Greeshma Ritu- Days of splendid Summer
Summer season in India is named as Greeshma Ritu – one of the six seasons as per Hindu calendar. In few days we are going to experience the summer season beginning from April and goes on till end of June and in some places goes on till July as well, the exception is the early arrival of monsoon down south of India.
The summer is very warm in India experiencing heat waves and high temperature in the low lying areas, may even goes extremely high , drier weather, lack of water leading to severe droughts and eventually many deaths in the country. However, nature is kind enough to human beings in summer due its ability to produce more fruits for their consumption.
Though warmer summer is not considered as a great time, there are many direct and indirect advantages for this season. People tend to stay outside of home either early morning or early evening as those are longer days. As you know , sunlight has immense benefits to our body and health as it regulates most of our bodily processes. However, exposure to excessive sunlight leads to reduction of nourishment day by day means reduction of “ Kapha doshas“ and increase of Vata and Pita doshas. As you know, Ayurveda always speak about balancing the Doshas to be healthy all the day and also prevents diseases at all seasons. We tend to consume more water and less consumption of food because of the intake of more water. But as we know excessive water can also cause decrease digestive factor.
What do we do in summer to stay brighter, happy and healthier?
Recommendations on what to add or avoid in summer season to keep ourself fit and fine .
- Eat fruits like watermelon, peaches, plums, mangoes, grapes, pears, avocado and berries.
- Use vegetables like cucumber, sweet potato, celery, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, asparagus.
- Eat fresh food that is cooked just an hour before.
- Buttermilk, tender coconut water, fruit juices and traditional drinks like juice (Sharbat) prepared from Indian gooseberry, kokum and raw mangoes.
- Use herbal teas like mind tea which provides relaxation and stamina.
- Diet should be of sweet, light to digest, liquid form, milk and ghee is also good
- Gulkand is best known for relieving excess heat. (Prepared from rose petals)
- Wear thin and light cotton clothes.
- Try to stay indoors in cool place.
- Day sleep is advised.
- Use perfumes with sandal fragrance regularly
- Go for a mild walk in the evening near the beach or river or in the gardens.
- Take water bath twice a day (room temperature water).
- During nights spend time in some open place like balcony or terrace or ground or garden.
What should we avoid , add or reduce from our body to frame a positive lifestyle in summer season ?
- Avoid foods that produce heat within the body like spicy, oily, fast and fried foods.
- Cut down the drinks like coffee, tea and carbonated drinks as they contain acids, caffeine, that causes dehydration.
- Solid foods which are heavy to digest should be avoided.
- Avoid exposure to sun and wind.
- Avoid too much exercises and exertion.
- Leftover food should not be consumed as it contains harmful bacteria.
- Refrigerated food and drinks should be avoided as it tastes cold, but by the end it triggers pitta thus producing heat in the body.
- Avoid aeriated and processed drinks .
I would like to remind you a sloka in Sanskrit , says ,
“स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं
आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं च l”
Which means to maintain the health of the healthy and to cure the diseases of the diseased.
Apart from above do’s and don’t’s , we do advise Panchakarma treatments to maintain the balance between Tridosha’s such as :
Panchakarma During Summer
- Abhyangam with Medicated oils which has cooling properties followed by mild Swedanam ( Staem ), to open up the skin pores. This procedure nourishes the skin and helps in Maintaining the temp of the body.
- Basti karma-(Therapeutic Enema) is highly recommended in Summer season (Greeshma Rutu) to make balance in Vata Dosha.
- Treatments like Shirodhara helps in relaxing and controlling aggravated Vata Dosha
- Netra Dhara and Netra Tarpanam provides Cooling and relaxing effect to eyes which are mainly affected due to increased temp levels.
Let us see and experience the brighter side of this summer.
Dr Smita KattiGotur,
Head of Practice & Governance ,