Pitta Dosha, The Element of Transformation and Metabolism


The Pitta dosha in our body is responsible for all the transformation & metabolizing we do. From the food we eat to our thought process, it’s all governed by our Pitta. The qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, light, mobile & oily.  In Sanskrit the word Pitta, comes from the word tapa, which means to heat, or become hot. It also means austerity & concentration, the word Pitta, means the energy that creates heat in the body. Within the digestive system Pitta is most present in the stomach (The lower part & greater curvature is related to Pitta. The upper part is related to Kapha dosha), small intestine, blood, heart, liver, gallbladder & spleen. It favors these sites & is also present in the eyes, sweat, sebaceous secretions, & the gray matter of the brain. The most important site of Pitta for healing & balancing is the small intestine. This is where our food is broken down to small molecular sizes & organized for assimilation.

Those with a predominance of Pitta in their constitutions tend to have a moderate medium frame, where their weight tends to stay the same. Their personality is passionate, strong willed, organized, focused, intense & energetic. Pitta types can have a tendency toward loose stools, heartburn, inflammation, ulcers, skin rashes or acne & weakness in the liver. Their emotional challenges can look like hot-headed anger, irritability, resentment, and jealousy. They can also at times be cynical, critical, or have issues with control. Pitta people also become more focused under stress. Their gifts are their sharp intellect & drive to learn new things. They are clearly perceptive & dynamic, they also make excellent leaders, teachers & guides.

In Ayurveda there is a time of day, season & life cycle for each of the doshas. This is when the dosha is most optimal for all, no matter what our dosha dominance may be.


Time of Day: 10am-2pm and 10pm – 2am The AM time frame is when it is most optimal to eat our largest meal of the day. When we naturally have the most Pitta or agni in our body to digest it. The PM time frame; while we are sleeping is when we process or digest all that our senses have taken in throughout the day. It is also the time when our liver goes through its cleansing period. This is why it is so important for us to sleep during this time, to give our bodies the opportunity to rest & regenerate when nature intended it.


Season:Late Spring & Summer.  The hottest time of the year, when the sun is at its fullest strength. This can depend upon your geographic location. Some locales have a longer Pitta season than others. Think of Hawaii, or the tropics, hot & humid, exactly Pitta. Southern California is has a Pitta predominance, think about the fast, mobile pace, aggressive & energetic drive.


Life Cycle:DOC48 16 – 55 years old  This is the time of life when everyone’s Pitta is stronger. You are finding yourself, making a way for yourself, going to school, exploring, establishing a career. Remember the teenage years, & see if you can recapitulate that emerging heat of hormones, skin eruptions, and emotions. This is the life cycle during which we start our families. For women the Pitta cycle follows their reproductive years. Pitta in women is also closely connected to their menarche / menstrual / menopausal cycle.

Whether Pitta is your predominant dosha or not, it is an essential element to our existence. During summer it is most important to monitor & keep in check, so as to not let Pitta become aggravated. An aggravated dosha will accumulate and then spill over into other areas where they create problems, imbalance & disease.


Balancing Pitta

Balancing qualities are cool, heavy, stable & slightly drying. Avoid foods that are pungent (spicy), salty, sour/ hot, light, dry. Favor foods that are bitter, astringent, sweet/cold, heavy, oily. Eating more fresh fruits, salads & smoothies are perfect for this season. Relax, take walks in the cool morning, or moon lit nights. Avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day. Drink plenty of water & keep you skin hydrated with coconut oil self-massages 2x weekly. Drink herbal teas like mint, hibiscus, dandelion.