Why You Need to Cool Your Body NOWSeptember 1, 2015
Ayurveda cautions that this seasonal shift is a tenuous time for our health.
While it’s still terribly hot and humid here in the NYC/NJ area, my body is starting to feel the shift. Little waves of anxiety that are the hallmark of Vata Season are starting to appear. Uh oh…
For those of us who live in temperate climates, the changes are more obvious than for those who live in tropical climates. Still, wherever you are (well, maybe not in places like Scotland where the summer has mostly been cool and wet), if it’s been hot then you might want to heed this warning:
It’s time to kick that accumulated heat out of your body!
Ayurveda is wise and knows that the excesses which accumulate during each season need to be cleared out in order for the body to be healthy during the upcoming season.
In the case of Pitta Season, of course, it’s HEAT that needs to go.
If any of these symptoms ring true for you, you may have excess heat from the hot summer months:
▪ Skin problems such as rash, eczema, hives, psoriasis or dermatitis
▪ Feeling of heat trapped in the body, hot flashes
▪ Burning or itching sensations
▪ Digestive issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, burping, nausea, loose stools or diarrhea, intense hunger
▪ Yellow coating on the tongue
▪ Bleeding gums or canker sores
▪ Excessive sweating (pungent-smelling)
▪ Excessive thirst
▪ Feelings of anger, jealousy, criticism, impatience
While these symptoms may seem to be simply an annoyance, they are actually red flags of imbalance that, left untreated, can lead to more serious problems.
Vata is dry and mobile. If the excess heat of the summer is not properly expelled before entering Vata Season, this hot/dry energy will begin to move upward in the body, weakening it and making it more susceptible to colds, flus, allergies, as well as digestive and respiratory problems.
The body will begin to produce reactive mucus to combat the dryness and we will likely blame it on the person we work with who has a cold.
Mother Nature knows best, as always, and she kindly provides us with foods that are naturally cooling and help to dispel heat from the body.
You need to look no further than your local farmer’s market. Chances are that most of the seasonal foods you find will be of a cooling nature, so eat lots of fruits and vegetables at summer’s end.
Especially effective are apples (the sweet kind are best for Pitta and Vata types), pomegranates and beets.
Eating lots of these foods may create looser stools. This is a sign that the body is expelling excess heat. So be sure to stay hydrated by sipping water and coconut water throughout the day.
Vata-types especially might benefit from fresh-squeezed lime juice with a pinch of sea salt in water to help ward off dehydration.
For a complete list of foods that are cooling and Pitta-pacifying, click HERE.
AFTER you’ve worked to pull any excess heat out of the body
The change of seasons is always a prime opportunity to cleanse the body.
Unlike harsh cleanses which can leave the body in a weakened state, an Ayurvedic cleanse gently clears the body and mind of toxins and brings the doshas back into balance. It’s important to cleanse according to your Ayurvedic constitution.
I’ll be back soon with lots of tips to soothe your Vata. 🙂