Ah, the fiery Pitta Dosha!
In the Ayurvedic tradition, the Pitta Dosha corresponds with the elements of fire and water. This is quite a powerful combination, as polar opposites harmonize to create a constitution that is both hot, distinct, and bright, much like fire, as well as mobile, and spreading, much like water.
Their specific characteristics are often classified as oily (though this is balanced and not overly oily), sharp, hot, light, mobile, and fluid.
Photo by Chuttersnap (via Unsplash)
People with pitta dosha constitutions tend to have a fiery personality, taking confrontation head-on, are easily riled up (or fired up), have sparking, high amounts of energy, and light, blazing eyes… You get the idea (We will try to withhold the fire puns from here on out, but no promises!).
Additional characteristics of someone with a Pitta Dosha constitution tend to include:
- Tendancy towards irritability
- Higher metabolisms
- Impatience and tendency to be impulsive in reactions and decisions
- Tendency toward feeling emotions more strongly and reacting to them strongly
- Tendency to question their surroundings, and are keen and insightful
- Are often strong-willed and make good leaders
The elements of water and fire are interwoven into the body type of a person with a Pitta dosha. They often have soft, luminous skin but are prone to redness, irritations, and breakouts when imbalanced. Skin issues like eczema and dryness are common. Pittas are likely to have moderate, athletic body types, largely associated with their efficient metabolisms and appetites. While Pittas have alert, high energy while awakened, Pittas also tend to be the heaviest of sleepers, and are likely to have vivid, intricate dreams.
A Balanced Pitta Dosha constitution will be goal-oriented and on track, their intellect is heightened and strong, their skin is glowing and radiant, and experience a lack digestive or metabolic issues.
When Pitta is experiencing imbalance the following symptoms may occur: a Pitta’s skin breaks out into acne or rashes, the fiery aspects of their personality are heightened or intensified including severe irritability or lack of patience with others, lashing out, lack of balance at work (such as workaholic tendencies), irregular sleep patterns, trouble with their digestion, specifically indigestion and heart burn.
A Few Tips for Our Pittas Out There
It is important to keep a Pitta dosha in balance, as these constitutions tend to get out of whack rather quickly, which can cause pretty significant disruptions in one’s life. If you suspect you are a Pitta, here are some tips to ensure that you keep the boiling elements within you at a low simmer:
It is important that the fire within a Pitta remains under control. To counteract this element, wear natural fibers that are cooling on your body such as hemp or silk. It is important to consume cooling foods such as juicy fruits, oily, spreading sweeteners like maple syrup and dates, fresh salads and vegetables, and cooling oils such as coconut or olive.
Don’t Sweat It
Hey Pitta – it can be easy to get you riled up. Your temperance makes you quick to react, and often with a bit of a bite. Try to be mindful of how you react to your environment. Choose your battles and let things that really don’t matter roll off of your back.
Take the Charge, but Take Care of Yourself
Your intellect and motivation are true blessings of a Pitta dosha constitution. Pittas are often dubbed with having the “Type A” personality. This can be such a blessing, but also a curse. Pittas may have a tendency to work themselves toward burnout, or pursue a goal into reckless oblivion. Find balance, and honor rest when you need (and deserve) it. Take time to integrate a gratitude practice into your daily routine, and stop once in a while to literally smell the roses.
Tone Down the Spice
When you have an already fiery disposition, incorporating things into your body that are also warming can only feed the fire within you. This can quickly set a Pitta out of balance. Choose to opt for savory, or cooling spices and herbs in the dishes and drinks you consume. Additionally, it is a good idea to avoid overly warming things such as alcohol, and to be sure to indulge in moderation in order to keep your Pitta constitution in balance.
Herbs to Help the Pitta Find Balance
The best herbs for a Pitta Dosha are those that help cool the heat and moisten the dryness that are associated with this dosha. Some of the following herbs and foods are perfect for including regularly into the life of a Pitta:
- Spearmint – more cooling than peppermint (which can also be warming for many people), spearmint is also calming to the nervous system and digestion
- Cilantro – as long as you like the taste (raise your hand if this plant tastes like soap to you) cilantro is excellent for cooling the system and bringing in needed freshness. Makes a wonderful addition to cooling smoothies with cucumber and basil.
- Fennel – cooling and moistening, this herb is soothing to irritated and inflamed tissues as well as soothing for the digestion. Can be made into a tea, added to food, or eaten as desired.
- Shatavari – also called She of 1000 Husbands, this herb is particularly well known for helping to bring needed moisture into tissues of the body
- Marshmallow – the ultimate moisturizing herb, the best way to capture the properties of this plant (not the fluffy things in your hot chocolate) is to do an overnight cold infusion of 1/4 cup marshmallow to 1 quart of cool water, allow to sit covered overnight, then strain and drink in the morning. Adding in some spearmint is also a nice addition.
- Lemon Balm – cooling and nourishing, this herb has a particular affinity for the nervous system and is excellent for helping to calm and soothe an overly excited system
Our Pitta Balancing Body Oil is crafted to help moisten and cool from the outside in and makes an excellent addition to your daily routine.
You can find all of these herbs in bulk in our online or physical store. Additionally, if you feel that you are experiencing a Pitta imbalance, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our in-house herbalists to identify a solution and flesh out a plan in order to assist you in seeking balance.
- Ayruvedadosha.org. “The Pitta Dosha.” http://ayurvedadosha.org/doshas/pitta-dosha
- Ayurveda.com. “The Doshas: Their Elements & Attributes.” https://www.ayurveda.com/resources/articles/doshas-their-elements-and-attributes
- Banyan Botanicals. “Balancing Pitta: Simple Guidelines For Decreasing Pitta” https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/learning-ayurveda/balancing-pitta/
- beYogi. “The Doshas Demystified.” beYogi.com. 4 August 2015. https://beyogi.com/doshas-demystified-free-ayurvedic-ebook/
- G Adventures. “10 Animals That are No Longer on the Endangered Species List.” Jane Goodall Collection. 16 April 2018. https://www.gadventures.com/blog/animals-no-longer-endangered/
- Hemsley, Jasmine. “Pitta.” Feeling Pitta. 2019. https://www.jasminehemsley.com/pitta
- Jeon, Hannah. “31 Things We Totally Forgot Happened This Decade.” Good Housekeeping. 19 November 2019. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/g29729623/things-you-forgot-happened-this-decade-2010-to-2019/?slide=25
- SpaDreams. “Ayurveda Body Types: The Fiery Pitta Dosha.” SpaDreams: Your Guide to Health and Wellness Travel. 18 April 2016. https://www.spadreams.com/blog/ayurveda/ayurveda-types-the-fiery-pitta-dosha
- Stillman, Cate. “How to be a Pitta.” Thrive Guide by Cate Stillman. 2019. https://yogahealer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/How-to-be-a-Pitta1.pdf
- Strause, Mary Gabrielle. “How to Begin in 2020 – Be Reborn with the New Decade.” Vagabond de Virtuosa. 26 November 2019. https://www.vagabondetvirtuosa.com/blog/how-to-begin-in-2020-be-reborn-with-the-new-decade