Pitta’s Plight & Vata’s Dream
The summer season of Pitta heats us during the longest and warmest days of the year: July - October.
Pitta dosha, represented by fire and water, governs metabolism, particularly digestion, and is in charge of transformation in the mind and body. Aggravated Pitta may manifest as occasional heartburn, skin rash, stomach acidity, interrupted sleep, irritability, short temper, and demanding acts of perfectionism...watch out! However, Pitta isn’t all bad. When balanced, Pitta manifests as a healthy glow of the skin, regular digestion and metabolism, and an increase in desire, drive, decisiveness, and spirituality. Ah, now that’s better.
Opposite from the season of Pitta is Vata season, during the driest and coolest days of the year: November - February. Vata dosha, represented by air and space, governs all movement in the mind and body. Vata controls blood flow (circulation), elimination of wastes, breathing, and the movement of thoughts. Imbalanced Vata may manifest as dry skin, trouble falling asleep, occasional constipation, forgetfulness (spaced out), worry, a feeling of being anxious, and/or nervousness. But not to worry! When balanced, Vata manifests as mental sharpness, regular elimination, sound sleep, strong immunity, and a sense of exhilaration.
Following the simple Ayurvedic principle of “like increases like,” changes in your outer environment can affect your inner environment. So during the season of Pitta, the Pitta-predominant person will fire up with hot feet, irritability, and skin rashes while the Vata-predominant person will enjoy the external warmth with supple hands, feet, and skin. The plight of Pitta is the dream of Vata, because they are pacified by opposite seasons and weather. Vata loves warm and Pitta thrives when it’s cool.
So while our dear Pittas may be struggling to stay cool during the summer months, Vatas may be relishing the warmth of the season.
Whether you are Pitta or Vata-predominant, attention to excess heat and efforts to stay balanced during the summer months are recommended. Keep your cool, be mindful and follow these tips for Pitta pacification.
Pitta Cooling Diet
Favor cooling foods that taste sweet, bitter and astringent. Sweet fruits such as melons, cherries, grapes, pears, or coconut, and vegetables like asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, and zucchini all work to counterbalance Pitta. Natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and raw cane sugar, with the exception of honey and molasses, will cool Pitta. Minimize your intake of hot and spicy foods, such as hot peppers, beets, onions, and garlic.
During meals, avoid iced beverages, as they slow digestion.
Above all, listen to your body. If something tastes too sour or too spicy (Pitta-increasing), it is likely your body is sending up the red flag.
Demanding deadlines, overworking and excessive activities that can heighten irritation and emotion should be avoided to keep Pitta in check. Enjoy environmentally and emotionally cooling activities, such as a picnic lunch (in the shade, if it is hot and sunny), an afternoon swim, a vacation, or a refreshing leisurely evening walk after dinner to aid digestion.
Avoid overexposure to the sun during the hottest part of the day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Treat Yourself Sweet
Treat yourself to a daily Ayurvedic oil massage, abhyanga, with Soothing Massage Oil. Massage increases circulation, clears toxins from the tissues, invigorates the body, calms the mind and soothes the emotions. To flush out toxins that have been pushed out from the cells with massage, try a warm relaxing bath afterwards.
Keep Your Cool with Herbs
Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) – Balance digestion and elimination and assist in absorbing nutrients from food with this powerful combination of herbs. Organic Digest Tone contains three remarkable fruits — amla, chebulic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan — and each possesses superior rejuvenative and health-giving qualities. Cabbage rose is added to this powerful tonic to support the synergy of the other ingredients, promote their effectiveness, and help balance Pitta. This formula is a tri-doshic balancing Rasayana, or herbal combination that is considered, in Ayurveda, among the most effective.
Organic Rose Petal Spread – Rose has a calming effect on the mind, body and emotions. Try this delicious Ayurvedic jam — made from organic roses, with an exquisite aroma and subtle flavor — for breakfast or mixed in a cool drink. This gourmet treat is a Pitta-balancing Rasayana as well.
Stress Free Emotions – Promote self-confidence, positive thinking and feelings of fulfillment by balancing emotional health with this Pitta-pacifying Rasayana. Arjuna, ashwagandha, mica, pearl and holy basil promote coordination of mind and emotions, balancing sometimes-fiery personalities.
Organic Cooling Pitta Tea – This delicious combination of fragrant rose petals and refreshing spices is perfect for soothing heated emotions, feelings of intensity, or frustration. Enjoy Organic Cooling Pitta Tea, warm or cool, to calm yourself when things heat up.
Cooling Pitta Aroma Oil – The sense of smell is a quick-acting, powerful means of creating balance. Cool off with this blend of sandalwood, ylang ylang, lavender and other essential oils. Perfect when you’re feeling irritable, or when temperatures are soaring outside.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.