An Ayurvedic Home Pharmacy for Pitta
Pitta clients are distinguished by their ability to take on their own Ayurvedic care as a project. A typical pitta client will have Ayurvedic food lists on the refrigerator and a special tote bag for their herbs, anupans such as aloe vera and their flask of Brahmi tea. Pitta needs to feel empowered. Thus it can be good to encourage your pitta clients to create a home pharmacy of herbs and mixtures they can use at their discretion. This article can be used as a handout to help pitta in creating and making the most of their home pharmacy. For maximum shelf life, the herbs in the home pharmacy should be stored in screw top glass jars and kept in a cool, dark place.
The value of Amalaki in a home pharmacy goes far beyond its standard use to cleanse the colon and remove excess pitta from the system. A woman with discoid lupus, characterized by lesions on the skin of the face, relies on Amalaki to aid cellular regeneration and act as an antioxidant. Another pitta individual, eight months pregnant and afflicted with hyperacidity, finds that a small pinch of Amalaki taken at the onset of symptoms provides welcome relief. In cases of pitta hypoglycemia, a similar small pinch of Amalaki can bring instant calming of troublesome symptoms such as dizziness, irritability and excess hunger. Due to its astringent taste, a pinch size dose of Amalaki will bind the stool, even though a larger amount will act as a laxative. Thus Amalaki is valuable for pitta stomach upsets with loose bowels. Amalaki is also an ideal hair rinse for pitta, known to strengthen hair roots and reduce pitta manifestations such as early graying and balding.
Interestingly enough, some pitta individuals actually crave the bitter taste provided by Mahasudarshan. As an important addition to a home pharmacy, Mahasudarshan can be used as a flu preventative after exposure, to disperse toxins after a fever has gone down and to help the liver after toxic chemical exposure or accidental ingestion of a food allergen. It will help with acne, boils and rashes and can be valuable during allergy season.
For the chemical sensitive individual with multiple food allergies, knowing how to use Mahasudarshan can make the difference between a functional life and one dominated by bizarre and disabling symptoms.
For pitta people who crave breads and sugar, a half teaspoon of Mahasudarshan mixed in honey and taken before breakfast can greatly alleviate these cravings.
Every pitta, especially every pitta woman, should be taught how to prepare Shatavari Kalpa. Roast an ounce of Shatavari with one or two tablespoons of ghee in a cast iron pan until light brown. Add two tablespoons of sucanat, rapadura or turbinado sugar, two pinches saffron and a pinch of cardamom. A teaspoon of this recipe can be taken in the morning to prevent attacks of hypoglycemia or other tikshnagni manifestations. Shatavari Kalpa is also beneficial to regulate menstruation as well as for daily use in pregnancy and during menopause. Thus Shatavari Kalpa is an excellent all around home remedy for the pitta woman.
Coriander features in cumin, coriander and fennel tea which is valuable for pitta stomach upsets and urinary problems. Pitta will also appreciate cool coriander and rose tea for cystitis and burning urination. Pitta can also enjoy this tea at room temperature for treatment of pitta fevers, mild heatstroke, hot flashes or for relief during heat waves. Coriander seeds can also be crushed or ground and added to a lassi or takram. Two tablespoons of yogurt, a cup of pure water, a teaspoon of ground coriander seeds and a pinch or two of rose petal powder will make a delicious drink to aid digestion and absorption for pitta individuals. To make a pleasantly bitter and pitta soothing coffee substitute, pitta can roast and grind coriander seeds and then steep them in hot water.
"Take a cup of fennel tea and call me in the morning" is a phrase that is useful for an acute, non-life-threatening pitta problem such as acute indigestion, glossitis, stomatitis or cystitis. Fennel is extremely soothing in pitta inflammatory conditions and so forms a key part of the pitta home pharmacy. It can also be combined with licorice to make a wonderfully pitta soothing beverage.
As long as your pitta client does not have hypertension, licorice will be an invaluable addition to their home pharmacy. Licorice tea soothes hyperacidity and pre-ulcer conditions. In fact, licorice is the basis of the ulcer medicine, Tagomet. Licorice can also be used during flu season and allergy season to ease annoying, persistent coughs and pitta tonsillitis. Clients with brittle or thinning hair should add a cup of licorice tea to their daily routine, as should those who complain of issues with eyesight. Pitta women can douche with licorice tea, or better still a combination of licorice, turmeric and Triphala, as a home remedy for vaginal irritations or yeast infections.
An all too frequent occurrence in the life of any pitta-provoked person are those days when one 'gets out of bed on the wrong side,' waking irritable, moody and upset. Brahmi is essential in the life of a modern, stressed-out, over-achieving pitta. A morning cup of Brahmi tea can turn the moody day around, bringing greater tranquillity and ease, as well as ensuring a sharper mind and better day's work. Brahmi can also be combined with tulsi for a soothing drink to promote calmness and clarity of mind and to enhance meditation.
A favorite ingredient in many summer cooling drinks, Hibiscus is a good ally for pitta. In spring, a rehydrating drink can be prepared using Hibiscus and fresh dandelion roots from the garden. Simmer 10 washed and pesticide free dandelion roots in one gallon of pure water for four hours. Remove from the heat and add one cup organic hibiscus flower powder. Let the hibiscus steep as the mixture cools. Add some lemon juice and lemon zest, sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup and drink for electrolyte balance.
For a summer cooler: brew as a sun tea 1 quart spring water, one quarter cup hibiscus, one eighth cup organic rose petal powder. Add one tablespoon of aloe vera juice to each cup.
For a good emenogogue for pitta: use hibiscus tea with a small amount of cinnamon.
For cystits: use hibiscus tea with added coriander powder.
Neem is an extremely bitter herb traditionally used for pitta skin inflammations. Because of its bitter nature, neem is highly effective in removing pitta from the body. It is also a natural antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic herb. Many skin disorders and inflammations including acne, athlete's foot, dermatitis, eczema, herpes, hives, psoriasis, rashes, ringworm and scabies are due to excess pitta in the body. Bacteria, parasites and fungi can also proliferate in the hot, moist conditions of imbalanced pitta. In addition to taking Neem or Blood Cleanse tablets internally, neem soap is very effective in cleansing the infected area while cooling inflammed skin. The application of neem oil protects the skin while soothing any itching that may be a result of irritated skin.
Organic rose petal powder is also used in several of the teas mentioned here. It can be mixed with goats milk (or powdered goats milk) to make a soothing facial blend for pitta skin. On summer nights, pitta can stir a teaspoon of rose powder into their bedtime warm milk.
Please note: Articles appearing in the Banyan Vine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Banyan Botanicals. This information is intended to apprise qualified health practitioners of possible Ayurvedic approaches. It is not intended as medical advice.