The Pitta Prakriti : Characteristics and Effects of Pitta Dosha Imbalance

by Dr Kanika Verma

In the previous blog, we discussed the general characteristics of a vata prakriti. Now, let us explore the Pitta prakrati or pitta characteristics and the function of pitta dosha – the pitta people are on fire! Pitta dosha emerges from the fire element, and that’s why pitta people are hot! Yes, they are hot-blooded and hot-tempered.

Read our popular article " Ayurveda Vata Prakriti: Vata Dosha Characteristics"

Note: The information in this blog is derived from Charak Viman sthana (8-97) (a sutra that defines tridosha based prakrati and their features).

The primary features of pitta dosha are –

  • Slightly oily
  • Sharp or penetrating
  • Hot
  • light
  • With distinct odor
  • Sara (slithers like a snake)
  • Liquid
Pitta Dosha Constitution
Pitta Dosha Constitution

The pitta prakrati people exhibit all of these properties in their appearance, metabolism and conduct. These excess of any of these features leads to pitta imbalance. 

Let’s look at some of the defining qualities of pitta people in light of the above mentioned properties.

Effects of Pitta on Skin

warm, and oily skin
warm, and oily skin

Skin is one of the primary sites of pitta dosha. And since heat is the defining feature of pitta, pitta skin is usually moist, warm, and oily.

  • Freckles,
  • black moles,
  • marks,
  • etc. are common in pitta skin.

pitta prakrati people are prone to skin inflammation, and related inflammatory disorders. It can be acne, or severe skin disorders like psoriasis, vitiligo, leprosy, etc.

Pitta Hair

Pitta hair has a reddish-brown tinge, reflecting their fiery nutrition. It has a great tendency of premature greying. The pitta hair may be oily and curly due to rapid growth.

Effects of Pitta on Weight

Pitta people neither gain a lot of weight nor do they lose weight very rapidly.
Pitta people neither gain a lot of weight nor do they lose weight very rapidly.

Pitta people are normally neither too thin (like vata) or too plump ( like kapha). They have a moderate body frame. They may have an athletic and impressive built.

Pitta people neither gain a lot of weight nor do they lose weight very rapidly. They have a rapid metabolism that helps them to burn the extra calories. Besides, they have to spend a reasonable amount of energy on keeping their bodies cool (sweating, etc.). Therefore, they can lose weight with moderate efforts.

Pitta Height

Pitta people have moderate height. With a high rate of metabolism, they quickly gain a reasonable height and the increase in their height stabilizes in the late teens. 

Pitta Characteristics on Digestion

best digestive capacity
best digestive capacity

Pitta people may have the best digestive capacity as their prakrati is born of fire itself. They may have unbearable hunger and thirst. Also, they can digest a large amount of food without indigestion.

Pitta people might be prone to gluttony due to their frequent hunger pangs, great appetite, and good digestive power.

However, they may not be able to tolerate hot spices like red chili. These extra hot spices might jeopardize their delicate temperature management system.

Characteristics of Pitta Prakriti on Sleep

Pitta people have a moderate amount of sleep. Their sleep may be deep and short or light and long. Sleep is an important cooling tool for their fiery body, therefore crucial for pitta people. They may develop a headache with a lack of adequate sleep.

moderate amount of sleep
moderate amount of sleep

Pitta Dosha Metabolic Pattern

Pitta people are the moderates! It means that they have moderate strength, moderate life span, and moderate physiology. Excess elements in their body are burnt by a fast rate of metabolism. However, they cannot do anything that may overheat their body.

That’s why they might easily feel tired with heavy exercise, exhausting manual, or mental work.

Pitta People’s Mind

short temper and scorching anger
short temper and scorching anger

The fire elements affect the pitta mind too. The pitta people have a brilliant mind and incredible grasping power, compared to other prakrati. They also have a sharp focus and learning acumen. Pitta prakrati people are blessed with high intellect and clarity of vision.

But the fire element also contributes to the downside of the pitta body type. That’s’ why pitta people are most vulnerable to burnouts. They may not be able to face pressing deadlines, constant work pressure, and drastic living conditions.

Pitta mind is prone to a short temper and scorching anger. They might completely lose their reason in a sudden fit of anger. Abrupt and violent behavior in a fit of rage is a defining characteristic of pitta people. However, later they may regret their actions.

Pitta Conduct

The normal conduct of pitta people is in moderation. Pitta people are generally well-behaved, sophisticated, and have a taste for refinement.  They are generally caring and thoughtful. As a nice little bonfire, they can keep you warm and comfortable. But when angry, pitta people can be as violent and destructive as a wildfire. 

Effects of Pitta on Disease Susceptibility

Pitta imbalance is the fundamental disease-causing factor in pitta prakrati. The majority of diseases in pitta prakrati emerge from excess heat in the body. This excess heat results in a burning effect on the tissues and leads to rapid degeneration.

This burning effect is distinct esp. in the pitta dominated sites or body parts – Umbilicus, Digestive tract, Sweat, Serum/Lymph, Blood, Chyle (the milky fluid formed after digestion), Eyes, and Sense of touch.

The Burning Effect

Let’s start with the chyle. The excess heat normally comes from a pitta aggravating diet or lifestyle. This heat denatures the proteins absorbed by the intestines.

Further, these denatured proteins travel throughout the body via rasa or the digested juices. As cells absorb and break down these proteins, the excess heat is released in body tissues and produces a pitta imbalance in various other body parts.

This is the first step of pitta imbalance. Now, let’s see how pitta imbalance affects other parts of the body, esp. pitta dominant sites.

The best way to release the excess heat is through the skin elimination route. Excretion of denatured proteins through the skin leads to acidic nutrition for both the skin and the hair. Therefore, pitta people may face early hair whitening.

This hair problem is a prominent feature in pitta prakrati. For the same reason, skin problems are more common in pitta prakrati as compared to other body types.

This excess heat is the reason for wrinkles, breakouts, acne, hives, flushes, etc. in the pitta dominant skin. Long-term pitta imbalance may lead to severe skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, cellulitis, lupus, etc.

Blood diseases like haemorrhagic disorder also emerge from this pitta imbalance.

Pitta people are also highly prone to

  • profuse sweating with a foul smell, 
  • acidity or heartburn, sourness in the mouth,
  • stomach ulcers,
  • intestinal inflammation,
  • irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • related inflammatory disorders in the digestive tract.
  • eye Inflammation
  • skin inflammation

In the case of pitta prakrati, the sense of touch (peripheral nervous system) becomes inflamed and hypersensitive. Therefore, Pitta people promptly develop skin inflammation as a symptom of other main disorders.

They also have severe allergic reactions as compared to other body types.

This short insight into the pitta prakrati is less than the tip of the iceberg. Numerous other factors and parameters are required to define a pitta prakrati.

However, I hope this article will bring you a basic understanding of the pitta body type and contribute to your health.  

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1 comment

The Kapha Prakriti : Characteristics and Effects of Kapha Body Type January 14, 2021 - 5:32 pm

[…] So, now we know that there are three primary types of prakrati or body types – vata, pitta, and kapha body type. In this blog, let us explore the kapha prakrati, the stable […]

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