16 Oct Ayurveda to Counter the Effects of Doshas in Monsoons
Ah the feeling of rain! I could give anything for it! Ideally once in the rain, I never feel like coming back inside. But then life has to go on and I don’t want to spoil my health.
This is Dr Madhura Bhide, and I for one, love the rains. It comes to end the summers (in Pune these days, it becomes frightfully hot in the summers), gives us a reason to be children again and departs leaving the atmosphere far less polluted, lot more greener, and mornings worth getting up early to. But then what is good for one may be far from good for many others!
Monsoons are also times when our Doshas, the three basic human health-related characterization as per Ayurveda, are thrown in disarray due to the sudden change in weather patterns. Of these (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), the one most affected is the Pitta dosha. In its normal state it governs the element of digestion and is hence related to metabolism. Increase of elements of Pitta Dosha slows down the metabolism, increasing the chances of indigestion, acidity and related disorder like skin ruptures and various infections. One also feels extremely sluggish. For all these, Ayurveda has specific counters such as:
Cook right, eat right and stay healthy!
- With your pitta dosha affecting metabolism, eat the right things such as seasonal fruits, khichree, seasonal veggies and salads. Steam or bake your foods to the extent possible instead of frying as in doing so, you do away with cooking oil to a large extent.
- Do not indulge your “Taste Buddies” during this season! This means, staying away, besides others, from the typical Indian foods heavy in spices, cooking oils, milk & yogurt etc. And India has PLENTY OF THEM!
- One thing very, very good to get the digestive fluids (Pitta) working is bitter gourd. Or for that matter, most things bitter such as methi (fenugreek) or neem. Add turmeric to your cooking as the monsoons are known to cause all manner of infections, and turmeric, it best antidote.
- Kickstart your sluggish digestion in this season by consuming a concoction in warm water with just a pinch of salt, pepper and ginger at least once in the day
- Toxins are tough to dislodge even otherwise. With a sluggish metabolism in Monsoons, the issue becomes acute. The Ayurvedic concoction of warm water with a teaspoon of honey works wonders in pushing out all manner of toxins.
- Your cooking medium matters a lot! Classic Indian cooking mediums such as ghee, groundnut oil, mustard oil etc. are heavy on the digestion and only increase the element of pitta. Instead, in the Indian context, for the duration of the monsoons, use only safflower oil (sunflower seed oil).
- Avoid green, leafy veggies during this season as it is difficult to digest given that the Pitta Dosha lies low. It adds to a lot of gas. Also, most greens are grown in open fields which are quite muddy in this season which could add bring about food-related infections.
- On the last point, try and wash every fruit, vegetable or salad item thoroughly during the season.
Exercise light and stay bright:
Your metabolism and immune systems being in a delicate situation, what is called for is light exercise which does not strain you. Avoid heavy gym kind of work-outs. Instead, go with the flow and indulge in walking, swimming, yoga and stretching. These, in fact are known not to strain you physically and additionally, stimulate the metabolism which aids in digestion, and a feeling of general health. Monsoons, for some reason also makes most folks feel emotionally unhinged. It could be that one cannot go out too often, it feels cold and damp and so on. Light exercises do help with the unintended moods.
Massage and keep the blues away!
With the season itself making one lazy, it is the right time to go for a regular, preferably twice a week, massage with light oils including sesame or coconut. It rejuvenates and revitalizes every pore of the body and takes away the heat generated by the excess Pitta in the body.
These massages can also be used as a means to put skin infection to rest where a few teaspoons of neem oil is added to the massage oil. Entering the skin pores, it takes care of all the infections, germs and uncalled-for things that affect the skin.
So my dear reader friends, do enjoy the monsoons to your heart’s content and to catch more on that you could get visit www.recovalife.com and #roadtorecova !
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
Where the reader or any other person has chronic and/or dire health issues, it is advisable to consult a trained and certified medical practitioner for a complete and comprehensive diagnosis which can address the underlying issues effectively.
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With respect to the consumption of any herbs, fruits, vegetables and the likes mentioned here, it would be advisable where you consult a certified medical practitioner for his/her opinion before-hand.