Pitta Kshaya Lakshana – Signs And Symptoms Of Pitta Decrease

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S


Kshaya is a pathological state in which there is decrease in quality, quantity and or functioning of the elements of the body. 

Dosha kshaya is a condition in which there is pathological decrease of dosha. Dosha Kshaya is a type of dosha dushti or dosha vitiation. Kshaya (decrease or depletion), sthana (normalcy, balance) and vriddhi (increase) have been said to be a triplet of dosha gati (status of doshas) among which kshaya and vriddhi are pathological. Dosha vriddhi leads to causation of diseases while kshaya of dosha doesn’t.

Dosha kshaya will manifest in the form of signs and symptoms of depletion. Though it doesn’t cause disease, it will definitely cause imbalance of the functions of the decreased dosha. On the other hand while one dosha undergoes decrease, the other doshas may undergo increase and cause diseases.
Related reading: Vata increase symptoms – Vata Vruddi Lakshana

Pitta Kshaya

Pitta Kshaya – pathological decrease of pitta
Decrease of Pitta is also a type of pathology. Pitta Kshaya takes on daily basis as also vriddhi. This type of pitta kshaya taking place on daily basis occurs only in the form of minor and temporary deflections. This auto-corrects with consumption of balanced food and lifestyle changes. But when pitta kshaya continues for longer duration it might produce some disturbances especially decrease or disturbances in the normal functioning of pitta. Pitta kshaya also will cause relative imbalance of vata and kapha and also will effect in functional disturbances of those two doshas also (since balance of all the doshas i.e. dosha samya contributes to comprehensive and balanced health).

Thus, Pitta Kshaya might not produce serious symptoms or diseases but will produce the symptoms of ‘functional deterioration’ of Pitta.
Read related: Pitta increase symptoms – Pitta Vruddhi Lakshana

Pitta Kshaya Lakshanas

How to know that pitta kshaya has occurred?
Increase or decrease of doshas are manifested by the symptoms of increase (vriddhi laksanas) and decrease (kshaya lakshanas) respectively.

Pitta kshaya or decrease in pitta too is manifested in the form of kshaya laksanas i.e. symptoms of pitta decrease. These symptoms help in identification of pitta kshaya i.e. to know that pitta has decreased in the body.

पित्त क्षये मन्द ऊष्म अग्निता निष्प्रभता च॥सु.सू.१५/७॥
पित्ते (क्षीणे) मन्दो अनलः शीतं प्रभा हानिः॥अ.हृ.सू.११/१६॥

Pitta kshaya lakshanas are as below mentioned –
Manda agnita, Manda anala – weakness of digestive fire, sluggish digestion, indigestion,
Manda Ushmata – decrease of body temperature (hypothermia)
Sheeta – feeling of excessive coldness in the body
Nishprabhata, Prabha Hani – lack of body luster, lusterless appearance
Read related: Natural Dosha Increase During Day And Night


Manda Agnita, Manda Anala, Agnimandya

Pitta represents fire, sun and heat in the body. Therefore all heat related activities like metabolism, propulsion of materials, digestion, feel of appetite, aggression, anger, drive and enthusiasm to work, vision, circulation, appearance (color, complexion, luster) etc are dependent on normalcy of pitta.

There are 13 types of agni or fire in the body. They are all controlled by the jatharagni or kayagni, the belly fire which is responsible for primary digestion of food. All these fires are in the form of pitta in the body.

When the Kayagni and its representative Pachaka Pitta are intact and balanced, they help in proper digestion of food. They also help in segregation of nutrients and waste products after digestion, absorption and utilization of digested food. This digested food or essence of digestion i.e. ahara rasa reaches the tissues of the body, it is further processed into body components by the action of dhatwagnis (tissue fires) and bhutagnis (fires of forces of nature).

When the pachaka pitta gets increased, there is a relative increase of other agnis or pittas in the body leading to hyper functioning of pitta leading to inflammatory changes and burnouts in all the tissues and cells in the body. Similarly when the pachaka pitta gets decreased, the other agnis or pittas also deteriorate. When the governing or sub-types of agnis present all over the body gets sluggish all the functions and conversions in the body (tissues) will decrease. This leads to accumulation of unwanted and unprocessed substances in the body (ama). This will further lead to multiple blocks in the channels (srotases) of the body leading to deficit nutrition which will further damage the tissues leading to lowered immunity.

Thus mandagnita or agni mandhya (low digestive fire, decreased digestion) is one of the earlier indications of low pitta or pitta kshaya. This is mainly due to decrease in Pachaka Pitta and Ranjaka Pitta.
Read related: Sub Types Of Pitta Dosha – Importance, Salient Features

Manda Ushmata, Sheeta
As pitta represents the heat component and heat realted activities in the body, reduced pitta leads to decreased body heat (lower than normal) or feeling of abnormal coldness in the body. Abnormal decrease in heat leads to sluggish metabolism and lowered immunity. Absence of heat is considered as the sign of death (shante agnihi mriyate). This is mainly due to decrease in pachaka pitta, ranjaka pitta and bhrajaka pitta.

Prabha Hani –
The luster to the body is provided by skin and its appearance, and this happens through the bhrajaka pitta located in skin. The health of bhrajaka pitta reflects good luster and when there is deterioration of bhrajaka pitta, the luster is lost and the person looks pale and pathetic. Along with this, the other subtypes of pitta also might have undergone decrease i.e. pachaka, ranjaka and sadhaka pitta too contribute to loss of luster.
Read related: Decrease, Balance And Increase Of Doshas – Kshaya, Sthana, Vruddhi

Effect on Pitta sub types

Effect of Pitta Kshay on Pitta Subtypes
Kshaya of pitta subtypes can lead to many disturbances and imbalances as mentioned below –

  • Decrease or deficiency of pachaka pitta may lead to digestive disorders
  • Decrease of ranjaka pitta may lead to digestive disorders and blood related disorders, disorders of liver and spleen and circulatory disorders
  • Decrease of alochaka pitta may lead to vision (eye) disorders
  • Decrease of bhrajaka pitta may lead to skin disorders and thermal imbalance
  • Decrease of sadhaka pitta may lead to disorders of thought processing, memory and intelligence

Management of Pitta Kshaya

तत्र पित्त क्षये स्व योनि विवर्धनानि एव प्रतीकारः॥सु.सू.१५/८॥
To combat pitta kshaya, swa yoni vivardhana should be done, i.e. pitta increasing foods and medicines which are agneya in nature (having tendency to increase pitta and agni) and pitta increasing activities should be administered.


Importance of having knowledge of pitta kshaya
Knowledge of pitta kshaya helps in understanding the qualitative, quantitative and functional imbalances (decrease in quality, quantity and normal functions of pitta) and addressing them accordingly.
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