A Healthy Pitta Dosha for a Healthy You - The New Indian Express

A Healthy Pitta Dosha for a Healthy You

Published: 12th January 2014 12:00 AM

Last Updated: 10th January 2014 02:19 PM

What do hot flushes and lack of appetite have in common? Both conditions, according to ayurvedic principles, indicate a vitiation of the pitta dosha. Pitta is one of the three biological systems of the body. Pitta takes care of chemical reactions and biosynthesis of various compounds within the body system. In general, if you have an uncomfortable burning feeling in your stomach, chest region or a flush in your face, it is very likely that your pitta dosha has been vitiated. Everything you need for your life is derived from the foods you eat. In an earlier article I had written about the various types of foods and their relationship to the three doshas, vayu, pitta and kapha.

Pitta is greatly increased by eating salty, sour and pungent foods. So if you have hot flushes the best thing that can be done is to change your diet to exclude foods like pickles, salty chips, cheeses and other processed foods which use salt as preservatives. Similarly, one can avoid juices and fruits like oranges and lime. These are popular fruits and one does not realise that they can have adverse effects on one’s health. The citrus lobby advocates drinking these juices as sources of Vitamin C and many people drink these juices blindly without realising their adverse effects. In my opinion canned and processed juices really give no positive health effects and are best avoided. Vitamin C is best got by eating amla or drinking fresh amla juice.

Pitta dosha is linked closely to the functioning of the liver. Keeping your liver healthy and free from toxins keeps your pitta dosha in balance. Recently a friend of mine complained about not feeling hungry. Since he is normally a person who has a healthy appetite and could digest anything I wondered what the problem could be. My friend also could not put his finger on what had happened. He said he had made no major changes in his diet except that he was a bit stressed organizing a family event. I advocated a bit of keezhanelli (Phyllanthus Neruri) which is great for toning the liver. The complete keezhanelli plant is ground and the paste eaten with a little buttermilk from which the butter has been removed. As he still felt that his appetite was still a bit sluggish, I consulted my vaidyar who promptly told him to have a salt-free diet for the next couple of days. So he had rice kanji and steamed vegetables for the next couple of days and his appetite was soon restored. I was happy to see this text book case of pitta vitiation being corrected by merely making a small temporary change in one’s diet. The other thing to note is that the vaidyar was consulted as soon as there was a lack of appetite. A lack of appetite is a clear indication that something is not working well in within the body system. A quick look at the causes and a small adjustment to the diet puts the body back in balance. Instead if one keeps drinking Gelusil®, the vitiation of dosha and disease gets further aggravated resulting in serious health issues. So listen to what your body tells you and take immediate steps to bring the three doshas into balance. When the vata, pitta and kapha doshas are in perfect balance, there is perfect health..

The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu, and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at Sheelarani.arogyamantra@gmail.com.  Earlier articles can be accessed at  www.arogyamantra.blogspot.com

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