Summer Tips from Ayurveda

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Long days, patio lunches and swimming in Canadian lakes make the summer season one of my favourites. In summer, the elements of fire and water, called pitta dosha, tend to predominate.

When out-of-balance from excess heat, pitta tends to show up as:

  • Skin: Acne, eczema, erruptions, irritations, redness, cold sores;
  • Moods: anger, frustration, control, irritability (especially when hungry);
  • Digestion: Acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers, inflammation;
  • Feeling hot in the body.

Staying balanced can be fairly intuitive, if you know how.

Here are a few tips:

  • Pitta is balanced by foods that are sweet (like most fruits), bitter (like greens) and astringent (like legumes). Examples include watermelon, coriander, coconut, pasta, endives, quinoa, kale, spelt, apples and zucchini.
  • Balancing teas for this season include hibiscus, rose, peppermint, brahmi, lavender, dandelion, milk thistle, nettle and artemisa vulgaris (mugwort)
  • Treat yourself to a cooling drink, such as cucumber water or coconut water. Or try a cooling Aloe-Rose Drink, or Cool Cucumber Garden Drink
  • Avoid white sugar (which aggravates pitta dosha). Substitute instead with coconut sugar or maple syrup.
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and fried, oily foods (all aggravate pitta dosha).
  • Try to keep a slower pace and avoid over scheduling yourself.
  • Stay active, but avoid heavy-workouts, especially in the hottest times of the day. Ayurveda recommends that the best exercise only uses 50% of your total capacity. Gardening, swimming, nature walks, tai chi and hatha yoga are all great ways to stay in shape without over-exertion.
  • Exercise and run your errands in the early morning and evening, and avoid too much sun exposure between 11 am – 2 pm. Wear a hat!
  • In the morning or evening, you can also massage your body with warm, organic coconut oil or brahmi oil.

Have a great summer!

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