Simple Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

 

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

Essential Oils


 

 

 

 

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.

 

~CUCUMBER RAITA~

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.

Ingredients:
·        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.

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References:
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.


Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For Managing Diabetes

Turmeric & Other Natural Spices For  Diabetes 
It seems that we as a community, are shifting towards natural remedies for many health concerns. This implies returning back to simplicity by improving our dietary intake and correcting our way of living rather than merely popping pills. Ayurveda is considered to be one of the oldest medical sciences known to mankind and is a science of correct living. Ayurvedic principles aim to provide instructions regarding food and lifestyle so that healthy individuals remain healthy and those with health challenges may improve their health.

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Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind.

Health Benefits Of Turmeric - Dr. Josh Axe 

Some of the main benefits include:
1. Anti-inflammatory which helps relieve pain
2. Helps balance blood sugar levels
3. Anti-microbial properties
4. Supports detoxification
5. Cleans out your arteries
SOURCE - Dr. Josh Axe

"According to Ayurveda, there is no herb or medicine 
equivalent to turmeric in the treatment of Prameha (Diabetes)."

According to the American Diabetes Association, the total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. In other words, this is a very real concern. The science of Ayurveda dates back thousands of years and has explained diabetes as “prameha” which is a collection of symptoms due to various underlying imbalances rather than just a single disease. For example, prameha which means ‘profuse urination’ is categorized into twenty different types according to Ayurveda. It’s interesting to note that the ancient scholars also described diabetes mellitus [“madhumeha”] many thousands of years ago. Madhumeha is made up of two words, madhu and meha - which implies sweet urine. Similarly, the ancient Greeks called this condition diabetes mellitus due to the passing of sweet urine; i.e. glycosuria.

The ancient Ayurvedic scholars have grouped Madhumeda (Diabetes Mellitus) under one among the 20 pramehas. For simplicity, prameha can be grossly divided into three main types:

1. kaphaja prameha [10 types]
2. pittaja prameha [6 types]
3. vataja prameha [4 types]

Note:
Prameha is obviously a vast topic and this post is simply to introduce basic ideas on how to address diabetes from a natural and holistic approach.

The Root Cause ...
Kaphaja prameha reflects, often, the initial and underlying cause of diabetes. In this category there are 10 types. According to the classic Ayurvedic texts,  diabetes [“prameha”] begins with the derangement of kapha which spreads throughout the body and mixes with fat [“meda”] creating a mixture of properties similar to kapha; i.e. mucous. When kapha is mixed with fat and passes into the urinary system, it soon interferes with the elimination of urine which eventually effects the quality of urine. One of the underlying causes of disease, according to Ayurveda, is the clogging of channels and the accumulation of waste. Hence, therefore, kaphaja prameha commonly reflects the initial and underlying cause of diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes
The causes of diabetes have been long explained by the ancient teachings of Ayurveda. The causes include:
- lack of physical exercise [“asyasukham”]
- sedentary lifestyle [“alasya”]
- excess sleeping [“svapnasukham”]
- food & lifestyle which increase kapha [“kapha krut cha sarvam”]
- inherited/genetics [“sahaja”]
- stress [“chinta”]
- grief [“shoka”]
- fear [“bhaya”]

Traditionally, the management of diabetes is carried out with lifestyle modifiers along with appropriate herbal therapies. Herbs are selected based upon properties such as:
- tastes [“rasa”]
- properties [“gunas”]
- potency [“virya”]
- postdigestive effects [“vipaka”]
- unique action [“prabhava”]

Turmeric - The Spice Of Life
Turmeric is one of the oldest, most important spices known to humankind. Turmeric is bitter, astringent and pungent in taste, and has a heating quality. Likewise, turmeric has drying and light properties which effectively helps to eliminate kapha - the primary culprit for the manifestation of “prameha” [diabetes mellitus]. What’s of great importance is that, by taking control of the initial stage [“kaphaja prameha”] the disease process is likely to come to a halt and help to prevent the manifestation of complications with are often incurable.

It’s important to note that in Ayurveda, disease often has one or two predominant doshas that need to be balanced according to one’s constitution. Therefore, one therapy many not be applicable to all patients even though individuals share the same disease. Because of this, we highly recommend to always first seek the guidance of a qualified professional and to always first discuss management options with your primary care physician.

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    Health is not simply the absence of disease, but is a state of balance that provides for wellbeing, clarity, and joy. Ayurveda – “The Science Of Life” is considered to be the longest continuously practiced system of traditional medicine and emphasizes on creating balance in all areas of life. Not only does Ayurveda examine the body but inquires further about daily diet, lifestyle, relationships, stress, and overall sense of well-being.

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Other Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Some of the many health benefits of Turmeric are:

1. Common Allergies:
A pinch of turmeric in hot water can be used as an effective steaming method to assist in coughs and colds. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to warm water and use this for gargling twice a day for alleviating sore throats.

Aller-Defense
Turmeric, lebbek tree & holy basil balance the body’s immune system.

2. Asthma & Bronchitis:
As Turmeric has an affinity with the lungs, it can be used with a holy basil decoction to obtain relief from asthma and bronchitis.

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Breathe easier all season along.

3. Anti-Inflammatory:
Consuming 500mg of turmeric daily has been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect on joints and has proved more effective than ibuprofen!

Amrit Kalash 
Immunity = Power Up!

4. Anti-Cancerous:
Due to its antioxidant properties, Turmeric has been found to be effective in inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Recent research in rodents suggests that ‘Curcumin’, a factor extracted from Turmeric, is able to inhibit colon cancer growth and spread.

5. General Malaise:
Can’t get out of your bed in the morning? Feeling tired after a walk? A simple yet delicious tip- Take a pinch of turmeric with hot milk twice daily. Increased energy levels and overall fatigue may diminish.

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6. Beauty:
Turmeric is widely used in many beauty products due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Apply turmeric along with honey for lightening of acne spots and for improving complexion. Using flour, turmeric and water, make a paste and apply directly to the skin and/or pimples for a healing effect. It has been found very effective in hair and skin health.

Youthful Skin Line 
Potent ayurvedic formulas to help neutralize oxidants before they damage your skin; provides nourishment for natural, healthy skin cell growth; and helps stimulate collagen synthesis.

7. Dyspepsia:
The use of Turmeric has been found to be successful in cases of dyspepsia. Add a small amount of turmeric to vegetables when cooking.

Ayurvedic Digestive Products
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

8. Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living, as well as behavioral changes. The many various effects of curcumin, such as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

Other Dietary Considerations For Diabetics

1. Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon)
To help reduce blood sugar levels, consider extracting the juice from 4-5 karelas and drink this juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Both the fruit and seeds of bitter melon contain charantin which helps to actively lower blood sugar concentrations.

2. Fenugreek
Fenugreek has numerous studies revealing its ability to help relieve symptoms of diabetes.

3. Neem
By consuming the juice of neem leaves it helps to lower blood sugar levels.

Click To Learn More About Neem

Plus ... 
Consider adding certain pungent and astringent tasting foods such as asparagus, spinach, black pepper, and ginger which are all encouraged for a healthy diet in order to help reduce kapha and help lower blood sugar levels.

Gurmar – The Sugar Destroyer
Gurmar is one of the most prevalent ayurvedic herbs for diabetes. Also known as Shardunika the name Gurmar translates to ‘destroyer of sugar’ and thereby suggestive of its properties as being an effective herb for balancing blood sugar levels.

How To Avoid Sugar Cravings!!! 
One moment, you’re innocently going about your day – the next moment, you discover yourself in the clutches of desire. Despite having a healthy salad for lunch it is now 2:30 pm and you somehow find yourself lost in desire with an overwhelming losing battle for a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing. Click To Learn More About How To Avoid Sugar Cravings

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.