Tuesday, February 02, 2010


It was ridiculously cold and dry last week, and I've been suffering from the dry, itchy skin ever since.

It's the type of itch that wakes you up at night. And keeps you up.

Yesterday, while flipping through satellite radio channels, I came across an MD fielding a call about this condition.

He did not recommend taking long, hot Epsom salt baths (which is what I do most nights).

He did not recommend using lotion. Or ayurvedic soap.

Instead, he suggested taking a very short shower with lukewarm water, and not using soap at all.

I'm going to try it.... once all the yoga clothes hanging on the shower rod are dry.

Interestingly, the book I'm reading suggests that Pitta Dosha not indulge in hot baths, either. Instead, the water should be lukewarm. And mixed with condensed milk.

(Those with a Pitta imbalance should also take walks in the cooling moonlight - not the heating sunlight - and sniff rose oil [no wonder I've been loving the gulab incense lately]).

Change is in the air.


(from this excellent website, where you can look up your own dosha or body type).

-Medium physique, strong, well-built
-Sharp mind, good concentration powers
-Orderly, focused
-Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best; aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance
-Competitive, enjoy challenges
-Passionate and romantic; sexually have more vigor and endurance than Vatas, but less than Kaphas
-Strong digestion, strong appetite; get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal
-Like to be in command
-When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry
-Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily
-Hair usually fine and straight, tending toward blond or red, typically turns gray early; tendency toward baldness or thinning hair
-Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather; heat makes them very tired
-Perspire a lot
-Others may find them stubborn, pushy, opinionated
-Good public speakers; also capable of sharp, sarcastic, cutting speech
-Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian
-Like to spend money, surround themselves with beautiful objects
-Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger
-Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, hot sensations in the stomach or intestines, insomnia, bloodshot or burning eyes and other vision problems, anemia, jaundice.


-Angry, Irritable
-Hostile, Enraged, Destructive
-Critical of self and others
-Argumentative, Aggressive
-Bossy, controlling
-Frustrated, Willful, Reckless
-Acidity, heartburn, Stomach ulcer
-Fitful sleep, Disturbing dreams
-Diarrhea, Food allergies
-Bad breath, Sour body odor
-Very sensitive to heat, Hot flashes
-Skin rashes
-Bloodshot eyes
-Weakness due to low blood sugar
-Fevers, Night sweats
-Gets into fight with bank teller


  1. Gets into fight with bank teller!!! LOL!! Or how about: Gets into fight with the pushy man and the front desk at the stupid gym (in the former crunch space on north avenue) who TRIED to insist that I fill out a form and 'sign in' before he could tell me the prices for temporary (one or two months while I'm working at Steppenwolf) membership. Guess he doesn't need my business in this economy !!!

  2. Or: Irritated beyond belief when she notices a typo ("and" when she meant "at") that occured because she can't seem to preview posts (and quite often can't post at all) from her stupid BlackBerry! Can you tell I was just diagnosed with a Pitta imbalance last week! I'm now meditating for 20 minutes twice a day and eating 'cooling' foods. I guess I should also give up my nightly Epsom salt/Lavender OE bath...

  3. Arghhh! That would be EO - essential oil (not OE). Time to step away from the Blackberry...

  4. I'm so glad you caught it (the last line). It's been torture lately....

    I didn't think you were Pitta at all. Who knew?

  5. That was an interesting exercise. I had looked this up before but forgotten... perhaps because I'm predominantly vata... "Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget" (ha!). My "tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates" made the vata dosha even more obvious!

  6. We'll, when I say 'diagnosed' it sounds more official than it really was. It wasn't a pulse diagnosis. Just a friend...and the 'internets'.

    The last time I took a self-test (MANY years ago using a Deepak Chopra book, I was vata-pitta. I'm under a tremendous amount of stress lately though...

    What made me look into this again recently was that I started experiencing various skin eruptions and was suddenly having to apply anti-perspirant twice a day! My gut told me this was related to the incredible amount of unresolved anger I'm carrying around (literally erupting through my skin)...and that relief would come if I honored the mind/body connection.

    What dosha did you think I was?

  7. I had the kind of dry skin problem that you write about and the dermatologists were no use, the ayurvedic diet worked wonders though, but it is very strict, but my itchy dry skin dissapeared in two days of my going of nightshades, dairy products, coffee, white sugar, white flower, meat and fish. Very strict, but it made me totally better, since the itchyness was driving me mad. Lotion that contains evening primrose oil also helped calm the dry skin.

  8. Sounds like me, except for the spending money and surrounding myself with nice things part.