Friday, June 24, 2011

Beat the Heat with Ayurveda

Summers make it tough for both mind and body to cope up with day to day activities. Some of the steps for helping us remain cool and healthy in these times are:
Cooling Diet
·        Pitta pacifying food which is sweet in taste like rice, curd.
·        Fruits with fluid such as melon, watermelon, coconut water, cucumber.
·        Lots of fluids like mango panna, lemon water, barley sattoo, squahes made with phalsa, khas, lemon, almond.
·        Use the cooler spices in food like Licorice, fennel, cumin seeds etc
·        Avoid alcohol or dilute it for consumption. Instead use Beer.
·        Avoid having pungent, sour and salty food.
·        Avoid anti-perspirants which are there in Deodorants and talcum powders, rather keep your body detoxified to keep yourself odour free
·        Exercise Light –quantity restricted to ardh bala(half Strength)
·        Clothings Light colours, cotton, exposed areas to be covered when exposed to sunlight
·        Use sunglasses, don’t splash water to eyes after exposure to sun till body cools down as it can harm eye sight. Take baths with cool water.
·        Avoid direct exposure to sun from 10 am to 2 pm , or take lots of liquid before going out.
·        Use the fragrances like sandal, lavender, kevra and rose.
Ayurvedic Therapies
·        Use of cooler oils like coconut oil is good for daily body massage
·        Go for pitta pacifying treatments like Ksheerdhara, Takradhara(buttermilk),Jaldhara(water),mud bath etc.
·        Water boiled in spices like coriander, fennel and cumin seeds helps in hydration as well as cleansing the toxins out of the body.
·        Avoid caffeinated beverages which dehydrate the body.
·        The research shows that for every 1% of water weight that we lose, our capacity to do work goes down by 10%.
Protection from Prickly Heat
·        Avoid bathing when sweating. Bathe when sweat has evaporated and body is at the room temperature. Use cool water for bathing.
·        Drink Grape juice, lemon juice, sattu, buttermilk and other fluids in higher quantities.
·        Wear loose cotton clothing to encourage the evaporation from skin and avoid further skin irritation.
·        Keep the skin clean and avoid the use of harsh soaps, Powder of Sandalwood dusted all over the body gives effective relief in prickly heat. Multani mitti paste can also be applied on the affected part.
·        Application of aloe vera gel is effective in relieving itching.
 Protection from Sun Burn and Sun Tan
·        Pitta constitution people having fair, sensitive, warm and soft skin are more likely to have suntan and sunburn due to the aggravation of Bhrajak Pitta in skin.
·        Clothe exposed parts using long gloves, socks, hats to avoid direct exposure.
·        Keep yourself hydrated. Use cooling fluids to drink like fresh lime
·        Use natural sunscreens like papaya, cucumber, apple, aloe, red lentile, sandalwood, multani mitti etc.
·        Application of gels like aloe vera is effective in relieving sun burns
Protection from Heat Stroke
·        Keep yourself nourished & hydrated. Empty stomach increase heat stroke probability.
·        Use lots of onion, raw mangoes, tamarind beverages in daily diet
·        Reduce salty food as it disturbs the normal sweat production and increase the chances of heat stroke.
·        Don’t drink ice cold water as it will shock your body, drink cool water.

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Vaidya Ruchi Gulati, B.A.M.S., M.D. (Ayurveda)

On Sunday 26th of June