NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: The hottest months of the year are upon us and this is the time when our immunity takes a hit and innate strength is on a lower side. Diseases and seasonal infections are rampant in hot weather and to prevent summer disorders, Ayurveda recommends certain changes in the routine that can keep one healthy and disease-free.
Ayurveda expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar in a recent Instagram post explains in detail what all things Ayurveda prohibits during summer season. Should we store food in copper vessels during summer? Should we eat curd, a common accompaniment during meals when the weather is hot? What time is the best to step out in sun and what drinks one should consume to stay cool? Scroll down to know about the things you should never do in summer season as per Ayurveda.
Dr Bhavsar says there are a few things Ayurveda suggests you to avoid during summers to save yourself from sunstroke and other summer issues like diarrhoea, hypotension (low blood pressure), dehydration, acidity, headaches, burning sensation, etc.
1. Using copper utensils
The Ayurveda expert says drinking water stored in copper vessel is extremely healthy but not during summer as copper is heating in nature. She adds that people with acidity, inflammation, migraine, heat issues especially should avoid it. Dr Bhavsar suggests people to opt for water stored in earthern and silver vessels instead.
2. Excessive exercise
People tend to exercise more in summer as after months of hiding behind the layers in winter season, lesser clothes are worn during summer season which could expose all the extra flab that has been accumulated pushing people to work out more. However, Dr Bhavsar discourages people to indulge in excessive exercise is summer as it can lead to dehydration, fatigue and hypotension. She recommends calming yoga and pranayama practices in hot weather.
3. Sun exposure during the day
While daily exposure to sunlight is important for overall health in every season, in summer it is better to get early morning sunlight before 8 am and evening sunlight post 5 pm to get maximum health benefits.
"Exposure to sunlight daily is wonderful- it helps us produce Vitamin D, happy hormones, improves our mood and sleep, regulates our circadian rhythm etc. but during summer, exposure to sun during afternoon can give you sunstroke, dry skin, burning sensation on skin, headache, dehydration, diarrhoea, etc," writes Dr Bhavsar.
4. Caffeine and carbonated beverages
According to the Ayurveda expert, caffeine creates more heat in the body leading to more inflammation. "So instead, it is recommended to have herbal cooling teas during summers. Carbonated beverages worsen dehydration and makes you feel more thirsty. They also contain sugar which leads to more weight gain (more calories) and lethargy," Dr Bhavsar says. She recommends natural coolants like bael sharbat, fennel sharbat, vetiver water, coriander water (dhanyak hima) instead to keep cool.
Some simple remedies to beat the heat
1. Cooling Fluids:
Just simple fluids like water may not help to reduce the heat. But specific fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, aloe vera juice are more effective.
All these fluids don’t just contain water but those extra minerals and electrolytes that the body loses when it is sweating.
In Ayurveda Coconut Water is quite essential as it helps to get rid of dry heat or excess of Vata and Pitta from the body. Not only that, coconut water also has very good anti inflammatory properties.
Aloe Vera is classically called Kumari in Ayurveda, and Kumari literally means a young beautiful individual. During the summer season, Kumari or Aloe Vera juice helps to remove that excess heat from the skin which in turn helps to prevent rashes, redness, allergies etc during summer.
Buttermilk, Lassi or Chanch, fresh yoghurt with cumin powder helps to reduce any inflammatory changes in the digestive tract hence preventing acidity, ulcers and aggravated Pitta in the body. This drink also helps to prevent any inflammations in the urinary tract.
Re-Fresh Herbal Tea which contains herbs like saffron and cumin is a very good warm drink during summer for a cooling effect.
2. Cooling Herbs
The best herbs during summer to help reduce that excess heat are Brahmi, Shatavari, turmeric, Neem.
Brahmi is known to help reduce excess heat in the nervous system therefore helping with good sleep, preventing summer migraines and irritability.
Shatavari helps to nourish the body and also helps towards increased absorption of water during summer.
Neem is also known as the cooling herb for the skin. Anyone who may have tendency towards skin ailments in summer, the Neem is the herb for you.
Turmeric helps to cleanse the liver, skin and blood by removing excess Pitta from these organs.
3. Cooling Therapies
One of the best treatments during summer time is the Ayurvedic Foot Massage with clarified butter or Ghee.
This massage helps to draw out all the excess heat or Pitta from the body. It would be even more effective when done with Ghee or Re-Fresh Massage Oil.
Rose Water application to facial skin also helps to remove excess heat from the head and neck region. This is best done before going to sleep as it will also ensures a good nights sleep.
4. Cooling Yoga
Plenty of moon salutations! As the word goes – moon salutations, this sequence helps to nourish the moon or cooling energy in the body. When regularly done in the evening, it ensures a good night’s sleep and clear skin.
All spinal twist poses are very good to squeeze out excess heat or Pitta that may be blocked in the spinal cord/vertebral column. Imagine squeezing out that extra hot water from a damp soaked towel, when you twist or squeeze it. It’s the same exact principle.
Breathing exercises like alternate nostril breathing helps to balance out the heat in the right and left side of the body.
Along with Sheetali or cooling breath exercise, very quickly reduces heat in the body.