The ancient science of Ayurveda teaches us that there are three vital energies –or doshas- in our bodies known as vata, pitta and kapha. Each of these in turn is composed of the five elements-spaces, air, fire, water and earth – that made up the entire universe, including humans. The elements are not present in equal proportion in the doshas- some doshas have more of one or two elements than the others. Similarly, the doshas are not present equally in our bodies. One dosha will prevail over the others, in a delicate balance that ensures perfect health. Your body type depends on your prevalent dosha. If you are a disciplined and logical person, you are likely to be a ‘pitta’ personality, and you are in good company for John Kennedy was a pitta personality too!
The Pitta Person
Pitta is associated with the elements of fire and water. It is an expression of the radiant energy that is within us- and present in the Universe as well. Pitta is vitality, enthusiasm and intensity. Pitta regulates our appetite, and digestion, our metabolism and intellect. If you are a pitta person, you are likely to be of medium height and slender. You have a strong metabolism, healthy appetite and good digestion. You enjoy eating and your sleep is generally peaceful and uninterrupted. You enjoy sweet, bitter and tart foods, as well as cold drinks rather than hot ones. Pitta people are intelligent, sharp and good orators, but judgmental and critical of others. They cannot tolerate disorder- they love to clean. They are ambitious and very capable, but prone to jealousy. A pitta person enjoys material benefits and displaying his or her wealth. If you are a pitta personality, take heart- you are a born leader!
When the balance of pitta to the other doshas in your body is affected, you will start feeling increasingly irritated, frustrated and angry. You may suffer from inflammation of the joints, ulcers, heartburn, and rashes. These are all warning signs that there is an imbalance of doshas in your body that can lead illness, and it is important to restore the equilibrium of pitta in your constitution. To do this, cut down on the consumption of butter, fat and red meat. Go vegetarian, and drink lots of milk. Avoid hot, salty, heavy foods and eat more of vegetables, grains and beans. Give a wide berth to processed foods and pungent spices and opt for cooling herbs and spices like coriander, cilantro, fennel and cardamom. Eat slowly and go to bed early- the idea is to get your doshas back to their unique ratio, for when the doshas are perfectly balanced, the body itself is capable of fighting any disease and restoring good health.
Summer is the time when pitta is easily thrown out of balance. So be extra careful during this season. Everything you do- your diet and your lifestyle- should have coolness as its aim. Ayurvedic physicians will prescribe herbal remedies which are very effective in restoring the balance of pitta. Kerala, the home of Ayurveda, has a rich tradition of legendary vaidyars or Ayurvedic physicians. They will customize herbal formulas to suit your individual constitution, and ensure that once again, pitta prevails and your total well being is restored.