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.
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
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
Flower of Radish
Red sandalwood – Raktachandan – Pterocarpus santalinus
Henna – Lawsonia inermis
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),
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