What Happens When There is Increased Pitta in the Body?
Among the 3 doshas in Ayurveda, pitta is the hottest, sharpest and oiliest. Feeling overheated in any way indicates that an excess of the pitta dosha is occurring within the body. Ayurveda believes that routine detoxification is extremely important for maintaining good health during seasonal changes. In summer season, pitta dosha accumulates in the body. Especially if a person’s constitution is pitta-predominant, the rise in excess heat can become reactive, settle in the tissues, and trigger an imbalance if not eliminated properly. When excess of pitta dosha is present and a health problem occurs, toxins usually come along with it.
Common toxins are drugs, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants. Toxins are also formed from eating foods which are of a poor quality or are difficult to digest. This type of toxic material is called “ama” which is a sticky, heavy, undigested residue that can disturb proper tissue formation and weakens digestion. Ayurveda offers effective remedies to help the body get rid of the toxins before they get an opportunity to take hold and cause a disorder. Read on to know all about the symptoms and causes of increased pitta in the body, and how to balance it.
What Causes the Increase in Pitta in the Body?
Some factors which cause an increase in the level of pitta in the body are emotional stress, excess sun exposure, consumption of a pitta-provoking diet, and exposure to chemicals.
What are the Symptoms of Pitta Imbalance?
Common symptoms of pitta imbalance are acute inflammation in joints, nausea, rash, acne, cold sores, red, inflamed or light sensitive eyes, and uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body. Heartburns, acid reflux, gastric, peptic ulcers and loose stools are also experienced as a result of pitta imbalance. The patient also becomes irritated, angry, frustrated, judgmental, impatient, intolerant, and develops excessive perfectionist tendencies.
How to Balance the Pitta Level in the Body?
Certain dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies are used by the Ayurvedic doctors to decrease the level of pitta in the body. Some of the underlying concepts on which these strategies are based on are surrendering, cooling and moderation. The pitta level in the body can be balanced by:
Having a Pitta-Pacifying Diet
The diet should comprise of cooling foods. Foods which are naturally bitter, sweet and astringent should be included in this diet to balance the level of pitta in the body. Fresh raw foods, freshly cooked whole foods, beans, cooling herbs and spices like cilantro, coriander, cardamom and fennel, and moderate amount of high-quality ghee and sunflower, olive, or coconut oil should be included in this pitta balancing diet.
Dairy products can be consumed if the individual can digest it. However, drinking milk with meals should be avoided. One can consume milk an hour before or after having other foods. The meals should be eaten at routine times in a peaceful environment. One should take a deep breath after swallowing the last bite and then head off for the next activity. Warming foods and foods that are pungent, salty and sour should be avoided for balancing the increased pitta. The consumption of cayenne peppers, chilli, red meat, deep fried foods, highly processed foods should be stopped if you want to balance the increased pitta. Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants should also be avoided for reduction in the pitta level. One should not drink fruit juice, or eat fresh fruit, within ½ hour of any other food also.
Go for Pitta- Pacifying Herbal Remedies
Herbs prove useful in balancing the doshas. Since ages, Ayurveda has used herbs and herbal combinations to correct dosha imbalances. Along with using general formulas based on traditional combinations, some Ayurvedic practitioners also customize herbal formulas to suit the specific constitution of their patients. So herbal remedies are a great way to balance the increased pitta in the body.
Adopt a Pitta-Pacifying Lifestyle
People having elevated pitta level in their body should surrender to the problem rather than trying to control it. They should follow a regular daily routine with fixed times for working, sleeping, eating etc. to balance the pitta levels. Along with working, they should also take time out to play and relax. People with increased pitta in their body should also practice a moderate exercise routine which can include biking, swimming, or advanced form of yoga, on five days of the week. Exercising should be avoided during the hot part of the day. Massaging the body for 10 to 20 minutes every day with ½ cup warm coconut or sunflower oil, before bathing, can also help to balance the pitta level. Along with cooling the body, the mind should also be cooled with sweet and soothing smells, music, company and scenes.