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- Types of digestive tracts / nature of bowels or Kostha in Ayurveda
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- Tridosha - Vata, Pitta and kapha
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PITTA DOSHA AND ITS WHOLE CONCEPTS
Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. These forces represent transformation. They cannot change into each other, but they modulate or control each other and are vitally required for the life processes to occur. (For example, too much fire and too little water will result in the boiling away of the water. Too much water will result in the fire being put out.)
Pitta governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism, body temperature, skin coloration, the luster of the eyes, intelligence, and understanding. Psychologically, pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta.
Dosha Related Elements
Pitta Fire and Water
CHARACTERISTICS OF PITTA TYPE
Here are some of the common characteristics of people who have a predominantly Pitta body type.
Medium physique, strong, well-built
Sharp mind, good concentration powers
Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best; aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance
Competitive, enjoy challenges
Passionate and romantic; sexually have more vigor and endurance than Vatas, but less than Kaphas
Strong digestion, strong appetite; get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal
Like to be in command
When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry
Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily
Hair usually fine and straight, tending toward blond or red, typically turns gray early; tendency toward baldness or thinning hair
Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather; heat makes them very tired
Perspire a lot
Others may find them stubborn, pushy, opinionated
Good public speakers; also capable of sharp, sarcastic, cutting speech
Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian
Like to spend money, surround themselves with beautiful objects
Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger
Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, hot sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, bloodshot or burning eyes and other vision problems, anemia, jaundice.
These people are of medium height, are slender and body frame may be delicate. Their chests are not as flat as those of vata people and they show a medium prominence of veins and muscle tendons. The bones are not as prominent as in the vata individual. Muscle development is moderate.
The pitta complexion may be coppery, yellowish, reddish or fair. The skin is soft, warm and less wrinkled than vata skin. The hair is thin, silky, red or brownish and there is a tendency toward premature graying of hair and hair loss. The eyes may be gray, green or cooper-brown and sharp: the eyeballs will be of medium prominence. The nails are soft. The shape of the nose is sharp and the tip tends to be reddish.
Physiologically, these people have a strong metabolism, good digestion and resulting strong appetites. The person of pitta constitution usually takes large quantities of food and liquid. Pitta types have a natural craving for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and enjoy cold drinks. Their sleep is of medium duration but uninterrupted. They produce a large volume of urine and the feces are yellowish, liquid, soft and plentiful. There is a tendency toward excessive perspiring. The body temperature may run slightly high and hands and feet will tend to be warm. Pitta people do not tolerate sunlight, heat or hard work well.
Psychologically, pitta people have a good power of comprehension; they are very intelligent and sharp and tend to be good orators. They have emotional tendencies toward hate, anger and jealousy.
They are ambitious people who generally like to be leaders. Pitta people appreciate material prosperity and they tend to be moderately well-off financially. They enjoy exhibiting their wealth and luxurious possessions.
Signs of Pitta Aggravation
Hostile, Enraged, Destructive
Critical of self and others
Frustrated, Willful, Reckless
Acidity, heartburn, Stomach ulcer
Fitful sleep, Disturbing dreams
Diarrhea, Food allergies
Bad breath, Sour body odor
Very sensitive to heat, Hot flashes
Weakness due to low blood sugar
Fevers, Night sweats
When you experience symptoms such as, excessive body heat, digestive problems, a tendency to be hostile or angry and controlling, impatience, a tendency to exert excessive effort to achieve goals, vision difficulties, and being prone to make errors in judgment because of mental confusion or because passion or emotion blurs powers of intellectual discernment, there is a good possibility that you are suffering from pitta imbalance.
Indications of balanced pitta influences are strong powers of digestion, vitality, goal-setting inclinations, good problem-solving skills, keen powers of intelligence, decisiveness, boldness and courage, and a bright complexion.
General Tips on Health and Wellness For Pitta Persons
Pitta constitutions will be upset by alcohol and cigarettes, as well as by overwork, overexertion, and overheating. When out of balance, they are susceptible to feeling such negative emotions as hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Therefore it is very important for Pittas to keep cool (literally and figuratively) and to lead a pure and moderate lifestyle. Choose foods, attitudes, behaviors, personal relationships, and environmental circumstances which can be instrumental in balancing pitta characteristics.
Because sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes decrease pitta influences, include these in your food plan if pitta characteristics are too pronounced. Complex carbohydrates, milk, and some fruits are sweet; some green, leafy vegetables are bitter; beans and some green vegetables are astringent.
Do things that cool the mind, emotions, and body. Avoid conflicts. Cultivate the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control.
A Food Plan to Balance Pitta Dosha
These guidelines can be used for pitta mind-body constitutions, to maintain dosha balance and to restore balance if necessary regardless of the basic constitution. Pitta influences digestion and metabolism, body temperature, and biological transformations.
Cool or warm but not steaming hot foods
Bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes
As far as practical use less butter and added fat. Consume food with moderately heavy textures.
Since Pittas have strong efficient digestion, they can generally eat just about everything. Most Pittas get into trouble by continued use of too much salt, overuse of sour and spicy food and overeating.
Take cool, refreshing food in summer. Reduce the consumption of salt, oil, and spices, all of which are "heating" to the body. Salads are good, so is milk and ice cream.
Avoid pickles, yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. Avoid vinegar in salad dressing; use lemon juice instead. Alcoholic and fermented foods should be avoided. Their sour Rasa aggravates Pitta. Coffee is also pitta aggravating due to the acid in coffee. Herb tea is good. Prefer mint, licorice root or other pitta pacifying tea.
Breakfast: Cold cereals, cinnamon toast, and apple tea is a good breakfast for Pitta. Avoid coffee, orange juice and doughnuts - they aggravate pitta.
The vegetarian foods are the best for pitta. Consuming red meat tend to heat the body from the fat. Consume abundant amounts of milk, grains and vegetables.
Avoid oily, hot, salty, and heavy foods such as fried food. Instead consume starchy foods such as vegetables, grains and beans. Avoid the tendency to overeat under stress.
Avoid processed and fast foods as they tend to be heavy on salt and sour tastes. Japanese and Chinese food are good choices. Avoid highly spicy food such as is found in Mexican restaurants.
To bring down aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a glass of warm milk. (Avoid taking the ghee if you have problem with high cholesterol).
Avoid egg yolks, nuts, hot spices, honey, and hot drinks. Cool foods and drinks are better. Add sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Reduce use of sour tastes. Spices: black pepper, coriander, and cardamom.