You are interested in Ayurveda and you just have gone through our Dosha Questionnaire? Great! And you have received your result and your constitution is Pitta. So what does this mean? How is this relevant for you and what practical advice do we have for you?
As you probably know already, your unique Ayurveda body type or individual constitution (Prakriti) is one of the most important concepts of Ayurvedic medicine. According to the Ayurvedic doctrine, we all have a very unique constitution that determines how we “tick” or function metabolically and how we tend to respond to stimuli from the environment. Being someone with a Vata constitution means that you will have different proclivities to certain illnesses than other constitutions. There also will be completely different dietary precautions that apply to you as compared to other constitutional types. You have certain strengths that you can use to your advantage and certain weaknesses that you should control with your diet and lifestyle choices for example.
Here’s All You Need to Know
People with Pitta constitution like yourself have usually a moderately well built body that is developed harmoniously. Muscles cover the bones well and there are no protruding or crooked bones like it is the case for people with Vata constitution. Pitta people often have particularly intense, hypnotic, piercing eyes. Sometimes their gaze is so intense that others shy away from them. The white part of the eye tends towards yellow or red in Pitta individuals. Because the domain of Pitta dosha is the blood, people like you tend to develop health problems that are connected to the blood. Some examples for Pitta related issues are infections, ulcers and inflammatory processes and problems related to the circulatory system.
Pitta skin is lustrous, warm to touch and moist, coppery or reddish in colour and often has plenty of freckles or moles. By the way, the body temperature of Pitta types is higher than other constitutions. While Vata types sit huddled in a corner and shiver, Pitta types take their shirt off and look for an air conditioned room. Because of their increased body temperature, Pitta types perspire easily and a lot and it is not unusual, that even their hands and feet sweat. Their sweat often has a strong odour. Their teeth are moderate in size and tend to be yellowish in colour, while their gums easily bleed. Pitta hair is moderately thick and early greying is common. In men, early balding or a receding hairline is a typical Pitta tendency. So much for some of the physical features that characterize a Pitta type.
Pitta types, quite the opposite to Vata types, generally do not have any issue with sleep. They sleep soundly and do not need a huge amount of sleep. One feature that certainly strikes out is Pitta’s strong, often intense appetite. Their digestion is working extremely well, so they can even get away with eating strange food combinations at odd times and large quantities that would leave Vata types feeling ill and Kapha types knocked out by lethargy. Due to their strong fire, they often get upset or angry when they are hungry or when they get served food they don’t like. Their bowel movements are regular and usually occur at least once a day, often more frequently, characteristically with soft, loose, oily feces.
People with Pitta constitution make natural and charismatic leaders. They can focus very well, have strong opinions and a courageous spirit. They are very competitive, have a bright intellect and a sharp tongue and can come across as arrogant. Pitta’s intensity often turns them into perfectionists obsessing about details. They hate wasting time and people who show up to meetings late or unprepared. If things don’t go their way, they easily become irritated and angry, often dominating the situation. Yes, it can be quite challenging to be around them but we should never forget that they are usually the ones who drive things forward and infuse the necessary energy to get things done. A balanced Pitta type that ideally has done some self development and can keep his “dark side” in check can be a great leader and great friend
Let us first look into the symptoms that are often associated with increased Pitta. Pitta can increase through wrong lifestyle, which includes all kinds of daily activities, your diet and your mental and emotional patterns. In general, any activity that increases heat in your body, increases Pitta. Eating spicy food and drinking alcohol are the most obvious examples for substances introducing heat into the body and thus increasing Pitta. Another example is not eating when hungry, because this increases bile and hydrochloric acid, both associated with Pitta. Beside spicy food, Pitta types also have to limit the consumption of sour and salty food. Just like with the other two constitutional types, our emotions play a big part when it comes to keeping Pitta in check. An obsessive competitive mindset can lead to a Pitta imbalance, so will feelings like anger, hatred and revenge. Pitta also increases by exercising during the wrong time of the day (between 11am to 3pm) and exercising in hot environments (indoors and outdoors). Over time wrong lifestyle choices, wrong food and unchecked emotional patterns will gradually increase Pitta in your body. The increased Pitta then manifests in the form of symptoms like:
Sour body odour
Excessive thirst & hunger
Overly sensitive to heat
Burning red eyes
Excessively critical or controlling mind
In order to remove the excess Pitta from your body, Ayurveda recommends a procedure (or rather procedures) called Panchakarma. The 5 techniques that are collectively called “Panchakarma”, remove excess dosha (Vata, Pitta or Kapha) and restore physiological balance. Once you have restored a new equilibrium you should ensure that you do not again progressively accumulate Pitta dosha in your body. Here are some tips that you should know.
Hunger is a natural urge that should be always respected and satisfied by all Ayurvedic constitutional types (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), but especially for Vata and Pitta types. For you as Pitta constitution, it is important to eat when you are hungry because your digestive fire, which is very strong by nature, is active and needs to be pacified with food. This explains why people with a Pitta constitution are difficult to be around when they are hungry. They are impatient and get angry easily since their Pitta, like a fire, is looking for something to consume. If you want to have a constructive or friendly conversation with a Pitta type, make sure they are fed well!
Healthy nutritious food with cooling, bitter, astringent and sweet in taste is important for Pitta dosha. We recommend you include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes into your diet. You can also enjoy a fair amount of raw food, something Vata types should best be avoiding.
The following drinks are recommended for Pitta types like yourself because they will alkalise your blood and dissipate heat from your body: cucumber juice, grape juice, watermelon juice and wheatgrass juice, coconut water, green tea, mint & peppermint tea. Beer is fine occasionally and in moderation since it is only mildly heating and it relaxes stressed Pitta types.
As mentioned above, exercising in the heat is a bad idea for Pitta types, because they already have plenty of heat in their body due to their constitutional makeup and will accumulate more if they do not heed this advice. It’s best to take precautions and stay away from the midday sun and schedule your activities outside the 11 am to 3 pm high Pitta period. If you can’t avoid being exposed to heat, then make sure you drink plenty of cooling liquids and protect your body with the right clothing and your head with a cap or hat.
As you probably know, sleep is very important for our physical and mental well-being. While we sleep, our body repairs tissues, restores energy levels, builds hormones and other substances, repairs cells and does many more essential things to maintain health and balance. On a mental level, sleep increases concentration and memory, the ability to think, decide, discriminate, analyse and it reduces stress levels. The time from 11 pm onwards to about 2 am in the morning is what Ayurveda has long ago identified as “Pitta time”. Pitta, with its transformative power, is extremely active during this period and will, if allowed, drive essential processes that are related to repair, detoxification and rejuvenation. And the way we allow it to do its job properly is by being passive (sleep). If we do go against this natural rhythm, Pitta’s energy will turn against us and show its destructive side. This, of course, won’t happen overnight, but disturbing Pitta’s activities by sleeping late is never a good idea and will eventually result in a dramatic increase of inflammatory factors in the body and premature ageing and often in burn-out, nervous breakdown, physical exhaustion.
Meditation, properly executed under the guidance of a master, will naturally cultivate patience and compassion in you – qualities that Pitta constitutions often lack. Meditation will also help you balance your physiology, calm your stressed nervous system by reducing intensity and heat.
Mother nature is amazing. Go for walks in nature, do some Yoga in the park, gently row across a lake and meditate under a tree…the possibilities are endless. As you engage with nature, notice the colours, fragrances and sounds around you. This will help you to get out of your head and into the awareness of the body. Through the realizations your gain from your observations and meditations, you will see a transformation of your proclivity for competition and control to more harmony and happiness!
Fun activities in a non-competitive environment with friends will teach you to lighten up and explore different ways of expressing yourself. Remember: in order to achieve real balance, we have to include actions that we are not naturally drawn to. You might have heard that “like attracts like” – the more you do of the same thing, the more you will increase the effects of that very thing you are engaged in. Fire is not balanced with fire, but with water. Think about it! And then make some changes.
Sweating is a good way to reduce body heat, remove mental and emotional stress and satisfy the Pitta’s natural tendency for competition. So go out and exercise and there is nothing wrong with a bit of competition by the way. Just make sure it does not absorb you entirely.
At our Ayurvedic Health Centre, we offer Ayurvedic treatments and programs that are specifically tailored to your Pitta constitution. Our treatment plans include a food menu that is adapted to your individual constitution and imbalances, as well as herbal medications, yoga and meditation and many authentic Ayurvedic protocols. We also offer professional and authentic Panchakarma procedures to remove excess Pitta from your body and bring you back to a deeply balanced state of well being.
Do you want our experts to help you verify your individual Ayurvedic body type and share with you more ways how you can stay in shape, prevent imbalances and diseases and create an action plan with you? Simply book online.
We are happy to help you on the path to a more relaxed, healthier and happier you!