Have you noticed that everyone gets short tempered and more irritated as soon as the temperature goes above 80? People are impatient in lines, short with each other, and annoyed for no reason. While some people can attribute it to bad days, hormones or poor bringing up, Ayurveda explains it differently: Heat-aggravated Pitta.
Pitta is one of the Ayurvedic doshas. Hot, fiery, intense and strong, it can send emotions through the roof and create aggression, jealousy and criticism. Other signs of aggravated Pitta are impatience, heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, sensitivity to heat, lethargy, sarcasm, skin rashes, boils, acne, low blood sugar and difficulty falling asleep.
To balance fiery Pitta and to stay cool, Ayurveda recommends following several simple routines and dietary guidelines.
Daily Routines for Summer:
- Rub coconut oil on the soles of the feet and hands before going to sleep.
- Do five rounds of sitali breathing three times a day. It is cooling for the body and calming for the mind.
- Exercise in the early morning; never in the middle of the day. Avoid excessive activity during midday heat as it can be draining.
- Put cold cucumber slices on your eyes, and rest for five minutes if your eyes are burning or dry.
- Keep a regular routine, and try to go to bed around 10 pm. Pitta increases 10pm-2am, and bright light from the computer or cell, loud music or too much activity will aggravate Pitta even further.
Summer Dietary Guidelines:
- Eat more foods that are sweet, bitter, astringent and cooling such as salads, smoothies and fresh fruit.
- Eat less food that is spicy, sour, salty or hot. Avoid hot peppers, fermented foods (yogurt, pickles, wine, miso) and acidic foods (citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, vinegar).
- Add mung beans, dark greens, cilantro, broccoli, cabbage, celery, seaweed, snow peas, summer squash and bitter gourd to your grocery list, as they are very cooling.
- Sip coconut water or add cucumber slices to water.
- Enjoy fresh ripe berries, melons, apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, pears and ripe plums.