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Balancing Tips for Pitta Season

by Sheyna Haisman-Holmes

We are just over one month into summer since the Summer Solstice on June 21st. We have two months to go until the Autumn Equinox at the end of September. We have been experiencing very warm weather and are in the center of pitta season. When pitta gets elevated and out of balance, it can burn ojas (vitality) and cause a cascade of disregulation in the body. It may be easier to warm up with a fire when it’s cold and it can be more challenging to cool down when it"s so hot. There are a bunch of things we can do to stay cool and balanced when dealing with big fire element energy.

Before we go into tips on dealing with pitta season, lets cover the details of pitta dosha. The qualities of pitta are hot, sharp, light, oily, liquid and spreading. Tastes are sour, bitter and pungent. A person that has a dominant pitta prakruti (genetic constitution) usually has a handful of these traits:

-warm body temperature

-high metabolism and appetite

-receding hairline or baldness

-sharp eyes, nose and tongue

-heart shaped face

-sharp memory & mentally active

-oily skin

-high energy

-excess sweat and urine

-looser stools

-skin inflammation

-acidic pH

-sour stomach

-sensitive teeth

-can be easily angered

-thrives with a schedule and productivity

-stinky feet and body odor

-red skin (rash, heat, flush)

-yellow coloration in the whites of the eyes

Because all of us are a balance between all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), some of these traits can increase when we are experiencing higher pitta in summertime or a deeper pitta vikruti (imbalance). We may experience more sweat, short temperedness, flushed skin, high mental activity, dermatitis/rash, acid reflux, loose stools, inflammation and dry/irritated eyes.

Guidelines to balance pitta in summertime:

-Topical coconut oil for self-abhyanga due to its cooling nature

-Wear breathable clothing (cotton, linen) and a hat that covers the skin from the sun

-Eat cooling foods (cilantro, cucumber, watermelon, mint, celery, grapes, coconut, lime, avocado)

-Eat cooling spices (fennel, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cumin)

-Avoid anything and everything sour, hot and pungent (sour grapes, sour cherries, lemons, spicy peppers, fermented foods, onions, mustard seeds, radish, garlic )

-Limit use of salt

-Salads are acceptable in this season, but only at lunchtime when the sun is at its highest and agni is strongest

-Choose sweet, cold, liquid and fatty foods & drinks

-Avoid hot drinks (hot chai or tea)

-Cook, work outside and exercise in the mornings and evenings to avoid being exposed to the heat of the day

-Cool off in cool water (ocean, rivers, lakes, pool, shower)

May we all stay cool, calm and balanced in this summer heat! :)


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