No matter your dominant dosha, anyone can experience a pitta imbalance. Once you know how to spot one, you’ll be able to find your cool again in no time. Here are signs that your pitta is aggravated and what to do about it.
by Iris Goldsztajn
According to Ayurveda, our constitutions correspond to three doshas — vata, pitta and kapha — each with individual properties that need to be balanced in order to keep us at our healthiest. Most of us have one dominant dosha, while others may have two or even all three as dominant.
Regardless of your dominant dosha(s), you can experience an imbalance in any of the others because of factors like stress, weather and life events.
That means that even if your constitution is vata dominant, you can still experience a pitta imbalance — we’ll walk you through how to spot one and what to do about it.
Signs You May Have a Pitta Imbalance
You Feel Too Hot
Some of the main qualities of pitta are hot, oily, sharp, light and liquid, so feeling consistently too hot is one of the major signs that pitta may be doing a number on you. That may look like always needing to peel off layers, open windows, etc. You may also sweat a lot and feel burning sensations throughout your body. You will also probably feel very thirsty.
You Feel Extra Irritable
Pitta is associated with a fiery personality, so if you have too much of it you may get easily annoyed by people and events in your life. You might get angry faster than usual and snap at loved ones. Feelings of resentment and jealousy may arise, and you may feel the need to achieve perfection in everything you do. You may also become overly judgmental toward yourself and others.
Your Hair and Skin Are More Oily Than Usual
As we’ve mentioned, oily is one of the qualities of pitta, so if your skin and hair feel a lot oilier than you’re used to, a pitta imbalance could be to blame. Your hair might get dirtier faster. You might notice a reddish tint to your skin and develop acne. Your skin could also feel scratchy.
Your Digestion Is Out of Whack
Feeling super hungry all the time could be a sign of a pitta imbalance. That means if you need to eat far more than usual, pitta could be the culprit. You may also experience digestive discomfort, including runny stool, nausea and a burning sensation in your throat. Excess pitta can also sometimes cause you to have bad breath or body odor generally.
What Causes a Pitta Imbalance?
Pitta imbalances can often occur during pitta season — that is, late spring to late summer — for the simple reason that it is hotter outside. If it’s not hot where you are, then there are other factors you can look to as well. One important one is eating too many foods that are pungent (or spicy), salty and sour, as well as anything deep fried or over-processed, or too much red meat. Caffeinated drinks can also aggravate pitta, as can emotional stress, overworking and sleeping too little.
How To Bring Yourself Back Into Balance
Ayurveda is a very intuitive system. If you’re experiencing a pitta imbalance, governed by hot, oily, sharp, light and liquid qualities, you need to balance it with opposite qualities. You should privilege sweet, bitter and astringent foods — dairy products are recommended, as are grains like wheat, rice, barley and oats. Choose sweet fruits over sour ones, and bitter or mild vegetables.
When it comes to herbs and spices, go for cooling ones like coriander, cilantro and fennel, avoiding any hot spices. Taking a tincture, like The Root of it All’s SETTLE for a balanced stomach, or SLOW for relaxation, could also help bring you back into balance. As for your environment, find a cool place, wear breathable clothes, relax if you can and avoid working too much. Meditation and yoga are very helpful for calming pitta too, so carve out time for these activities if possible.
Once you know the signs of a pitta imbalance, you’ll be able to spot one easily. From there, you’ll be able to tune into what your mind and body need and bring yourself back into balance in no time.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based writer and editor with six years of experience creating content for various outlets. Her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Stylist and Cosmopolitan, and she won first place in Writing Magazine’s Grand Prize for a short story in 2020.