The Pitta Constitution
The Fire / Water Elements
A Pitta type person has the qualities which reflect the elements of Fire and Water. For example, they typically:
- tend to have medium builds and an athletic physique;
- have sharp, fiery personalities;
- are goal-oriented, disciplined and possess natural leadership skills;
- have reddish hair/complexion and sometimes, freckles.
When the energy of pitta is in excess, it will create anger, competition, control, jealousy and rage.
Signs of pitta imbalance include hyperacidity, heartburn, ulcers, acne, rashes or inflammations of the skin, skin cancer, liver problems, stress, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.
Pitta Balancing Lifestyle Tips
Keywords to Balance Pitta: Cooling, Calming, Moderation
Pitta has the tendency to be sharp, driven and transformative. However, they also have the tendency to over-do it and make everyone else around them crazy!
To stay balanced, pitta benefits from slowing down and adopting a moderate pace in life. This includes:
- Daily Practice: A daily practice of pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation helps keep pitta cool, calm and focused throughout the day.
- Exercise: Ideal exercise regimes for pitta are cooling and calming, such as nature walks, winter sports, swimming, yoga, tai chi, gardening or even just relaxing in a hammock. According to ayurveda, you only really need to push yourself to about half of your athletic capacity to get a good workout.
- Massage: A few days per week, pittas benefit from self-massage with cooling or neutral oils such as sunflower, sesame or coconut oil.
- Sun: Avoid overexposure to the sun, which can aggravate pitta and leave them feeling irritated and angry.
- Slow Down: Pittas do best when they learn the pace of moderation, making time for relaxation, fun and creative projects. Giving yourself extra time to arrive before meetings and avoiding the common habit of overworking and/or overextending your energy.
- Colour Therapy: Pittas are balanced by colours that are cooling, such as pastels, blues, greens, pink, white, violet. Silver (cooling) makes the best jewellery.
The Pitta Balancing Diet
There are special dietary recommendations to balance pitta’s natural tendency toward intensity and overheating. This includes:
- Choose a balance of warm, freshly cooked foods and fresh, raw foods, including chickpeas, quinoa, rice, lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans, black beans, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut;
- Try to emphasize lots of steamed or sauteed green vegetables, including salads, kale, collard, dandelion, endives, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts;
- Avoid/reduce too much salt, as well as hot spices, tomatoes, vinegar, refined sugar and alcohol (drying, aggravates the liver);
- Favour cooling spices, such as mint, fennel, cardamom, fenugreek, cilantro, turmeric, cumin.
- Moderate use of high-quality oils in your diet, such as ghee, sunflower or coconut oil. Note that too much fat, oil or fried foods will aggravate your dosha (e.g. putting oil on fire will increase the fire).
- Maple syrup or coconut sugar makes the best sweeteners for pitta dosha. Reduce/avoid refined (white) sugar, which aggravates all the doshas.
- Reduce foods that are oily, sour or spicy, including salsa, citrus and vinegars.
- Take 1-2 teaspoons triphala to aid digestion and maintain a healthy metabolism;
- Take 1-2 teaspoons aloe vera gel can to reduce heat in your body.
- Choose from teas such as brahmi, peppermint, nettle, lavender, hibiscus, peppermint, rose, chamomile and passionflower, dandelion and milk thistle.
- Essential oils for pitta include mint, lavender, rose, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang-ylang and jasmine.
About the Author
Briya Freeman has been teaching courses in meditation and natural healing since 2011. She is the creator of The Bloom Project, an online course in self-care and radiant living for women.
Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa.