The five Subdoshas of Pitta
In this article, we will tell you a little about the five Subdoshas of Pitta, which have specific areas of influence, yet are relatively unknown among Ayurveda enthusiasts.
Let us recall briefly: According to Ayurveda, our organism is controlled by three Doshas or fundamental qualities: Vata – connected with the wind and air properties of body and mind, Pitta – connected with fire and water, and Kapha – connected with earth and water. Each of us features a unique mix of these three Doshas, which regulate everything from our body shape to our digestion, sleep patterns, skin tone, and our emotions and intelligence.
Overall, Pitta Dosha is about transformation, heat and energy. Pitta represents all types of metabolic activity that generate energy. In turn, it is controlled by even subtler forces: predominantly by Agni, fire, and also somewhat by Jal, water. Pitta represents the ever-changing and evolutionary quality of our physiology, which may sometimes seem static, but in fact goes through countless transformations every second.
Always contact an experienced Maharishi Ayurvedic doctor for an accurate diagnosis of any concrete health conditions you may have.
A consultation will also provide you some help for choosing suitable food and lifestyle recommendations. Further, at the end of each Subdosha description we mention herbal food supplements that can be helpful.
The Five Subdoshas of Pitta
- Pachaka Pitta
- Ranjaka Pitta
- Sadhaka Pitta
- Alochaka Pitta
- Bhrajaka Pitta
1. Pachaka Pitta
Pachaka Pitta controls the stomach and plays a major role in all other parts of the digestive tract. As Ayurveda considers good digestive power the key factor for good health, Pachaka Pitta is the most important Subdosha.
It regulates the processing of nutrients – from the Ptyalin enzymes in our saliva to the final uptake of nutrients in the gut and excretion. When this Subdosha is too active or not active enough, nutrients from our food are not processed to completion and deposited in the form of Ama (metabolic residues).
Imbalance in Pachaka Pitta can have various consequences, ranging from slow digestion, occasional hyperacidity and acid stomach, to bloating, flatulence, and loss of appetite – depending on your own body-mind type and the current state of your Dosha constitution.
*The following herbal food supplements can help restore balance in the digestive system:
- Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
- Trikatu (mixture of ginger, black pepper and long pepper)
2. Ranjaka Pitta
Ranjaka Pitta resides in the internal organs responsible for the formation of plasma and blood cells, as well as their circulation through the liver, the spleen, the stomach, and the heart.
In Sanskrit, Ranjaka means “coloring agent”. This is the Subdosha that transforms Rasa Dhatu (plasma) into Rakta Dhatu, which is the blood.
Although Ranjaka Pitta is mainly responsible for the components of the blood and for its color, Ranjaka Pitta also produces all other pigments – whether it’s the coloring of urine and stool, the color of our hair and eyes, or the skin tone.
As with Bhrajaka Pitta, imbalance of Ranjaka Pitta can lead to skin problems and premature graying of the hair.
*Recommended herbal food supplements for disorders of this Subdosha:
- All preparations recommended for Bhrajaka Pitta
- together with Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa, a strong liver medicine from the Himalayas)
- Healthy hair and nails
3. Sadhaka Pitta
Sadhaka Pitta governs the brain and the heart and determines the digestion of emotions, life experiences, and stress.
Sadhaka Pitta helps us achieve our desires by energizing the mind, intellect, and ego. Therefore, this Pitta Subdosha is considered important for enriching the qualities of one’s own inner consciousness. It keeps the mind awake and alert, and it removes Tamas – emotional heaviness and darkness in the heart.
Brain and heart are very intimately connected, and an imbalance of Sadhaka Pitta prevents the unfolding of happiness in the heart.
For people with Sadhaka Pitta imbalance, it is often difficult to emotionally let go and to manage emotions. In our practice we call this “emotional Ama” or “emotional toxins”.
Balance in Sadhaka Pitta can be restored in many ways – primarily by stress reduction techniques such as Transcendental Meditation, yoga, and Pranayama (yogic breathing techniques).
*Some herbal food supplements for this: Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Brahmi, Guggul are very effective in protecting the heart. Pitta Balance is well suited to restore balance of Sadhaka Pitta.
4. Alochaka Pitta
Alochaka Pitta rules the visual organ, including the functioning of the rod and cone cells within the retina. The Sanskrit word “alochaka” comes from “lochana” which means the eyes, or literally: “that which sees or analyzes”. While this Subdosha mainly influences the organs of vision and their overall function, it also has other, more subtle effects.
In a deeper sense, Alochaka Pitta has the quality of distinguishing what is right and what is wrong. It provides clarity, understanding, and light. Those who have problems with this Subdosha can’t properly judge a person or situation. In Sanskrit, this is known as Pragyaparadha: the mistake of the intellect.
Because the eyes are governed by Alochaka Pitta, they have a strong Agneya (fiery) nature. This is why Ayurveda recommends protecting the eyes from heat. Once they are out of balance, problems like poor eyesight and recurring eye infections can come up.
Triphala is one of the best Rasayanas (tonic) for the eyes. It can even be applied locally, but only under proper guidance and supervision by an experienced Vaidya (Maharishi AyurVeda physician).
*Regular use of Triphala food supplements in tablet form helps to improve the vision and prevent the development of gray cataract and glaucoma. Triphala Plus and Amalaki (Amla fruit) are also highly recommended.
5. Bhrajaka Pitta
The Subdosha Bhrajaka Pitta controls the skin, its metabolism, and the sense of touch.
As we all know, the skin is the largest organ of our physiology. Bhrajaka Pitta rules this outermost protective covering of the whole body, which is exposed to all external stimuli, helps with the blood circulation and regulates the temperature. As the outermost part of our body, Bhrajaka Pitta Dosha is the first point of contact for the environment, be it a blizzard, hot sun, or dry weather. We experience all of these influences through the skin, which contains many structures such as capillaries, sebaceous glands, hair follicles, etc., which help retain moisture, give luster, regulate heat, and maintain color.
When this Subdosha gets out of balance, various skin problems can arise – from dryness to hypersensitivity, non-cystic acne, and other problems – depending on your Dosha predominance (Prakriti) or current imbalance (Vikriti).
Your skin can only be as healthy as your digestive power, however. In case of day-to-day sluggish activity of the intestines, no skincare product will improve the surface appearance. But in combination with good efforts to keep your internal organs healthy, you can use various herbal skincare products or food supplements to support Bhrajaka Pitta.
*Ayurvedic formulas such as Radiant Skin, AyurSkin Beauty, Triphala Plus, Livomap tablets and Digest Asava are particularly recommended for this Subdosha – as well as the juice of aloe vera. For a soothing external application, choose the type of massage oil and herbal soap that best suit your Ayurvedic constitution and disorders.
*The food supplements mentioned in this article can be ordered from:
Maharishi Ayurveda Europe B.V.
Postfach 12 80
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