Balancing Tikshna Agni

Correcting tikshna agni is largely about pacifying pitta and cooling, grounding, calming, and containing the fire. Because pitta is relatively light and subtle, tikshna agni is affected not only by what we eat, but also by how we eat and how we live. In fact, tikshna agni tends to respond well to more subtle practices like pranayama, yoga, pitta pacifying lifestyle habits, and an emphasis on daily routine. Here are a few suggestions for taming an overactive digestive fire.

Diet

  • Eat a pitta pacifying diet focused on cooling, grounding, nourishing, and satisfying foods.
  • Enjoy a variety of energetically cooling foods, drinks, and spices—things like cilantro, coconut, coriander, fennel, and mint.
  • Include a moderate amount of cooling oils like ghee, sunflower oil, or coconut oil in your diet.
  • Try taking a few tablespoons of aloe vera juice or gel 2–3 times per day to cool and soothe pitta.

Lifestyle

  • Follow a pitta pacifying routine to ground and cool pitta’s sharp intensity. At the very least, try to awaken, eat, and go to sleep at similar times from one day to the next.
  • Practice 5–10 minutes of Sheetali pranayama daily to cool and soothe the cells and tissues throughout the body. A few minutes of Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) is a wonderful complement to this practice.
  • Meditation and other quiet practices for the mind can be very soothing to the heated emotions associated with excess pitta and tikshna agni. If you don’t have a regular practice, consider something simple like Empty Bowl Meditation.
  • Carefully observe a pitta pacifying exercise routine: 
    • Your exercise routine should not be overly intense, but should be done with relaxed effort instead. Enjoy activities like walking, hiking, light jogging, swimming, or cycling in the morning or evening (when it is coolest), and try to breathe through your nose the entire time.
    • Practice pitta pacifying yoga or a series of gently paced and purposeful moon salutations each morning.

Herbs

These herbs and formulas are particularly balancing for pitta.