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Amlapitta – Meaning, Symptoms, Types, Prognosis

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

The pitta which is sour or has developed sour taste due to it being burnt is called as amlapitta. The word amlapitta can be split into 2 components – Amla = sour; Pitta = pitta

Types of Pitta

Pitta is of two types.
Prakrita / Avikrta Pitta – means normal pitta, pitta which is in a state of qualitative and quantitative balance.
Vidagdha / Vikrta Pitta – means burnt or contaminated pitta.

According to Master Sushruta – the taste of prakrta pitta is pungent / bitter. The taste of vidagdha pitta is sour. This means to tell that if pitta gets burnt due to certain etiological factors its taste gets transferred from pungent to sour. This pitta which has developed an abnormal taste i.e. sour taste is called as ‘amla pitta’ i.e. sour pitta.
Read – Fruitful Ayurvedic Remedies For Gastritis

Etiological factors, Pathogenesis of amlapitta

Backdrop for pitta aggravation – Monsoon season is the season for accumulation of pitta and in the following season i.e in Autumn season pitta gets aggravated. If pitta is not taken care of in the monsoon season, it gains abnormal increase and tends to produce diseases in the autumn season. The nature will anyhow have its influence on pitta naturally. Along with this if the person consumes etiological factors which tend to increase pitta, inclusive of foods and lifestyle practices, pitta aggravation will take place in severe form.
Read – 19 Ayurveda Health Tips For Rainy Season

Etiology of amlapitta

  • Viruddha pana anna – foods and drinks of mutually opposite / antagonistic nature (qualities)
  • Dushta pana anna – contaminated foods and drinks
  • Amla pana anna – sour foods and drinks
  • Vidahi pana anna – foods and drinks which are corrosive in nature
  • Pitta prakopi pana anna – foods and drinks which tend to increase pitta to abnormal proportions
    Read – Lifestyle, Food And Factors That Cause Pitta Dosha Increase

Pathogenesis of amlapitta

Accumulation of pitta in monsoon season – The pitta gets accumulated due to the effect of monsoon / rainy season and other etiological factors of its own (causative factors which tend to increase pitta).

Aggravation of pitta in the autumn season – This pitta which has already accumulated will further get aggravated in the autumn season.

Pitta developing vidagdhata / sourness – This aggravated pitta gets vidagdha i.e. attains more sourness in persons who are influenced by the above mentioned etiological factors and cause a disease called as amlapitta.
Read – Pitta Increase Symptoms – Pitta Vriddhi Lakshana

Signs and Symptoms of Amlapitta

The signs and symptoms of amlapitta may be categorized and classified under 3 groups for better understanding of the disease –

  1. Samanya Lakshanas – common symptoms of amlapitta
  2. Bhedanusara Lakshanas – symptoms according to the types of amlapitta
  3. Doshanubandhanusara Lakshanas – symptoms according to association of doshas in amlapitta

1. Common (general) symptoms of amlapitta

  • Avipaka – indigestion
  • Klama – exhaustion without exercise or physical workouts
  • Utklesha – excessive salivation / nausea
  • Tikta udgara – bitter belching
  • Amla udgara – sour belching
  • Gaurava – heaviness of the body
  • Hrt daha – burning sensation in the chest
  • Kanta daha – burning sensation in the throat
  • Aruchi – tastelessness
    Read – How To Balance Pitta Dosha? Line Of Treatment

2. Symptoms according to the types of amlapitta

Depending on the direction / pathway in which the symptoms of the disease are manifested, amlapitta is classified into two types, i.e.

  • Adhoga Amlapitta – amlapitta in which the symptoms are manifested in the downward direction
  • Urdhwaga Amlapitta – amlapitta in which the symptoms are manifested in the upward direction

a. Symptoms of Adhoga Amlapitta

  • Trt – thirst
  • Daha – burning sensation
  • Murcha – fainting
  • Bhrama – giddiness
  • Moha – confusion
  • Vividha prakara – associated with different colors like yellow, green, black and red and also different kinds of foul smell

Amlapitta associated with above mentioned symptoms sometimes moves and manifests in the downward direction and is called as adhoga amlapitta. It manifests with the below mentioned symptoms –

  • Hrllasa – nausea
  • Kotha – urticaria
  • Anala sada – weakness of digestive fire
  • Harsha – goosebumps
  • Sweda – excessive sweating
  • Anga pitatva – yellowish discoloration of body parts

b. Symptoms of Urdhwaga Amlapitta

When amlapitta is associated with kapha manifests in the upward direction and the vomitus is –

  • Harit pitaka nila krshnam araktam raktabham – green, yellow, blue, black and light or dark red in color
  • Ativa cha amlam – excessively sour
  • Mamsodakabham – appears like the meat wash
  • Ati pichchilam – excessively sticky
  • Accha shleshmanugatam – mixed with clear mucus
  • Vividham rasena – has salty, pungent or bitter taste
  • Bhukte vidagdhe tu athava api abhukte karoti tikta amla vamim kadachit – bitter or sour vomiting occurs when the food gets improperly digested or even when the patient doesn’t take food
  • Udgaram evam vidhameva – the person gets belching of the same tastes
  • Kantha hrt kukshi daham – burning sensation in the throat, chest and belly
  • Shiraso rujam – headache
  • Kara charana daham aushnyam – burning sensation and increased heat in the hands and feet
  • Mahatim aruchim – severe anorexia
  • Jwaram cha kaphapittam – fever of kapha-pitta origin
  • Kandu mandala pidaka shata nichita gatra roga chayam – itching and manifestation of rounded elevated skin eruptions and hundreds of boils spread over through the body and causes disease symptoms like indigestion, nausea etc (explained already)
    Read – Vomiting: Causes, Complications, Pathophysiology, Treatment

3. Symptoms according to association of doshas in amlapitta

By looking at the symptoms produced by associated vata and kapha, amlapitta shall be considered to be of three types –

  • Vatadhika – caused due to increase in vata
  • Kaphadhika – caused due to increase in kapha
  • Vata-kaphadhika – caused due to increase of both vata and kapha

a. Symptoms of Vatadhika amlapitta

  • Kampa – tremors
  • Pralapa – delirium
  • Murcha – fainting
  • Chimichimi – tingling sensation in body parts
  • Gatravasada – looseness in body parts
  • Shula – pain
  • Tamaso darshanam – feeling of darkness in front of the eyes
  • Vibhrama – giddiness
  • Vimoha – confusion
  • Harsha – goosebumps
    Read – Symptoms Of Vata Dosha Increase And Imbalance – Vata Vruddhi Lakshana

b. Symptoms of Kaphadhika amlapitta

  • Kapha nishtivana – expectoration of mucus
  • Gaurava – heaviness of the body
  • Jadata – stiffness
  • Aruchi – tastelessness
  • Shita – coldness
  • Sada – looseness of body parts / slowness
  • Vami / chardi – vomiting
  • Lepa – coating
  • Dahana bala sada – deterioration of digestive fire / power
  • Kandu – itching
  • Nidra – excessive sleeping
  • Tikta amla katuka udgara – belching which tastes bitter, sour and pungent
  • Hrt kukshi kantha daha – burning sensation in the chest region, belly and throat
  • Bhrama – giddiness
  • Murcha – loss of consciousness
  • Alasyam – laziness
  • Shiroruja – headache
  • Praseka – excessive salivation
  • Mukha madhurya – sweetness in the mouth

c. Symptoms of Vata-Kaphadhika amlapitta

In this condition the symptoms of vata predominance and kapha predominance are present in mixed proportions.
Read – Lifestyle, Food And Factors That Cause Increase Of Kapha Dosha

Sanskrit Verses

Prognosis of amlapitta

The newly manifested (acute) form of amlapitta is curable with best efforts at treatment.

When the disease becomes chronic it becomes manageable but cannot be cured totally. Sometimes the chronic conditions become incurable.

Treatment Principles of Amlapitta

Vamana – therapeutic emesis and Virechana – therapeutic purgation form the key treatments to combat amlapitta in an effective way.

Emesis is preferred in the amlapitta having upward course and purgation is the treatment of choice in amlapitta having downward course. The intention is to eliminate the disease causing dosha(s) in the direction of their manifestation.

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

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