Is it summer time again? Let’s look at ways to have a healthier summer by keeping in balance with the elements through Ayurveda. You can now listen to the episode on podcast by clicking the link above!
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 called pitta becomes accumulated in the body. As summer heat rises, body heat may rise and cause pathological symptoms. Excessively elevated levels of pitta in the body manifests as 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 heart burn. Here’s a short video explaining pitta.
When pitta persists in an abnormally elevated state, more serious disease processes such as oral stomatitis, stomach ulcerations, intestinal bleeding, blood abnormalities, deep dehydration and mental agitation, anger and hostility may show up.
If pitta is elevated, manifesting bothersome symptoms there are simple ways to manage pitta during summer months.
- Minimize pitta aggravating foods and beverages such as tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, chilies, salsa, mustard, vinegar, sour foods, deep fried foods, alcohol, caffeine.
- Stay cool and hydrated. Drink plenty of filtered water. Coconut water is cooling and excellent in the summer.
- In the summer months, agni, the digestive fire may become 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, snap peas, celery, carrots, zucchini, corn, rhubarb. Bitter greens are especially abundant in the summer and help keep pitta in check. Remember though that even green leafy vegetables can interact with certain prescription medications such as Coumadin, so always consult your private family medical provider before making big changes.
- 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. Avoid heating spices such as cayenne, chilies, mustard seeds and garlic.
- 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.
I hope you all have a enjoyable summer and stay healthy. Visit HealthierVibrations.com for more healthy living education, online classes and certifications.
Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.
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