Pittaja Kasa – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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

Pittaja Kasa means cough produced by vitiated pitta. Due to the impact of pitta the cough is associated with burning sensation.

Causative factors

Excessive consumption of foods

  • pungent in taste
  • hot, corrosive in nature
  • sour in taste
  • alkaline
  • Excessive display of anger
  • excessive exposure to heat of fire
  • excessive exposure to the heat of sun
    Read – Charaka Kasa Chikitsa – 18th Chapter

Signs and Symptoms

  • expectoration of yellow colored phlegm following cough
  • after coughing for long duration (when cough persists for long duration), the patient feels shining objects like stars, fire flies, small flames etc coming in front of his eyes
  • expectoration of phlegm mixed with pitta  
  • hoarseness of voice, loss of voice
  • feeling as if smoke / fumes are being emitted from the chest
  • burning sensation in the chest (Sushruta)
  • yellowish discoloration of eyes
  • bitterness in the mouth
  • thirst
  • burning sensation
  • giddiness
  • anorexia
  • fever (Sushruta)
  • dryness of the mouth (Sushruta)
  • vomiting of yellow and bitter content
  • symptoms of anemia
  • delusion
    Read – Ayurvedic Home Remedy For Cough Due To Pitta Increase


Vamana – emesis therapy

If kapha is associated in pittaj cough, the patient should be given to drink ghee processed with emetic herbs and made to vomit.

Alternatively the person should be given with the decoction prepared from Madanaphala – Randia dumetorum, Kashmarya – Gmelina arborea and Licorice and made to vomit

Another emetic formulation – paste of equal quantity of Glycyrrhiza glabra and Randia dumetorum should be mixed thoroughly in the juice of sugarcane or Vidari – Pueraria tuberosa and made to vomit.

Sheeta Madhura Krama – cold and sweet comforts

Once the patient has vomited properly he should be fed with cold and sweet comforts in the form of thin and thick gruels for drinking.

Virechana – Purgation therapy

Association of thin kapha – In pittaj type of cough when there is lesser association of kapha or if the kapha is thin purgation should be given by mixing sugar or other sweet things with powder of Trivrit i.e. Operculina turpethum. After the thin kapha has been eliminated, cold and unctuous foods should be given.

Association of thick kapha – If the kapha is thick, the same powder of Operculina turpethum is given mixed with bitter tasting herbs to induce purgation. After the thick kapha is eliminated, cold and dry foods are given.

In both cases, in the later stages, oleation and confections should be administered.
Read – Easy Home Remedy For Cough With Trikatu


  1. Shringatakadi leha – prepared with –
  • Shringataka – Trapa bispinosa
  • Padma bija – seeds of Prunus cerasoides
  • Nila sara – extract of Indigofera tinctoria
  • Pippali – Piper longum

2. Pippalyadi leha – prepared with:

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Yashtimadhu – Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera
  • Murva – Marsdenia tenacissima
  • Shunti – Zingiber officinale

3. Lajadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Laja – parched grains / puffed corn
  • Amalaka – Emblica officinalis
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera
  • Twak – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Sita – sugar

4. Pippalyadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Padmaka – Prunus cerasoides
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera
  • Brihati – juice of Solanum indicum

5. Kharjuradi Leha – prepared with –

  • Kharjura – Phoenix dactylifera
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Vamshalochana – Bambusa bambos
  • Svadamshtra – Tribulus terrestris

The above said confections shall be mixed with ghee and honey and administered to the patients of pittaj kas.

6. Mridvikadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Mridvika – Vitis vinifera – 50 in number
  • Pippali – Piper longum – 30 in number
  • Sharkara – sugar – 48 grams

All these should be ground together, mixed with honey and consumed.

7. Tvagadi Leha – prepared with –

  • Tvak – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
  • Ela – Elettaria cardamomum
  • Ginger– Zingiber officinale
  • Maricha – Piper nigrum
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera
  • Pippalimula – Roots of Piper longum
  • Pushkaramula – Inula racemosa
  • Laja – puffed corn
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Shati – Curcuma zedoaria
  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Dhatri – Emblica officinalis
  • Bibhitaka – Terminalia bellirica
  • Sugar, Honey, Ghee

Benefits – this confection cures cough, dyspnea, hiccough, ematiation and heart diseases.

8. Pippalyadi leha – prepared with –

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Amalaki – Emblica officinalis
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera
  • Laksha – Laccifer lacca
  • Laja – puffed corn
  • Sitopala – sugar candy

All these are boiled in milk. When it gets cooled, one eighth honey is mixed and consumed.
Read – Ghee Home Remedy For Dry Cough

Kshirapaka – medicated milk

1. Sharadi Kshirapaka

Milk processed with the below mentioned ingredients should be mixed with honey and sugar and given to drink –

  • Kusha – Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Kasha – Saccharum spontaneum
  • Shara – Saccharum munja
  • Darbha – Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Ikshumula – roots of Saccharum officinarum
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Draksha – Vitis vinifera

2. Sthiradi Kshirapaka

Milk processed with the below mentioned ingredients is suitable for those suffering from pittaja kasa –

  • Sthira – Desmodium gangeticum
  • Sugar
  • Prishniparni – Uraria picta
  • Shravani – Sphaeranthus indicus
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum
  • Kantakari – Solanum xanthocarpum
  • Jivaka – Malaxis muscifera
  • Rshabhaka – Malaxis acuminata
  • Kakoli – Roscea procera
  • Bhumyamalaki – Phyllanthus niruri
  • Rddhi – Habenaria intermedia

Benefits – this milk recipe cures cough, fever, burning sensation and those who are emaciated due to trauma.
Read – Cow’s Milk Benefits According To Ayurveda

Medicated ghee

1. Sthiradi Ghrta

Ghee extracted from the same milk prepared with sthira etc herbs mentioned above shall also be used to treat cough of pitta origin.  

To that ghee, the below mentioned ingredients should be added, mixed thoroughly and made into tablets –

  • Sugar
  • Pippali – powder of Piper longum
  • Vamshalochana – Bambusa bambos
  • Maricha – Piper nigrum
  • Shringataka – Trapa bispinosa
  • Honey
  • Wheat

2. Mahisha Kshiradi Siddha Ghrta

Ghee prepared with the below mentioned ingredients is useful in pittaja cough –

Pathya – Diet

Syamaka – Echinocloa esculenta / Barnyard millet, Barley and Kodrava – Paspalum scrobiculatum can be taken with –

  • Meat soup of animals and birds living in desert like regions
  • Soup of green gram etc
  • Bitter tasting vegetables

If thick phlegm is expectorated, fats processed with bitter tasting herbs should be consumed mixed with honey. Cooked rice should be given to eat.

If thin phlegm is expectorated, rice prepared from paddy growing in sixty days i.e. shashtika rice should be given to eat along with meat soup of animals and birds living in desert like regions.

The following liquids shall be used as after drinks –

  • Sugar syrup
  • Juice of raisins
  • Sugarcane juice
  • Milk of cow
  • Any liquid which is sweet, cold and non-corrosive in nature

Meat soup and milk or soup processed with decoction of the below mentioned herbs should be given –

  • Kakoli – Roscea procera
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum
  • Meda – Polygonatum verticillatum
  • Mahameda – Polygonatum cirrifolium
  • Vasa – Adhatoda vasica
  • Nagara – Zingiber officinale

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