Ritu means season and charya is the regimen to be followed during that particular season. Ayurveda has explained the systematic regimen for every season.
Grishma Ritu is the last season of Aadaan kaala (period of Uttarayana) which lasts from May to July, when the sun robs the earth and the people of their strength due its strong and penetrating rays and the dry winds leading to weakening of the earth’s cooling properties. During this period, the Pitta dosha increases immensely in the body. Increased heat in the environment also leads to lowering the digestive fire and therefore, we must eat moderately. Due to the heat, our body demands more liquids and we must consume plenty of liquids in form of water or fruit juices but care must be taken not to put off the digestive fire. This is a season producing dehydration, exhaustion, lethargy, dryness in our body and lack of energy. Ayurveda therefore, advices everyone to follow the recommended diet and lifestyle in order to maintain our energy and health during this season.
Diet recommended during this season by Ayurveda:
Sweet, light, liquid food, ghee (clarified butter) should be preferred. Plenty of liquids should be consumed in the form of water stored in mud pots, panaka prepared from fresh juicy fruits like mango, grapes, sugarcane, pomegranate (fruit juices) etc. with pepper and cardamom powder; tender coconut water, mantha which is a cool liquid preparation to beat the heat (prepared from soaking dried grapes, fig and dates in cold water for an hour and then churned) and buttermilk. Fresh juicy fruits, salads (cucumber, carrots) and boiled rice may be preferred. Diluted syrup of some herbs and fruits is recommended- Ananta (Hemidesmus indicus), Kamala (Lotus), Gulaba (rose), Amra (Mango), Draksha (Grapes),Chandana (Sandal), Ushira, Jambhira (Lemon). These can be made into syrup and diluted with water to be served when needed.
Gulkand, a powerful antioxidant, prepared using rose petals and sugar is an excellent Ayurvedic preparation, prescribed to reduce the excess heat and avoid its bad effects which can be taken on empty stomach (1-2 tsp) with milk. This reduces the burning sensation in the body, eyes, palms and soles, giddiness due to heat, itching, digestive disturbances, gastritis and many more.
Diet to be avoided: Greasy, hot, spicy, salty and sour food items, milkshakes and curds should be avoided and if consumed should be taken as churned curds with pepper. Alcohol should be avoided as consumption of this may lead to burning sensation, dryness in the body and debility.
Recommended Lifestyle: It is advised to sleep for a while during the daytime in a cool place, as the nights are shorter during summer; apply the paste of sandal all over the body and take a cold water bath, try to stay indoors and not get exposed to sunrays as far as possible, use thin and light clothes and use perfumes that are cooling in nature.
Too much of exertion and strenuous exercise should be avoided during this season.
It therefore, advisable to follow the above recommended diet and lifestyle to make our journey through this challenging hot summer easier and comfortable.
We at MSR ICAIM offer Special Summer Care Packages and advise an appropriate diet and lifestyle to stay fit.