The Menstrual Cycle Part 4: The Tender and Angry (Pitta) Period
In the first part of this series, we reviewed what a healthy cycle would be like and the second part focused on the painful and bloated (vata) period, and the third part looked into the puffy and heavy (kapha) period. Now, let’s explore the pitta period. Again, remember that this can fluctuate month-to-month depending on what was going on the previous month.
Highly consider this cycle type, especially if you had significant pitta-provoking diet or lifestyle changes in the month before or in your life in general. Strong triggers of pitta are the summer season (especially if you live in areas that are particularly hot), eating spicy, sour, or salty foods, eating extremely hot foods or processed foods, caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants, red meat, and alcohol more than the occasional beer or white wine. Don’t forget stress, anger, competition, and jealousy are important triggers as well.
Remember that the qualities of pitta (made of fire and water) are sharp, penetrating, hot, liquid, mobile, and oily. It is the energy of transformation. Like increases like is the most basic principle of Ayurveda, so anything with those qualities will increase pitta.
Characteristics of a Pitta Cycle
Understand the above qualities to understand the characteristics of the pitta cycle. There is heat creating fluidity, irritability, and dilation of blood vessels.
Elsewhere in the body you may notice these signs:
What To Do About It
The second major principle in Ayurveda therapy is treat with the opposite. So we will work with the quality of coolness.
- Consider Women’s Support. While this formulation is great for overall balance in a female, with herbs like shatavari, guduchi, brahmi, and aloe vera, it is particularly good for pitta.
- If you need extra help with pitta release in the body, consider Healthy Pitta or taking your herbs with a tablespoon or two of aloe vera gel.
- If you feel a lot of heat (headaches, nausea, vomiting) try Nasya (dropping medicated oil into each nostril) when you are not menstruating.
- Increase hydration. Hydration is always key in menstrual support.
- Follow a pitta-pacifying diet and lifestyle. Avoid spicy, sour, salty, excessively hot, or oily foods.
- Try a daily cooling drink like cucumber juice or a cucumber milkshake (combine 1 cup milk of your choice with 1/4 peeled cucumber and blend).
- Sit in a relaxed posture, roll your tongue (or grin real wide) and take a deep inhalation. Repeat several times and feel the cool air enter your body.
- Probably the most important thing to do is release stress, expectations, and judgments. Learn to meditate (try Empty Bowl Meditation or focusing on your breath with gentle Nadi Shodhana).
- Practice self-massage with a moderate amount of Pitta Massage Oil to whisk heat away.
- Try coconut oil packs. Coconut oil is cooling and soothing and great for pitta. You do this in a similar manner as you would a castor oil pack, but with less heat.
- Breast Care Balm will help with breast tenderness as it includes cleansing and moving herbs.
As always, we recommend that you work with a qualified practitioner, but hopefully these steps give you a good idea of what is going on and what you can do about it.
To make the most of this series, do these steps!