HOW TO REDUCE PITTA DOSHA
The human body and doshas
As per Ayurvedic texts, the human body is governed by three natural elements – Vata by air, Pitta by fire, and Kapha by water. These doshas are responsible for digestion and other functions of the body. Each person’s body consists of a unique ratio of these doshas, with one outmanoeuvring the other, thereby making up the person’s dosha. When the doshas become imbalanced, they can lead to diseases in the human body.
Pitta and Agni
The word Pitta is derived from ‘tapa’ a Sanskrit word, which represents heat. Pitta tends to increase body heat since the element is associated with fire. It controls the ‘Agni’ or the fire in the body. Pitta dosha can be triggered by consuming foods that are spicy, oily, and acidic, to name a few.
How to identify pitta imbalance
When pitta imbalance occurs, one can identify the following symptoms: increased body heat, heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhoea, acne and body inflammation, impatience, excessive sweating, hot flushes, skin diseases, bloodshot eyes, bleeding disorders, headaches, and increased anger.
What are the foods to avoid?
Those with imbalanced Pitta should avoid extremely hot, spicy, heavy, and sour food. Consumption of such food can increase the acidic nature in one’s stomach leading to aggravation of these symptoms. Try avoiding red meat, salted butter, fried food, food with excess salt, sesame oil, salmon, potatoes, tomatoes, citric fruits, and spicy flavors like tabasco sauce, corn, brinjal, and turnips.
What food is advisable?
Some foods that can pacify the Pitta include fruits like apples, ghee, leafy green vegetables, cucumber, cauliflower, milk, melon, papaya, grains like oats, wheat, quinoa, legumes like lentils, black and soybeans, almonds, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds and eggs. Do not eat heavily, as that can overburden the already fired-up body. Try to have fruits and vegetables at least an hour before your meal for the best effect. Drink a lot of water.
Natural remedies for Pitta
Jeera in lukewarm water can have a pacifying effect on the Pitta. Amla or gooseberry can help cleanse the digestive system and act as a coolant. Neem is considered an excellent natural remedy for imbalanced Pitta, and the Ayurvedic remedy Triphala is also said to support the digestive system. Coconut water, fresh juice, and aloe vera juice can also bring down the body temperature.
Lifestyle practices to correct imbalanced Pitta
Yoga can help mitigate the heat generated in the body. Try doing some breathing exercises with Pranayama. Some asanas like Balasana (child pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Jathara Parivartanasana (spinal twist), and Marjaryasana (cat and cow pose) can help bring the body temperature down. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Find some time to workout early in the morning or evening. Get some quality sleep. Have a healthy and balanced diet and ensure that you have your food on time. Practice stress-management techniques, whichever works for you. Meditation can give a calming effect to the mind and body. Avoid conflicts and too many arguments to avoid the body heat rising. Team sports can also help.