In the ancient Vedic texts of Ayurveda, it is said that ‘Pitta’ causes inflammation when it is imbalanced. But what on earth is Pitta and why should you care if it’s ‘at war’ ??
Ayurveda originated the term Pitta as the name for one of the physiological functions within our body.
It should first be noted that Ayurveda talks about the body primarily in terms of it’s physiology rather than it’s anatomy and it talks about physiology in three succinct terms. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata is the direction of neurological impulses (energy flow). Pitta is the enzyme/transformational processes and Kapha is the protective measures of the body.
- Sadhaka Pitta
- Alochaka Pitta
- Ranjaka Pitta
- Pachaka Pitta
- Bhrajaka Pitta
Sadhaka Pitta is the transformation our emotional experiences into Prana.
Alochaka Pitta is the transformation of the world around us (via sight) into Prana.
Ranjaka Pitta is the transformation of toxins into pure substance/Prana.
Pachaka Pitta is the transformation of food into Prana.
Bhrajaka Pitta is the transformation of sunlight and skin applications into Prana.
If Sadhaka Pitta is aggravated you may have symptoms of emotional aggravation. Sadhaka Pitta at war produces feeling angry, feeling out of control, vindictive, jealous, envious, violent feelings, emotions and thoughts along with thoughts or actions of seeking vengeance…..all these feelings start with a small, general, day to day feeling of being constantly narked.
If Alochaka Pitta is aggravated you may have symptoms of itchy, scratchy, red, irritated, angry, inflamed eyes or parts of the eyes. Alochaka Pitta at war produces symptoms such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis and other inflammatory conditions in and around the eye…..this starts with general itchyness and redness around and in the eye.
If Ranjaka Pitta is aggravated you may have symptoms of irritated, angry, liver. Ranjaka Pitta at war produces symptoms similar to being hungover (even with NO alcohol) and toxicity. The most common symptom when this goes untreated is chronic fatigue……this all starts with a general feeling of malaise and the desire to ‘clean up your act’.
If Pachaka Pitta is aggravated you may have symptoms of irritated, angry guts. Pachaka Pitta at war produces symptoms of irritable bowel such as diarrhoea, constipation and alternating diarrhoea and constipation…..this all starts with more subtle changes (some foods seeming to aggravate your bowel and some foods seeming fine).
If Bhrajaka Pitta is aggravated you may have symptoms of angry, irritated skin. Bhrajaka Pitta at war produces symptoms such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, rashes and other skin problems…..this all starts with skin feeling itchy, hot and irritated with occasional skin flare ups.
If you have any of the symptoms above, try eating a pitta pacifying diet (below) and Pitta Herbal Tea along with seeing your Doctor for a diagnosis and treatment:
Wake up: warm herbal teas with fennel and saffron, chywanprash with hot milk or hot water, warm water with ghee, hot milk with saffron or ghee.
Breakfast: Warm, puffed rice, wheat with ghee, toast and ghee or unsalted butter, coconut milk, almond milk, barley, sweet juices, vegetable juices with spices, flat breads, unyeasted breads, sprouted wheat bread.
Snacks: Fresh fruit, apples, pears (15 minutes before meals or alone), sunflower seeds, fennel seeds, saffron tea, cumin tea, mint tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea.
Helpful Spices: cumin, cardomom, coriander, fennel, basil, dill, turmeric, fresh ginger
Lunch: white basmati with mung (kitcheree), green vegetables, fresh vegetable juices and soups, takra after food (with or without spices), rice and dhal, steamed vegetables, stir fry vegetables, chapati, whole grain pasta
Dinner: ghee with each meal, green vegetable stir fry, coriander and mint in food, barley dishes, soups, rice and dhal, steamed vegetables.
Bedtimes: saffron tea, piece of coconut
Best food choices overall: Barley, oatbran, wheat, wheatbran, red lentils, yellow lentils, apples, berries, coconuts, dates, figs, avocados, sweet melon, plums, pomegranates, asparagus, broccolli, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, onions (cooked until sweet), peas, sweet potatoes, sprouts, squash, cauliflower, ghee, milk, chicken, turkey, white fish, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut.
Eat any fruit alone of 15 minutes before meals.
….along with the appropriate remedies.
For sadhaka symptoms take *brahmi herb or Calm Mind Mix by AyurvedaPura or Stay Sharp Mix by AyurvedaPura, use *Nadi Shodhana pranayama, spend at least half hour in Nature everyday, get regular foot massages, drink cumin tea and take regular breaks at work and regular holidays, massage the sternum gently anti-clockwise and clockwise with Pitta Herbal Oil every day.
For alochaka symptoms ask your Ayurvedic practitioner to perform netra basti (ghee eye baths), use tatraka (candle gazing) every evening, take *triphala or Daily Detox Mix by AyurvedaPura every day and soak and massage the thumbs and the roots of all the fingers and the big toes and the roots of all the toes every day.
For ranjaka symptoms take *turmeric or Anti Hangover Mix by AyurvedaPura every day, drink Detox Tea, eat Chywanprash regularly, get regular marma point massage, eat 5 peeled and soaked almonds each morning, take an extra 1/2 hour in savasana every day at the end of each yoga practice and massage the knees and elbows every day.
For pachaka symptoms take ghee every day and use it in place of your cooking oil, drink 1 part live yogurt (live coconut yogurt if a dairy intolerance) and 7 parts distilled water and whisk thoroughly (the longer the better!) up to 3x day, do *sitali pranayama, every day massage your navel anti-clockwise then clockwise then massage following the line of the colon (up the right side of the belly, across to the left and down the left side then across to to the right).
For bhrajaka symptoms take 1/3 cup of *aloe vera juice 3x day, take Timeless Beauty from AyurvedaPura, fast one day on and one day off if okay-d by your primary health care provider, do light *kapalabhati pranayama each day, stop using any unnatural products on your skin and only use fresh edible products such as homemade beauty products, do full body massage with raw organic coconut oil 2-3 x week paying special attention to the neck area during the Summer months (wash off after 1 hour).
*If you are taking any medications, prescriptions, if you are being treated for any health conditions or have undiagnosed symptoms, please see your primary health care provider and ask if the remedy you would like to try is appropriate to you. Please work with your Yoga teacher for the method of working with the Yoga practices above.
There are many ways to work with the energetic flows of the body, symptoms of Vata, pitta and kapha imbalance, seasonal yoga practices and ayurvedic health care practices. To learn more and read more please visit www.soniawelch.co.uk.
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