance, they should turn their attention towards leisure and other less mental activities instead. Pitta needs time to breathe. They should get outside for some fresh air or make time and space for idle pursuits. The natural world provides an example of the effortless perfection that Pitta needs and craves. Pitta is nourished by sweetness, affection, and nurturing. They should cultivate this sweetness from within by giving sweet gifts to others and to themselves.

When faced with obstacles, Pitta should treat themselves to relaxing, soothing activities such as a professional massage, where they can finally let go and allow their creative non-linear side to provide the answers.

Pitta people are irritable and may become quickly angry or frustrated. To overcome this anger they must cultivate true humility and the ability to learn new approaches from others who are radically different from themselves.

Key word for balance: moderation, in food, work, schedule, sexual activity, challenges.

Life habits that increase Pitta and create imbalance:

Sharp and hot qualities, drinking alcohol, spicy food, frustrating activities, a lot of tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, sour taste, yogurt, red meat, salted fish, physical exercise during the hottest hours, too tight and warm clothes, drugs, binging on salty snacks, suppressing emotions.

Signs of increased (excess) Pitta Dosha:

Easily burn in the sun, a sensation of burning of the skin or the mucus membranes, yellow color of the feces, urine, eyes, skin, excess hunger and thirst, edginess and bursts of anger, shouting, inability to sleep, judgmental, critical, ambitious, workaholic, body odor, hyperacidity, hair loss, high blood pressure.

Signs of decreased (deficient) Pitta Dosha:

Weak digestive power, aversion to cold, pale complexion.

Foods that Increase Pitta Dosha:

Fried food, baked food, roasted food, meat (especially red meat), excess oil, salt, spicy condiments, alcohol, buckwheat, yogurt, hard salty cheese, sour cream, nuts, sesame seeds, vinegar, tomato, eggplant, garlic, caffeine.

Although appetite can be very strong, avoid eating too much at once or very oily and spicy meals.

Foods and eating habits that decrease and balance excess Pitta:

Eating attentively and slowly, eating enough and on time, fruit, spring vegetables, leafy greens, bitter sweet vegetables, salads, sautéed vegetables, steamed vegetables, vegetarian dishes, milk, cottage cheese, soft cheese, ice cream, all types of legumes, sprouts, aloe Vera, edible flowers.

Pitta’s digestive fire is as intense and their mental one. They have a strong appetite. Pitta people can’t wait when they are hungry or they will become angry and upset. Failure to eat on time can also irritate their digestive tract because they often produce too many digestive enzymes.

As a Pitta you should avoid alcohol, excess spices, and other digestive irritants like coffee. Sour and salty foods encourage the release of hot, irritating digestive fluids, including hydrochloric acid and bile. Pungent foods increase heart rate and blood flow and can make you feel hot under the collar. Strong aromatic herbs like cinnamon, or vasodilators like ginger, can make your body and your digestion too hot. These foods will also exhaust your liver due to excessive blood flow.

Cooling foods such as cucumber, milk, pears, and honeydew melon soothe inflamed Pitta membranes. Bitter greens like kale, collards, and red leaf lettuce can literally cool your temper as they draw heat and blood back downward from the head. After eating bitters such as these, you may notice that your eyes feel more relaxed and refreshed. Astringent foods such as legumes, raw veggies, and dried fruit can absorb and dry up Pitta’s excess acids and fluids. Astringents also reduce inflammation and irritation.

Like Vata, Pitta also benefits from sweet foods like sweet potato, whole grains, and animal products. These heavier foods satisfy Pitta’s strong appetite and can temporarily relax Pitta away from their ambitious nature. Sweet taste also soothes their internal inflammation.

Pitta individuals have sensitive livers. For this reason, Pitta should avoid fried foods and poor quality oils that over stimulate the liver. Instead, cook with coconut oil and ghee. Blueberries and strawberries are ideal to nourish your liver. Cooling bitters can also cleanse your liver. You may find your liver is sensitive to nightshades such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, or foods with aflotoxins like peanuts and corn. Fermented foods are heating and irritating to the gut, and may also overtax the liver.

Pitta, paradoxically, often has weak digestion due to inflammation of their GI tract. Cooling spices like cilantro, turmeric, cardamom, cloves and fennel will improve Pitta indigestion without creating the heat of other, hotter spices like cayenne, black pepper, and cinnamon. These cooling spices will also please Pitta’s palate. Avipattikar powder is an ideal digestive for Pitta because it contains spices that improve digestion without irritating Pitta.

Pitta people are often determined to succeed, which can include eating their perfect diet. Pitta’s vigilance, however, can lead to orthorexia – characterized by overly strict adherence to their diet. Ultimately, suppression of instincts works against Pitta, leaving them confused. Instead, Pitta people need to take a relaxed approach, even with their diet. Rather than strictly following the rules of their mind, they need a more body-centric approach. They must cultivate the ability to listen to their body and follow their internal cravings.

Cereal grains:

Most cereals, including bread and pasta, are appropriate, since they strengthen and nourish but are not too heating in nature. The most suitable are whole grain bulgur, whole grain couscous, whole grain semolina, round brown rice, sweet rice, whole spelt, whole oats, oats muesli, barley, corn, whole wheat bread, noodles and pasta from whole meal flour.

Less suitable are quinoa, basmati rice, rye, granola, crackers, and rice cakes. It is best to avoid buckwheat.

Legumes:

Because legumes are relatively hard to digest, cooling and heavy, they are highly recommended for a sharp digestion. The best would be tofu, tempeh, black bean, white beans, lubia beans, green mung beans, green lentils, chickpeas.

Cooked vegetables:

Most cooked vegetables are good for this condition during the winter or when weakness is pronounced. The recommended cooking methods are steaming, infusion with boiling water or stir-fry with minimum oil.

Very good are cilantro, cauliflower, sunflower sprouts, celery, okra, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, green beans, green peas, chard, fennel, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, heart of artichoke, mushrooms, Kholorabi, corn, potato.

Second priority is parsley root, celery root, squash, carrot, spinach.

Best avoid onions, garlic, leeks, beets, tomato, eggplant, red pepper, radish, turnips.

Live vegetables:

Celery, cucumber, fennel, kohlrabi and cabbage will help slow down the digestion pace. Other good vegetables are American lettuce, endive and sunflower sprouts. Avoid onion, garlic, tomato.

Algae:

The most appropriate is the Wakame seaweed followed by Aramah, preferably as a salad.

Animal food: (quality is very significant)

Animal foods are very heating and are not the first choice for this condition. When this type of food is needed, a good choice is eggs, especially the whites. Chicken breast and turkey also can fit. Fish, beef and mutton do slow digestion in the short run, but add a lot of heat to the system in the long term, so it is best to avoid them.

Milk and dairy products: (quality is very significant)

Dairy products can be an excellent remedy for the rapid and sharp digestion. Most appropriate are milk and sweet cream. White cheese, cottage cheese and non-salted cheeses can also be helpful and, exceptionally, ice cream can be used occasionally. , sweet yogurt may be appropriate occasionally and sour yogurt best be avoided since sour dairy products may increase heat.

Fruits:

Most fruits are good for this condition because they soothe, cool and quench thirst. Fruit juices are also good.

Fruits that are better suited are apple, pear, persimmon, guava, melon, watermelon, banana, mango, figs, grapes, dates.

Second priority is the pomegranate, papaya, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, cherries, plum, peach, pomelo, lime.

It is best to avoid sour fruits like orange and grapefruit.

Nuts and seeds:

Especially good are coconut, almonds and sunflower seeds.

Since most nuts and seeds have a fatty and heating nature, it is best to seldom consume sesame seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, macadamia and hazelnuts. It is best to avoid Brazil nuts and peanuts.

Oils:

The most suitable are unsalted butter and ghee. Also good are coconut oil, avocado, sunflower oil and soybean oil. Be careful with the consumption of olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil and sesame oil.

Sweeteners:

In general, sweeteners favor this condition and soothe the burning fire, but be aware not to eat too much of this category. The more natural the sweetener; the better. Best options are Sugar cane juice, fresh honey, date syrup, carob syrup.

Spices:

Spices may increase heat and stimulate digestion, so are best minimized or avoided. If used, choose carefully and pay attention to dosage. Acceptable cooling spics are coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, and turmeric.

Second priorities are mint, lime, Louisa, sage.

Use very cautiously cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, rock salt and beware of ginger, fenugreek, hing, table salt, black pepper, garlic, chili and mustard.

Beverages:

This condition needs a good amount of fluids. Cooled water is very suitable. Very good are Black or green tea, cold infusions of coriander seeds, rose petals, fennel seeds, chamomile, hibiscus. Fruit juices (apple, pear, melon) and vegetable juices (e.g. celery and green apple) and smoothies are good. Alcohol is better avoided.

Optional daily menu for this condition:

Drink options following awakening: drink cold infusion of coriander seeds (soaked overnight).

 

7:00 Breakfast:

Quaker porridge or semolina porridge or wheat flour porridge. Cook the porridge in cow / almond / coconut milk.

Chapati / whole wheat bread with cream cheese, ghee/butter/almond paste, cucumber and lettuce salad.

Green smoothies with fruit and coconut.

 

10:00 Snack:

sliced vegetables or salad, with white/cottage cheese.

Chapati / whole wheat bread, cream cheese, ghee/butter/almond paste, cucumber and lettuce salad.

Green smoothies with fruit and coconut.

 

13:00 Lunch:

Vegetarian meal:

barley grits / spelt / bulgur or pasta, 40% of the meal

Steamed or stirred vegetables, 30% of the meal

legumes and / or cheese, 30% of the meal

Or

Nonvegetarian meal:

Cooked grain, 50% of the meal

Salad, 30% of the meal

Chicken / turkey breast, 20% of the meal

 

16:00 Lunch:

Fresh fruits.

Chapati or bread with a suitable sweet spread (ghee, date syrup, almond spread, carob syrup, honey, etc.).

 

19:00 Dinner:

Oatmeal porridge or semolina porridge or wheat flour porridge, cooked in cow / almond milk.

Vegetable soup, mung and grits and wheat noodles.

Chapatti or bread with a suitable spread (cream cheese, butter, legume spread, tofu spread), soft boiled eggs.

Semolina/bulgur and vegetable pie.

Semolina banana pancake

Noodles or spaghetti with vegetable sauce and cream.

 

22:00 before bedtime:

A glass of almond milk.

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