Seven Tips for Staying Cool this Summer!
Pitta season runs from July to October. As soon as the first heat waves of summer roll around, most of us feel the effects of the increased Pitta in the atmosphere — a shorter fuse than usual, more irritability and frustration, outbursts of anger. Whether you are predominantly Pitta by constitution or not, it is prudent to take measures to keep the fire element in balance during the heat of the summer.
Pitta is the element that governs metabolism and transformation in the body, including digestion. Signs of excess Pitta include heartburn, excessive body heat and sweating, skin rashes, acne, excess stomach acidity, peptic ulcers, early graying, irritability and anger. These appear to be very disparate problems, but from the ayurvedic perspective, measures to "pacify" Pitta can wipe out many of them.
There are simple things you can do to pacify Pitta that will help you enjoy summer more and ensure that the excess heat does not create imbalance in mind and body.
Enjoy cooling summer beverages
Cool liquids help pacify Pitta. But don't reach for that ice-cold drink or that carbonated beverage, because those will disrupt your digestion. Drink sweet fruit juices (sweet grape or sweet pineapple are refreshing choices); boiled and cooled milk with a pinch of cardamom or a little Organic Rose Petal Spread blended in it; or sweet lassi, made by blending one part fresh yogurt and three parts cool water, a heaped tablespoon or two of Organic Rose Petal Spread and a pinch of cooling cardamom (strain before drinking). Drink lots of cool, pure water through the day to replenish moisture lost to heat. Organic Pitta Tea is a refreshing summertime beverage for keeping body, mind and emotions cool.
Eat a Pitta-pacifying diet
To keep Pitta in balance, you need to eat more of the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, and less of the sour, salty and pungent tastes. Sweet juicy fruits like melons, pears and grapes; vegetables like broccoli, cucumber and zucchini; dairy products like milk and ghee; and grains like rice are all excellent choices. Avoid sour foods like sour cream, vinegar and ketchup, and spicy dishes. Cook with cooling spices such as mint, fennel, anise and cardamom. Sprinkle Organic Pitta Churna on dishes at the table for a quick way to balance Pitta.
Choose "cooling" exercise
Swimming is wonderful for soothing Pitta dosha. Other water-based sports and ice-skating are also good choices. Leisurely evening strolls after the heat of the day is gone are relaxing for both mind and body. An occasional moonlight walk is especially soothing for Pitta-ruffled emotions.
A Pitta-aggravating lifestyle that revolves around overworking, frequent time pressure and deadline-oriented activities, and long commutes become twice as stressful in the heat of summer. Balance work with leisure — plan your vacation for the summer, enjoy fun activities on weekends and take time to enjoy life. When working, give yourself enough time to meet deadlines, and learn to say no if you feel your schedule is becoming stretched. Diffuse cooling aroma oils such as Pitta Aroma Oil to keep your environment balanced. Sleep with your windows open if you can.
Protect yourself from the sun
Outdoor activities are fun in the summer, but it is important to protect yourself from the sun. Try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. If you must go out, protect yourself not just with a good sunscreen, but eat some sweet juicy fruit before you leave to keep your body cool from within. Remember to drink lots of water, and wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Use the rose for its cooling healing power
In ayurveda, the rose is renowned for its powerful cooling effect on the physiology. Many ayurvedic herbal compounds that contain a high percentage of heating herbs are balanced with dried rose petals. The rose increases soma — the cooling lunar energy element, to counter agni, the heating solar energy element, in the physiology. A spoonful of Organic Rose Petal Spread each day, either by itself, or blended into milk, is a delicious way to experience the cooling action of the rose. Try a rose aromatherapy skin care routine — use the Rose Herbal Soap for cleansing and Organic Rose Water as a pure toner. If your eyes burn from the heat or long hours at the computer, lie down for 10 minutes with Organic Rose Water soaked cotton wads on closed eyes and feel the tension flow away. Splash some Organic Rose Water in your bath.
Get support with herbal formulas
Premium Amla Berry from Maharishi Ayurveda helps pacify Pitta and replenishes nutrients depleted by excess heat, stress and overwork. Aci-Balance helps put out the fire inside if you've thrown your digestion off with too many hot spicy foods. The Blissful Joy herbal tablets help you withstand the effects of stress on the emotions.
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.