Owing to scorching sun which has visited us quite early this year, I am seeing many patients with diseases caused by excessive heat. This post is intended to share a few pointers to take care during the summer.
According to the Ritu/season calendar, we are still in the Vasantha Rith. However, the soaring temperature definitely confirms that it is sensible to follow the ritucharya (seasonal regimen) pertaining to the Greeshma(Summer) ritu.
The following are suggestions imparted for care during summer season.
Foods which are light and easy to digest, slightly sweet, slightly fatty, cool(not to be confused with refrigerated), more liquids than solids are recommended.
Avoid sour, salty and pungent foods. Among vegetables, consume more gourds like cucumber, ash gourd, ridge gourd, bottle gourd etc.,
Among fruits, choose water melon, oranges, muskmelon, grapes. Mangoes and jack fruits should not consumed in large amounts.
Consuming non-veg in thin soup form is indicated. Only non-fatty meat should be chosen.
Thin buttermilk with a pinch of pepper and sugar is advised.
Juices of citrus fruits like citron should be made in such a way that, it is sweet, sour and slightly salty. Juice with soaked raisins and dates with little bit of cinnamon and cardamom powder is a good coolant.
Alcoholic drinks are prohibited during the summer. If consumed, it should be diluted.
Boiled rice is recommended.
The appetite is low and digestion is slow in summer. But skipping meals can increase the pitta in the body. Eat light meals and do no skip any meal.
Heavy exercise should be completely avoided. And exercise, mostly walking is advised only in the early hours of the morning. A walk in the moonlight in highly beneficial due to the cooling properties of the moon. Strenuous exercises and marathons should be avoided.
During the day time, it is strictly advised to stay indoors
Wear a cap or use an umbrella if you go outdoors to avoid heat stroke.
Keep sipping water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Sleeping during the day is strictly prohibited in Ayurveda except in summers. A short nap is advised in the noon to feel rejuvenated.
Apply sandal paste all over the body, or at least on the exposed parts of the body.
Wear light cotton fabric to facilitate sweating.
Application of castor oil on the scalp and sole of the feet helps to keep the eyes and head cool. It helps to get good sleep too.
Avoid using ice cold water as it increases indigestion and can cause cough and cold immediately.
Use incense and aromatic oils. These have cooling and calming effect. Ushira/ Vetiver mats can be hung in the rooms and water can be sprinkled on it to get an aromatic breeze.
Chandana Phanta (Sandal drink): Mix 1 tsp of pure sandalwood paste (white sandal) in 1 glass of boiling hot water. Close the glass with a lid and soak overnight. Drink this early morning on empty stomach. You can add half teaspoon of red sugar candy or palm jaggery(optional)
Drink juice of Sarasaparilla root, also called Nannari juice. Tender coconut water also helps avoid dehydration.
Use Amla fruit in your food. You can also add pieces of amla (fresh/dried) in your drinking water.
Apply sandal paste on your forehead at night
To control loose motions caused by severe heat in the summer: Crush 5 leaves of Bilwa (Aegle marmelos) and add to 1 glass of fresh buttermilk. The fruit pulp of Bilwa also can be used instead of the leaves.
The juice of Bilwa fruit is very beneficial too, to cool your system.
Shadanga Paneeya is a mixture of 6 cooling herbs which is readily available as powder or decoction. The powder can be boiled in water, cooled and consumed. The decoction form can be diluted and consumed. This preparation is known to be useful to prevent and treat Chicken pox during summer.
I hope these pointers will help you and your family to beat the summer.
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