Try a Cooling Juice or Tropical Sensation
Have you noticed that as the weather warms up you naturally desire different food and drink than you did during winter?
You may like to try the Cooling Cucumber juice or Tropical Sensation recipes below.
The change in your appetite and food choices during summer is guided by the increase of heat within you causing an increase of the qualities of Pitta dosha.
What is Pitta dosha?
Pitta dosha is one of three operating principles of nature which governs digestion and metabolism of food, air, water, thoughts and feelings.
The main seat of Pitta in the body is in the small intestine, also called the duodenum. Ayurveda explains that Pitta dosha is responsible for all types of transformation in the mind and body including:
- Functioning of the eyes
- Healthy glow of skin
- Drive and decisiveness
- Sense of meaning and purpose in life
- Digestion, assimilation and metabolism for healthy uptake of nutrients and healthy toxin-free blood.
What signs do I need to be aware of?
When our internal thermostat become increased beyond that which is comfortable for you then symptoms of Pitta imbalance can arise.
This increase of heat and Pitta dosha is most likely to happen during summer when we have a heat wave or extreme weather.
It can be reassuring to know that when you feel easily irritated, frustrated or angered it is a sign of Pitta imbalance warming the blood and causing an imbalance of Sadhaka Pitta, one of the five sub-areas of Pitta dosha. Other signs of Pitta imbalance include:
- Loose to very soft bowel motions or diarrhoea.
- Feeling overheated or hot flashes.
- Bloodshot eyes and poor vision.
- Skin rashes and acne.
- Pushing oneself to achieve a goal, overworking or being intense.
- Reacting to stress with anger, impatience and temper.
- Over-supply of stomach acid.
- Early greying and balding.
How do I know if Pitta dosha is strong in me?
If you are strong in Pitta dosha by nature then you will be more likely to experience symptoms of imbalance during Summertime.
Review the list of some Pitta characteristics below to see if you identify with them. It is very Pitta to:
- Be enterprising and like challenges, direct to the point and decisive.
- When under stress feel irritable, impatient, resentful and easily angered.
- Feel ravenously hungry if dinner is half an hour late.
- Live by your watch and resent having time wasted.
- Wake up at night feeling hot and thirsty, needing few blankets.
- Become uncomfortable and easily fatigued in hot weather.
- Enjoy challenging sporting activities.
- Learn from experience that others can find you too demanding, sarcastic or critical.
- Take control of a situation, or feel that you should.
- Feel compelled forwards to achieve your goals and at times suffer burn-out.
- Save money and also be a big spender.
To be really sure it is good to have a pulse consultation to help identify your dominant mix of doshas.
Best drink, spices and herbal choices for hot weather
Organic Pitta Tea
Cooling Herbal Pitta Tea is a delicious combination of fragrant rose petals and refreshing spices of liquorice, cardamom and cinnamon. Taken warm or cool, it is the perfect answer when you’re feeling intense or frustrated. It helps cool down your mind, body and emotions.
Fill a 1.5 – 2L flask with boiling water and 1-2 tea bags. Pour some tea into a cup and let it cool to a comfortable temperature and sip every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Organic Pitta Churna
Sprinkle this tasty, mellow and sweet spice mixture in your soups, over vegetables or on your sandwiches or use in your cooking at home. It helps to balance stomach acids and cool down your mind-body system. It also includes immune boosting and anti-inflammatory turmeric. Organic Pitta Churna
Pitta Balance Aroma Oil
This sweet and cooling blend of Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Lemon helps to cool and soothe the mind and body when it is hot outside. It can be diffused in an aroma diffuser within a room and is delightful when a few drops are added to a bath! Pitta Balance Aroma Oil
Herbal Digest (MA927) tablets help maintain the balance of stomach gas and prevent bloating, optimal absorption, helping to eliminate the build-up of wastes and impurities, supporting balanced acid and enzyme production and enhancing the sense of taste for full enjoyment and optimal digestive function. Take 1-2 tablets before main meals.
When Pitta dosha accumulates in the digestive tract along with excess stomach acid, it can be quite uncomfortable and over time lays the seeds for even more deep-seated health concerns. Gastro Support tablets (MA320) are a combination of 17 herbs that work together to support a healthy balance in the stomach and digestive tract, helping to keep stomach acids at normal levels, supporting digestive comfort and optimal nutrition from your food. It has a soothing and balancing effect.
Dietary Tips for Hot Weather
The most important dietary recommendations during summer time are to
- Never skip or delay your meals and aim to eat your lunch at 12 Noon and dinner by 7 pm.
- Always eat when hungry. Starchy foods will help satisfy a keen hunger, but be aware of overeating and eat them in moderation.
- Stay well hydrated – Drink plenty of water, juices and Pitta Tea throughout the day.
- Eat warm whole grains, beans, milk, butter and small amounts of cream, and lots of sweet fruits and vegetables that are pesticide free. Favour organic where you can and buy at local markets.
- Avoid or reduce processed foods, junk foods, cheese, yoghurt, red meat, hot spices, alcohol, caffeine, vinegar, sour fermented foods, sugary desserts and fried foods.
- Enjoy salads made from seasonal vegetables and garnished with coriander, parsley or basil with lemon or lime juice and olive oil dressing.
- Reduce or minimise salty, sour, hot and spicy foods and deep-fried foods.
- To avoid feeling drowsy after lunch avoid iced tea, ice water or very cold soft drinks and alcohol. These drinks chill and dull digestion making it harder to digest what is eaten and can lead to a sense of dullness or feeling tired after eating by the early afternoon.
- Choose a location where you can enjoy your food. Make sure it is away from work-related interruptions and eat with full attention. It is your time out from your busy day. Take the opportunity to relax and allow your body to digest comfortably without tension that can disturb the digestion.
- Sit quietly after eating for 5 minutes and then have an easy walk for 10-15 minutes to aid digestion.
- To soothe aggravated Pitta, take two teaspoons of ghee in a glass of warm milk instead of breakfast or dinner, or a couple of hours after a very light dinner.
- If you are travelling, or if Pitta balancing foods are not available, sprinkle Pitta Seasoning over your food to make the food more suitable for you.
- Cooling and tasty Pitta Tea sipped throughout the day is very balancing during hot weather. It can also be taken at room temperature and used as the base for a fruit juice drink with a ½ glass of Pitta tea and a ½ glass of apple, pear, pineapple or mango juice or the juice of another sweet seasonal fruit that you enjoy.
Try a refreshing juice or nourishing fruit sensation
Juice the following ingredients together then sit and enjoy with your full attention! This is particularly nice when the weather is hot and you desire something cooling and delicious:
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 stalks of celery
- A sprig of basil or coriander
- ½ apple
Tease your taste buds with this Tropical fruit combination. You may like it blended in a high-speed blender or juiced:
- 1/4 of fresh pineapple, diced and skin removed
- 1 mango, peeled and stone removed
- 1 kiwifruit – skin removed
- The pulp of 1 passionfruit.
Wishing you the bliss of balance this Summer.
Linda Sinden, Maharishi AyurVeda Consultant
Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our health articles. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.
Mobile: +64 212237525
DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine.