Our good friend Pitta Dosha is in charge of some of the most important aspects of our lives such as digestion (both in the intestines and the cells), metabolism, blood quality, thirst, appetite, eyesight, skin color and quality, body temperature and the mental abilities of intelligence and courage.
You can think of Pitta Dosha like liquid fire that digests what is eaten and drank and then transforms what is consumed into energy for the body to use in the aforementioned processes.
As you can imagine, when Pitta Dosha is either depleted or increased above the optimum level for the individual’s body, things begin to go wrong! It’s especially easy for Pitta Dosha to become too high during the summer months when it’s hot and people are typically spending more time outside in the sun.
So let’s say your Ayurvedic consultation clients (or even yourself!) have been eating spicy food and spending too much time out in the sun and are experiencing symptoms of imbalanced Pitta such as:
Luckily there are highly effective herbal remedies that balance Pitta Dosha and can help to heal these problems completely! While lifestyle changes such as a sattvic diet and schedule are also necessary for a whole body healing, medicinal help is needed for faster, more thorough balancing right down to the cellular level.
Let’s get started!
Mahatiktaka Ghritham is a powerful remedy with ghee as its base. The specific herbs for Mahatiktaka are decocted into the ghee for quick and easy absorption by the body. Mahatiktaka Ghrita actually balances all three Doshas, though it does so for Pitta Dosha in particular.
This ghritam is especially effective with your patients that have chronic diseases and problems stemming from a Pitta imbalance like the ones listed above, including heart diseases.
Typical dosage for Mahatiktaka Ghrita is from ½ of a teaspoon to 2 whole teaspoons (2 – 10 grams) with water before food once or twice a day. There are no known side effects associated with Mahatiktaka but over-dosage may cause diarrhea and indigestion, so (like always) exercise caution and your knowledge of the patient when prescribing amounts and frequency. (A Kapha type person may need to take a dose on the lower end of the spectrum because the heaviness and oiliness of the ghee in the ghrita may slow down and weaken their already sluggish digestion.)
For certain ailments a combination of Ayurvedic medicines is needed for faster healing. Mahatiktaka Ghrita is prescribed along with Manasmitra Vatakam to support the treatment of schizophrenia. Mahatiktaka can be taken in conjunction with Livokot Tablets to help heal liver disorders, and can be administered with both Mensokot and Ashoka Arishtam to help heal menorrhagia.
The other essential part of using herbal remedies for healing is prescribing a proper pathya for your patients. When taking Mahatiktaka (or when trying to decrease Pitta Dosha at all) avoid chilies, tamarind and spicy food in general, as this will aggravate the fire Dosha. A proper diet would include plenty of grounding ingredients like ghee, sweet potatoes and plantains as well as cooling foods like cucumbers and coconut water.
Amrita Arishtam is a liquid remedy that has about 5% self-generated alcohol in it, which helps it to quickly transport the healing qualities of its ingredients into the bloodstream. Amrita Arishtam is balancing for all three of the Doshas, but it has a particularly strong ability to balance Pitta Dosha. The main ingredient in Amrita is Guduchi, which is a potent immune-modulator. If your clients are suffering from chronic or frequent fevers, Amrita Arishtam is one of the best herbs to prescribe to prevent as well as stop fevers because of its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
A typical dosage for Amrita Arishtam is 2 ½ to 4 ½ teaspoons (12 – 24 ml.) taken after eating with an equal amount of water if the taste is too strong. A very high dose of 3 ½ tablespoons (about 50 ml) may cause stomach irritation so give careful dosing instructions to patients.
In combination with Haridra Khandam, Amrita Arishtam can help to heal Hay Fever and allergic rhinitis. Severe burning sensations and fevers can be remedied with Amrita and Pravala Bhasmam Capsules. Fevers stemming from a virus are best treated with a combination of Amrita Arishtam and Dhanwantaram Gulika Tablets.
In terms of a proper pathya, continuing to prescribe a diet without spicy food and pepper and spending too much time outside in the sun during midday is recommended for clients with high Pitta Dosha.
Punarnava Manduram is an herbal jam used in Ayurveda that balances all three of the Doshas, but particularly Pitta Dosha. Your clients with health problems such as anemia, splenomegaly, piles, chronic fevers, edema and indigestion will especially benefit from this leham.
A study done by the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry found that Punarnava “helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions with its diuretic, laxative, stomachic, diaphoretic, anthelminthic and anti-inflammatory action… Punarnava is bitter, cooling, astringent to bowels, useful in biliousness, blood impurities, leucorrhoea, anemia, inflammations, heart diseases and asthma.” The study went on to say that Punarnava’s leaves and seeds could help to heal dyspepsia, tumors and scabies, just to name a few.
Iron oxide is a main ingredient in Punarnava, so it is also a dependable source of iron for those of your clients who are deficient or who suffer from malabsorption syndrome and inflammatory diseases.
A typical dosage of Punarnava Manduram is ½ to 1 whole teaspoon (2 – 5 grams). It can be taken with buttermilk before or after food. Gastric irritation may occur if too high of a dose is prescribed.
Taking Punarnava in combination with using Nilibhringadi Coconut Oil on the scalp can reverse hair loss and prevent gray hair. Lohasindhuram combined with Punarnava supports the treatment of anemia. Punarnava is administered along with Acidact Tablets and Dhanwantaram Gulika Tablets to heal digestion problems.
These are just three Ayurvedic herbal combinations that can help to balance Pitta Dosha. There are many others to choose from that are also very effective. Keep in mind when wanting to calm Pitta Dosha that while Ayurvedic medicines are very important and often necessary for complete healing, following a proper pathya of cooling foods, daily meditation and calm activities is essential for both you and your clients.
Below we have included a short comprehensive chart for easier studying of the combinations we listed earlier in the article.
Now, it’s your turn! Comment below with any questions or comments about the information offered here or specific cases you have with yourself or your clients. Happy healing with Ayurveda!
Sattvic – Denoting foods and practices that are balancing and nourishing.
Pathya – A particular diet that is prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor in conjunction with natural medicines based on the idea that the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicine is highly influenced by diet.
Leham - Ayurvedic herbal jam
References & More Information
Bhowmik, Debjit, et al. "Traditional Indian Herbs Punarnava and Its Medicinal Importance." Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 1.1 (2012).
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Ahh, Kapha. A Dosha that we all have, made up of earth and water. It gives us many of our best human qualities, such as our grounding, stability and warm emotions. When in excess however, it can have negative consequences on our overall health.
To reduce or pacify kapha, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. To reduce Kapha, emphasize stimulation, exercise, lightening, warming and drying in your diet and lifestyle.