In Hindu mythology, pitta is represented by Vishnu, the sustainer. Literally, pitta is defined as “that digests or transforms.” Recall that pitta is composed of fire and water, with more fire. Pitta qualities include hot, light, mobile, sharp, and flowing. Like fire transforms wood into heat and light energy, pitta transforms our food into nutrients, and our ideas into action.
Basically, pitta is the transformative force that breaks down everything and turns it into fuel to sustain life. Pitta governs the summertime, when everything is bright and active. Everyone has felt the ‘buzz’ of summertime that is part of pitta energy. Pitta sustains the life (flowers!) that was created in the spring with kapha energy.
In the body, pitta governs digestions and metabolism. It’s primary location is in the lower half of the stomach and small intestine, with secondary location in the blood, skin, sweat glands, liver and spleen. On a cellular level, pitta is responsible for cellular metabolism.
Ayurveda Pitta Dosha
- That which digests or transforms
- Governs our digestion and metabolism of food, sensory input/thoughts and emotions
- Physical Characteristics: medium build, freckles, sweaty hands and feet, rosy complexion
- Personality Characteristics: leaders, passionate, focused, organized, brave, competitive
When pitta is out of balance, the chief symptoms include fever, inflammation, and infection. Other signs of pitta excess include heartburn, rashes/acne, diarrhea, being judgmental/critical, and having a ‘hot temper’.