Ayurveda on Pacifying Increased Pitta in Summer Season
Ayurveda is a consciousness based approach to health, a spiritual medicine recognizing the phenomenal intelligence in every grain, every seed, all life and every living thing.
According to Ayurveda seasonal cycles, summer is considered to be Pitta season, where the energetic principles of fire and water are strongest. It is during summer that Pitta dosha, inherently driven by solar force, is most predominant, as it consists of the fire and water elements.
In this season those with Pitta constitution become more susceptible to heat related ailments.The key qualities or gunas of Pitta are hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading, slightly oily and fleshy smelling.
When these attributes build up within the body due to wrong diet and lifestyle, Pitta accumulates and begins to manifest various imbalances. These imbalances can more easily arise in the summer whether you are of Pitta prakriti or not.
Signs of Increased Pitta in the Body Include:
- Excessive Body Heat
- Peptic Ulcers
- Irritation, impatience, anger, frustration,
- Skin Rashes
- Early graying of the hair of falling hair
During this season the Earth is receiving the most sun, heat and radiant energy. This radiant energy penetrated both within our bodies and in the universe. We feel the drying effects via the hot sun and for some areas dry winds as well. Ayurveda considers this a time of dehydration.
Ayurveda recommends following things To pacify these Pitta energies which causes imbalances in our body:
- Eat a Pitta-pacifying diet
Due to the strong properties of the sun and the body’s need to stay cool and release internal heat, Ayurveda correlates this in terms of internal Agni in the body. Meaning that Agni is pulled to the extremities to keep the body cool and therefore digestive Agni is compromised weakening our digestive capacity.
That is why in the summer we are often less hungry and want to eat less. So it is good to eat lighter and smaller meals during this time of year.
Checkout YouTube Video on Acidity Diet Chart in Severe Acidity Acid Reflux & Ulcer | Pitta Pacifying Diet by Nityanandam Shree
- Increase sweet, bitter, and astringent tasting foods that are light in nature. Eat plenty of bitter salad greens such as lettuce, arugula, radicchio, basil, and endive are particularly Pitta balancing.
- Cook with cooling spices such as mint, fennel, anise and cardamom. Sprinkle Pitta Churna on dishes at the table for a quick way to balance Pitta.
- Include cool drinks and raw foods in the diet, including cucumber, mango and coconut water. Natural fruit juices without added sugar, mint teas, and raw berries are good choices.
- Aam Ka Panna Recipe to Beat the Heat
- Poppy Seed Sorbet Or Khus Sherbet
- Reduce sour, salty, and pungent tastes
- Include following: coconut water, watermelon, cilantro, leafy greens, okra, zucchini, asparagus, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, ghee, cucumber, soaked/peeled almonds, kale, broccoli, pomegranate, apples, cranberry, mint. Dill, fennel, cardamom, coriander, saffron.
- Avoid: tomatoes, eggplant, chili peppers, garlic, dry ginger, black pepper, fermented foods, spicy foods, sour fruits, heavy protein, mustard oil, molasses, coffee.
- Hydrate! Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to replenish moisture lost in the heat of the day as well as to help flush out toxins in the body. Here are a few ways to drink more water and stay hydrated:
- Herbal tea: Add 1 tsp. fennel, cumin, cardamom, and coriander seeds in equal parts to 3 cups hot water, plus a handful of mint leaves, and organic sugar to taste.
- Flavored water: Add a few slices of cucumber or a squeeze of lime to your water.
- Coconut water: so simple and delicious, and thankfully now readily available
- Drink sweet fruit juices (sweet grape or sweet pineapple are refreshing choices), boiled and cooled milk with a pinch of cardamom or a little Organic Rose Petal Spread blended in it, or sweet lassi, made by blending one part fresh yogurt and three parts cool water, a heaped tablespoon or two of Organic Rose Petal Spread and a pinch of cooling cardamom (strain before drinking).
- Drink lots of cool pure water through the day to replenish moisture lost to heat.
- Pitta Tea is a refreshing summertime beverage for keeping body, mind and emotions cool.
- Protect and nourish your skin.
At least once a week, treat yourself to a fruit or vegetable mask.
- Simple facial mask: Cucumbers, avocados, or papayas lend themselves well to homemade masks. Simply mash one of these ingredients and apply to the face for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- More complex facial formula: Mix together one-half of a mashed banana, ½ cup yogurt, and 1 Tbsp. honey. Apply to face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Simple hydrating mask: Apply local, organic honey to your face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
- Communicate with care.
To prepare for the Pitta season, when heat can push one’s tendencies toward anger and frustration, regular yoga and meditation can help much in this regard. A conscious effort to be calm mentally and physically as well should be taken.
- Meditation: Start your day with meditation.
- Deep Breathing: Take a few deep breaths before responding to stressful situations.
- Exercise Lightly
- To prevent excess Pitta from accumulating in the physiology, we should enjoy light exercise during the summer. We must not overdo any form of vigorous aerobic exercise, since that would overheat us and aggravate Pitta. Therefore avoid long-distance running, spinning, and other forms of exercise that heat the body.
- Recommended exercises include those that are more cooling: Lunar Yoga, tai chi, walking, swimming, bicycling, restorative Yoga, etc. Avoid exercising during the hottest time of the day between 11 am and 3 pm and favor early morning or sunset exercise.
- Favor yoga asanas that remove excess heat from the body instead of building heat. Forward bends, twists and mild backbends are the best peak asanas for this time of year. Use caution with inversions, arm balances and standing asanas that build too much heat as it is important to counter-pose any heat building during this time of year.
- Pitta Aromas, Herbs, and Daily Routine
- In Ayurveda, aromas of essential oils and resins derived from plants are used to pacify aggravated doshas (bioenergies).
- The following essential oils are recommended for Pitta season: sandalwood, rose, lavender, jasmine, lotus, gardenia, khus, and vetiver. Having a rose water mister is a wonderful refresher for the face and body.
- It is often wise to supplement our diets with one or more gentle and cooling herbs during Pitta season to maintain proper digestion, elimination, and to prevent excessive accumulation of hot, light, and mobile energies. In addition, Pitta season can create conditions for inflammation and over-activity of certain metabolic processes and secretions.
- Lifestyle Recommendations
Since the stomach, liver and skin are the principal seats of Pitta dosha, simple cleansing techniques aimed at these regions are commonly employed in the summer months.
- Upon awakening, do some yoga asanas, including Chandra Namaskar. The emphasis throughout your practice can be on surrendering, forgiving, softening and being gentle with yourself – a cooling, grounding sadhana.
- Spend time outside before 10 am and after 5 pm. Avoid being outdoors during the hottest times of the day.
- Practice cooling pranayama after your asanas. Either Shitali pranayama or left-nostril breathing will cool and calm the hot quality of pitta dosha. Be sure to release any remaining internal heat from within the body before meditation.
- Give yourself a slow and loving full body massage before taking a shower. Use Pitta massage oil, Coconut oil or Sunflower Oil.
- Essential oils of rose, sandalwood, jasmine or lavender are cooling.
- Drink a tea of cumin, coriander, fennel and rose to pacify the hot quality, improve digestion and calm the mind. Mint tea.
- Wear clothing of light texture and color. Excellent choices would be cotton, linen and silk of white, blue and green. Red and yellow shades tend to increase the fire that is already present.