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Balance Your Pitta in the summer

Is your Pitta out of balance? Some recommendations for balancing your Pitta

Balance Your Pitta in the summer
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms-
  • Inflammation in your joints
  • Acne or redness, cold sores
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea and loose stools
  • Drying or a burning sensation in your eyes
  • Acid Reflux, heartburn or gastric and peptic ulcers
  • Irritability, short temper, frustration, aggression
  • Impatience, intolerance and hypocritical behaviour
…then your pitta is definitely imbalanced.

According to Ayurveda, pitta dosha is associated with the fire and the water elements of the PanchaMahabhuta. Pitta dosha is characterized by qualities that are described as hot, pungent, sharp, fluid, light, oily, soft, and mobile, which are generally similar to the sensory qualities noted during summer. 

Learn more about the different doshas

This energy controls all the digestive, absorption, assimilation, endocrine and transformation-related activities in the body. In a balanced form, this energy is predominant in people who are fiery personality, are intelligent and fast-paced. 

Ayurveda is based on the fundamental principle of “like increases like”. So, if you are a temperamental teen or businessperson who eats spicy, hot and oily food in the middle of the day, you are only going to get more irritable and angry as the day progresses. Hence, Ayurveda suggests a treatment procedure based on the opposite qualities to the imbalanced dosha. This person would be asked to eat cooling salads, wear cotton clothes or go swimming.

An Ayurvedic treatment to balance the pitta dosha includes natural remedies, changes in diet and lifestyle.

A PITTA-PACIFYING DIET:

FOODS THAT YOU CAN ENJOY

  • Pitta is generally alleviated by hot, sour and spicy. 
  • Eat Foods with a Sweet, Bitter or Astringent Taste
  • Seek an Ayurvedic diet made using foods with a cooling, bitter, dry, sweet or astringent taste. 
  • Include milk and all milk products like ghee and butter. However, AVOID taking milk with your meal. Drink a glass of milk 1 hour before or after your meal.
  • Include grains like rice and wheat, vegetables like beans, pumpkins, lettuce, okra, asparagus and broccoli.
  • Enjoy all summer fruits with a sweet taste like grapes, pomegranates, mangoes, coconuts etc. 
  • Use spices that are cooling in nature, like cilantro, mint, cardamom and fennel seeds.
  • Includes lots of water and sweet juices to decrease your pitta fire. 

FOODS TO BE AVOIDED:

  • Pungent and oily foods like curries, pickles, vinegar, fermented foods, curd and yoghurt. 
  • Coffee
  • Avoid sour and unripe fruits. Also, fruits like papayas, peaches, bananas should be avoided. 
  • Vegetables like carrots, beets, eggplant, peppers, onions, tomatoes etc 
  • Avoid hot spices like garlic, ginger, pepper, fenugreek and cloves 

Lifestyle Changes

  • In summer, especially during the day, our digestive Agni is low. Hence, you should eat your lunch and breakfast before the sun gets very hot
  • Avoid smoking, intake of alcohol and gorging on junk foods 
  • Don’t work out during the day
  • Take regular breaks during your workday to prevent hyperactivity during the day.
  • Surround yourself with cooling colours like grey, white, blue, silver or green
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics like linen or cotton
  • Listen to calming and soft music to calm your pitta fire.
  • Regular long walks along a stream or water body cool the excessive heat released by pitta imbalance.
  • In short, surrender instead or controlling.

Natural Remedies

Ayurveda has listed many natural remedies and herbs which can soothe the imbalanced pitta. Some Ayurvedic remedies for curbing your pitta are –
  • An Ayurvedic massage treatment using coconut or sunflower oil before your bath is cooling for the body. Avoid the use of sesame oil as it increases heat. 
  • Add essential oils like sandalwood, jasmine and rose in your bath water to cool your body and mind.
Balance Your Pitta in the summer
Essential oils cool your pitta fire
  • Some herbs that reduce excess fiery pitta and cool your body are sandalwood, lemon, dried dates, coconut, etc.
  • Amalaki, present in the Triphala churna has been used for centuries as a pitta pacifying herb.
  • Panchakarma treatment using the virechana (purgation) detoxification therapy helps relieve excess bile accumulation during pitta and gets rid of excess toxins from the body.
  • Additionally, practice daily yoga asanas like Trikonasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Janu Shirsasana, or spinal twists to calm your pitta dosha. However, take care to perform all asanas at a slow to medium pace. This prevents overheating and helps dissipate the energy throughout the body. 
  • Also, cooling meditation techniques like the Shitali Pranayama and Shitkaari Pranayama help cool the pitta and release all your pent-up anger and stress.

Shitali Pranayama technique:
In Sanskrit, sheetal means cooling. It is very effective in balancing your Pitta fire. It also decreases all the symptoms associated with an imbalanced pitta like inflammation, hyperacidity, ulcers, irritation, frustration, etc. It also kindles your digestive agni and improves your metabolism.

Before you begin the Shitali Pranayama, you must be able to roll your tongue. 
Balance Your Pitta in the summer

If you are unable to roll your tongue, you can continue the same Pranayama by keeping your tongue flat. This is known as the Shitkaari Pranayama.

Steps:
  • Sit in a cross-legged position of the floor. 
  • Rest your hand on your knees and straighten your spine
  • Close your eyes and take 1-2 deep and regular breaths to calm your body. 
  • Relax the body
Balance Your Pitta in the summer
Shital Pranayama cools your pitta

  • To start the Shitali or Sheetkari Pranayama, stick your tongue out and inhale through your mouth. In the case of the Shitali Pranayama, it would be similar to breathing through the curled tongue.
  • Inhale deeply so that you fill your belly. Focus on the cool nature of the air that you suck in
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds (whatever you are comfortable with)
  • Exhale through your nostrils.
  • Continue this Pranayama for as long as you can.
  • Before closing this meditation technique, take 1-2 deep breaths through your nose and relax the body.
  • You will immediately feel cooler and calmer after this breathing technique.

Bottom Line

Changing environment, climates and lifestyles can affect our health. We need to understand the changes that take place in our body and take preventive measures so that we can prevent the onset of serious health issues. 
Follow the above recommendations for a month. Recheck your symptoms to determine the best remedies which show the maximal effect. 
However, if your symptoms are very severe, please consult your Ayurvedic doctor.

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