If you’re a bit more irritable than normal, have slower digestion or possibly a skin rash, this could be a sign of an imbalance in Ayurvedic medicine called pitta. (No, not the pita bread you eat with falafel.)
Ayurvedic medicine, sister science to yoga, dates back more than 5,000 years and is a science of natural healing and prevention. Ayurveda considers the “whole” person, body, mind and spirit, to create positive health rather than just waiting for disease to set in.
In Ayurveda each season is governed by an energy in the environment that directly affects our body. The summer heat is called pitta, which is the energy in our body responsible for metabolism, absorption, heat regulation and sweating. Too much heat can trigger pitta to become imbalanced, and can even affect the mind and emotions, making a person feel overheated and impatient.
What can you do to balance your pitta?
1. Just as warm foods in the winter soothe a chill, cooling foods help to clear heat. It’s said that cooling foods help to clear heat and toxins from the body, whereas warming foods can increase energy and circulation. Try adding cooling foods to your diet such as coconut water, watermelon, peaches and mint. You know the saying “cool as a cucumber.” It’s true!
Cucumbers are cooling, hydrating and high in vitamin B for energy. It is easy to make a soothing drink right at home by slicing a few peeled cucumbers into a pitcher of filtered water.
2. Another powerhouse of health benefit and a pitta pacifier is aloe vera juice. The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health states that the use of aloe juice dates back to early Egypt, and it is known as “the plant for immortality.” Aloe vera juice benefits the skin, supports digestion, cleanses the liver, is hydrating and provides heartburn relief. I recommend Lakewood Whole Leaf Pure Aloe with Lemon Juice, which can be purchased at Whole Foods.
3. Keep cool with ice cream. The sweet properties of milk in Ayurvedic medicine have a cooling effect on the body/mind.
By increasing self-awareness and understanding of eating with the seasons you are making daily deposits toward balance and whole health.
Gedalia Genin holds a Ph.D. in natural health focusing on women’s health through Ayurveda. She practices within an integrative medical office in Atlanta, and she makes house calls.