What is the pitta dosha in ayurveda?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Pitta individuals are typically of medium build. Physically, they have good muscle tone; have a tendency to always feel warm; have premature graying hair or balding; have reddish complexions; enjoy high energy levels; and have really strong digestion -- they can eat almost anything. Mentally, they are extremely intelligent, focused, ambitious people. Emotionally, they are passionate about life, have a tendency to be perfectionists, and can become easily irritated.

To keep pitta balanced, choose more sweet, bitter, and astringent foods; spices like turmeric and peppercorn can cool pitta.
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Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

The act of digesting the food we’ve consumed and turning it into energy is known in modern terms as metabolism.  We ingest the food and our body extracts what it needs to maintain its various processes.  In Ayurvedic terms, this act of creating energy is governed by what is called the Pitta dosha.  Pitta energy metabolizes food, regulates the strength of the digestive system, circulates the nutritional content of that food through the body’s blood, and ensures our ability to continually assimilate the various things we imbibe—be they beneficial or toxic.  It is a combination of the fire and water elements, in that it cooks energy from what we take in much like boiling water cooks vegetables.  In a manner of speaking, it is the energy that produces energy.  But while balanced Pitta energy facilitates healthy metabolism of energy, an accumulation of it can lead to an excess of heat.  When vegetables sit over a fire too long, they burn.  When an excess of Pitta energy overwhelms the body, it can get burnt out as well.

People who are born with a lot of Pitta energy in their constitution are sensitive to heat, which means that they will be likely to experience a lot of issues related to hotness and irritation:

  • Indigestion and acid reflux (too much fire in the stomach)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (inflammation in the GI tract)
  • Outbreaks on the skin like hives and acne (irritation of the skin)
  • Profuse sweating (too much heat in need of cooling off)
  • Other inflammation in the body like tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Irritability and anger (too much heat in the mind)
  • Any other condition related to heat and digestion
People with a lot of Pitta energy tend to be focused and driven.  This can make them aggressive when pursuing their goals, and those who have a lot of Pitta energy are therefore often accused of being bossy and pushy.  They are prone to feeling angry, jealous, and temperamental.  When experiencing discomfort, they are prone to feeling irritation. But, when balanced, a person's Pitta energy can make them an immensely productive individual.
The pitta dosha is comprised of fire and water elements; individuals tend to have a medium-build, and are fiery, focused and driven. Watch neurologist and ayurvedic expert Trupti Gokani, MD, explain the features and health issues of the pitta dosha.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.