A balanced interaction with our environment in an effective and wholesome way is to keep the body healthy. Ayurveda gives simple solutions to greater problem in an effective way. Ayurveda explains a methodical regimen for every season. Grishma Ritu or summer season is the last season of Aadaan kaala (period of Uttarayana or Northern solstice) which lasts from mid-May to mid-July. The Sun is all powerful due to its strong and penetrating rays and during summers, seizes the energy of the Earth and people. In addition, the dry wind weakens the Earth’s cooling property. The Kapha decreases day-by-day and Vata increases consequently during Grishma Ritu.
Human being is a miniature of the gross universe. For instance the rising temperature outside tends to increase the heat inside so one shouldn’t forget to take care of his pitta dosha too. Due to the scorching hot weather outside our digestive fire tends to lower due to which we often experience decreased appetite. Thus one should eat moderately during summer. Excessive rise in temperature produces dehydration, exhaustion, lethargy, dryness and decreased energy. It is important to tackle the heat by keeping oneself hydrated with plenty of liquids.
To save you from this hot summer here are some regimens as recommended by Ayurveda:
- Sweet, light, liquid food is recommended.
- Use of ghee (clarified butter) is advised.
- Plenty of liquid should be taken either in the form of water stored on mud pots added with karpoor (camphor) or in the form of fresh fruit juices of mango, sugarcane, pomegranate, lemon, grapes with cardamom powder.
- Tender coconut water keeps you cool and nourished in hot summer
- Panaka Panchasara – syrup prepared with raisins (draksha), madhuka (yastimadhu-Glycyrrhiza glabra), dates (karjura), kasmarya (Gambhari – Gmelina arborea), and parushaka (Phoenix Pusilla Gaertn) fruits all in equal quantities, cooled and added with powder of cinnamon leaves, cinnamon and cardamom and kept inside a fresh mud pot, along with leaves of plantain and coconut trees, and made sour (fermented) should be taken, preferably in mugs made of mud.
- Diluted syrups of herbs and fruits such as -Ananta (Hemidesmus indicus), Kamala (Lotus), rose, Draksha (Grapes), Chandana (Sandal), Ushira (Vetiveria zizanoides). These can be made into syrup and diluted with water to be served when needed.
- Rasala is advised to be taken to keep one cool. Rasala is made by churning curd and mixing with black pepper powder and sugar.
- Days should be spent under trees or inside house surrounded by bunches of flowers and trees. Though there are not many trees covering the house now days yet keeping flower pots inside house and balcony will certainly help you to be cooler.
- Use of curtains with sweet fragrance will keep the room fresh
- Use of ushira in your daily use water will keep summer heat at bay. Ushira body scrubs are available so one can use it for bathing too.
- At night sleeping under moonlight will relieve summer day’s stress.
- Anointing the body with pastes of sandalwood will cool the body temperature.
- Flowers can be used for hair or as garlands as it reduced body heat.
- Wear light and thin dress to keep yourself comfortable during this burning hot summer.
- Use of perfumes is advisable to keep fresh and to avoid unwanted body odours.
Things that need to be avoided:
- Avoid use of alcohol in summer. If it is very necessary then completely diluted wine is advised.
- Cut down on the intake of coffee, tea, or carbonated drinks. Carbonated drink contains acids that cause dehydration. Even caffeine in coffee triggers the dehydration in your body.
- Avoid too much sex in summer as it causes more stress and drains away energy.
- Avoid food that is too greasy, oily, and fried.
- Avoid pungent, sour, salty and spicy food.
- Do not consume stale or leftover food, as they contain harmful bacteria.
- Strenuous exercises must be avoided.
- Travelling out at hot hours must be avoided.
Here are some simple recipes to keep you energised in this hot summer.
Gulkand is traditionally used as a cooling tonic to combat fatigue, lethargy, muscular aches, biliousness, itching, and heat-related conditions. Gulkand is a good blood purifier and keeps pitta dosha in balance. Consuming gulkand daily will help in purifying blood, keep your skin glowing, corrects heavy menstruation, and reduces body heat, helpful in bleeding nose.
2 cups fresh light pink Rose petals
2 cups Sugar
1 tbsp. Cardamom powder
Rose petals have to be washed nicely and spread on a cloth for drying. Cut the petals into small pieces and spread a layer of petals in a wide mouthed glass jar with a lid. Now spread a layer of granulated sugar. On top of the sugar layer spread the rose petals. Repeat the process of layer spreading till the petals are over. Now add the cardamom powder and close the glass lid tightly and keep it away in sunlight for 7 to 10 days. Use a clean spoon to mix the content every day. Store Gulkand in airtight container and refrigerate it for preservation.
Consume 1 tsp of gulkand every morning in empty stomach. Mixing it with milk and drinking is also good.
It’s mango season and this wonderful Mango lassi is not only delicious but also a great energy stimulator.
1 cup of chopped fresh ripe Mango fruit
½ cup Water
1 cup of Yogurt
4 tsp Honey/Sugar
1/4 tsp of Cardamom powder
1 tsp Mint
Blend chopped mango, yogurt, water, honey/sugar, cardamom and mint. Pour it in a glass and garnish with mint leaves. Add ice cubes if you like it cold.
This fresh and fruity recipe is a personal favorite for its nutritional value and simply being a delicious dessert for summer.
1 medium Orange
2 small Pears
¼ tsp. Almond extract
2 tsp. Sugar
12 oz. Strawberries
½ oz. sliced blanched Almonds
Squeeze the juice from the orange into a saucepan. Add the pears, almond extract, and sugar and cook on medium-high heat stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the pears begin to soften. Remove the compote from the heat and stir in the strawberries. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Server in a bowl topped with chopped almonds.
The above tips and recipes will definitely leave you feeling cooler this summer. Also remember to plant more trees in your lane so that you can enjoy cool breeze in hot summers. Besides keeping you cool, planting trees will minimize global warming.