The pitta body type is one of medium height and build, though some individuals are slender with a delicate frame. They seldom gain or lose much weight. Their muscle development is moderate, and they are generally stronger physically than vata types. Pitta eyes are bright and may be gray, green, or copper-brown, and their eyeballs are of medium prominence. These individuals tend to have ruddy or coppery skin and may have reddish hair, which tends to be silky. They often experience early graying or hair loss, so that a pitta man frequently has a receding hairline or a big, beautiful bald head!
Moles and freckles are common on pitta skin, which tends to be oily, warm, and less wrinkled than vata skin. Pittas have sharp, slightly yellowish teeth and frequently have bleeding gums.
The normal body temperature of people with a pitta constitution is a little higher, and their hands and feet are usually warm and may be sweaty. Pittas may feel quite warm when both vatas and kaphas are cold. They perspire quite a lot, even when its 50 degrees, while a vata person will not perspire even at a much higher temperature. Their body perspiration often has a strong, sulfury smell; their feet also perspire and may have a strong smell.
This heat is the main characteristic of pitta types, which is not surprising as the word pitta is derived from the Sanskrit word tapa, which means to heat. (The word can also be translated as "austerity," and pitta individuals can be quite austere.) They have a low tolerance for hot weather, sunshine, or hard physical work. Although they are a fiery type, their sex drive may not be very strong. Pittas may use sex to release anger.
Pittas have a strong appetite, strong metabolism, and strong digestion. They consume large quantities of food and drink, and they also produce large quantities of urine and feces, which tend to be yellowish and soft. When out of balance, they crave hot spicy dishes, which are not good for them. They should eat food with the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. When hungry, a pitta person needs to eat soon, otherwise he or she will become irritable and hypoglycemic.
Pitta sleep is of medium duration, but it is uninterrupted and sound. These individuals like to read before they go to sleep and often fall asleep with a book on their chest.
Girls with a pitta constitution begin menstruating and reach puberty early. They can start menstruation as early as the age of ten.
Pitta physical ailments tend to be related to heat and the fire principle. They are prone to fevers, inflammatory diseases, acid indigestion, excessive hunger, jaundice, profuse perspiration, hives and rashes, burning sensations, ulceration, burning eyes, colitis, and sore throats. All "itises" are inflammatory disorders and are due to excess pitta. These individuals are susceptible to sunburn and do not like bright light.
Pitta-type PMS symptoms include tenderness in the breasts, hot flashes, hives, urethritis, and sometimes a burning sensation when passing urine.
Pitta individuals are alert and intelligent and have good powers of comprehension and concentration. Their intellects are penetrating and keen, and their memories are sharp. They have good, logical, investigating minds. They love to go deeply into problems and find solutions. Their minds are always at work, and they like to solve problems and puzzles of all kinds. They also tend to be good speakers. They are lovers of knowledge and have a great capacity for organization and leadership.
Pittas are night people. They become alert around midnight and love to read late at night.
Orderliness is important to them. A pitta person's home or room is always clean and neat. Clothes are kept in a designated place, shoes are in orderly rows, and books are arranged according to height or another definite system.
Pittas love noble professions. They are doctors, engineers, lawyers, judges-very bright, brainy people. They have good administrative abilities and like to be in a leadership role. They are good planners and are ambitious and disciplined. Aggressive by nature, they easily take charge of situations. They may become political figures. They have a lot of charisma. People are attracted to them.
Pittas are often wise, brilliant people, but they can also have a controlling, dominating personality. They have a tendency toward comparison, competition, and aggressiveness, and they are meticulous and perfectionistic. Everything has to be done on time, and correctly! Pitta individuals never yield an inch from their principles, which sometimes leads to fanaticism. They tend to be critical, especially when pittadosha is aggravated; if there is no one to criticize, pitta people will criticize and judge themselves.
A pitta’s life span is only moderately long. These individuals burn their life energy through too much mental activity,perfectionism, aggressiveness, and the constant search for success. They have a deep-seated fear of failure. They don't like the words no or fail and therefore may be highly stressful. They are the typical workaholics.
Pittas generally seek material prosperity and tend to be moderately well off, though they spend rather than save their money. They like to live in luxurious homes and drive fancy cars; they love perfumes, gems, jewelry, and other costly items; and they enjoy exhibiting their wealth and possessions.
A number of factors can increase pitta to the point of aggravation. One is simply eating too much spicy food, including black epper, cayenne pepper, curry peppers, and jalapeño peppers. Pitta can also be increased by sour and citrus fruits, such as grapefruits and sour oranges. Eating rancid yogurt, smoking cigarettes, and drinking sour wine can also be harmful. Working near fire or lying in the sun are causes of increased pitta.
The Attributes of Pitta Individuals
Following are the main attributes of Pitta dosha and how they are expressed in the physical, mental, and behavioral characteristics of a Pitta individual.
|ATTRIBUTES||MANIFESTATIONS IN THE BODY|
|Hot||Good digestive fire;strong appetite; body temperature tends to be higher than normal; hates heat; gray hair with receding hairline or baldness; soft brown hair.|
|Sharp||Sharp teeth, distinct eyes, pointed nose, tapering chin, heartshaped face; good absorption and digestion; sharp memory and understanding; irritable|
|Light||Light/medium body frame; does not tolerate bright light; fair shiny skin, bright eyes|
|Oily||Soft oily skin, hair, feces; does not like deep-fried food (which may cause headache)|
|Liquid||Loose liquid stools; soft delicate muscles; excess urine, sweat and thirst|
|Spreading||Pitta spreads as rash, acne, inflammation all over the body or on affected areas; pitta subjects want to spread their name and fame all over the country|
|Sour||Sour acid stomach, acidic pH; sensitive teeth; excess salivation|
|Bitter||Bitter taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting; repulsion toward bitter taste; cynical|
|Pungent||Heartburn, burning sensations in general; strong feelings of anger and hate|
|Fleshy Smell||Fetid smell under armpits, mouth, soles of feet; socks smell|
|Red||Red flushed skin, eyes, cheeks and nose; red color aggravates pitta|
|Yellow||Yellow eyes, skin, urine and feces; may lead to jaundice, overproduction of bile; yellow color increases pitta|
Eating fatty fried food, or oily food such as peanut butter, can create nausea or headaches for a pitta.
Summer is the most difficult time for pitta individuals. In hot humid weather pitta dosha can easily become aggravated. Heat builds up in the system, and pitta individuals become more susceptible to the heat-related ailments mentioned above. They may become quite irritable and are easily agitated and angered. Tempers flare. Their sharp minds become hypercritical and judgmental. Jealousy and envy may blaze up. They need to cool down!
General Guidelines for Balancing Pitta
Avoid excessive heat
Avoid excessive oil
Avoid excessive steam
Limit salt intake
Eat cooling, nonspicy foods
Drink cool (but not iced) drinks
Exercise during the cooler part of the day