Qualities reflecting the elements of Fire and Water
Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks.”
It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body that functions through carrier
substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. While Pitta is most closely
related to the element of Fire, it is the liquid nature of these substances that accounts for the
element of Water in Pitta’s make-up.
The qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid, and acidic. A Pitta individual will
display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and
The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas,
blood, eyes, and sweat. Physiologically, Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through
the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and
transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage,
willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the
intellect. When a person has a tendency to “overheat,” excess Pitta is usually the culprit. Just as
a campfire may turn into a forest fire without proper care, the internal fire of the mind and
body must be kept in check.
The balanced Pitta individual is blessed with a joyful disposition, a sharp intellect, and
tremendous courage and drive. As the fire of the mind and body becomes unruly, however,
the laughing Pitta quickly becomes the yelling Pitta. Anger, rage, and ego replace Pitta’s
positive attributes, leaving an individual who is bitter with life and overbearing towards
others. There is a saying that imbalanced Pitta individuals don’t go to hell; they simply create
it wherever they go! Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body as infection,
inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.
Ways to Balance Pitta
Key Words to Remember: Cooling, Calming, Moderation
- Eat a Pitta-balancing diet.
- Eat in a peaceful environment.
- Avoid artificial stimulants.
- Engage in calming activities, like spending time in nature.
- Meditate daily.
- Do calming physical exercise, such as yoga, swimming, tai chi, or walking.
Ways Pitta Becomes Imbalanced
- Eating Pitta-aggravating food
- Eating while angry
- Drinking coffee, black tea, or alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes
- Being overly competitive