Pacifying Pitta in the Summer

In Ayurveda, there are 3 doshas or body types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Pitta is the energy of digestion, assimilation, and transformation. Pitta is comprised of fire and water. It is hot, sharp, oily, and penetrating. In the summer, Pitta can get overheated and out of balance more so than the other two doshas. There are some common Ayurvedic remedies for pacifying Pitta in the summer.

Pitta tends to get easily overheated in the sun.  It is important not to overexert yourself during the summer, especially during 10 am to 2 pm, the times when Pitta is at its peak. Avoid being out in the hot sun doing strenuous exercise at these times.  If you are out, wear a hat and use sunscreen. High Pitta people are prone to skin conditions and irritations.  Neem oil has been used as a natural sunscreen in India.  Neem soap can also be beneficial for Pitta skin which gets irritated and inflamed

The saying, “You are what you eat” also applies to Ayurveda.  Ayurveda operates on the axiom of “like increases like”. Thus, eating hot, spicy foods such as peppers, chilies,  or sour foods as vinegar, citrus fruits, and excess salt will increase Pitta. It is better for those with high Pitta to use mineral salt in their food. Eating sour foods and cheese in excessive amounts will also increase Pitta.  One easy method towards pacifying Pitta in the summer is to use lime rather than lemon.  Lime is not as sour or heating as lemon.

Another quality of Pitta is oily. Thus, consuming oily foods or fatty, fried foods will raise the amount of Pitta in your body. If you cook with oil, use sunflower oil or alternatively, coconut oil, both of which will pacify Pitta.  Substances which provide essential fatty acids (i.e. flax seed oil) do not aggravate Pitta dosha.

Consuming fermented foods, vinegar and alcohol also increase Pitta due to the sharp and sour qualities.  You may also take Ayurvedic supplements to cool Pitta dosha.

Eating cooling, sweet, and mildly spiced foods will help in pacifying Pitta in the summer.  To the greatest extent possible it would be best to avoid very competitive activities which can over heat the body or engage in heated debates where fiery emotions such as anger, criticism, and envy can arise.

Ayurveda also offers specific breathing techniques and yoga postures as well as a specific diet plan for each individual to balance their doshas. A personalized Ayurvedic consultation will assist you on the path to balanced health.