Pitta Dosha

Governed by the elements of Fire & Water.  Pitta is the principle of transformation represented in our digestion of ideas, sensory experiences, emotions and food.  The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production.

Qualities of Pitta: Hot, light, intense, penetrating, sharp, acidic, transformation.


Physical Characteristics: Pittas are usually of medium size and weight.  They tend to be muscular, smart and determined.  They are warm, intelligent and a good leader.  They sometimes have bright red hair, but baldness or thinning and early to grey hair is also common in a Pitta. They have excellent digestion and strong appetite, which sometimes leads them to believe they can eat anything.  They have frequent and easy bowel movement.  They have a warm body temperature and often with reddish skin tone.  They have focused, if not intense, eyes of moderate size and sensitive to light.  They sleep soundly for short periods of time. When in balance, Pittas have a lustrous complexion, are passionate, courageous, have perfect digestion, abundant energy, and a strong appetite and sex drive.

Mental Characteristics: Pittas have a powerful intellect and a strong ability to concentrate and good memory. When they’re in balance, they are good decision makers, goal orientated, eloquent and make great teachers, and speakers. They are very precise, organized, sharp-witted, direct, and often outspoken.

You do not need to be predominantly Pitta Dosha type to have an imbalance showing up, having any of these symptoms is a sign you need to balance out your Pitta to bring you back to your Prakruti (natural state/dosha type)

When Pitta is out of balance symptoms are: Pittas may suffer from skin rashes, burning sensations, peptic ulcers, excessive body heat, heartburn, and indigestion.  Pitta can be critical, irritable, competitive, impatient, controlling and aggressive.  Often can be short-tempered and argumentative.  When Pittas are overstressed, their typical response is “What did you do wrong?”


Lifestyle choices to balance Pitta symptoms:

  • Pitta is hot, sharp, sour, pungent, and penetrating. To balance Pitta, we need to make choices that are cooling, sweet, and stabilizing.

  • Balance rest and activity allowing some free time everyday. Be careful not to create unnecessary time pressures for yourself.

  • Be certain not to skip meals and do not wait until you are famished to eat. Favor foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent. Favor cooling foods such as cucumbers, sweet fruits and melons.

  • Regularly spend time in nature. Take walks in the woods and along natural bodies of water. Keep plants and fresh flowers in your home and office. Walk in the moonlight.

  • Perform a self-massage (after shower) using cooler oils such as coconut or olive.

  • Avoid extreme heat & extreme cold – luke warm showers will avoid aggravation

  • Avoid anything heating/intense such as Bikram or Hot Yoga, Kapalabhati or Bhastrika breath work - try cooling calming practices such as Yin Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, Nadi Shodhana

  • Favor cooler colors in your clothing and environment such as blues, greens, and silver.

  • Laugh many times each day!

  • Favor aromas that are cooling and sweet. Sandalwood, rose, jasmine, mint, lavender, fennel, and chamomile are recommended.


Diet to balance Pitta symptoms:

Since an excess of Pitta dosha overheats the mind and body, favor cooling foods and liquids. Foods with sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are best. Reduce foods that are pungent, salty, and sour.  Recommendations:


  • Dairy can be helpful in balancing the heat of Pitta, take milk, butter and ghee. Sour, fermented products such as yogurt, sour cream and cheese should be used sparingly as sour tastes aggravate Pitta. Ghee (clarified butter) is recommended.

  • All sweeteners may be taken in moderation except molasses and honey.

  • Olive, sunflower, and coconut oils are the best oils to pacify Pitta. Use less sesame, almond, and corn oil, which are more heating.

  • Wheat, rice, barley, and oats are the best grains to reduce Pitta. Eat less corn, rye, millet, and brown rice.

  • The sweeter fruits such as grapes, melons, cherries, coconuts, avocados, mangoes, pomegranates, fully ripe pineapples, oranges, and plums are recommended. Reduce sour fruits such as grapefruits, apricots, and berries.

  • The vegetables to favor are asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery okra, lettuce, green beans, and zucchini. Reduce tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, beets, eggplant, onions, garlic, radishes, and spinach.

  • Pitta types need to use seasonings that are soothing and cooling. These include coriander, cilantro, cardamom, saffron, and fennel. Hotter spices such as ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, salt, and mustard seed should be used sparingly. Very hot seasonings such as chili peppers, and cayenne are best avoided. Chew on fennel seeds after meals to cool down acid in the stomach.

  • For non-vegetarians, chicken, pheasant and turkey are preferable; beef, seafood, and eggs increase Pitta and should be minimized.

Inspya Yoga Therapies with Nic Whiteman

Tel: 0434 417 261

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