Ayurveda: Pitta- kapha Dual Dosha Balance

pitta kaphaPrakriti is an important concept in Ayurveda not only in determining daily diet and lifestyle habits but also in treatment. Prakriti is the physical and mental constitution of an individual which is determined at the time of union of the perm and ovum by the dominance of doshas (Vata, pitta and kapha). Thus prakriti can be vata, pitta, kapha as each individual dosha and a combination of two doshas like vata pitta, pitta kapha or vata kapha that is more common and tridoshaja prakriti which is a combination of all the three doshas. know your prakriti by calculating your dosha here.

Prakriti is the one which not only determines your physical stature like hair, complexion, eyes, etc. but also the mental make up of an individual. Prakriti is essential in choosing treatment, lifestyle changes in daily regimens (dinacharya) or seasonal regimens (ritucharya).

Nature of Pitta kapha prakriti

Pitta kapha prakriti is one among the dual combination prakriti. It is easy to manage dual dosha Prakriti in general. Heat is the inherent nature of pitta apart from qualities like unctousness, sharpness, lightness, fluidity and is made up of agni (fire) and jala (water ) elements. Where as coldness is the inherent nature of kapha along with  unctousness, heaviness, dullness, smoothness and rigidity and is composed of water and earth elements. Thus the main features of the two doshas are balanced by each other.

What causes imbalance?

Kapha pitta individuals must take extra care when it comes to food and digestion. As a pitta nature thirst and hunger may spike to higher levels but over eating may contribute to the production of mucus and dampen the fire in the body resulting in reduced agni. Another condition is that when the levels of kapha go down, the heat of pitta might increase resulting in heat and excess hunger and thirst. So balancing is the key.

Pitta kapha diet

Grains: Apart from rice and wheat, quinoa, barley and oats can be taken on a daily basis. It is best to take whole grains that are cooked properly by adding water.

Lentils: Yellow and green mung beans, horse gram

Vegetables: All the green leafy vegetables, gourds and melons are good for a pitta kapha prakriti. Boiled and warm vegetables are better than cold and raw ones. Vegetables like bottle gourd, snake gourd, pumpkins, boiled sprouts, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, celery , cilantro, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, cucumber and squashes are the best.

Fruits: Amla, apples, pears, berries, jamun, grapes, guava, pomegranate, and a small portion of watermelons and musk melons.

Dry fruits and nuts: It is better to take a very small quantity of nuts and dry fruits. raisins, almonds,dates, dry figs, lotus seeds and coconuts can be taken in moderation. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are beneficial.

Oils : Ghee can be used in moderation. Other options are coconut oil and olive oil.

Spices: Coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, ginger, Cloves, saffron , pepper, mint, bay leaves, basil, fenugreek , ajwain and turmeric can be taken. Click here to buy the kapha spice mix

Beverages: Warm beverages like green tea/ corriander/ginger/ fennel/rose/ cumin tea is the best. Milk can be added but should be diluted with equal quantities of water and honey water is beneficial.

Dairy products: Organic milk can be taken 1:1 ratio of water and water. Also can be boiled with ginger/fennel/turmeric, fresh turmeric, ghee and butter (in small quantities),

Food to be avoided by a kapha pitta individual

Grains: Minimize the consumption of sticky while and polished rice.

Lentils: Kidney beans, chick peas, pigeon pea, cow peas, red lentils, black gram.

Vegetables: Chilies, raddish and egg plant. Onion and garlic can be taken but in minimal quantities. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, tapioca, sweet potatoes and yam.

Fruits: Avoid sour mangoes, tamarind, sour tomatoes, lemon, orange, papaya and sour pineapple.

Dry fruits and nuts : Cashews, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts are to be avoided.

Oils: Sesame, castor oil, mustard oil and groundnut oil.

Spices: Minimize cayenne pepper, Cinnamon, mustard and nutmeg.

Beverages: Never take ice cold beverages, Alcohol, black tea/coffee/soft drinks

Dairy products: Avoid cheese, cottage cheese, cream, buffalo milk, curd, flavoured yogurt.

  1. Pitta kapha individuals should take warm food at 3-4 hour intervals.
  2. Liquid soupy diet can be preferred over salads.
  3. Lunch should be the heaviest meal of the day with a light breakfast and dinner.
  4. Hot/ warm water to be taken one hour prior to after a meal.
  5. Snack on fruits or boiled sprouts.

Lifestyle practices for pitta kapha prakriti:

Being pitta kapha prakriti one can follow pitta-pacifying regimen during the late spring and summer seasons especially when the weather is hot. Follow a kapha-pacifying regimen during the cooler times of year like fall, winter, early spring and especially when the weather is cool and damp.

Pitta pacifying regimens are :

  • Abhyanga (oil massage) with cooling oil such as coconut oil.
  • Avoid sleeping after having food.
  • Wear perfumes with the smell of sandalwood, rose or camphor.
  • Anoint your body with sandalwood paste.
  • Purgation therapy (virechana)
  • Walking in the mooonlight
  • Enjoying pleasant music
  • Visiting ponds, lakes, gardens with fountains

Kapha pacifying regimens are:

  • Strong emesis and purgation therapy
  • Consuming food that are dry
  • Fasting/dieting
  • Engaging in sexual activity
  •  Dry massage with herbal powders (udwarthanam)
  • Exercise of all types
  • Inhalation of medicated smoke

Lifestyle practices to be avoided by a pitta kapha prakriti

  • Over eating
  • Sleeping during the day
  • Having late night dinner/ mid night snacking
  • Bath with cold water

Ayurveda emphasises on balancing the three doshas through a proper diet and lifestyle. All things that aggravate the doshas should be avoided.

Commonly observed illnesses in Pitta kapha individual

  • Over weight
  • Ulcers
  • Skin diseases
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Dandruff/hairfall
  • Congestion of the chest with phlegm
  • Diabetes
  • Drowsiness
  • Acid reflux

Herbs that pacify pitta and kapha

  • Amalaki – Embilica officinale
  • Triphala – the three myrobalans
  • VasaAdathoda vasica
  • Nimba – Azadirachta indica
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Shankhapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis
  • Patola- Trichosanthes cucumerina 
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Asana – Vijaysar – Pterocarpus marsupium

Herbs to avoid by a pitta kapha prakriti

  • Masha – Uraria picta
  • Tila – Sesamum indicum
  • Atasi – Linum usitaissimum
  • Tintideeka – Rhus parviflora
  • Avi ksheera – Milk of sheep
  • Kokum- Garcinia indica
  • Tamarind – Tamarindus indica

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