How to balance the Pitta Dosha
Ayurveda suggests the principle of opposites to keep a balance between all energies. Since the primary features of Pitta are hot, light and sharp simply spoken everything that is heavy, cooling, or soothing might help to balance an aggravated Pitta Dosha — not only in primary Pitta types but in every case of an unbalanced Pitta Dosha. Pitta can aggravate from repressed emotions, in summer, from excessive ambition or in a hot and damp climate. Read up on signs of a Pitta imbalance here.
Main remedies for too much Pitta:
- Cool down both your body and mind. Try cool (not ice-cold) showers or a bath, relax your mind and try “Ocean’s Breath” (Ujjayi Pranayama): with your mouth closed, breathe slowly and deeply through your nose while constricting the muscles of your throat; like trying to say “Haaaah” with a closed mouth. It should make a hissing noise, a bit like Darth Vader.
- Bitter tastes in your food, also good are sweet and astringent and have it light, fresh or raw and cool. The salad is great (but stay away from oily dressings) as are green smoothies.
- sweet scents and meditation or at least a really quiet surrounding and any low-action activity to calm down your mood.
- cooling and soothing herbs and spices, like peppermint, aloe vera, coriander, cardamom or fennel. Triphala balances all three doshas.
General Guidelines to balance an aggravated Pitta Dosha:
- Try to stay cool in every regard: avoid heat or exercising during the hot hours of the day and try not to get into situations that make your blood boil. When the weather gets hot and sunny, wear loose clothing and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Try to stay in the shade or find a pool — water is perfect to cool Pitta down.
- Avoid over-consumption of oily (especially cheap oils), salty and spicy foods and eat refreshing, liquid and sweet foods instead. Drink lots of water and never go hungry. (Scroll down to the dietary guidelines for more info on a Pitta-balancing diet.)
- Stay away from competition and aggression. Keep a good work-life balance and try not to get too absorbed a project. If you find yourself unable to detach from work or wake up early in the morning unable to get back to sleep it’s definitely time to get some rest.
- Practice compassion. Whenever you feel irritated, angry, judgemental, try and stop yourself in your tracks and practice loving-kindness, as the Buddhists call it: cultivate gentle, accepting and loving thoughts towards whatever seems to be raising your temper.
Pitta Diet Tips
The following are some general suggestions for a diet to soothe aggravated Pitta in the system. Since every individual has different needs, none of these are absolute, so take the below as guidelines and see what they do for you. Feel free to experiment, watch your bodily reactions and adjust.
- generally refreshing, light foods with lots of liquid.
- fresh fruit and vegetables, organic if possible. Choose sweet, ripe fruits over unripe, sour ones
- sweet, bitter and astringent flavors like fresh milk and butter, natural sweeteners (except for honey) and lots of fruit, green vegetables, green smoothies or coconut
- super greens like chlorella, spirulina and wheat grass
- hot, spicy or fried foods or anything prepared with cheap oils
- too much of pungent, salty or sour flavours, like hot spices, salt, yoghurt or other sour-cultured foods
- too many vegetables from the nightshade family (tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, potatoes) and heating vegetables like garlic, onion and radishes
- be careful with heating spices like chilli, pepper, mustard seeds, asafoetida, dry ginger and salt