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Pitta Dosha

Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
What is a Dosha?

Are you a Pitta?

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Pitta in balance is brilliant. Pitta's intelligence combined with enthusiasm and determination make them charismatic leaders who get things done. Their metabolism is strong and their bodies are muscular. Their drive is as strong as their hunger, so Pitta folks need to be sure to stop what they are doing to eat on time lest they get irritable. Out of balance Pitta can be argumentative, overly critical, and addictive. They easily overwork themselves and have a tendency to overheat. Pitta is most nourished by cooling down with foods, fresh air, or sweet words. Meditation allows Pittas to befriend their mind so that they control it, rather than the other way around. Pittas enjoy the decadence of luxury and should make the effort to spoil themselves occasionally.

What is Pitta?

Pitta is principle of heat, digestion, and all transformation in the body. Pitta is the acid secretion from the stomach, bile from the liver, and inflammation. Pitta sweat is sour, causing body odor. Pitta brings color to the body, including the eyes. Pitta people dream in color. Pitta also colors the skin and makes freckles and red hair. In the body, the element of fire always comes with water. Pitta is both. Pitta's best sense is vision, but Pitta also has a strong sense of smell.

Pitta Characteristics

  • Sharp, intelligent mind
  • Bright, colorful eyes
  • Rosy cheeks

Pitta Symptoms

  • Judgmental, critical
  • Ambitious, workaholic
  • Yellow or red eyes
  • Body odor, acid reflux
  • Hair loss

Pitta Diseases

  • Ulcer or acid reflux
  • Bleeds or bruises easily
  • Nearsighted, sensitive to light, migraines
  • Judgemental, critical
  • Any inflammation or sharp pain
  • High blood pressure
Famous Pitta People

Pitta Treatments

Avoid These Foods

Pitta Aggravating Foods

Avoid Food With These Qualities

Favor this Lifestyle

  • Go to bed before 10pm
  • Increase bitter, astringent, and sweet taste.
  • Avoid heat, intensity, and overexertion.
  • Take time off to enjoy life
  • Take a break from mental activity
  • Avoid self-criticism, criticism of others

Favor this Diet

Favor these Herbs

  • Amalaki - Cool the intestines
  • Shatavari - Soften Mood
  • Avipattikar Churna - Improve Pitta Digestion
  • Neem - Cool Blood / Skin
  • Aloe vera - Cool liver
  • All Pitta Pacifying Products
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    Pitta Times of Day

    Pitta happens in the middle. Pitta is naturally increased during the middle of life, the year, the day, and the middle of digestion.

    Adulthood (Puberty - 50s) - Rebellious teenagers with acne are a book picture of high Pitta. With adulthood comes responsibility, ambition, and organization.

    Summer - Pitta gets high in the summer due to the heat and bright light of the sun. The blood vessels become dilated and the skin sweats.

    Noon and Midnight - Two hours before and after 12:00 Pitta becomes high in the stomach, leading to increased acid secretions. At midnight the liver also becomes active for cleansing. This "second wind" is for our organs, but many Pitta people steal the second wind for their mind.

    2-4 hours after a meal - In the sour phase of digestion, Pitta people will notice a slight stinging in the eyes. Many people crave dessert during the sour phase because high acidity in the body makes them uncomfortable.

    Pitta Sites

    Small Intestine - The small intestine holds food until it has been fully digested. If digestion is slow or weak, metabolic wastes from growing colonies of bacteria cause buildup of acidity. The body responds by increasing Pitta dosha.

    Stomach - Hydrochloric acid is sharp, breaking up food particles. If the mucous lining of the stomach is too thin, an ulcer can develop.

    Sweat and Sebaceous Glands - Body odor is Pitta and a sign of poor digestion. When digestion is strong, body odor and bad breath disappear.

    Blood - When Pitta is high in the small intestine, it gets absorbed through the lining of the GI tract into the blood. Pitta in the blood causes rashes, fever, and irritability,

    Eye - When Pitta enters the blood or the liver is weakened, eyesight deteriorates. Many Pitta types wear glasses. Other signs are inflamed or yellow eyes.

    Skin - Pitta in the blood causes a rash, eczema, and psoriasis. Clearing the blood and the liver is a classic Ayurvedic remedy.

    Mind - When the liver and blood are toxic, the mind gets irritable and concentrated. Pitta people love to study after midnight. Concentration is exclusionary. Concentration takes effort. But awareness is inclusive, effortless, and open. It receives everything without judgment. It is simply a witness to "what is."

    Pitta people cannot tolerate disorder. They love to clean. Their spices are arranged by name, and their socks, by color.

    About the Author

    John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

    John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

    John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

    Pitta Balancing Diet
    Pitta Balancing Lifestyle
    How to Balance Pitta Digestion (Tikshna Agni)
    The Three Doshas
    Vata Dosha
    Kapha Dosha
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    Starts Oct 2017

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    I am confused. When you say balancing the three doshas do you mean that the ideal for a person would be a balance bet VATA-PITTA-KAPHA. In my case I have 5 Vata 29 Pitta and 13 Kapha.

    - sanda, Miami, FL, 08-12-12 (Reply)
    Everyone has a unique constitution. When doshas are aggravated, we might have more Vata, Pitta or Kapha than normal. The idea is to get your doshas back to your unique normal levels.
    - John Immel, Asheville, NC, 09-02-12 (Reply)
    I'm Pitta but let's say I have symptoms of aggravated Vata...Then I should eat food that will pacify Vata? But wouldn't this food aggravate Pitta? How does it work?
    - Corinne, CA, 10-01-12 (Reply)
    That's my same confusion about this and blood type diet... Research is always best for me..
    - Lucart Lucart, Springfield, OR, 08-15-13 (Reply)
    I am under the care of an M.D. who practices Ayurveda. He diagnosed me as Pitta after exhaustive questioning, feeling of my pulse, looking at my eyes, nails, etc. Yes, I am a true Pitta and have my closet and drawers organized by season and color.
    - Mary Ann, IL, 04-15-14 (Reply)

    What is Joyful Belly?

    Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

    What is Ayurveda?

    Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
    John Immel.

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