Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks.”

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It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body that functions through carrier substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. While Pitta is most closely related to the element of Fire, it is the liquid nature of these substances that accounts for the element of Water in Pitta’s make-up.

The qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid, and acidic. A Pitta individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.

The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat. Physiologically, Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the intellect.

When a person has a tendency to “overheat,” excess Pitta is usually the culprit. Just as a campfire may turn into a forest fire without proper care, the internal fire of the mind and body must be kept in check.

The balanced Pitta individual is blessed with a joyful disposition, a sharp intellect, and tremendous courage and drive. As the fire of the mind and body becomes unruly, however, the laughing Pitta quickly becomes the yelling Pitta. Anger, rage, and ego replace Pitta’s positive attributes, leaving an individual who is bitter with life and overbearing towards others. There is a saying that imbalanced Pitta individuals don’t go to hell; they simply create it wherever they go! Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body as infection, inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.

Ways to Balance Pitta

Key Words to Remember: Cooling, Calming, Moderation

When Pitta is out of balance, too much fire has accumulated in mind, body, and environment. The result is a sense of internal and external combustion. The best way to balance excess Pitta is to bring more space and coolness into the physiology. Think soothing.

  • Spend time outside and in nature
  • Favor cooling tastes – sweet, bitter, and astringent
  • Meditate twice a day to soothe the mind and relax the body
  • Schedule some space in your day
  • Perform a slow self-massage withSoothing herbalized oil
  • Wear Soothing fragrances
  • Favor cool, soft colors – blue, green, and white 
  • Drink Soothing Herbal Tea
  • Diffuse Soothing fragrances into your environment
  • Try to be more playful
  • Engage in non-competitive physical activities 
  • Eat with full awareness
  • Stay cool