A Beginner’s Guide to Pitta Dosha
The word pitta is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘tap’. The word ‘tap’ has three meanings:
- tap dahe – to burn,
- tap santape – that which generates heat,
- tap aishwarye – which helps in attaining eight siddhis.
Teja, Ushma, Anala, Mayu, Agni are the synonyms of pitta dosha.
Bhautika composition and its relationship with triguna (three qualities of mind)
Agni is the predominant Mahabhuta in pitta dosha. The satva and rajas are the qualities related to the pitta dosha.
Gunas – the qualities of Pitta
Sasneha (slightly unctuous), drava (liquid), ushna (hot), sara (free flowing), teekshna (deeply penetrating), laghu (light), etc. are the qualities explained by Ayurveda scholars.
Functions of pitta dosha
Pachana (digestion), Dahana (burning sensation), Parinamana (conversion), Paravritti (transformation), Tapana (heat production), Ranjana (imparts complexion to the skin), Prabhakara (provides luster of the skin), Bhinna Sanghata (), Prakashana (illumination), Matratvam ushma (regulates the body temperature), Darshana (vision), Medha (intellect), Kshudha (appetite), Trishna (thirst), Shourya (courage), Krodha (anger), etc.
Effect of Rasas(taste)
Amla (sour), Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter) tastes are responsible for keeping pitta dosha in normalcy. Amla rasa is the state of improper-formed pitta dosha and Katu rasa is the one of properly formed pitta dosha.
Sites of pitta dosha
Adho Amashaya (the region between the stomach and the large intestine) is the primary site of pitta dosha as explained in the classical texts of Ayurveda. The other sites are the sweda (sweat glands and sweat), rasa (plasma), rudhira (blood), lasika (lymphatic tissue), drik (eyes), twacha (skin), nabhi (umbilical region), etc.
Types of pitta dosha
- Pachaka pitta: This type of pitta is situated between the stomach and large intestine. It provides strength and support to other types of pitta.
- Ranjaka pitta: It resides in the liver, spleen, lower part of the stomach, and duodenum.
- Sadhaka pitta: It is in the heart and brain. It helps in the perception of tactile, auditory, and olfactory sensations. it is also responsible for intellect and decision-making.
- Alochaka pitta: It is present in the eyes and helps in the perception of vision.
- Bhrajaka pitta: It is situated in the skin and helps in the complexion and luster of the skin, maintains the body temperature, it helps in the absorption of the medicaments delivered through massage, external applications like pastes, powders, oil, ointments, etc.
Factors influencing pitta dosha:
- Season: Pitta dosha undergoes accumulation in the body during varsha rutu (rainy season), gets vitiated in sharad rutu (autumn season), and subsides in hemanth rutu (pre-winter season).
- Period of the day: Pitta dosha is aggravated in the middle of the day and mid of the night.
- Digestion process: Pitta dosha gets vitiated during the digestion process.
- Age: In middle age, there is the aggravation of pitta dosha.
Pitta Vriddhi lakshana (symptoms of increased Pitta dosha)
- Yellowish discoloration of purisha (stool), mutra (urine), netra (eyes), and twacha (skin)
- Shitabhilasha (desire for cold items)
- Alpanidrata (lack of sleep)
- Ati Trishna (increased thirst)
- Ati kshudha (increased hunger)
- Daha (burning sensation)
- Tiktasyata (bitter taste in the mouth)
- Krodha (anger)
- Murcha (giddiness), etc.
Pitta Kshaya lakshana(symptoms of decreased Pitta Dosha)
- Manda anala (poor digestion or appetite)
- Arochaka(aversion to food)
- Shukla varna of nakha-netra (whitish discoloration of nails-eyes, etc.)
- Prabha hani (loss of luster)
- Stambha (stiffness)
- Gaurava (heaviness in the body)
- Angaparushya (coarseness on the whole body)
- Kampa (tremors), etc.
Diseases caused due to pitta dosha:
Pitta dosha can cause 40 diseases independently. To mention a few are, Kamala (jaundice), Raktapitta (bleeding disorders), Daha (burning sensation), Asyavipaka (stomatitis), Antardaha (internal burning), Atisweda (excess perspiration), Galapaka (inflammation and ulceration of throat), Gudapaka (inflammation and ulcers in the anal canal), etc.
Pitta Dosha Treatment
The food items possessing sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are advised, milk, and ghee, staying in cool places, applying pastes of herbs that give a cooling effect on both the body and mind like camphor, sandalwood, etc. visiting the ponds, lakes, rivers also give soothing effect. Virechana (purgation therapy) is the first line of treatment for Pitta dosha. Abhyanga (massage), swedana (sudation) are also administered with the drugs pacifying Pitta dosha.
Pitta dosha is the one responsible for burning sensation, heat production, and acquiring the eight siddhis. Agni mahabhuta constitutes pitta dosha predominantly. A sour taste is present in the improper formed pitta dosha while properly formed pitta dosha has a pungent taste. Eyes, skin, region between the stomach and the large intestine, sweat, blood, and its components are some of the sites where the pitta is located. Pitta dosha is classified into five types namely Pachaka pitta, Ranjaka pitta, Sadhaka pitta, Alochaka pitta, and Bhrajaka pitta. Independently pitta dosha can produce 40 diseases in number. Sharad rutu is the season when pitta dosha is vitiated at its peak. Virechana (purgation therapy) is an important treatment for vitiated pitta dosha, external applications of drugs that produce cooling effects on the body and mind can be advised.