Everybody knows someone with a ‘fiery’ personality. This description perfectly fits a pitta predominant person. Pitta people have medium builds and tend to be on the muscular side. They have red, blond, or brown hair, and they are usually the first ones to dye their hair red! They have combination skin with sensitivities to various allergens, and are most sensitive to the sun. Their eyes are lighter colours such as blue, green, and hazel, and both their eyes and lips are of medium proportion. Pitta has a strong appetite, and if left without food can get hangry very quickly! They are the intellectuals, always thinking things out, asking many questions, and dishing out orders. In stressful situations like high traffic, they get frustrated easily, honking their horn and yelling at other drivers. Pitta people are competitive, ambitious, and relentless. When pitta is out of balance, the skin will react with sensitivity, blotchy redness, and dry patches. Acne or eczema may also develop. In the body, one will experience inflammation, excess heat, high blood pressure, and insatiable hunger. The mind will be jealous, angry, and frustrated. A few of the things that cause fire and water elements of Pitta to get out of balance are stress, over working, excess mental activity, improper diet, excess coffee and alcohol, hot sunny weather, and the summer season.
The key qualities associated with Pitta are: hot, slightly oily, light, and sharp. Applying the law of opposites, we find that balancing Pitta requires a combination of cooling, calming, moderately cleansing, and nurturing. As a rule, all recommendations should be applied with and attitude of peace, restraint, and moderation.
A strengthening and reducing diet is indicated, favouring sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, along with an adequate in-take of fruit and juices. Food should be cool, heavy and a little dry, without excessive use of spices. Spices if used used in cooking should be those to help strengthen and regulate digestion. Best spices for Pitta are: turmeric, fennel, coriander, cumin, and mint. Cooking should be done with ghee and occasionally coconut oil.
Coffee and alcohol should be avoided, but tea can be taken in moderate amounts. Food Guidelines for a Pitta pacifying diet:
- Fruit: Sweet fruits including avocado, berries, all melons, mangos, pears, sweet apples, oranges, and pomegranate are best.
- Vegetables: Sweet and bitter vegetables such as asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, leafy greens, celery, mushrooms, peas, and squash are acceptable. Avoid chilies, onions, and mustard greens.
- Grains: Barley, couscous, white rice, and wheat are most favorable. Avoid millet, corn, quinoa, and rye.
- Legumes: In general, most beans are good. Avoid fermented beans like tempeh, miso, and soy sauce.
- Dairy: Most dairies are ok, except aged cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
- Spices: Fresh basil, coriander, cumin, fennel, fresh ginger, mint, and saffron can be used. Avoid mustard, pepper, garlic, dried ginger and salt.
Use of cooling oils is indicated such as coconut, sunflower or ghee. Medicated oils such as Brahmi and Bhringraj are best and can be applied to the top of the head (to help retain the hair and avoid premature greying) forehead, and heart area.
Colours & gems:
Favour cooling colours – white, blues, and greens are best. Avoid wearing overly strong or bright colours, red in particular. Greys and browns are ok, but keep black to a minimum.
Gemstones can also be used to offset any too hot tendencies – moonstone, clear quartz, amethyst, jade, blue sapphire, and emerald.
Cooling and calming asanas are good, including most sitting or lying postures, ad shoulderstand. Cooling pranayamas such as shitali breathing or lunar pranayama are also highly beneficial.
Moderation in all things is key for balancing Pitta. Avoid spending too long in the sun or exposed to heaters or hot environments. Take advantage of cool water, moonlight, fresh breezes, gardens (including placing your bare feet ion green grass – especially while there is still dew on the ground!) and flowers. Try to surround and expose yourself to these things regularly. Make a conscious effort to practice sweetness of speech, forgiveness, and contentment.