Pitta imbalance is manifested as burning sensation, pricking pain, redness, and heat in the body. High Pitta level triggers inflammation, blood impurities, hyper acidity, and severe hot flashes. It leads to irritation, anger, and intensity of emotions at the mental level.
Usually Pitta increases under hunger, pressing deadlines and in summer season.
Signs of Pitta Imbalance in the Mind
- Pitta Imbalance or Increase is exhibited with the emotions of intolerance – irritability, anger, impatience, judgment, criticism, and jealousy. One becomes intolerant to their own self and to others.
- High levels of Pitta can also lead to a tendency toward perfectionism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), burnout from excessive work, dissatisfaction, and lack of content.
- Low pitta can also lead one to stay caught in their own imaginary perfect world and stage of denial. It leads to lack of decisiveness and action.
Health Issues of Pitta Imbalance in Women
- Inflammation, burning sensation, and pain in the reproductive organs.
- Endometriosis, excessive bleeding during menstruation, heavy and prolonged periods, and spotting in between the periods.
- Leucorrhea with foul smelling vaginal discharge that is often persistent and yellowish in colour.
- Hot Flashes, Migraine, extreme irritability, and angry outbursts may be observed during life stages of transition such as Menopause, Menstruation, and Pregnancy.
- Vaginitis and frequent urinary tract infections.
- Tenderness and pain the breasts.
- Heart palpitations, hypertension, and increased risk of heart stroke.
Health Issues of Pitta Imbalance in Men
- High pitta can cause inflammation in the reproductive system such as epididymis and penis.
- Pitta aggravation can lead to burning pain during ejaculation.
- Hormonal imbalances
Pitta Imbalance leads to Hyperacidity, Peptic Ulcers, and Gallstones
- Early signs of pitta increase include a sense of insatiability that is marked by intense hunger and excessive thirst.
- Pitta accumulation and aggravation leads to nausea, vomiting, hiccups, acid reflux, heartburn, hyperacidity, GERD, loose stools, and diarrhea.
- Tikshnagni or high digestive fire leads to low blood sugar, irritability, anger, and dizziness before the meals or a strong urge to eat between the meals.
- Yellowish coating is observed on the tongue with sour or bitter taste in the mouth. The breath, stools, sweat, and menstrual bleeding becomes foul smelling with Pitta increase.
- Excessive pitta leads to formation of lumps in the bile juice that accumulate in gall bladder as gallstones.
- Peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut, and inflammation of GI tract is often observed in Pitta increase.
Pitta Imbalance leads to Skin Rashes, Premature Greying of Hair, and Baldness
- High levels of pitta is marked by impurity and heat in the blood. Hence, pitta increase can trigger redness, heat, hives, rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis in the skin.
- Pitta imbalance leads to easy bruises and burns on the skin internally and externally. Bleeding gums, canker sores, or mouth ulcers can be triggered by pitta increase.
- Excessive sweating is observed. Strong, acidic, and fleshy-smelling body odor are caused by pitta imbalance.
- Pitta imbalanace loosens the hair follicles at the root and hence baldness is observed.
- Pitta Imbalance leads to premature greying of the hair on the scalp. Extreme cases can have greying of hair throughout their bodies.
Pitta Imbalance leads to an Incomplete Digestion and High Appetite
An individual with Pitta Dosha Imbalance suffers from an overactive digestive system and very high digestive fire. This leads to an unusual levels of hunger, excessive thirst, acidity, and an incomplete digestion of the foods.
In Ayurveda, Pitta type of digestion is called Tikshna Agni
An incomplete digestion leads to nutritional deficiencies and related health problems even if a person is consuming healthy foods.Medhya Herbals
Hence, it is important to balance the digestive fire first, before one dives into good foods or bad foods for Pitta Dosha balance.
Why does Pitta Imbalance lead to an Incomplete Digestion?
There are a couple of reasons behind incomplete digestion during Pitta Imbalance:
- Pitta dosha imbalance increases the peristalsis of the intestines. Hence, it leads to fast movement of food through the digestive system.
- Due to Pitta imbalance, the gut microbes in the digestive tract becomes highly sensitive and unstable. Hence, the gut flora changes with every meal. It is also gets highly affected by external stimulation such as temperature, hydration, stress, and your mood.
- In Pitta Increase, there is excessive secretion of digestive enzymes and digestive juices. Hence, it leads to irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract.
- If Pitta decreases on the other hand, there is lack of digestive enzymes, digestive juices, and stomach acid. Hence, one suffers from incomplete digestion. In this case, one would need a diet to increase Pitta in the body.
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What are the primary causes for Pitta Imbalance?
Pitta Dosha aggravation can happen in anybody, whether they are primarily Pitta-Dosha and also in case Vata or Kapha Dosha is their prime governing energies.
The basic principle of Dosha governance is that like increases like. It means that there are high chances for pitta aggravation if one is exposed to excessive hot temperatures on the prolonged basis, or intakes excessive hot natured, spicy, and fried foods. Some triggers to increase Pitta are:
Kala – Time of the Day, Season, and Your Age affect Pitta Balance
- Pitta Dosha is aggravated in the summer season, from May till July in the Indian continent. Hence, one gets prone to health disorders related to acidity, inflammation, headaches, insatiability.
- Pitta imbalance is more common in middle age group. However, extended periods of mental stress and exposure to chemicals leads to pitta imbalance in younger and older age groups as well.
- During the day, Pitta Dosha is active from 10 AM to 2 PM and from 10 PM to 2 AM. This is the time when Pitta health disorders will show their symptoms to be slightly aggravated. For example, one would find rashes, inflammation, acidity, or heart problems build up.
Ahara – Food and Dietary Habits that cause Pitta Imbalance
- Regular consumption of hot, spicy, and fried food items.
- Excessive consumption of salty, sour, and fermented foods.
- Holding off hunger for prolonged periods.
- Inability to slow down and consumption of food while performing other activities such as work, entertainment, driving, or walking.
Vihara – Lifestyle Practices that cause Pitta Imbalance
- Sudden, excessive, or prolonged exposure to hot temperature and damp environment.
- Stressful environment, excessive work, and tight timelines.
- Excessive physical or mental activity that leads to burnout.
- Excessive screen time during the day, inability to take breaks or relax, and prolonged work hours till sleeping.
- Bright lights and exposure to excessively hot and bright sun.
Vichara – Mental State that leads to Pitta Imbalance
- High level of competition and a tendency to always push the limits.
- Excessively pressing timelines and activities when conducted on regular basis.
- Excessive stress due to work or relationships.
- Multi-tasking or multiple pressing projects.
Ayurvedic Tips for Pitta Balance with Diet, Lifestyle, Herbs, and Yoga
To balance Pitta Dosha, once should practice a lifestyle that would relax, cool down, and calm both mental and physical body system. Pitta Diet and Lifestyle involves moderation, surrender, and relaxation are most effective for Pitta balance.
Pitta Diet – Foods, Herbs, and Dietary Habits
- Include a variety of fresh vegetables in both raw and cooked form. Go for Astringent, Sweet, and Bitter tastes.
- Eat in a calm and relaxed setting. Do not work while eating and do not rush through the meals.
- Prefer cooling Ayurvedic Herbs and spices such as Rose, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Lemon Grass, and Coriander to eliminate excess pitta.
- Oils to prefer are Ghee, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil.
- Salads can be taken by pitta in moderation during lunch time or morning when following pitta diet.
- Prefer cooling and normal temperature beverages such as coconut water, still water, and herbal teas.
- Do not skip meals or avoid food when hungry.
- Do not overeat! Do not take food when you are not hungry. Follow this guide to 10 Ayurvedic Dietary Habits for Metabolism.
- Eliminate foods with a hot potency and hot temperature such as chilli and cayenne pepper.
- Remove and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Lifestyle Practices for Pitta Balance
- Self-massage or Abhyanga with cooling and heavy oils such as Coconut Oil, Olive oil, or Ghee is cooling, relaxing, and grounding for pitta. Apply oil to your scalp and soles on daily basis. Perform full body massage on weekly basis.
- Slow down, enjoy, and relax. Be in the moment and do things for the sole purpose of joy rather than productivity.
- Avoid intense heat, hot temperatures, and excessive exposure to the hot midday Sun.
- Leave the perfectionist attitude. Be willing to make mistakes yourself.
- Regular meditation with a focus on breathing to calm down the mind.
Physical Activity for Pitta Balance
Pitta usually has high level of motivation and competitive spirit. Hence, pitta individuals and pitta imbalance should always try to push the limits and do everything in excess.
- Pitta benefit the most through regular, relaxing, calming, and cooling physical activity.
- Exercise at least 3 – 5 days a week through stabilising workout routines such as involving in recreational and non-competitive sports, traditional dances, swimming, hiking, running or brisk walking in nature or near water, yoga, Tai Chi, or Cycling.
- Physical activity should be avoided in warm temperatures as it will aggravate pitta. Prefer cooling temperatures of early morning or late evening.
- Avoid over exertion and excessive stretch. It aggravates Pitta and leaves no room to recharge or calm down. As a golden rule, exercise up to 50% of your body’s capacity.
- Adopt new and dynamic routines that can help to channelise and satisfy your pitta energy to learn new skills or sports.
Yoga Poses for Pitta Balance
Pitta body benefits from yoga sequences that involve flexibility, slow easy movement, and stillness. Pitta should hold a pose till there is no strain and no heat is created. Yoga sequences that are gentle, calming, and cooling to the body and mind are highly beneficial to balance Pitta.
Inversion yoga poses are contraindicated during menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee Pose
- Parsva Upavistha Konasana – Over One Open Leg Forward Bend Pose
- Paschimottanasana – Full Forward Bend
- Kurmasana – Tortoise Pose
- Makarasana – Locust Variation
- Urdhva Dhanurasana – Upward Bow Pose
- Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation
- Jathara Parivartanasana – Revolving Stomach Twist
- Balasana – Child’s Pose
- Dipada Pidam – Bridge Pose
Pranayama for Pitta Balance
Pranayama practices involve breathing exercises, which develop the life-force in the body. It promotes flow of energy, awaken the mind, and cleanse the body. Pranayama increases Agni, promotes heat, and increases flow of vital force of Prana through the body.
Following Pranayama techniques are recommended for Pitta Dosha balance:
- Shitali Pranayama and Sitkari Pranayama
- Ujjayi Pranayama – Breath of Victory
- Left Nostril Breathing
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- Textbook fo Ayurveda – Part 1 by Vasant Lad
- Yoga for your body type by Dr. David Frawley and Susan Summerfield Kozak