Keeping it cool...Tips to manage Pitta

Date Posted:23 March 2012 

Summer may be winding down, but the heat can still get to us. For those with a natural tendency to more heat it's about keeping Pitta in balance throughout the year, but particularly in summer. For the rest of us this period between the end of summer and onset of autumn is when the heat of summer is naturally released in our physiology so we also have to deal with it.

Maybe you know someone who gets hot-headed, prone to bouts of irritability and anger? Here's a self-test: when driving and another motorist cuts in front of you, do you calmly ease off and sit back, or do your hackles rise? Some of us are born with a more Pitta disposition, but it's only when Pitta is out of balance that we experience it as anger, frustration or a sense of injustice or outrage (depending on the degree of imbalance). Others may simply notice it as excessive body heat and thirst, or a tendency towards loose bowel.

When Pitta dosha is out of balance it causes heat to move into the head and heart and the finer feeling level, causing us to feel angry, irritable, potentially aggressive, impatient and intolerant, with critical responses to life's experiences. We all have Pitta, but if this is definately not you, chances are you know someone who is. Quite simply, Pitta - the heating quality - is out of balance heating the blood and leading to these imbalanced mental-emotional responses. The good news is, this is not who we are and we can do something about it. How? By turning the heat down. This can be done through all five of our senses. Each dosha is influenced by all 5 senses, but Pitta is more strongly influenced by taste, smell and sight.

TASTE
Eat regularly, avoid skipping meals or going without food for long periods. Be sure to stop for lunch and start the day with a breakfast.
Avoid hot, spicy, sour or salty foods. Stay away from or reduce all stimulating beverages such as caffeinated drinks and alcohol, sour juices, or drinks with high refined sugar content - these will all increase Pitta.
Favour sweet fruits, salad greens and lightly stir-fried vegetables. It's important to drink pure water or water/juice combinations.
Take cups of Pitta Tea throughout the day - if you prefer make it hot, let it cool and drink at room temperature.
Use Pitta Churna spice mix in your cooking or as a garnish on your meals.

The following herbal remedies are particulalrly helpful in balancing Pitta:

  • Emotional Balance (MA1123) calms, soothes the heart qualities and the nervous system; helps balance the intensity of our emotional responses.
  • High Pitta can often cause acid-stomach, loose bowel or hot flushes. Aci-Balance (MA320) 2-3 times a day after meals, or as required, can be very beneficial for alleviating this.
  • If the fire of Pitta has moved upwards into the mind it can lead to an intensity or over-fixity in the mind. The herbal remedy Calm Mind (MA222) along with Emotional Balance (MA1123) help release the grip of an imbalanced Pitta on heart and mind

SMELL
Any sweet smell calms Pitta and helps reduce the heat. Rose, sandalwood, Jasmin, Chamomille and Peppermint are all good. The blended Pitta Aroma Oil is cooling and the Sadhaka Balancing Aroma is ideal for balancing and soothing the heart.

SIGHT
Favour cooling, soothing and uplifting sights such as being around lakes, rivers or an ocean. Take walks among the greenery of nature. Walking in the moonlight is particulalrly "cooling" for heart, mind and body. Avoid loud, angry, fiery, or intimidating situations - anything confrontational will cause the "fire" to burn brightly. Choose to avoid movies and entertainment that are intense, violent or aggressive. Favour ones that are more tender which will nourish the heart and be satisfying to the senses and intellect.

HEARING
Speak sweetly. Favour the sounds of nature - stop and listen to the birds singing. Listening to the Gandharva Veda flute music from the Rain Melody will be nourishing to the heart, uplifting and cooling to the senses.

TOUCH
Give yourself a relaxing massage using Pitta Massage Oil herbalised with cooling herbs. Do it daily if possible and morning is best before taking bath or shower. If you can leave the oil on for 15-20 minutes to allow it to penetrate deeper into the body - ideal.

IN ADDITION
Avoid working on focused activities after 7pm
Five or six days a week aim to be in bed by 10pm. The Pitta time of the evening begins at 10pm and you may experience a "second wind" or wave of energy around this time. Don't be tempted to go with it - activity after 10pm will aggravate Pitta dosha.
Get your exercise, but avoid the noon day sun or hot temperatures.