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Pitta summer wellbeing guide

The winds of change are regularly upon us, the seasons consistently roll from one into another. Ayurvedic medicine recognises that this has a profound effect on our health and recommends many helpful suggestions for how we can adapt our lifestyle to stay balanced in each season. Each individual is unique with an equally unique doshic balance.

The pitta dosha embodies the principles of passion and metabolism and is brimming with vitality. It handles all potential energy within the body, controlling digestion, metabolism and the overall production of cellular energy. The pitta dosha is made up of fire and water elements, a bit like a raging volcano. Its primary activity within the body and mind is that of transformation, the force for all metabolic activity.

Pitta is the dosha most affected by the summer season, because this is the season with the highest levels of heat and therefore fire. It can be very easy for pitta to run out of control on a hot sunny day. When a pitta becomes out of balance they suffer from characteristically ‘hot’ conditions such as heartburn, high blood pressure, fevers and skin rashes. You may also notice a change in their temperament, becoming more irritated, angry and frustrated in the ‘heat of the moment’.

Here are some top tips to help keep a pitta nice and cool:

  • Avoid foods that increase heat such as those with a pungent, salty and sour flavor. As heat tends to peak during the middle of the day, try and avoid these flavors completely at lunch time. Instead, increase sweet, bitter and astringent foods in addition to cooling drinks
  • Introducing a daily, calming massage with relaxing but cooling oils such as almond or coconut oil to release any pent-up heat
  • Practice a short daily meditative practice that will help calm any heightened levels of anger, irritation or frustration

Pitta can generally be alleviated by clearing heat from the digestive system. So, some herbal heroes that will help keep excess pitta in check would be cooling but also cleansing herbs such as aloe vera, wheat grass and spirulina. Pairing this with cooling but also calming herbal teas that contain herbs such as rose, peppermint, coriander and aloe vera will help to keep the pitta under control. Try, Pukka Clean Greens, Aloe Vera Juice, Juicy Wheat Grass, Essential Spirulina and Pukka teas like Mint Refresh, Love, Peppermint & Licorice, Three Mint, Three Fennel and Cleanse.

The best way to understand what your dosha needs at the start of each new season is to observe the world around you. Take in your immediate environment, is it hot, cold, dry or damp? What are your principle doshic elements and are they going to be tipped in or out of balance by your surrounding environment. The key is to stay one step ahead by reducing the quality now that will be imbalanced in the next season.

Meet the author

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Katie Pande, Senior Herbal Advisor

Katie is a qualified Medical Herbalist, and member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), currently practicing in Shaftesbury. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Herbal Medicine and a BSc (Hons) in Plant and Environmental Biology.

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