Summer Self-Care: Ayurvedic Practices for Staying Balanced and Healthy

Summer is that time of year that many of us look forward to longer days, warmer weather, and more opportunities to spend time outside.

However, the season can also cause imbalances that leave us feeling exhausted, irritable, and stressed. Fortunately, the ancient science of Ayurveda offers simple tools and practices that can help us stay healthy and balanced throughout the summer months. Here are some simple easy to follow Ayurvedic remedies and rituals.

Understanding Ayurveda's approach to summer: 

Summer is known as a typical Pitta season. But it’s not only excess heat. This heat may dry out the water leading to Vata dryness hence resulting in dry heat changes. The aim is to get rid of this dry heat (Vata-Pitta excess) to help bring back balance.

Ayurvedic Self-Care Practices for Summer

Just simple fluids like water may not help to reduce the heat. But specific fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, aloe vera juice are more effective.

All these fluids don’t just contain water but those extra minerals and electrolytes that the body loses when it is sweating.

In Ayurveda coconut water is quite essential as it helps to get rid of dry heat or excess of Vata and Pitta from the body. Not only that, coconut water also has very good anti-inflammatory properties.

Aloe Vera is classically called Kumari in Ayurveda, and Kumari literally means a young beautiful individual. Kumari or Aloe Vera juice helps to remove that excess heat from the skin which in turn helps to prevent rashes, redness, and allergies during summer.

Buttermilk, otherwise called Lassi or Chanch in Ayurvedic terminologies is a combination of fresh yoghurt  (1/4th proportion) and water (3/4th proportion) blended together to form a very thin diluted drink. One could add cumin powder to it to make it even more effective. Consuming this drink in summer helps to reduce any inflammatory changes in the digestive tract hence preventing acidity, ulcers and aggravated Pitta in the body. This drink also helps to prevent any inflammations in the urinary tract. 

Here is a video link to understand how to prepare buttermilk at home:
Homemade Buttermilk - Ayurveda & Yoga - YouTube

Re-Fresh Herbal Tea which contains herbs like saffron and cumin is a very good warm drink during summer for a cooling effect.

Use Ayurvedic Herbs: Some herbs that are particularly beneficial during pitta season include:

  • Brahmi: It is known to help reduce excess heat in the nervous system therefore helping with good sleep, preventing summer migraines and irritability.
  • Neem: A bitter herb that helps to cleanse and purify the blood, reducing heat and inflammation in the body.
  • Turmeric: Known as the cornerstone spice in Ayurveda, it helps to cleanse the liver, skin and blood by removing excess Pitta from these organs.
  • Shatavari: It helps to nourish the body and also helps towards increased absorption of water during summer.
  • Manjistha: One of the best liver and skin cleansing herbs to help prevent hyperpigmentation in summer
  • Guduchi: A cooling herb that also helps to prevent migraines and headaches in summer

Ayurvedic foot massages are for summers: Pada Abhyanga or Ayurvedic foot massage helps to draw out all the accumulated heat from the Marma or energy points of the feet. Here is a video for you to follow and understand how to do a traditional Ayurvedic foot massage at home.  Ayurvedic Foot Massage At Home By Dr Deepa Apte - YouTube

One of the best oils for summer is the Holistic Essentials Re-Fresh Massage Oil. This amazing oil is infused with cooling herbs like Amla, Shatavari, Aloe Vera and Manjistha.  

  • Amla is known for its Vitamin C content and anti oxidant properties. It helps to both cleanse and nourish the body at the same time. It is also known to remove excess heat from the body 
  • Shatavari is known in Ayurveda to help remove dryness and nourish the systems. It also helps to soothe and regulate digestion. It helps to support immune system with its natural antioxidant properties 
  • Aloe Vera helps to removes excess heat from the skin, helps prevent acne, soothes and cools the skin. It also helps to heal wounds and has natural sun screen properties 
  • Manjistha is known in Ayurveda to help with blood cleansing and skin rejuvenating and can help to cool and reduce skin irritations and it can help to soothe and nourish the skin while calming the mind.

Yoga For Summer: 

When the body gets exhausted due to heat and high temperatures, it’s not always easy to exercise or do a full yoga session. Sometimes we need to prepare the body by reducing excess heat from the body.

According to Ayurveda, whenever there is excess heat in the body it rushes up to the head and eyes and causes Pitta imbalances. 

A unique way of getting rid of heat from the body is to work through the eyes. Follow this article to understand how this can be done.

Eye Health in Ayurveda – Deepa Apte

Follow the above practice with Rose Water application to the eyes.

Plenty of moon salutations! As the word goes – moon salutations, this sequence helps to nourish the moon or cooling energy in the body. When regularly done in the evening, it ensures a good night’s sleep and clear skin.

All spinal twist poses are very good to squeeze out excess heat or Pitta that may be blocked in the spinal cord/vertebral column. Imagine squeezing out that extra hot water from a damp soaked towel, when you twist or squeeze it. It’s the same exact principle.

Breathing exercises like alternate nostril breathing helps to balance out the heat in the right and left side of the body.

Rose Water:

Rose Water has been used for centuries in Ayurveda for its cooling and calming properties. Here are some of the ways that organic rose water can support your summer self-care routine:

  • Soothe Sunburn: Exposure to the sun's rays can cause sunburn and damage to the skin. Organic rose water can be used topically to soothe and cool sunburned skin. Simply apply it directly to the affected area with a cotton ball or spray bottle.
  • Refresh and Hydrate: Organic rose water is a natural toner that can help to refresh and hydrate the skin. It can be used as a facial mist throughout the day to keep skin cool and hydrated.
  • Support Digestion: Rose water has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to support healthy digestion. It can be added to water or tea to help soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation.
  • Calm the Mind: Organic rose water has a calming effect on the mind and can help to reduce stress and anxiety. It can be used in aromatherapy or added to a bath to promote relaxation and calm.
  • Support Hormonal Balance: Rose water has been traditionally used in Ayurveda to support women's health and balance hormones. It can be added to drinks or taken as a supplement to support overall health and wellbeing.

Plenty of green plants around the house, both inside and outside will help to bring in more oxygen and cool air. Plants outside the house cool down the environment, hence the wind that blows into the house will be cool and not hot.

At night make sure that all electronics including phones, laptops etc. go away in a room where there are plenty of plants. Plants help to absorb out all radiations and help to cool down the environment.

Also sleeping in a room with no electronics near you will help to prevent any interruption with your natural sleep waves and importantly will help to reduce any radiation exposure to the body.

In summary following these simple Ayurvedic practices will make summer feel like a gentle soothing breeze! 

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