Summertime means pitta season. With climate that is hot and dry, or hot and wet, there are many Ayurvedic tools we can use to remain cool, calm, and collected to beat the heat and stay balanced.
According to Ayurveda, each season holds qualities that represent the different Doshas. Summer represents pitta. The qualities of pitta, which is ruled by water and fire, are: hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading, oily, and sour. While the main home site of pitta is the small intestine, pitta also lives in the stomach, eyes, blood, liver, sweat, grey matter of the brain, and sebaceous glands. The more we can understand how pitta shows up in our bodies, the better we can mitigate any imbalance during the hot, summer days.
Whether you are predominately vata, pitta, or kapha, our surrounding environment can off balance our physical and emotional bodies and increase our Doshas. For the summertime season, the heat can increase pitta and show up as anger, heat in the body, irritability, confusion, rash, hives, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, or fatigue. It is important to stay hydrated so that our red blood cells are saturated enough to absorb the liquids and easily circulate throughout the body.
Now let’s talk about some tools to stay cool.
While drinking water is important to stay hydrated, sometimes too much water can deplete the lining of our red blood cells and pass right through us. Electrolytes are important to support the absorption of water into our red blood cells, however many brands on the market have tons of sugars and other ingredients that are not so great for us. Consider this very simple, yet profoundly hydrating, electrolyte drink.
In a 34 ounce cup, add ½ squeezed lime, a pinch of any sugar and salt you have, and BOOM! You have yourself an amazing electrolyte beverage to drink throughout the day. Drink one, every day.
Herbs play an amazing role in supporting our physical and mental well-being too.
Brahmi is an incredible herbal ally during summer days. Pitta rules intelligence, and Brahmi works on the mental brain to promote tranquility and awareness, while also nourishing the nervous system. The properties of Brahmi are sweet and bitter, with a cooling energy, to keep the mind cool and levelheaded. The main action of Brahmi is on the brain while also promoting a cooling and stress releasing effect on the nervous system.
Lastly, pranayama, or breathing exercises, can be an immediate tool to cool off. Sheetali literally means “that which is cooling”. Sheetali is used not only to cool down anger or irritability, it also targets the stomach and gastrointestinal lining to ease peptic ulcers or gastritis. Here is a link to instruction on how to do Sheetali.
Learn to beat the heat with Sheetali