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WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PITTA DOSHA?

Below, we introduce the types of physical, physiological and psychological qualities of Pitta dosha as it manifests in individuals. Also presented are common signs of indications Pitta imbalances, and the general qualities and factors that work to rebalance Pitta.

It should be noted that the majority of the population are born with a dual dosha (known as Prakruti), and thus individuals can and will have different attributes of each. Therefore, there are different doshic combinations that one can be born with: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata Pitta, Vata Kapha, Pitta Vata, Pitta Kapha, Kapha Vata, Kapha Pitta, and the very rare combination of Vata Pitta Kapha. 

In addition, imbalances (known as Vikruti) can be single a dosha imbalance (Vata, Pitta or Kapha), dual dosha imbalance (Vata Pitta, Vata Kapha, Pitta Vata, Pitta Kapha, Kapha Vata, Kapha Pitta, and tridoshic (Vata, Pitta and Kapha together).

GETTING TO KNOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PITTA DOSHA

Pitta dosha encompasses the elements Fire and Water and is seen as the dosha of transformation as it has the ability to digest and change our experiences from one condition to another.  Pitta governs our metabolism and converts food into bodily tissues, and is responsible for the digestion of mental and emotional experiences.


The Physical attributes of PITTA types

  • Medium height, medium shoulders and hips
  • Slender body frame, can be delicate
  • Body frame generally well-proportioned and well-balanced
  • Average weight for build
  • Not as flat-chested as Vata
  • Can gain and lose weight fairly easily
  • Deposit fat quite evenly over body
  • Veins and muscles show medium prominence
  • Muscle development moderate
  • Hair is thin, silky, red or brownish
  • Tendency for hair loss and premature greying
  • Eyeballs of medium prominence
  • Eyes medium in size and light in colour
  • Eyes hazel, grey, green, copper brown and sharp
  • Shape of nose sharp and tip tends to be reddish
  • Fingers and toes are medium length
  • Nails are soft, strong, well-formed and a bit rubbery
  • Nails may have a pink hue
  • Complexion may be coppery, yellowish, reddish or fair
  • Skin is soft, warm and less wrinkled than Vata
  • Light coloured skin – pink or coppery
  • Irritable skin, can be worse in summer
  • Prone to rashes and pimples and inflammations like impetigo, red sores
  • Blushes easily
  • Many moles or freckles – bluish or brownish-red
  • Skin tends to wrinkle early
  • Body hair is light and fine textured
  • Lips deep red
  • Teeth medium size
  • Gums tend to bleed easily
  • Tongue occasionally coated (yellow, orange or red)
  • Mouth and tongue prone to canker sore
  • Hate to miss meals
  • Can be irritable if they don’t eat when hungry
  • Characteristic ‘fire’ in their eyes


The Physiological attributes of PITTA 

  • Strong metabolism
  • Good digestion and strong appetites
  • Can usually take large quantities of food and liquids
  • Natural craving for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes
  • Love cold drinks
  • Sleep is medium duration, but interrupted
  • Large volume of urine and faeces – yellowish, liquid, soft and plentiful
  • Body temperature can run slightly high and hands and feet tend to be warm
  • Tendency towards excessive sweating
  • May sweat even in cold weather
  • Palms may be sweaty
  • Do not tolerate sunlight, heat or hard work well
  • Circulation is strong, but can lead to elevated blood pressure
  • Tend to burn easily and may suffer from sun allergy
  • Enjoys stimulants (coffee, tea) and tend to misuse them
  • Rarely constipated
  • Frequent stools, yellowish and well-formed
  • Intense yellow or orange stools indicates Pitta overload in body
  • May feel hot on excretion
  • Many Pittas find milk, dates, sultanas and/or figs act as laxatives
  • Menstruation is regular but can bleed for longer and heavier
  • Menstruation may be shorter than 4 weeks
  • Menstrual blood is intense and bright red
  • When out of balance, the menstrual blood may be bluish, yellowish or blackish
  • Usually loose stools during or just before period
  • Medium strength cramps
  • PMS: irritable, crave foods, there may be flare up of acne or rashes//migraine
  • Prefer colder climates
  • Mixed Pittas don’t find heat intolerable, but prefer cold climates
  • Prefer window open for sleeping in winter
  • Ample sex drive
  • Fertility average
  • Physical exercise ok, as long as they don’t get overheated
  • Naturally competitive
  • Muscle tone and coordination average
  • Sleeps easily, sleeps light, and wake up alert
  • If wake up at night can fall back to sleep easily
  • If unable to sleep, this is usually from over attention to work or from worry
  • Pittas are the least affected of all doshas by bad food combining
  • After a good work-out they tend to be hungry or thirsty
  • Pulse medium: approx. 70 bpm


The Psychological attributes of PITTA

  • Very intelligent and sharp
  • Ambitious, intense and competitive
  • Make good managers and executives; great leadership qualities
  • Strong leaders who can dominate those around them
  • Good comprehension
  • Enjoy exhibiting wealth and luxury possessions
  • Moderately well-off financially
  • Can remember dreams
  • Dreams are passionate and intense, involving heat, light or other energy
  • Usually Pittas are in control of their dream situation
  • Often dream in colour
  • They are concise and one-pointed speakers, know the message they want to impart
  • Can carry a tone of impatience to the listener
  • A Pitta’s whisper can be heard across the room
  • Frequently accused of having a quick tongue
  • Can pace themselves well at work
  • Live by their watch and hate people who waste their time
  • Do not easily forget a slight
  • Outgoing and make friends easily
  • Believe in fair play and a warrior’s courage
  • If angered, can be hurtful and vengeful
  • When in balance, happy, confident and friendly
  • Easily imbalanced by the toxic emotions of others
  • Can be hostile and angry under stress
  • Can be sarcastic
  • Often dedicated to self-growth
  • Can work well with energy and can create a well-organised and balanced lifestyle
  • Money is spent appropriately and not impulsively or excessive


How to recognise a PITTA imbalance

  • Vanity, intolerance
  • Pride, aggressiveness
  • Stubbornness, hatefulness
  • Jealousy and excessive anger
  • Acid indigestion, sourness or burning in mouth (or burps), small intestine, stomach
  • Burning feeling in eyes
  • Fainting, excessive perspiration, restlessness, increased thirst, desire for cold drinks & even delirium
  • Heat stroke is more common in Pittas
  • Anger, grief, excess physical extension & too much salty, pungent and dry or heating foods
  • Inflamed skin rash, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores
  • Inflammation in the body – e.g. joint inflammation with rheumatoid arthritis, digestive inflammation with irritable bowel syndrome 
  •  Acne 
  • Acid reflux and heartburn, stomach ulcers 
  • Hyper-metabolism  
  • Constant feeling of hunger 
  • Loose stools and diarrhoea 
  •  Excess body heat 
  •  Frustration, anger, irritability, jealousy 
  •  Perfectionism, impatience 
  •  Red and inflamed eyes 
  •  Light sensitivity 
  •  Extremely high libido 
  •  Impotency


What imbalances PITTA dosha

  • Foods and beverages that are sour (lemons, yoghurt), pungent (black pepper, cayenne pepper, chillies, dry ginger) and salty in nature. Small amounts of these foods/beverages are needed for Pitta, but more than this will contribute to Pitta imbalances
  • Eating too many oily, yeasted foods, fermented/acidic foods, hot, fried and spicy foods, and red meat
  • Eating too little food
  • Consuming very hot foods/drinks (temperature)
  • Not chewing food properly, gulping food, eating while talking, eating while standing or walking, eating while driving, talking excessively during meals
  • Skipping meals
  • Eating meals at irregular times
  • Eating on a full stomach or before the previous meal is digested
  • Overeating
  • Alcohol
  • Eating just after strenuous exercise
  • Exercising (strenuous) too soon after eating
  • Alcohol and too much caffeine, especially coffee
  • Suppression of thirst or hunger
  • Fasting (for Pitta types or imbalances, this can only be done in moderation)
  • Insufficient sleep and/or going to bed late (i.e. after 10pm)
  • Obstructions to bodily channels, caused by i.e. too much oily, fried, and/or heavy food
  • Over exercise
  • Excessive sexual activity
  • Excess hot emotions, such as anger, frustration, jealousy, anger
  • Not processing emotions / suppression of emotions
  • Any excessive (or lack thereof) activity, where there is not enough balance (work/sleep/activity/exercise/relaxation/social/creativity). This also includes excessive screen time, use of electronic devices and excessive talking
  • Too much participation in competitive work environment and/or competitive sports 
  • Late spring and summer (Pitta time of year)
  • Exercising during the heat of the day
  • Hot summer sun / working in the sun / too much exposure to the sun


What balances PITTA dosha
The ‘qualities’ or characteristics of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy, spreading and liquid, and salty, sour and pungent in taste. Therefore, the opposite of these qualities will help bring Pitta back into balance.

  • Cooling, grounding, balancing, calming, moderately-paced, and non-competitive activities.
  • Heavy, cool, dry, dull, hard, stable, static, gross and cloudy foods with bitter, astringent and sweet tastes.
  • Foods, medicinal herbs and Ayurvedic bodywork therapies that have the qualities as listed above
  • Avoidance of the above listed diet/lifestyle factors that aggravate Pitta, and work on elements/factors that rebalance Pitta during Pitta times of day and Pitta season of year.


Qualities of a balanced PITTA
When in Balance, Pitta types are focussed, have a strong intellect, good discernment, a strong digestion, have a radiant energy, glowing skin, can sleep well through the night and have inner peace. and happiness.

If you have any concerns about your health please be sure to consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner or your local health physician. See our Ayurvedic Practitioner Services and Consultation Page for more information.

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Disclaimer:
The above information is for information and educational purposes. As such we are not, diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before taking any form of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

 

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