The Pitta Dosha Ayurveda Body Type: Imbalance to Balance with Easy Diet and Lifestyle Corrections
Of the three Ayurveda dosha body types, a Pitta dosha body is athletic, has soft shiny hair and skin, and gets bronzed easily in the sun. Pitta dosha body types shine with a radiant complexion and enjoy the pursuit of wealth and fame. Highly driven, they do not need much sleep and wake up early, refreshed and ready to attack their schedule for the day.
Pitta in the body is the fundamental energy that regulates metabolism, hormones, acid-alkali balance, digestion, and enzymatic activity within the cells and organs. When there is too much Pitta in the body, these activities become abnormal.
With their practical, can-do attitude, Pitta body types love to solve knotty problems. You will find many Pittas like Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Elon Musk solving some of humanity’s biggest problems on a global scale.
Pitta is a Sanskrit root word that in English translates to bile, color, acid, or that which cooks.
What is Pitta?
Let’s first understand what a Pitta dosha is. Pitta Dosha Body type is created when fire and water element dominates the five elements that make up a human body. We know we are all made from Air, Space, Water, Fire, Earth.
Ayurveda’s Pitta energy governs our passions, our digestion, thirst, and intelligence, the ability to make sense of the world. This makes the Pitta energy dominant people keen and intelligent on the plus side and “hangry”, jealous and vengeful on the negative side.
Pittas being a fire element dominant body type, easily get sunburnt, and have to protect their eyes from strain and redness.
What is a Pitta Dosha Body Type?
Body: the Pitta dosha body is of medium build, is athletic, and has developed muscles. This is your tall dark handsome type.
Mind: the Pitta mind is able to transform and digest knowledge, and is able to quickly process information. Pittas are logical and organized, to a fault sometimes.
Emotion: the Pitta body type is witty and bold, and is always ready with a methodical approach to problems but when out of balance can get aggressive and violent.
Relationships: Pittas body types can intimidate their Kapha friends into retreating and hurt their Vata friends into running away. Pittas find their Vata friends unreliable and Kapha friends lazy. Sharp-tongued Pittas need to tone it down when provoked.
Diseases: Pitta imbalance creates diseases of the metabolism like acid reflux, blood toxicity, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, jaundice, conjunctivitis, colitis, ulcers, eczema, acne, hepatitis, Hyperthyroidism, etc. to name a few. Pittas need help reducing body heat with cooling foods and calming lifestyle choices.
Employment: Pitta dosha types do well as performance athletes, winter sportsmen, business leaders, heads of organizations, startup founders, social workers. Pittas excel at organizing.
Challenges: Perfectionist Pittas need to slow down and smell the roses. Their extreme logical minds and goal-oriented personalities can sometimes overshadow their passionately loving hearts.
How to reduce pitta from the head
Pitta emotions run hot and many find their minds overtaken by fiery Pitta emotions. Here are some sure-fire ways to keep your cool.
- Avoid hot showers to reduce Pitta from the head
- Practice pranayama like nadi shodhana alternative nostril breathing,shitkari and Sheetali pranayama
- Do a shiro abhyanaga or massage head with cooling oils like coconut
- Add a pinch of Rasnadi churna to the parting
- Practice pratimarshya nasya everyday after a bath. Apply either organic sesame oil or ghee to the insides of the nostrils.
- Wake up during brahma muhurta,or anytime 90 minutes before sunrise. The highly Sattvic energy of this time will keep you cool all day long.
- Apply a paste of Sandalwood and rosewater on your forehead especially if you want to stay focused on studies.
- Prepare Tandulodaka rice water. Pound a handful of red rice (best option) or any rice into a coarse powder. Add a cup of water to this. Leave it overnight, and strain in the morning. This is extremely cooling to the body. Add a few crushed leaves of Tulsi if you catch cold easily.
How to reduce pitta immediately
Pittas have sharp sense organs, they can be used to quickly calm them down.
- First aid for Pitta is a glass of cool water
- A calming perfume like rose, jasmine and sandalwood will bring a Pitta to quiet stillness
- A cup of coconut water will have an immediate effect
- A cooling sweet dessert like milk and rice Kheer pudding will calm a Pitta
What foods should Pitta body types avoid?
Fermented foods, alcohol, spicy foods, coffee, chilies, cruciferous vegetables like napa cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, daikon, preserves like pickles can aggravate Pitta and cause skin rashes and hormonal imbalance. Go with how you feel after eating something, if you feel light and your hunger comes back after 3-4 hours, the food is good for you. Otherwise, keep a food journal and drop it from your diet.
Pittas must stay off hot garam masala like black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, anise, etc in summer completely and prepare dishes with fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, asafetida, a few mustard seeds, fennel, cumin, etc In winters add a pinch and notice your digestion before going full-on.
Mustard oil has to be used sparingly at the peak of summer.
What foods should a Pitta body type eat?
A vegetarian diet works best for Pittas. Heavy red meats, meat cuts loaded with fats, meat curries cooked with lots of spices are bound to aggravate Pitta. Coconut milk-based, cooling river fish curries work best if you crave meat. Slices of chicken in a light rice congee also is a good pacifying meal.
Steamed plantain bananas and Ghee should be a staple in a Pitta pantry during hot months of the year.
Buttermilk should be had every day for lunch if you are a Pitta. Avoid buttermilk on extremely cold days when there is no sun in the sky.
Fresh cream butter, Ghee made from fresh sweet cream, all kinds of milk, all kinds of sweet fresh cheeses, majority of oils will work for a Pitta.
Pitta Dosha Body Type General Health
Pitta bodies run ‘hot’ and are warm to touch. A Pitta walks with purposeful strides and can hold the attention with their piercing gaze. Pittas have pink gums, healthy pink hands and feet and a lady Pitta can flush quite red when embarrassed.
Adventuresome Pittas love risking and gambling, you will see them jumping off cliffs and sky diving for fun. Legendary martial arts hero Bruce Lee was a classic Pitta. Pittas can be daredevils!
Pittas have commanding voices, and they can project when they are barking orders.
They can get quite hungry when they do, they enjoy a balanced nourishing meal. Due to the optimal digestion, Pittas can get away with a poor quality diet. A Pitta does not need animal protein, milk, cheeses, etc.
Pittas tend to have a high RBC count when balanced and are rarely anemic. As much as they single-mindedly pursue their goals during the day, they easily fall asleep at night and need only a few hours to get back up and do it all over again.
Pittas enjoy cold weather and will seek out places like Switzerland and Siberia for a holiday. An expedition to the Arctic is a very Pitta thing to do.
Pittas have a keen sense of smell, a garden of fragrant jasmines in the moonlight is another idea of a Pitta heaven.
Pittas enjoy sweet, cold, bitter, and astringent tastes as these tastes balance and pacify the fire element. They naturally have soft, oily, deep yellow bowel movements with an occasional loose bowel.
Pitta dosha Body Type Imbalance symptoms
When Pittas go out of balance, they can be aggressive and domineering. If only words could kill! Pitta out of balance will sweat profusely, will have body odor, and bloodshot eyes.
Aggravated pitta will develop acidity issues and runny bowel movements. They will be fond of oily, fried, spicy, and salty foods, all that which will increase the Pitta fire further. This increase in heat will create inflammation, disrupted hormonal activity, skin rashes, premature greying, and baldness.
A Pitta will overpower others and become irritable and narcissistic if they do not watch out. Pittas are also prone to addictive behavior, alcoholism, and destructive outbursts.
When the imbalance reaches this level, then an Ayurveda Panchakarma is very beneficial to restore Sattvic balance.
Pitta Vata Imbalance Symptoms and Body Type
A Pitta Vata is a combination of the fire dominant Pitta and air dominant Vata. Such a body type is stronger than a typical Vata dosha body type. Such a person will be driven and ambitious and also someone with a wide variety of interests. Intelligence and lighting fast comprehension is the hallmark of this body type.
The Vata exuberance will help pacify the Pitta impatience, even though, inside their minds, there will be a struggle to go the Pitta way or the Vata route.
Such a body type will notice that they have both Vata imbalances of anxiety and constipation and the Pitta imbalance of premature greying and loose bowel movements when they do not watch out diet.
This body type has to add more cooling oily foods like whole milk, coconut oil in summers, fatty river fish like Salmon and Carp, meat bone broths to get adequate nourishment and help ease the Pitta.
This body type can eat all the fruit they like one hour before the meals or after.
Do you want to know more about your Vata sub-body type? Read my blog here
Pitta Kapha Imbalance symptoms and Body Type
Robust and resilient, energetic, and ambitious the Pitta Kapha dosha body type is a strong leader with an empathetic ear. Born with energy and determination, nothing is unachievable for this body type.
Not only are you a go-getter you are also a deeply nurturing human. You grow by growing others. As a manager, you are everybody’s favorite. Tough where you need to be and a comforting shoulder when the situation demands.
When imbalanced, Pitta Kapha body type may have trouble letting go of relationships past their due date, may develop sinus infections, may become self-doubting, and withdraw. They rapidly gain weight and acquire painful inflammatory conditions, skin rashes, and deposits like atherosclerosis.
The Pitta Kapha cannot be cooling their body with healthy sweets and grains like a regular Pitta dosha type, they need to stay focused on sour, astringent, and bitter tastes to stay balanced. Think of citrus in moderation, green vegetables, spices like fenugreek, tulsi, coriander, turmeric, cumin, bitter greens and teas, astringent fruit like figs and pomegranate.
Want to know more about your Kapha sub-body type, read my blog on Kapha Body Type here.
Tips to balance your Pitta dosha imbalance
The pitta personality can easily get addicted, Pittas require great meditative practices, a mix of slow calming exercises, and honest friends to keep them straight when they go off the road.
The Pitta in the center of the human body and the navel is the seat of the Pitta energy, just as the sun is the center of our solar system. Applying sesame oil to the navel is a good ritual for Pitta body types who are prone to go out of balance with acid reflux, premature baldness, and skin rashes.
As a Pitta body Type who gets impatient with others, your playful challenge is to find what the strengths of others are so that you can then use them to grow in understanding and influence. Remember we are all challenged and differently-abled in one way or another, some challenges can be seen and some in the emotional and spiritual realm cannot be seen but only experienced by our closest friends and family. Someone who has quick decision-making may lack depth and someone who is an expert may be slow to respond.
Do a Saturday fast or intermittent fasting during Spring and Fall to balance, heal, and clear the body channels of the damage caused by excessive Pitta.
Even though you don’t believe it’s useful, slowing down, being meditative and deep breathing Pranayama is extremely beneficial to reign in your fiery emotions, higher heat, and tendency to overproduce hormones. Think of this as the brakes to your over speeding. And you go over the speed limit every day.
Scream when you need to, let your family know so they do not worry. Use a pillow. This will help release the pressure valve that leads to Pitta aggravation.
Wash eyes every morning and night with a Triphala wash. Add 2 large pinches to 1 cup of water and boil for a minute. Cover and leave overnight. Strain through a fine-mesh filter/paper coffee filter in the morning and splash eyes with this in the morning and at night before going to sleep. You can store this wash in the fridge for 2 days. Make fresh every 2 days. This will help tremendously with eye strain caused due to excess Pitta.
Drink plenty of herbal teas. Go easy on coffee if it irritates your gut. A pint of cold beer is great in summer afternoons. If you drink alcohol make sure you are ordering light wines, champagnes, cocktails over hard liquor. Mix hard liquor with plenty of water or cooling fruit juices. Something like a Sangria or a Pina Colada works well in the early evenings.
Eat a satisfying full early dinner by 8 pm, at the latest, so you don’t get woken up by hunger pangs at two in the morning.
When the Pitta is in a balanced Sattvic – Rajasic state of mind, intelligence, clarity, consciousness, courage, will power, empathy and leadership are natural in a fire dominant body type.
When the fire energy is burning at its most optimal, it radiates Tejas, the lustrous magnetic body, and soul.
A balanced Tejas naturally is in harmony with Prana, the subtle essence of Vata, and Ojas, the subtle essence of Kapha. Likes spokes of a wheel, each balances and feeds off the other.
When Pitta energy is released from the Rajasic point in the spectrum, with very little Sattva to create discrimination and prudence in the mind, then turbulence, competition, greed, jealousy, arrogance, lustful consuming desire, envy, anger are evident.
From a Tamasic state, with the absence of Sattva to balance, a Pitta body type becomes a destructive narcissist, consumed by desires, violent and cruel to others, and slips into criminality.
Knowing your natural tendencies will help you manage your preferences better. Once we know what works for us, we make wise choices that work for our body type.
Each body type comes with its huge pluses and minuses. Ayurveda helps us make sense of it.
Don’t know your Ayurvedic body type, take this easy 3-minute dosha quiz.