How to Balance Pitta Dosha

What is pitta? This has been described as one of the three biological humours and Pitta in scientific interpretation; pitta has been quoted as the biological fire. As regards physical attributes, pitta is usna (hot), aarda (moist) and laghu (light). Pitta executes important function in the human-body with aiding the process of digestion, regulating the body temperature, maintaining the visual-perception, process of hunger and thirst, and above all, maintenance of complexion, intelligence, courage and softness.

In aggravated state, pitta renders yellow-colouration to waste products (stool & urine), skin and the eyes and aggravated pitta results in polyphagia, polydipsia or morbid-thirst, burning-syndrome and inflammation.

As far as the primary site of pitta is concerned, it is grahani (first part of the small) intestine. Other important sites include amashya (stomach), sveda (sweat), sveda- granthi (sebaceous glands), rakat (blood), lasika (lymph) and akshi (eye).

Five types of pitta

  • Ranjaka: This variety imparts colour to the bile, stools and the blood.
  • Sadhaka: This variety is helpful in maintaining memory and intellect.
  • Alocaka: This variety is responsible for the visual-perception.
  • Bharajaka: This variety imparts colour to the skin.
  • Pachaka: This variety deals with the digestion of the food.

Caraka has mentioned 40 diseases caused as a result of aggravation of pitta.

  • A little internal burning
  • bitter taste
  • black pimples on skin
  • burning in a particular limb
  • burning of skin
  • burning of the eyes
  • burning sensation over body
  • chlorosis
  • dirty matter in blood
  • dirty matter on flesh
  • dusky sight
  • eructation of acid food
  • excess of heat
  • excess of perspiration
  • excessive thirst
  • feeling of everlasting hunger
  • Feeling of heat on sides
  • fissures of the body
  • fissures of the dermis
  • fissures of the skin
  • foul smell from body
  • furunculosis
  • haemorrhage
  • hematemesis
  • internal combustion
  • jaundice
  • pits on the skin
  • putrefied gastric gas
  • putrefied taste
  • red boils
  • semi-digestion
  • taste of blood
  • ulcer in the eyes
  • ulcer in the mouth
  • ulcer in the rectum
  • ulcer in the throat
  • ulcer of the penis
  • urticaria
  • Yellow urine/eyes/and stool
  • yellowishness

Some common pitta diseases seen in clinical practice are listed below:

  • abdominal colic
  • anaemia
  • bleeding-diathesis
  • burning sensation
  • diarrhoea
  • haemophilia
  • hepatitis
  • haemorrhage
  • hepatomegaly
  • hyperacidity
  • jaundice
  • pain
  • prurigo
  • pyuria
  • sour belching
  • toxaemia
  • tuberculosis
  • urine diseases
  • vertigo
  • Urticaria
  • Yellow skin.

Pitta pacifying diet

Fruits to be used

  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Sweet pineapple

Fruits to be avoided

  • Banana
  • Grapefruit
  • Olives
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Persimmon
  • Sour pineapple

Grains (to be used)

  • Barley
  • Basmati rice
  • Oats

Grains (to be avoided)

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet

Dairy-products (to be used)

  • milk
  • ghee (clarified butter)
  • unsalted cheese

Dairy-products (to be avoided)

  • Buttermilk
  • Cream
  • Salted cheese

Vegetables to be used

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Mushroom
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato

Vegetables to be avoided

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Hot peppers
  • Onion
  • Radish

Spices

  • Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper (very small amounts)

Pitta pacifying herbs

Chandana

Dughdpheni

Karu

Kumari

Kutki

Yastimadhu

Pittas pacifying Ayurvedic formulations

  • Chandanadi Lauha
  • Chandanasva
  • Kumayasva
  • Arogyavardhini vati
  • Punarnava Mandoor
  • Navayash Lauha
  • Yastimadhuadi churna
  • Triphala
  • Dhanyak Panchak churna
  • Dhanyakadi Hima

Agni and pitta

Agni and pitta resemble each other as far as physical attributes are concerned, just as correlation exists between kapha and ama. Agni stands for the digestive fire. It executes important physiological and pathological functions in the human body. In Tikshagni, the agni is vitiated by pitta. In case of Tikshagni, agni is high and has both pitta and agni characteristics.

Virechana treatment in pitta

Virechana is the best Ayurvedic option for pacifying vitiated pitta humour. Virechana is one of the principal steps of seasonal purification process, panchakarma. Several clinical studies have confirmed the utility of virechana in the treatment of pitta-diseases.

Clinical research

Prurigo nodularis: As per Ayurvedic concept, Prurigo vulgaris can be treated as Tridosa kustha rog (skin disease caused by vitiation of three humours) having predominance of vata and kapha. In cases diagnosed with Prurigo nodularis, virechan (therapeutic laxation) and Takradhara were administered in a specific schedule for three months. After internal administration of virechan and Takradhara for ninety days (three months), it was observed that nodules became thin and itching completely vanished. After four months of therapy, the colour of the skin became normal. It was concluded that administration of virechan and Takradhara was effective in spurning symptoms of prurigo nodularis.

Psoriasis: In Ayurveda, psoriasis is known as Ekakustha. A comparative clinical study was executed in 20 patients. Virechan karma with two different formulations was carried out in two groups.

  • Group I: Virechana karma with Ichhabhedi ras and
  • Group II: Virechana karma with Trivritadi churna.

Better results, in terms of statistical grounds, was observed in the group with Icchabhedi rasa. The reason being psoriasis is tridosha disease with prominence of vata and kapha humours. Icchabhedi rasa is vata kapha pacifying.

Conclusion

Pitta is one of the major biological humours of the human body. The balanced state of the three biological humours represents health. By proper diet-regimen and code of conduct, deranged pitta can be normalised. Several Ayurvedic formulations are successfully used by practitioners to pacify pitta. Virechana, as per old belief and the modern clinical research is complete solution for eradicating pitta disease.

References

Bera Pabitra Kumar, Kar Pulak Kanti. Role of Virechan and Takradhara in a Case of Prurigo Nodularis. Int J Ayur Pharma Res 2014; 2(5):58-62.

Shah PA Comparative Study of Two Virechana Yoga In The Management of Eka Kustha (Psoriasis). The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine 2008 7 (2).

Find out your predominant dosha:  Dosha Calculator

To get more information and to buy ayurvedic products useful for balancing pitta dosha, click on the links below:

Pitta Oil

Organic Ayurvedic Pitta Spice Mix

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