How To Balance Pitta Kapha Dosha? 6 Factors To Consider

Pitta and Kapha Doshas are quite opposite to each other. Pitta can be compared to a liquid fire. Kapha can be compared to cold water. When these two Doshas are increased together in the body, many aspects need consideration to bring about Tridosha balance. Let us analyze. 

Qualities of Pitta and Kapha Dosha

Pitta has slight oiliness, hotness, lightness,  piercing, smell, movement (fluidity) and liquid qualities.
Kapha has oiliness, cold, heavy, mild, viscous, smooth, clear, slimy, stability and immobility qualities.

Similar qualities – oiliness. Hence all food and activities that promote oiliness should be avoided. Example: Massage, fried food etc.

Opposing qualities – 
Hotness of Pitta Vs Coldness of Kapha
Lightness of Pitta Vs Heaviness of Kapha
Fluidity of Pitta Vs Viscosity of Kapha
So, a balance needs to be established between these qualities to achieve success in treatment.

Panchakarma logic on site of Tridosha

Kapha resides in stomach and Pitta resides in duodenum and intestines. In Vamana treatment (vomiting therapy for Kapha Dosha), we have seen that Pitta Dosha is eliminated out at the end of the procedure. So, Vamana treatment is good for Kapha but it also can eliminate some Pitta. Hence it is the Panchakarma treatment of choice to balance Pitta Kapha Dosha.

place of tridosha

If you try to do Virechana (purgation treatment for Pitta Dosha), of course, you will successfully eliminate Pitta Dosha, but Kapha has to travel all along the small and large intestines to get eliminated. So it may get stuck in small intestines, harming the digestion strength leading to indigestion, ‘ama’ formation which would further worsen the disease.

If Pitta is quite dominant, first Vamana procedure, and then Virechana Panchakarma treatment.

Taste and Doshas

Suitable tastes to decrease Pitta and Kapha –
Sour, salt and pungent tastes increase Pitta.
Sweet, sour and salty tastes increase Kapha.
Astringent, Bitter and Sweet tastes decrease Pitta.
Pungent, Bitter and Astringent tastes decrease Kapha.

So, we can see that sour should be definitely avoided here because it increases both Pitta and Kapha Doshas.
But we can have bitter and astringent tastes because both these decrease Pitta and Kapha Doshas. So, the choice of herbs is quite huge.

Seasonal regimen recommendation

When Kapha and Pitta are imbalanced, then Autumn regimen is suitable to follow.
Logic – During the rainy season, there is cold and in autumn, the cloud gets cleared and there are sharp Sun rays. So, autumn represents both coldness (Kapha) and hotness (Pitta).

Here are the highlights of autumn regimen
Tikta ghrita (medicated ghee recipe described in the treatment of skin diseases) is recommended.
Bitter and astringent tastes are recommended.
Easily digestible foods such as Rice, green gram, sugar, Amla, Pointed gourd, honey and meat of animals of desert-like lands are recommended.

Green gram is coolant, astringent, sweet, easy to digest and balances Kapha and Pitta.
Pigeon pea (Adhaki – Cajanus cajan)
Chickpea (Bengal gram), Lentil and grass pea – soup of these is useful in balancing Kapha and Pitta. Even the external application of these, in the form of ointment, is also very useful to balance these two Doshas.
During evening, anointing the body with the paste of Sandalwood, Cus Cus grass, Camphor, wearing garlands of pearls and shining dress and enjoying the moonlight is advised.

Avoid exposure to snow (mist), indulgence in alkaline substances, satiation with a hearty meal, use of curds, oil, muscle fat, exposure to sunlight, strong liquors, sleeping at day time and the eastern breeze.

Read more about all seasonal regimens

Medicines and herbs

Other medicines and herbs that can balance both Pitta and kapha Dosha
Herbs of Patoladi group –
Patola – pointed gourd, Trichosanthes dioica
Triphala –
Amla – Emblica officinalis
Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
Vibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica
Arishta – Nimba – Neem – Azadirachta indica
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
Dhavani – Solanum indicum
Vrisha – Vasa – Adhatoda vasica
Karanja – Pongamia pinnata

Herbs that balance Pitta and Kapha –
Cow-pea – (Raja Masha)
Edible Camphor – Cinnamomum camphora
Lotus – Nelumbo nucifera
Ivy gourd leaves
Ridge gourd
Flower of Radish
Red sandalwood – Raktachandan – Pterocarpus santalinus
Henna – Lawsonia inermis
Jasmine flower
White Water lily – Kumuda
Shankhapushpi – Convolvulus pluricaulis
Venuyava – bamboo seed
Sprout of Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari Ankura)
Trivrit – Operculina Turpethum
Dhava – Anogeissus latifolia
Arjuna – Terminalia arjuna
Gotu kola, tender shoots of Vetra (Salix caprea),
Neem, bittergourd,
Kuchela (Cissampelos pareira Linn),Vanatiktaka (Cyclea peltata),
Karkotaka (Momordica dioica Roxb), Avaluguja (Psoralea corylifolia Linn),
Patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina Linn),
Shakuladani – Picrorhiza kurroa,
Flowers of Vasa (Adhotoda Vasica Nees), Sharngestha,
Kembuka, Katillaka (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn),
Nadi, round variety of Kalaya (Lathyrus aphacea Linn),
Gojihva (Onosma bractiatum Wall), Vartaka (Solanum melongena Linn),
Tilaparni (Gynandropsis Gynandra Bripuet),
Bakula – Mimuspos elengi flowers and fruits
Karkasha, Parpataka(Fumaria Parviflora Lam)
Flower of Gambhari – Gmelina arborea
Danti – Baliospermum montanum
Musta – Cyperus rotundus
Ativisha – Aconitum heterophyllum
Daruharidra – Berberis aristata
Nagakesar – Mesua ferrea
Satyanasi – Argemone mexicana
Wild Mango (Hog Plum) – Spondias pinnata
Punnaga – Alexandrian laurel – Calophyllum inophyllum
Tamala – Indian Gambose tree – Garcinia morella
Latakasturi – Abelmoschus moschatus 
Pareesha – Portia tree bark – Thespesia populnea
Muchakunda –  Pterospermum diversifolium flower (Bayur tree)
Gangeruki – Grewia tenax 
Dhanvana – Grewia tiliaefolia Vahl
Myrrh – Bola
Bark of Shallaki – Boswellia serrata
Bark, root, flower and fresh shoots of mango tree
Ripe Fruit of Tinduka – Tendu Phal – Diospyros tomentosa
Agastya – Sesbania grandiflora
Jayanti – Sesbania sesban
Shanapuspi – Crotalaria verrucosa
Ashmantaka – Ficus rumphii
Asana – Vijaysar – Pterocarpus marsupium
Patranga – Caesalpinia sappan
Kutki with sugar candy
 is a useful remedy for fever of Pitta Kapha imbalance.
Shyamaka (Setaria italica Beauv) and Koradusha (Paspalum Scrobiculatum Linn) balance Pitta and Kapha (reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27/16)
Fruit of Priyangu – Callicarpa macrophylla

Herbs to avoid

Herbs to avoid during Kapha Pitta increase –
Black gram, sesame seeds, unripe mango, unripe grapes, sour grapes.
Unripe Jungli aam – Wild Mango (Hog Plum) – Spondias pinnata
Sheep milk is best avoided, because, of all the substances that increase Pitta and Kapha dosha, sheep milk is the best.
Vrukshamla – Kokum – Garcinia indica
Atasi – Linseed (flaxseed)
Sour fruits like sour Tamarind
Tintideeka – Rhus parviflora

11 comments on “How To Balance Pitta Kapha Dosha? 6 Factors To Consider

  • ranjita sachdeva

    07/08/2013 - 3:11 pm

    want to reduce weight with safe mode please help me

    Reply to comment
  • tarun

    09/11/2013 - 6:44 pm

    Sir, what to do when all the doshas are acting simultaneously ?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      12/11/2013 - 10:24 am

      Consult your doctor. 😛
      Sorry for a blunt answer. Because, when all the three are imbalanced, we need to pick the one which is causing more trouble and have to treat that first. Thanks for an article idea. I will write in detail.

      Reply to comment
      • tarun

        12/11/2013 - 7:23 pm

        What to do when the doctors are fooling us around ? In my case I was having acidity issues like burning sensation, cramping in the abdomen area due to gastric trouble I think which allopathic doctors say is an acidity issue. They say vata is not the problem. Also, I had recursive cough generation problem too. But when I started taking medicines on my own I found out most of the time my body behaved differently. When I had severe cold then I took warm things. After that it became a problem of lot of heat in the stomach & then I began to give coolants etc. I just tried to understand what my body is demanding & behaved according to that. I don’t dwelve too much into tridosha also as all the doshas are present in each & every body. It’s just that we have to attain the equilibrium. When we attain the equilibrium then no problem is there

        Reply to comment
  • Gary

    26/10/2014 - 5:21 pm

    Indeed, as vegetarianism is controversial to those that do not want to understand ayurveda, there are other topics more so. Like it is mentioned for kapha, as well as Aristotle saying there is nothing better for reducing phlegm, sex.

    Reply to comment
  • Shubham

    05/11/2016 - 5:39 pm

    Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    What is the benefit of soaking legumes/daals before cooking. Is there any reference / advice in Ayureveda on same.

    How long should soaking be done for small daals.


    Reply to comment
  • Manisha

    14/07/2017 - 11:39 am

    I suffer from scalp psoriasis n migraine what are the dos n donts that I need to follow

    Reply to comment
  • Hardik

    15/01/2018 - 10:34 pm

    I have hair loss, and in all counts it matches with the symptoms of pita based hair loss i.e slightly red tint hair, few grey hair strands, excess face/scalp sweating, thinning of hair etc. Hence I believe it is pitta related hair loss. What is the method to eliminate pitta from the scalp. What are the medicines/asavas/kashyam to be taken.Kindly suggest.

    Reply to comment
  • Sanket

    30/08/2020 - 12:13 am

    Hello Hardik , I too am facing with such issues . Kindly let me know if you have been cured with your dosha and through what medications/process . thanks

    Reply to comment

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