Ayurveda is the ancient science of health and wellness that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is widely practiced internationally and is gaining recognition as a complete holistic field of medicine. Ayurveda has very specific recommendations for maintaining physiological balance during each season. During summer months the physiologic dosha, Pitta becomes accumulated in the body. Excessively elevated levels of Pitta in the body manifests in heat symptoms such as feeling overheated, irritated, inflamed and restless. High levels of Pitta can also dry the body tissues, create excessive thirst, red eyes, skin eruptions, burning mucous membranes and even abnormal bleeding. Here’s a short video explaining Pitta by Dr. Christie Smirl.
Here are some ways to avoid the rise of Pitta and maintain homeostasis during summer months.
- Minimize Pitta aggravating foods and beverages such as tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, chilis, salsa, mustard, vinegar, sour foods, deep fried foods, alcohol, caffeine.
- Stay cool and hydrated. Drink plenty of filtered water. Coconut water is excellent in the summer too.
- In the summer months, agni, the digestive fire, is weaker. Therefore it is advised to eat lighter meals and reduce richer, heavier, harder to digest foods such as breads, cheese and meats. Ayurveda recommends meals such as fresh vegetable soups, salads and grains during the summer.
- Ayurveda recommends eating what is naturally growing during each season unless you have a specific imbalance. During the summer you can find a bounty of fresh vegetables at your local farmers market such as green leafy vegetables, asparagus, cucumber, beets, snap peas, celery, carrots, zucchini, garlic, corn, rhubarb.
- Eat plenty of summer fruits such as apricots, plums, peaches, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, nectarines, watermelon, grapes, mango, papaya and raspberries.
- Cook with Pitta pacifying herbs and spices such as fennel, cardamom, coriander, cilantro and mint.
- Exercise during the cooler morning or evening hours. Take cooler showers or go for a swim. Practice more yin yoga with slow gentle stretches and cooling breath techniques such as nadi shodhana or sheetali pranayama.
- Consider Ayurvedic herbs that help maintain healthy Pitta levels during the summer are amalaki and anantamul.
I hope you all have a enjoyable summer and stay healthy.
For more information on Ayurveda or to schedule an Ayurvedic consultation with Dr. Christie Smirl, visit HealthierVibrations.com or email her at Csmirl1@gmail.com. Dr. Christie Smirl is a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine, Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science, Yoga Teacher Trainer, ERYT, YACEP, Reiki Master, Musician and published author. Her motto is “Heal yourself, help heal another and begin healing the world.”.