Top 7 Ayurveda Tips for summer

Top 7 Ayurveda Tips for summer

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 2 Apr 2016 - 16:10


As per Ayurveda (The science of life), summer months are the season of Pitta. We are currently in the Pitta season. In Ayurveda, Pitta is one of the three main constitutions or doshas.  Pitta is made from the components of fire and water and found in hot and humid climates, which means, operating our physiological system in pitta dosha is  inclination to be overactive. This intensity of heat not only affects our digestion system, inflammatory conditions, heart problems, metabolism and skin disorders, but also affects our state of mind. Dr Lance Workman, a psychologist from the University of Glamorgan, proved how this hot and humid climate has a bad impact on our brain. Hot weather increases serotonin levels, leading to heightened aggression.

Maya Tiwari, Secrest of healing teacher and author writes in the Yoga Journal, “As summer heats up, we become more prone to accumulating excess pitta. If we already possess a pitta prakriti (nature), we’re at an even higher risk of becoming out of balance.”

According to Scott Sheridan, climatology professor at Kent state University- heart, vascular and respiratory problems elevate with rising temperatures. However, we can neither change the weather nor alter the seasons, but we can make good choices for optimum health. Ayurveda teaches us how to harmonize with nature and create balance of our bodies as well as minds within our environment.

Overcome all your summer problems with these cool solutions provided by Ayurveda:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink lots of water, mint tea, buttermilk, coconut water and refreshing drinks like smoothies or natural fruit juices, which will prevent you from dehydration. When you blend smoothies or pick up any beverages from the store, always opt for grapes, melons, pears, cucumber and any seasonal fruits. Go for some herbal teas like peppermint or homemade lemonade and stay away from stimulating drinks such as alcohol, sugary soda, carbonated beverages or caffeine.All these have a heating effect on the body and will increase pitta and also weaken your digestion system. The summer’s severe heat saps moisture from plants, the earth and our bodies. Hence it is completely fine to include an extra pinch of salt in your food in the summer to prevent fatigue and to compensate for sweating.
  • Favor foods that cool you down: Incorporate fresh vegetables as a part of your midday meal. Some of the best pitta-favorable foods are leafy greens, cucumber and watermelon. Vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans and sweet potatoes are also good too. Enjoy salads daily, particularly during mid-day when the sun is strong and the digestive fires are high. Garnish salads with cooling parsley, alfalfa sprouts and cilantro and avoid overly processed, greasy, spicy, hot or fried foods as it adds up to the Pitta dosha. Increase dairy products like milk, yoghurt, ghee and sweet, ripe fruits such as cherries, pineapples, grapes, avocados, plums, mangoes and peaches in your diet.
  • Stay indoors: Refrain from outdoors during the hottest part of the day. However, if your job requires you to be outside, make sure you drink good amount of water and fresh juices to stay hydrated. To protect yourself from sunburns, use  good sunscreen lotions with SPF 25, wear sunglasses and a stole on your head. Wear clothes that are made of natural fabrics like cotton or silk that allow your skin to breathe. Opt for pastel colors like white, light green, cream or light blue because light colors absorb less heat.
  • Avoid mid-day exercise: Avoid any high-intensity fitness activity that makes you feel stressful or sweat extravagantly, which can aggravate pitta. However, that does not mean you have to give up on exercising. Shantala Priyadarshini, MS, Ayurveda and assistant professor Government, Ayurveda medical college (Karnataka) recommends light yoga asanas like dhyana (mediattion) or pranayama or a walk or any outdoor activity like water sports or swimming to avoid overheating your body. According to Ayurveda, shitli pranayama, instills coolness, brightness and peace in the body as well as mind. The best time for exercise is early morning or late evening.
  • Moisturizer: Massage your skin naturally with coconut oil or medicated cooling oils (made of neem, jasmine, sandal and basil) to decrease body odor, improve circulation and keep the skin young and healthy. Coconut oil is very cooling for the skin and a great way to bring Pitta towards a state of greater balance.  Mix a teaspoon each of castor oil and organic, unrefined coconut oil in a glass of bottle with a cap and place the bottle in hot water until the oil is lukewarm (make sure it’s not hot). Apply this oil mixture to your whole body after shower, to keep your skin soft, cool and supple.
  • Bedtime schedule: Avoid staying up late at night, using the laptop or watching television. Let your eyes and mind rest and avoid negative news reports that flood the media. The quality and quantity of sleep is not only essential for healthy skin, but also to maintain the overall health. It has a bearing on your body's functioning.
  • Relax: Try to relax as much as you can because too much stress aggravates Pitta. Work pressure, long commutes and lack of time for oneself are more stressful during the heat of summer. Summer is a perfect time to take a vacation. If you are travelling, go somewhere with a cooler summer climate or if you are staying at home, engage in relaxing activities. Take the time to reconnect with people and nature as much as you can, by unplugging from technology. Gaze at summer’s verdant tress and meadows and surround yourself with cooling hues of pearl white, silver, grey and green, as suggested by Yoga Journal



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