“Hi! Am having a tough time with dehydration/cooling off this summer. Wondering if there is a pitta pacifying product I can add to my water to help with this. I had been adding lemon juice, but a friend told me it aggravates pitta. Is this true?
Vaidya Mishra responds:
Dear Tamara, yes this is true that for a pitta type individual lemon juice can be pitta aggravating, however, we have very many tips for pitta pacification, specially, for this time of the year.
In the SVA tradition, we understand that pitta individuals, by nature, naturally receive more fire, more agni, more power of transformation from the environment. But what is “pitta”? According to the shastras, pitta dosha is made of fire and water: agni and jal. In SVA, we know that Pitta dosha is fire predominant, but we also understand that it contains liquid soma to balance its fire out. The fire and water together make up the pita, in other terms, the fuel, needed by the body, t perform its transformations. The liquid fuel that is needed to run things and transform gross physical material into energy and other forms, that is pitta. Pitta can get imbalanced by having either too much agni or too much soma.
When summer is here, and we are literally closer to the sun, there is naturally more agni in the environment. Summer time is pitta aggravating time, specially for pitta individuals. In general, all body types need to take care of their pitta dosha as well, but pitta individuals particularly so, as they receive agni more readily than vata and kapha types.
In the process of balancing and keep pitta dosha in check, many recipes and tips are given, but the channels are usually overlooked. In SVA, we pay great importance to the health and overall state of the physical and vibrational channels, the srota-s and nadi-s. Nothing will work, no dosha pacification or balancing will have an effect, unless the channels are in good condition and able to carry physical or subtle materials all over the body. I speak at great length about the channels in many of my articles and videotaped courses.
But practically speaking, in your case, the first thing you need to do is keep your vibrational and physical channels in balance, so that the fire in your body is able to be equally distributed, and evenly balanced in all organs and systems. When pitta is stuck due to narrow or blocked channels, it will accumulated in a location or an organ, cause and imbalance, and then your whole body becomes prone to further imbalance involving one or more doshas! In order to keep your channels in good health, DGL is your best friend! DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice – licorice from which the glycyrrhizin has been removed. Glycyrrhizin is the chief sweet-tasting constituent of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root. Structurally it is a saponin. The most widely reported side-effects of glycyrrhizin use is oedema (water retention). Vaidya Mishra explains that with water retention, we also retain toxins, or ama, so he recommends the use of of only DGL or Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, for its cooling and pitta pacifying properties.
What you should do to keep pitta dosha in check:
1) apply DGL roll-on or transdermal cream as well as SuperSport roll-on or transdermal cream on your lower spine at night. Do a quick massage for your arms and legs before shower – daily if possible, otherwise 3-4 times per week – with Pitta Oil with Magnesium.
2) Eat four to five times a day: as soon as you wake up, have stewed pears cooked with 1-2 cloves. If you don’t like sweets (sometimes high pitta people prefer to have protein in the morning) then you can have eggs if you are not vegetarian; otherwise some fresh home-made paneer cooked with a pitta pacifying masala mix. This will be your pre-breakfast meal. Then have full breakfast with for example: almond milk, quinoa flakes along with rose petal preserve (1 tsp.).
3) Rose is your next best friend as a high pitta! Rose pacifies all five pitta sub-doshas: ranjak, pachak, sadhak, bhrajak, alochak. You can adopt my SVA pitta tea which is balanced to cool off pitta without freezing agni. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the pitta tea mixture to 6 ounces of water, bring to a boil, cool off, and drink.
4) Eat lots of pitta pacifying foods, like: zucchini or summer squash; adopt all coconut recipes – see my SVA Health channel on YouTube; have fresh coconut water from a mature coconut – not the young green ones.
5) Make all your meals pitta pacifying by using pitta balancing ingredients and spices. Use SVA Pitta Masala – you can dry pre-toast this and carry with you and sprinkle on food you eat.
6) During summertimes, make sure you to regularly consume a rehydration drink – see my recipe below.
7) Otherwise: try to avoid exposure to sunlight during the hot hours of the day – between 10am and 2pm. You can also use my SVA Surya Shanti cream before going out, it contains sandalwood along other ingredients to keep you cool inside out.
8) Wear sunglasses, preferably polarized, to protect your eyes from the sun and keep alochak pitta in check.
9) Don’t eat your lunch past twelve o’clock. Before lunch and dinner, in between meals, carry and eat sweet juicy fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, etc.
10) Sprinkle Soma Salt and Mum’s Masala on your food. Soma Salt is the most cooling of all salts. Salt can be highly pitta aggravating yet it is a necessary ingredient, and supports digestion as well. Soma Salt will give you the benefits without the aggravation. Mum’s Masala will help keep your metabolism on track. The most immediate imbalance that most pitta individuals experience is high pitta low agni, where you experience appetite without satiation and keep craving different tastes but are not able to satisfy yourself. Mum’s Masala will keep thing in check.
11) Make sure to have enough protein: for dinner, after a hot day, it is highly balancing for a pitta type to consume a good easy to digest nourishing protein dish. Try my Green Protein Recipe, cooked with paneer or chicken; or any chicken dish cooked with pitta masala. As a high pitta, you have to feed yourself enough protein to keep things cool in your body. When you use a good pitta balancing masala along with protein, you target all five pitta sub-doshas.
12) Do not delay dinner: eat early dinner, but don’t forget to drink at least 4 oz of milk before bed. You can blend it with a date. Otherwise you can also do a glass of fresh almond milk with 1/2 tsp. of rose petal preserve before going to bed. Do not add the SVA Rose Petal Preserve to milk as it will curdle it. My Rose preserve recipe is made to balance pitta and vata so it contains some sour elements that may curdle the milk.
12) Vetiver is a wonderful aromatic herb used for cooling in the summer time. You can use the SVA Vetiver soap to cool down your cellular system, particularly at night after a long hot day.
Pitta season or the summer season could be very tough for pitta predominant people, or pitta aggravated people. By following some or all of these tips, you will not only “conquer” the summer season, but you will actually enjoy it. Your open channels will receive agni, but you will receive and carry enough soma to cool and nurture your physiology. Even in the summer time there is a lot of soma prana available to us at night after the sun sets. This way, both soma and agni energies will support each other, and because soma is main raw material for ojas (watch video here) your body will make lots of ojas. Soma is the raw material for ojas, and agni is the power of transformation. So aim for making lots of ojas this summer!
Raw material for Ojas is Soma.
Origin: From every transformational gaps, from the sukshma bhag of sukra and directly transferred from soma to ojas by dehaagni.
Srota and Circulation: Ovaha Srotas
Types of ojas: Param and Apar Ojas
Functions: Ojas is the connecting factor between every organ and system, connecting the inner physiology and the outer world; vital functions of the heart: Param Ojas is the glue between the Soul and the heart; keeps vata, pitta and kapha in balance.
Pachaka Pitta: Helps digest food; that is the main subdosha for pitta, and that it is located in the stomach. Pachaka Pitta is the fuel for pachaka agni (also called jatharagni), the flame that will “cook” the food. Wherever there is pitta there is a “burner”, which is sandhi, a transformational gap where all transfomation actually takes place; in other words, it is the place where liquid pitta – which has been traveling in the body in the form of fuel ( i.e liquid soma + agni ) – is transformed for the “burner” or sandhi, into the “flame” of pure fire, agni – specifically, in the stomach into pachaka agni, which is needed to cook the food. The burner has the power to automatically produce the quantity of flame needed, and the sandhi or burner is transforming the liquid pitta in the form of fuel into flame. The food is then cooked by the “flame” (i.e, not by the liquid pitta, the fuel)
Ranjaka Pitta: Ranjaka Pitta is the fuel for the liver, and it has 5 burners or agnis. After the process of digestion of ahar, food, the plasma – or rasa dhatu - is formed. The plasma is then “vibrationally recharged,” thereby giving the vibrational raga or “melody” to the blood – specific for that person. In other words, ranjaka pitta transforms the plasma to make blood containing the vibrationally intelligent attributes specific to that individual (e.g their blood type and other specific blood factors).
Sadhaka Pitta : is the emotional pitta that helps us to transform or digest our emotional challenges by providing the sangyan, awareness. Sadhaka also means sadhana (spiritual practice), so sadhaka pitta has both emotional as well as spiritual aspects.
Alochak Pitta : it is located in the eyes and helps you to see and feel – not just the physical sight – it is “seeing” or clearly perceiving what is real from the depth of your Consciousness. This governs the entire system of sight and perception, and it also connects us with the Light of the Soul and the mind. It connects what we see outside with the Sattva and the mind; for example, if we see a tiger and a statue of one, the actual tiger will give us the actual perception of the tiger and the statue will tell us you of its essence – this is what alochaka pitta provides for us.
Bhrajaka Pitta: Vaidya calls brajaka pitta “cellular pitta,” because it also helps to transform the cellular system. When brajaka pitta gets aggravated by anything irritating – either synthetic or natural – shleshaka kapha helps to cool and lubricate the skin and cellular system, in order to try to pacify this aggravation. That is because when bhrajaka pitta is high, it can burn shleshaka kapha, thereby causing vyana vata to become aggravated and out of control. Thus, high bhrajaka pitta causes burning, it burns shleshaka kapha, creating a condition of dryness and itching of the skin.
Re hydration Drink
1 tbsp. organic raw sugar
1/8 tsp. soma salt
1/8 tsp. roasted ground cumin
Juice of 1 whole lime
6 chopped peppermint leaves
2 pinches of nutmeg powder
Instructions: Mix altogether and drink.