14.3 Balancing Pitta
Pitta is directly related to Samana prana. The qualities of pitta are not, oily, intense, light, and liquid. The colours associated with pitta are red, green, and yellow. Pitta is found in he second or middle pulse position, and is located small intestine, and it controls the organs of digestion. Pitta control the metabolism, body heat, and the transformation of matter and information. High or low body heat correspond directly to pitta, as does the color of the complexion. A red or flushed complexion indicates higher amounts of pitta than pale or white complexions. Sweet, bitter, and astringent taste lower pitta, while sour, salty, and pungent tastes increases pitta. Pitta is strongest in the middle of the day and in midlife.
Strong, hot emotions indicate that pitta is too high and need to be lowered. Burning sensations in the body, or inflamed conditions, show excess amount of pitta. Low body heat, lethargy, and dullness of mind indicate a lack of pitta. Meditation and prayer help to lower the fiery emotions associated with pitta. A stable, loving home environment also help to keep pitta from overheating. A satvic lifestyle and diet are very useful to control pitta. The satvic way of living is the most important for pitta type people as they are most likely to dominate, control, and aggress other people. Eating and living a satvic life is an excellent way to lower high pitta emotions.
Pitta can be lowered by raising kapha. In general, a kapha-like diet life-style are very beneficial for pitta people who have good digestion. If an excess of oily hot matter is predominant anywhere in the body, then vata type food and herbs can also be used in conjunction with kapha-type substance. Cold, bitter (vata) herbs are excellent for lowering pitta and detoxifying the blood and pitta organs-liver, spleen, pancreas, and small intestine. Cooling food and drinks should be taken to lower pitta when it is aggravated. Spices and hot, spicy food should be avoided when pitta is high. And the best news is (for me) that ice cream is fine for pitta people (in moderation)!
Pitta -type digestive problems should also address vata, as the two are generally involved, especially in long term or ignored case of indigestion. Usually, pitta will move down or vata move up, to aggravate the other humor. Because pitta controls the mixing of all digestive bile with food, vata is directly affected by pittas malfunction diarrhea is both a pitta and vata problem, as is constipation.
Malabsorption is a pitta problem relating directly to low agni, thus agni must be increased with herbs like the trikutu formula, higng, cumin, anise, and fennel. These are all excellent to increase agni. Even if pitta is not your primary problem, indentation on the tongues edge show the malabsorption of nutrients, and this can happen to any constitution. Steps must be taken to eat very simply-whole grains and steamed vegetable, in addition to the correct spices. In this way, agni can be slowly increased and the nutrient absorption increased. Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements are also useful in this situation. The triphala formula, ghee, and miso can also play important roles in increasing agni.
In general, whatever pitta people do for their mental and emotional states is the best therapy. Massage with cooling oil (olive, coconut) is good once or twice a week, as it helps to cool down the body and release toxins that can manifest as strong emotions. Sports or other physical activities are very important to help pitta people positively express their abundance of energy.