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The Pitta Dosha

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The pitta dosha can be thought of as the faultless balance of two seemingly opposing elemental qualities, fire and water. Together, they are the energetic force that regulates the body’s transformative functions; its digestion, its metabolism, even the body’s hormones are believed to be controlled by pitta.

The qualities of pitta

Hot, sharp, penetrating, slightly oily, greasy, fast and irritable.

The function of pitta

Because of its hot nature, pitta’s primary function is transformative: it controls the heartbeat, hormone levels, body temperature, visual perception, hunger and thirst and skin quality. It’s also responsible for liver function, and the secretion of bile and digestion in the stomach and small intestine.

The physical manifestations of pitta

Those with dominant pitta tend to be medium in height and weight, with an athletic body shape. Their skin is delicate and can often be red and irritated, and they burn easily in the sun. Some pitta types have red hair, and often turn grey early or suffer from thinning or balding.

The emotional manifestations of pitta

Pitta is full of vitality and those who tend towards it are charming and charismatic, with a love of attention; in fact, they are great fun to be around as they are so dynamic and colourful. They’re also sharp-witted, able speakers and good decision makers – especially when in balance – but when they’re not, watch out; they can have a sharp tongue and be quick to temper.

When pitta is in balance

A balance of pitta in the body brings a healthy appetite and thirst, balanced production of hormones and enzymes, intelligence, courage, flexibility, a glowing complexion and strong eyesight.

When pitta is out of balance

Signs of an increase in pitta include an aversion to heat, a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, and reddish discolouration in the eyes and skin. You may also have heartburn, high blood pressure, a fever, skin rashes, and hot flushes.

Too little pitta brings more vata and kapha into the body, as well as poor digestion, pallor and coldness. Emotionally imbalanced pitta types can suffer anger, frustration and irritation.

How to balance your pitta

You can balance pitta’s intense, volcanic-like nature with the opposing qualities of calm, coolness, compassion and moderation. In particular, not skipping meals, and favouring ‘cooler’ foods, as well as spending time laughing every day and getting out and about amongst the natural world.

If you’d like to discover how to balance your pitta in more detail, A Pukka Life by Master Herbsmith and Ayurvedic practitioner, Sebastian Pole is worth the read. 

Meet the author

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Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Herbal Director

I’m Co-founder and Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs. As well as formulating all our organic products, I run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I’m a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. All this with the aim of using the principles of Ayurveda (the ancient art of living wisely) to help create positive change and positive health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice and herbal supplementation to keep me well. I am passionate about running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone we connect with. I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to live from. 

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