PITTA (fire) is hot and precise by nature. It governs digestion and metabolism and the processing of food, air and water, throughout the body.
When in balance, pitta types are warm, loving, and contented. They enjoy challenges, have strong digestion, a lustrous complexion, have good concentration, and are articulate, courageous, bold, sharp witted, and intellectual.
When out of balance, pitta can be demanding, critical and perfectionist, with a tendency to be frustrated, angry, irritable and impatient, often having prematurely grey hair or early hair loss, and a tendency towards skin rashes, acne and similar complaints.
Pitta is aggravated by excessive heat or exposure to the sun, alcohol, smoking, a sense of emotional or time pressure, deadlines, excessive activity, too much spicy, sour or salty food, and skipping meals.
To balance Pitta, eat foods that are sweet, bitter, astringent, cold, heavy and dry.
Pungent, sour, salty, hot, light and oily foods aggravate (increase) Pitta.
Dairy products: Ghee (clarified butter), milk, cream, and cream cheese, are good. Avoid salty butter and sour milk, e.g. yoghurt, aged cheeses.
Fruits: Sweet and astringent fruits are good e.g. grapes, pomegranates, bananas, avocados, mangoes. Avoid sour fruit, e.g. most citrus (a little lemon is alright).
Sweeteners: White or semi-refined sugars are good. Avoid molasses and brown sugar.
Honey can be taken in small quantities.
Beans: Mung and soybean are good.
Nuts: Avoid all nuts except coconut.
Grains: Wheat, rice, barley, and oats are good for balancing Pitta. Avoid millet, corn, buckwheat, and rye.
Oils: Ghee is best for pacifying Pitta.
Spices: Coriander, cumin, ginger (small quantities), turmeric, saffron, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom. Avoid black pepper, mustard seed, cloves, and chillies.
Vegetables: Asparagus, courgettes, cauliflowers, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas and peppers are good. Reduce beets & carrots and avoid tomatoes.
Aromas are also used in Ayurveda to achieve balance. Essential oils can be used in massage, inhalations or diffused to scent a room. Fresh flowers, herbs and spices, incense, and other natural aromas (not synthetic!) can bring great psychological and physiological benefits.
Pitta is balanced by a mixture of sweet and cool aromas like sandalwood, rose, mint, cinnamon and jasmine.