Fixing a pitta dosha imbalance that's making you irritable, inflamed and anxious
Long walks in nature aren’t just good for the soul
Have you been feeling a rumbling in your tummy that just refuses to go? Have gastric troubles been keeping you in knots? Has heartburn been creeping up your gullet, not letting you sleep at night? According to Ayurveda, you probably have a pitta dosha imbalance.
Simply put, as per Ayurveda, there are three body types or doshas — vata, pitta and kapha — each with a unique set of physical and emotional characteristics. A quick online test or consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner will unpeel whether you are a creative vata type, a competitive pitta dosha or an intellectual kapha type.
A pitta out of sync
According to Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director at Atmantan, “Knowledge of one’s constitution, that varies with seasons, while following the right dos and don’ts are important to achieve optimal health.”
Simplifying the jargon, Dr Kutteri says, “Diseases are categorised under vatika (vata predominant), pittaja (pitta predominant) and Kaphaja (kapha predominant) and also various combinations of the three doshas.” The pitta dosha personality is a typical A-type: analytical, aggressive and fiery, which can be constructive or destructive. Generally, according to Ayurveda, imbalance in any doshas is as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle and improper diet.
An aggravated pitta causes problems related to heat and Dr Kutteri advises to keep a lookout for red skin, a burning sensation, increase in digestive fire, skin inflammations, and increase in sweatiness and body temperatures. “Women can have hot flashes, mood swings, IBS-like symptoms of the bowels, frequent, increased volume and duration of the menstrual cycle, etc,” he says. While your innate constitution (prakruti) won’t change, it can be influenced by various factors such as age, seasons and climatic changes.
If your pitta has flipped: you’ll be growling when angry, will over-react and will toss and turn at night running over the day’s incidents—you get the drift. Bellyache is part of the deal: gastritis, heartburns and stomach ulcers. You can jump back on the wagon by adopting a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, yoga and meditation and more.
So, how does one balance the pitta dosha?
Adopt a pitta-favourable lifestyle: Don’t binge-watch on Netflix, sleep late and snooze during the day. Reduce over-exposure to sunlight. And exercise moderately.
Go back to traditions: Do cooling pranayamas. Plump up a cushion and meditate with gentle music playing in the background. Give yourself a dose of self-care with a massage with medicated oils with cold potency herbs.
Get your dose of nature: Go for early morning and late evening walk so that the natural breeze can cool you down, as opposed to locking yourself inside the house with the AC on full blast.
Watch what and when you eat: Dietary changes include a satvik meal comprising of all the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Stay away from large meals. Instead, eat smaller meals at frequent intervals. Also avoid foods that are fried, fermented, junk, dry and very spicy, salty or sour. Instead, gorge on fresh fruits and vegetables.
You need to consume foods that are predominantly bitter, sweet and astringent in taste, according to Ayurveda. So in come healthy leafy greens, sprouts, pomegranate, turmeric, cucumbers, melons and basmati rice and out goes junk food, fried food, canned food and other processed or refined meals.
Stay hydrated: Drink a lot of water and herbal teas, such as triphala infusions, which are helpful in balancing all the three doshas.
Surrender your control: The controlling pitta personality needs to learn how to surrender. Surround yourself with scented oils and stay cool. Bask in the moonlight and stay shaded in the sun.
Neeti Mehra is a sustainability expert and the founder of beejliving.
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