Guidelines for balancing Pitta

General guidelines

Guidelines for balancing Pitta

Pitta relates to the properties of heat in the body, represented by the archetypal qualities of the Sun. The nature of Pitta is hot, light, ascending and fast, and therefore herbs, foods, beverages and lifestyle habits used to pacify Pitta should be opposite in nature, i.e. cooling, heavy, descending, and relaxing.

Foods to Avoid
Fruits - in excess: citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, pineapple), papaya, strawberries, peaches, apricots
Vegetables - raw onions and garlic, chilies, tomatoes, eggplant, radish, watercress
Carbohydrates - flour products
Legumes - lentils, peanut
Nuts and Seeds - all nuts, with the exception of those listed below
Dairy - ice cream, cheese, yoghurt, sour cream
Meat - beef, pork
Oils - margarine, lard, corn, canola, peanut, sesame, almond
Spices and condiments - warming spices: chilies, black pepper, mustard, horseradish, ginger, cloves and cinnamon; vinegar, chili sauce, ketchup, marmalade
Beverages - ice water, coffee, alcohol
Sweeteners - white sugar, molasses, old honey

Foods to Emphasize
Fruits - local fruits, eaten freely when in season, e.g. raspberry, blueberries, plums, pears, apricot, melon, grapes, apples
Vegetables - raw and steamed vegetables, including fresh corn, squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, green beans, peas, cauliflower, cilantro, sprouts, celery, sea vegetables
Carbohydrates - oats, basmati rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, barley, khus khus, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat chapati or tortilla, whole wheat bread, granola, millet
Legumes - all legumes, with the exception of peanut and lentils
Nuts and Seeds - sunflower seeds, coconut
Dairy - cottage cheese, buttermilk
Meat - free range poultry, free range eggs, cold water fish (salmon, halibut)
Oils - emphasize flax, hemp, ghee, butter, coconut, and sunflower oils
Spices and condiments - cooling or neutral spices: turmeric, mint, cumin, coriander, fennel, cilantro, cardamon; saindhava (rock salt) is particularly useful when used as a condiment
Beverages - at least 2 liters of cool spring water daily, kukicha (twig) tea, any herbal tea except those made with spices like cinnamon and ginger, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, soy milk, rice milk
Sweeteners - in modest amounts: jaggery (goor), maple syrup, treacle, fresh honey

Lifestyle habits
As the nature of Pitta is hot, light and sharp it is important to emphasize patterns which evoke an ability to introspect, develop self-restraint and be compassionate. In particular, when Pitta is aggravated there is a tendency towards aggression, anger, sarcasm and arrogance. Exercise can be very useful to get rid of these emotions, but is best tempered with a routine with a strong aspect of mental discipline, such as the martial arts, or even better, Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Home and office space should be a well-ventilated, cool and quiet. Floral patterns in cooling colours are useful decorative patterns, as are fresh cut flowers placed in vases. Being close to water is important, as is bathing in moonlight, walking through flower gardens and spending time in the company of women.

Lifestyle habits to avoid

  • Excessive expression of anger, sarcasm and criticism
  • Excessively competitive relationships
  • Excessive physical activity in warm weather
  • Exposure to the hot sun

Oils for Pitta should generally be cooling, soothing and clearing in nature. Floral fragrances are particularly useful for Pitta. Examples include chamomile, lavender, rose, gardenia, honeysuckle, ylang, vetivert, jasmine and sandalwood.

Colours that have a cooling energy such as white, blue or green are useful. Overtly bright colours should be avoided, as should many in the red to yellow spectrum as they are too heating or aggravating to Pitta. Black should be avoided, buy grays and browns are neutral.

Yoga postures
Calming and relaxing asanas, mostly lying (mritasana, “the corpse”) or sitting (svastikasana, “fortunate posture), but also inverted postures (e.g. viparitakaranimudra, “shoulder stand”) to preserve the “lunar essence.” Lunar pranayama (emphasizing the dominance of the left nostril) is appropriate, as is chanting such cooling and clearing mantras such as Om, Sham, Som, Shum or Shim.

The goal of meditation to pacify Pitta is to increase and balance the lunar qualities of the psyche, such as introspection, intuition and compassion, with those of the more solar aspects of extroversion, logic and will. Techniques should be chosen for their directness and simplicity, rather than elaborate ritual or dogma. The most effective approaches include Zen, Vedanta and Vipassana meditation, coupled with compassion for all living beings.

Neelam’s brings her knowledge of rich grooming tradition from India and energetic aspects of various healing modalities in her teaching. Neelam Toprani is an Ayurvedic researcher and the formulator of Sewanti herbal remedies and Padmashri massage oils.

All the information on our products and their components is for general information only and was made with the best of our knowldege. It does not claim in any way of suggesting a diagnosis or a treatment.