In order to maintain good summer health, it’s important to note that the seasons are characterised by cycles of vata, pitta and kapha (the doshas.)
Maintaining good health during all four seasons requires living in harmony with these natural cycles. Ideally you would need to adjust to the changes in the outer environment through food, the amount of exercise you do, clothes you wear and so on.
The suggestions in this post will help you be at your best for achieving good summer health.
Summer is hot, bright and sharp. It’s the season of Pitta. The main recommendations for everyone especially for those whose prakruti is primarily pitta, is to keep cool. Most importantly to not allow pitta dosha to become aggravated.
You must remember that you cannot determine the seasons just by dates (if you live in the UK, you know this well.) Ayurveda is a system of natural medicine which means that you have to see what is happening in nature. In different geographic areas the seasons come at different times and have varied characteristics. If you live in the UK, you’ll be familiar with having all four seasons in one day! So be sure to look at nature as it is and apply the appropriate principles and practices.
In the morning, as part of your daily routine, rub 5 ounces of coconut oil or sunflower oil on your body, before bathing. Coconut oil is calming, cooling and soothing to the skin.
Wear cotton or silk clothing; they are cooling, light and allow the skin to breathe. Loose-fitting clothes are best; they permit the air to pass through and cool the body.
The best colours to wear in hot weather are white, grey, blue, purple and green. Avoid red, orange, dark yellow and black which absorb and retain heat and will aggravate pitta.
Good fruits in summer include apples, pears, melons, plums and prunes. Watermelon and lime juice are also good in summer. Try steamed asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber and basmati rice.
Avoid sour fruits, citrus fruits and even beetroots and carrots which are all heating. Garlic, onion, chilli, tomato, sour cream and salted cheese are also not recommended.
You can eat more salads in the summer than at any other time as they are cooling. These are best eaten at lunch time. If you eat meat, then have light meat such as chicken, turkey or shrimp, once a week. Avoid dark meats which are heating.
Avoid drinking hot water or hot drinks in the summer. Room-temperature or cool drinks are best. Ice and iced drinks however, inhibit digestion and create toxins (ama) in the body. It’s best to never to drink them.
If you drink alcohol avoid whiskey, brandy, rum and red wine which are heating. Some cool beer during hot days will be all right.
During the summer, the sun evaporates the moisture of the earth and therefore induces hot, dry and sharp qualities in the atmosphere. This results in pitta aggravation. In summer sweet, cold, liquid and fatty (natural fats) food and drinks are beneficial. You should avoid or minimise excessive exercise and sex, alcohol and diets which are salty, sour, pungent or hot. Ensure you enjoy forests, gardens, flowers and cool water. In the evenings, sleep in airy spaces (even outside) which are cooled by the rays of the moon.
Content: Dr Vasant Lad
To reap the benefits of Ayurveda, you first need to identify your prakruti (core constitution/ dosha). The current imbalance of a dosha will be your vikruti. You can take a short quiz here to discover your prakruti so that you can use the tips in this blog to help you balance your dosha back to its core state.
Please note that this quiz is for general guidance. You should always get a full consultation to identify your doshas with a trained practitioner. The Ayurvedic content that I provide in my blog only covers some of the self-healing techniques that you can use to help alleviate symptoms of common ailments. For further information and to book a consultation, please visit the Ayurveda Pura Spa website here.
I’m Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
I help professionals who are seeking direction and contentment in their lives by taking their work, health and relationships to a new level of success, so that life becomes more impactful, meaningful and fulfilling.
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