Pitta Dosha: An Explanation

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The Three Dosha & Prakruti

A few weeks ago, we explained the various Ayurvedic Dosha Types. Today we are going to discuss Pitta Dosha. There are three dosha types in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person has their own unique combination of the three dosha in their physical and psychological makeup and the dosha are the primary life forces in the body. You can discover your prakruti or your specific makeup of the three dosha of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, when you see an Ayurvedic professional for an Ayurvedic Consultation.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta dosha is the dosha of digestion, assimilation and absorption. Pitta comes from the Sanskrit word tapas meaning “to heat.” Pitta controls the digestion not only of the food we eat, but if the impressions we take in through our mind. Pitta is controlled by the elements of fire and water. Pitta dosha is balanced by sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and aggravated by pungent, sour and salty tastes. Pitta exhibits the qualities of slightly oily, sharp, hot, light, liquid, and spreading. These qualities determine the characteristics of Pitta Dosha and a Pitta individual. The primary Pitta location is the small intestine which is why Pitta has a tendency toward diarrhea. Pitta will also commonly experience imbalances in their secondary locations of the bellybutton, sweat glands, blood, eyes, skin, intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and gray matter of brain. Pitta controls the function of the digestive and endocrine systems; the digestion, absorption and assimilation of all substances and impressions; as well as the body’s metabolism. Pitta also governs body temperature; appetite; thirst; taste; color and luster of skin, eyes and hair; eyes & visual perception; intelligence; courage; ambition; discrimination and reasoning; sensitivity and reactivity; bravery; and transformation. The things that cause Pitta to be provoked or go out of balance are pungent, acidic/sour & salty foods; hot food; spicy foods; alcohol; tobacco; heat & sun exposure; anger; strenuous work; eating before previous meal is digested; and the summer and late spring seasons.

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Pitta Dosha Qualities

  • Slightly Oily

    • soft slightly oily skin, hair and feces

    • tendency toward sensitivity to fried foods

  • Sharp

    • sharp teeth and eyes

    • sharp words and biting tongue

    • sharp, pointed nose

    • sharp, tapering chin and a heart-shaped face

    • good digestion, absorption and assimilation

    • sharp memory and ability to grasp new ideas

    • tendency toward irritability

  • Hot

    • strong agni or digestive fire as well as a strong appetite

    • runs at a higher body temperature

    • dislikes hot weather and hot climates

    • tendency toward graying hair and hair loss or baldness

  • Light

    • light/medium body frame

    • fair skin complexion

    • bright and shining eyes

    • tendency toward sensitivity to bright light

  • Liquid

    • loose stools

    • profuse urination

    • tendency toward diarrhea

    • excessive thirst

    • profuse sweating

  • Spreading

    • tendency toward acne, rashes and inflammation especially skin inflammation

    • desire to leave a legacy and spread their name and ideas

  • Sour

    • sour stomach acid

    • tendency toward acidic pH

    • teeth sensitivity

    • profuse salivation

  • Bitter

    • bitter taste in the mouth

    • sensitivity to bitter taste

    • tendency toward nausea and vomiting

    • tendency toward being cynical and bitter

  • Pungent

    • tendency to have heartburn and hyperacidity

    • when stressed will often feel anger and hatred

  • Fleshy Smell

    • fetid smell in the armpits, mouth and feet

    • tendency toward smelly shoes and socks

  • Red

    • reddish tint to the skin

    • flushing skin

    • red eyes, cheeks and nose

    • sensitivity to red color

  • Yellow

    • yellow eyes, skin, urine and feces

    • tendency toward jaundice

    • overproduction of bile

    • sensitivity to yellow color