Mindfully Shifting into Pitta Season with Ayurveda

Updated: Feb 27

To live a life in line with Ayurvedic principles you must first become more conscious of the food you are consuming and recognise the effect that it has on your body. To use this science to it's full potential it is necessary to use yourself as a study, constantly evaluating how you are feeling after certain foods and continuing this practice until you feel calm in your mind, body, and spirit. The transitions of seasons are a great way to see just how connected we are with nature and eat in accordance with this shift in energy.

The mahabhuta (elemental nature) of Pitta is fire; it is hot, oily, sharp and penetrating. When we look at this dosha (fault in Sanskrit), we can see these qualities inside nature and inside ourselves. Ayurveda recognises three seasons; Pitta (late spring - height of summer), Vata (fall - early winter) and Kapha (late winter - early spring). As we transition into Pitta season let's take a look at ways that we can modify our lives to remain balanced.

Things to Avoid (excessive consumption of):

- sour, salty, and pungent foods

- foods with the same gunas as pitta; such as oily, sharp, hot, light, unpleasant in odour

- oily and heavy food (such as processed food, fried food, and food that has been stored for longer than 24 hours)

- hot drinks (in nature & temperature); e.g. coffee, green tea, mint tea

- red meat & red fish

- raw vegetables & leafy greens

- condiments such as vinegar, pickles, fermented sauces, mustard

- excessive consumption of alcohol

- eating while feeling frustration, anger, hatred

How to recognise aggravated pitta:

- migraines

- urine infections

- general infections in the body

- acidity; heartburn, acid reflux etc

- destructive and violent behaviours

Symptoms of pitta imbalance:

- increase in body temperature

- craving for pitta foods

- excessive sweating

- increase in desire

- quick temper and frustration

- night sweats

- uncontrollable feelings of desire, jealousy, and being excessively goal orientated

- feeling of dissatisfaction and depression (thought this can be from all imbalanced doshas to get more information it would be good to speak with a practitioner to confirm the imbalance)

The ways to counteract this heat in the body is simple, by ingesting foods and herbs with the opposite qualities of pitta. To complete one cycle through our 7 tissues (dahtus) takes around 35 days so be patient and consistent with these remedies and remember to always check in with yourself if you aren't sure or notice any different symptoms be sure to speak with an Ayurvedic practitioner or your GP.

Basic foods to avoid if you have a pitta imbalance:

- tomatoes

- chilli

- red wine

- fermented foods

- coffee or anything caffeinated

- raw food

- too many root vegetables

- raw onion, garlic and salt

- lemon & citrus fruit (except lime)

- coriander leaves

Foods & herbs to incorporate:

- fennel

- ghee (coconut oil is an alternative for vegans)

- olive oil, coconut oil (internal and external massage)

- white basmati rice

- sweet food is good for balancing pitta

- cow's milk/almond milk

- cooked: kale, broccoli, leek, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage

- pulses, lentils, chickpeas

- tofu

- lime

- most spices except chilli

- whole coriander seeds

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