Ayurvedic Self-care for Summer

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SUMMER = FIRE ELEMENT/PITTA DOSHA is DOMINANT; heat increases in our environment and in the body; as a result, our appetites naturally decrease; irritability may increase as the temperatures rises.  So in all matters, keep it cool and keep it light!

“If you’re feeling dehydrated, sweaty, or irritable, you probably have excess pitta. Other telltale signs include skin inflammation, acidic stomach, burning sensations in the body, red eyes, and a flaring temper.” – Dr. Vasant Lad

Some Ayurvedic tips to stay cool:

Start the day with a glass of fresh water with a squeeze of lemon.

Cultivate a regular bowel habit that kicks off the morning – it actually regulates body heat!

 This is a good season to kick the java and try a cooling tea instead! Cardamom tea anyone?

Eat earlier than later, saving the lightest meal for the evening hours. Keep hydrated, drinking water away from meals.

 Eat more of the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes = seasonal fruit, greens, and vegetables; sweet dairy like milk, ghee, and even a small bowl of home-made ice cream or a sorbet could be refreshing!

 Eat less of the sour, salty and pungent tastes = go easy on fermented dairy (cheeses, yogurts, sour cream, etc.), vinegars, condiments, spicy relishes, and even seafood! Honey is not a suitable sweetener for summer.

 Do not disturb normal metabolism by drinking ice cold beverages with meals; drink them away from meals and when actually hot! Reduce alcohol!

 Avoid exercising in the hottest hours of the day! This is a season to enjoy the outdoors during the cooler morning and evenings hours.  The moon has a cooling energy, so a moonlit walk is most nourishing and enjoyable!

Learn and gently use the calling-breath Pranayam practice called ‘Shitali’.  It is a good way to lower the internal thermostat quickly.  

Use cooling herbs and spices – cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander; use seasonal herbs but make sure the sharp/spicy ones are balanced well in the food.

Rose and sandalwood are cooling aroma therapy fragrances.  Keep a rose water spritz handy!

 Aloe vera is skin’s best friend – keep some in the fridge to add to your drinking water for a cooling beverage or to apply topically for soothing relief!  Always buy aloe juice of the inner pulp only.  

Use sensible sun protection. The Environmental Working Group’s list of clean products is very useful!  They have a handy smart-phone app with a bar code reader for quick scanning of a product on a store-shelf.  

Also, shop for clean products for safe bug protection!


Author: AyurJaya

Clinical Ayurveda Specialist

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