Beat the Heat

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Summer is the season of Vata and Pitta. Heat abounds and we must help our bodies cope with the warmer weather. The sun takes away the strength of people and the cooling qualities of earth. It is a debilitating period.

Here are some things you can do to adjust to the scorching days of summer.

Summer Routine

1. This is the time of year to conserve your energy. Leisurely activities are best.

2. Keeping the body cool is recommended, as overheating can cause a Pitta imbalance, So take bath with normal water and anoint the body with sandal paste.

3. Rest and relaxation are in order. This is a great time for the typical “summer vacation”.

4. One can take a nap during the day since nights are shorter in summers. But nap is generally prohibited in other seasons, except in certain health conditions.

5. Sleep for 7 – 8 hours at night.

6. Surround yourself with calming soft colors and fragrances.

7. Take extra care of your feet, as in warm weather shoes tend to leave feet cracked and dry. You can apply sesame oil to the feet daily. Oil application onto feet, not only relieves cracks, numbness and foot pain but also improves eye sight.

8. Wear natural fibres such as cotton to allow your skin to breath. Prefer to wear light color dresses like yellow, light blue or green or pink. These colors help to calm Pitta.

9. One can wear pearl pendant or ring. Pearl helps to pacify Pitta.

10. Exposure to too much sun or too much exertion should be avoided.

11. Protect yourself from sun. Do not go out during the hotter times of the day.

12. Do not overdo anything – avoid over work, over strain or excess exercise.

13. Use suitable creams and oils on the body to prevent damage to the skin due to excess heat. One can use Aloe Vera gel for the face and apply coconut oil , ghee or ksheerabala oil on the body.

14. Place a slice of cucumber, potato or cotton pad dipped in rose water on eyes. As eyes are the seat of Pitta, this helps to relax and rejuvenate the eyes.

Summer Diet
1. Eat cooling , softer foods like fresh fruit, freshly squeezed  juice, coconut water and sugarcane juice.

2. As days are longer during summers , stomach should not be empty. Therefore , three or four small servings of semi solid food / fluids / fruits should be taken.

3. Reduce excess hot and acidic foods like tamarind, sour yoghurt / curd, sour buttermilk, chillies, and vinegar.

4. Reduce excess alcohol intake  as it dehydrates the body.

5. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. It is advisable to drink water from a mud pot.

6. Include buttermilk, fresh fruits and juices, salads, melon, squash, cucumber, peppermint, coriander, cardamom, fennel, anise in diet.

7. Take meals on time..