According to Ashtanga Ayurveda, the site of existence of pitta is between the naval line and the ‘epigastrum’ line. Ashtanga Ayurveda talks about the three bodily humours or doshas - vata, pitta and kapha, which determine the body’s physical and mental functions. For a healthy, vital and well-protected body, a balanced condition of the three doshas is mandatory. These doshas are in fact derived from the five components, namely space, air, fire, water and earth, which are collectively termed as the Pancha Mahabhutas. Each dosha combines any two of the five Bhutas and out of these two, one dominates.
Characteristics of Pitta Dosha
The Charaka Samhita, a well known Ayurvedic text, defines the characteristics of Pitta dosha in the following way: hot and a little sycophantic (sahasnehamushnam), liquid and acidic (dravamlam), sharp, burning (tikshnam), always flowing in an unbounded manner (saram); pungent and sharp (katuhu). People of pitta personality tend to be of medium proportions and frame. They possess warm skin that is very fair or glowing and may be sensitive. Their fine hair may show signs of premature greying or thinning. These people are intelligent and strong-minded in thought, speech and action. They show signs of purpose and ambition in each step as well as intensity in their voice whenever they speak. They are moderate sleepers and like to stay in cooler environments. Balanced pitta is specifically characterized by self-confidence and entrepreneurship.
Types of Pitta Dosha
There are five types of pitta, each having its own specific area of activity. These types are pachak pitta, ranjak pitta, sadhak pitta, alochak pitta and bhrajak pitta.
Remedies for Pitta Dosha
Food with bitter, sweet and astringent tastes find favour with the pitta constitution. An excessive intake of hot, spicy or sour foods, fermented, fried, oily, stale and "fast foods"; artificial colourings and flavourings, sour or unripe fruits and alcoholic drinks, hamper the normal pitta constitution of the body. Prolonged exposure to the sun, experiencing hot weather, indoor heat, chemicals, corrosives and undergoing strenuous exercises augment the constitution of pitta. In addition, an excess of normal human impulses such as mental tensions, fighting, fasting, cruelty, jealousy, competition and greed can cause a misbalance in the pitta.
Thus a person in whom pitta dominates, Ashtanga Ayurveda suggests proper diet and various Yoga therapies. If the pitta is well balanced, the digestive system functions properly thus ensuring proper metabolism.