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Balancing Pitta

Balancing Pitta

Simple Guidelines For Decreasing Pitta

Signs and Symptoms of Pitta Imbalance

Is your pitta out of balance? If so, you may be experiencing some of the following signs or symptoms:

  • red, inflamed rash, acne, cold sores
  • acute inflammation in body or joints
  • acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
  • nausea or discomfort upon missing meals
  • loose stools
  • an uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
  • frustration, anger, irritability
  • judgment, impatience, criticism, intolerance
  • red, inflamed, or light-sensitive eyes
  • excessive perfectionist tendencies

To decrease pitta, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle, and herbal treatment strategies. Here are a few underlying concepts that these strategies are based on:

  • Cooling
  • Surrendering
  • Moderation

General Guidelines for a Pitta-Pacifying Diet


  • Foods that are naturally sweet, bitter, and astringent.
  • Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature.
  • A balance of whole, freshly cooked foods and fresh, raw foods.
  • Most beans.
  • Cooling herbs and spices like coriander, cilantro, fennel, and cardamom.
  • Dairy, if you digest it well, but avoid drinking milk with your meals. It is best to have it at least an hour before or after other food.
  • A moderate amount of high-quality olive, sunflower, and coconut oils or ghee in your daily diet.
  • Routine times for your meals.
  • Taking a deep breath after swallowing your last bite and heading off for your next activity.
  • Eating your meal in a peaceful environment.


  • Foods that are pungent, sour, and salty.
  • Warming foods, both energetically and in temperature.
  • Chili and cayenne peppers.
  • Highly processed foods (like canned or frozen foods, “TV” dinners or pastries).
  • Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within 1/2 hour of any other food.
  • Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants.
  • Red meat.
  • Deep fried foods.
  • Alcohol, except for an occasional beer or white wine.

Pitta-Pacifying Herbal Remedies

Ayurvedic herbs are useful allies when it comes to balancing the doshas. Ayurveda has a long history detailing the use of herbs and herbal combinations. Some Ayurvedic practitioners will customize herbal formulas to suit the unique constitutions of their clients. General formulas based on traditional combinations of herbs are also used. Below are some herbs and formulations that are especially useful for balancing pitta.

General Guidelines for a Pitta-Pacifying Lifestyle


  • Surrendering rather than controlling.
  • A regular, daily routine with regular times for eating, sleeping, working, etc. Make sure you have time to play and to relax as well as to work.
  • A 10 to 20-minute self-massage daily with 1/2 cup warm sunflower or coconut oil before bathing. Click here for more information on abhyanga.
  • A moderate exercise routine that includes a challenging form of yoga, swimming, or biking, about five times per week. Avoid exercising during the hot part of the day.
  • Keeping your mind and body cool.
  • Sweet and soothing music, smells, scenes, and company.

Our lives, environments, and health change regularly. We recommend that you take our dosha quiz periodically to check your state of balance. Then you can see how things have changed and decide which remedies would be the most beneficial to regain balance. It may be helpful to learn more about pitta so that you can understand why following these simple guidelines really can help. For more information about pitta, click here.