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.
Headache with the cycle
Tender breasts with the cycle
Nausea or vomiting with the cycle
Acne accompanying the menstrual cycle or before the menstrual cycle
Sensation of heat or burning
Irritability, anger, or frustration
Fleshy or foul smelling flow
Looser stools with the cycle
The flow can be heavier due to opening of channels because of the heat
Elsewhere in the body you may notice these signs:
Very sharp hunger
Headache or migraines throughout the month
Hives and rashes, quick to have allergic reactions
Burning hands and feet
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.
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!
Identify what type of imbalance your cycle is showing through the descriptions in the rest of this series. If you find you have more than one, note that and note which type of cycle is most predominant. If you are still confused, see what else is going on in your body and what doshic imbalance it points towards (take our free imbalance [or vikriti] test for this!).
Start a menstrual calendar. Note when you start, if you have any symptoms before, during, and after (even as subtle as slight constipation or hardening of stool before the cycle), what the flow is like (any days of spotting, when you start a full flow, how many pads you use or would have gone through), and when it ends.
Slow down during your menstrual cycle, even if it means taking a twenty-minute break at the end of your day where you do nothing but just breathe. Become highly aware of your body and its subtle changes. See if you can correlate changes with anything that changed or was highly impactful during the month before.
Follow a diet and lifestyle that pacifies that dosha and follow the other types of recommendations given (including herbs that can be super helpful!).
Stick with it! It can take time to kindle agni, get rid of ama, and balance doshas. Do not give up. You can always consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for more help and advice.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Banyan Botanicals products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.