Summer is dominated by Pitta dosha – the energy that creates passion and fire and heat.
That can be a welcome influence for many of us who have a predominantly Kapha or Vata nature. Kapha & Vata are made up of cooler energy.
But the famous Ayurvedic principle “like increases like” means that summer can be troublesome for those of us with a primarily Pitta constitution, or for those with a current Pitta imbalance.
Too much Pitta can cause symptoms like irritability in our mood, trouble sleeping or flares of temper. Physically, the increase in Pitta energy during summer can cause rashes and hives. And in the stomach, it can create acid.
So what to do?
As we have been discussing for that last 12 months, doing an Ayurvedic cleanse before each new season is great preparation and prevention. It rids the body of “ama” or toxins that may have accumulated in the previous season and renews the “dhatus” or tissues for optimum health and well-being. While it is ideal to do your Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse working with an Ayurvedic physician or advisor, it is possible to do an effective home program.
This following table summarizes the basics of an at-home program at a high level:
To discover your Ayurvedic constitution, please refer to the pdf’s at Ayurvedic Institute websites “Online Resources” section: http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/index.html
For a kitchari recipe you can use: http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/kitchari_recipe.html
In addition to a preventive cleanse, Pitta-balancing, cooling foods (like cilantro and mint, most dairy products, almond milk – see the Ayurvedic Institute’s Food Guidelines pdf for a complete list) and cooling activities like meditation, certain asanas (like Moon Salutation), and wearing cool colors (green, blue. purple) and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen will also keep Pitta energy in check. Also, coconut oil applied to the skin is cooling.
For a great summer facial scrub, try a mixture of chickpea flour, sandalwood powder and turmeric. Mix with water to make a paste for younger/oilier complexions, or with coconut oil for older/drier complexions.
Have a cool summer!