Pitha represents the fire element of the Panchamahabhuthas. It takes care of many physiological functions such as digestion and metabolism, hunger and thirst, hormonal functioning etc. Heat, oily, fluidity, pungent, sour etc. relates to the Pitha Dosha.
Though Pitha is catabolic in nature, anabolic transformations are also under its control. Heat, sharpness, liquidity, slight unctuousness, acrid taste and fluidity form the inherent natural qualities of Pitha. It is responsible for regulating the body temperature and helping visual perception. It gives the skin its complexion, luster and softness. It is also the provider of intelligence, will power and courage.
Pitha acts as the main factor behind good health and is the one which brings together the functions of the three body humours.
The distribution is prominent in the abdominal region. Navel, sweat, lymph, blood, eyes, skin are the important sites of Pitha. Of these, navel is the main site of Pitha.
It increases in midday, midnight, youth, and during the second or active phase of digestion. It accumulates during the rainy season, aggravates in autumn and subsides in the early winter.
Aggravated Pitha results in:
Manifestation of any of these symptoms indicates that Pitha is involved in its pathology. Virechana or induced vomiting is one of the most effective remedy for aggravated Pitha. Intake of ghee is also recommended.
Low Pitha can slow down activities related to Pitha, affect the digestive system, make the body susceptible to cold and affect the skin texture. Medicines and diet which can increase Pitha are recommended in such a case.
Divisions of Pitha
Pachaka: The most important form of Pitha, Pachaka Pitha is located in the stomach and the large intestine. Its main function is digestion.
Ranjaka: This Pitha helps in the formation of blood from Rasa or the absorbed essence of digested food. It is located in the liver, spleen and stomach.
Sadhaka: Located in the heart or the mind of a person, this Pitha helps in keeping the mind away from negative thoughts and inducing intelligence, perception, self-confidence, memory and understanding.
Alochaka: The main site of Alochaka is the eye and is responsible for the changes happening when light falls on the retina and assisting vision.
Bhrajaka: It is located in the tvak or skin. It imparts lustre to the skin. The term itself means that which is responsible for shining.