Simple Ways To Stay Cool This Summer
Summer is nearly here and for most, the arrival of this season marks the start of sweltering-hot weather. Ayurveda describes the summer heat as being “pitta-aggravating” which implies provoking the fire element within. It’s intuitive that the basic goal during summer is to stay cool so here are a couple ways to help beat the summer heat from an ayurvedic perspective.
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Pearl Of Wisdom:
During the hot summer season, you may have noticed that your digestion is not as strong. That being the case you may want to consider ghee to help improve digestion and to also help cool the body. “Ghee is a pitta pacifying substance that is useful in summer and bitter ghee (called tikta ghrita) is especially cooling, as it contains a number of bitter herbs, including neem. Ayurvedic literature says that taking 1/2 teaspoon of bitter ghee on an empty stomach on summer mornings will improve digestive functions and control pitta dosha.”
– Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S.
Ayurvedic Secrets To Stay Cool In The Summer – Cure Joy
5 Simply Ways To Stay Cool This Summer
1. Drink cooling herbal teas such as cumin, coriander, and fennel tea.
2. Eat cooling and more easily digestible meals such as kitchari and salads.
3. Consider applying cooling essential oils to the body, such as sandalwood and khus.
4. At bedtime, consider applying coconut oil to your scalp and feet
5. Perform a daily oil massage with cooling oils such as sunflower or coconut oil
Foods To Favor …
The foods to favor during summer consist of bitter, astringent, healthy sweet, light and easily digestible foods. One should especially enjoy the great variety of colors of vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, turnips, purple potatoes, karela (bitter gourd), cabbage, dandelion, burdock, lettuce, neem, green beans, peas, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, apples, pears, sweet berries, ripe mango, peach and watermelon. Prepare the foods with spices such as fennel, coriander, cardamom, cilantro, and coconut. When cooking beets, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, okra, spinach, and chard, make sure to include a lot of cooling foods such as coconut, cucumber and cilantro in the menu – especially when living in places where the summer heat is intense.
It’s Best To Avoid …
During this time, it is best to avoid all red meats, garlic, onion, and tomato sauce, as well as pungent and excessively sour and salty tastes. The mind easily gets aggravated by the heat and the risk of imbalanced Pitta emotions, such as anger, irritation and criticism, increases. Thus, practicing more pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditating in the moonlight is recommended.
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, every aspect of our lives contributes to our overall health with seasonal changes being of great significance. The summer heat is reflective of the fiery element of pitta giving all the more reason to discover some delectable yummy and cooling dishes to help stay cool this summer. Also, please note that in tropical climate, the seasons are different; due to the high temperature and humidity, Pitta and Kapha prevail. Thus, it is recommended to favor cooling, bitter, astringent, healthy sweet taste such as grains and milk and lighter foods. Refer to the diets outlined during spring and summer.
Often a good meal for lunch on a hot summer day is basmati rice and mung dal kitchari. However, to bring about flavor you may also want to consider cucumber raita to help improve digestion and even help to cool down many spicy dishes.
· 1 small cucumber skinned and grated
· 1 teaspoon of ground fennel seeds dry roasted
· ½ cup of plain yogurt
· ¼ teaspoon of salt
· ¼ teaspoon of pepper
· 4-5 chopped mint leaves
* Simply mix all together and enjoy!
Want To Stay Cool & Well Hydrated?
It’s also very important to stay well hydrated especially during the hot summer days. Therefore, consider sipping on this drink throughout the day to keep the body hydrated and cool.
· 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
· Pinch of salt
· 1 tablespoon of raw sugar
· 2.5 cups of water
* Mix all together and sip away!
How About Cilantro Chutney?
This helps to cool down even the most spiciest of dishes.
· 2 Apples
· 1 cup of fresh cilantro
· ¼ tsp salt
· Juice of 2 lemons
Simply peel and core apples and place in food processor with cilantro. Add lemon and salt according to taste. Can also substitute pears for apples and limes for lemons if desired.
Simple Tips To Stay Cool This Summer:
Lastly, here are a few simple tips in helping reduce the excess heat during this summer:
· Consuming a pitta pacifying diet
· Drinking cooling herbal teas such as mint, cumin coriander and fennel tea
· Cooling drinks and meals such as cucumber raita, lime, cilantro chutneys & aloe vera juice
· Favoring foods with sweet, astringent and bitter tastes
· Using certain essential oils to reduce body heat such as sandalwood, rose and khus
· Applying coconut oil to the soles of the feet and the scalp before bed
· Reducing alcohol in particular whiskey brandy or rum and red wine (pittagenic)
· If there’s susceptibility to skin conditions (rash, hives, urticaria) then reduce time in the sun
· Amalaki is a wonderful pitta pacifying herb that can help to reduce internal heat
There are other simple recommendations to also assist in reducing pitta during summer by wearing hats or sunglasses as well as light cotton clothing. I hope you enjoyed these simple yet essential tips for staying cool during these hot summer days.
1. Yarema, T., & Rhoda, D. (2006). Eat-taste-heal: An Ayurvedic guidebook and cookbook for modern living.
2. Dugliss, P. (2010). Enlightened Nutrition (1st ed., Vol. 1). Santa Barbara, California: MCD century publications, LLc.
3. Lad, U., & Lad, V. (1997). Ayurvedic cooking for self-healing (2nd ed.). Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
4. Lad, V. (1998). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Harmony Books.
5. Hospodar, M. (1999). Heaven’s banquet: Vegetarian cooking for lifelong health the ayurveda way. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Dutton.