Ayurvedic Diet And Lifestyle For Rainy Season
The drops fell little by little…. Soon rumbling clouds and thunder arrived… A fresh breeze to wash away the remnants of the scorching heat… Longer nights spent huddled under the blanket… A cup of steaming coffee to set the mood… !! Yes! The Monsoons have set in. People fall in love with the rain by default. The dampness, the freshness and the occasional laziness it brings, together with the rainbow after it's all settled, makes life colorful.
Little kids and even a few adults love to play in the rain. Unfortunately, most often mothers come into picture scolding them in concern of contracting fever, cough or common cold. Well, they are right in some ways. The monsoon season brings along bouts of diseases and allergies, along with all the pleasure it gives. Thus, one must not undermine the advice of our elders - just a reminder!
How wonderful it would be if you could enjoy the goodness in each season fearlessly!!
Ayurveda, the eternal science of life, has a way of making things easier for the people. In the ancient classics of Ayurveda are mentioned, various seasons and the regimen one must adapt to remain healthy irrespective of them. A whole chapter has been dedicated to this purpose under Ritucharya. During the monsoon season, you merely have to follow the dietary and behavioral patterns as mentioned in Varsha ritu to remain fit as a fiddle.
According to Ayurveda, vata dosha is the indistinct energy correlated with the governance of breathing, blinking, movement of the muscles & tissues, the heartbeat and in short, the overall movement of the body including the flow of thoughts. When in balance, vata aids in ingenuity and resilience. Whereas, out of balance it engenders panic and apprehension.
During the monsoon season, vata dosha aggravates, which causes mandagni or impeded digestive power, decreased immunity and a weakened body. The impaired digestive system begets ama, which is the root of many diseases including rhinitis.
Another dosha which plays a part in varsha ritu is pitta. It generally deals with metabolic processes to effectuate heat and energy. In varsha ritu, pitta dosha gets accumulated due to atmospheric acidic conditions and is aggravated in autumn with the return of heat. The dietary and behavioral aspects are to be controlled to balance the vata & pitta doshas and to be free from diseases.
Food for health in Monsoon !!
The changes in the food and lifestyle habits should be brought about cautiously and can not be done hastily. It must be done over a period of 15 days by giving up the routines of the previous season and embracing the new one for acclimatization.
Several dietary tips are mentioned in the Ayurvedic classics which helps to boost immunity. The lowered digestive power cannot bear to take in heavy food and thus light food and water are suggested. During monsoon, the water accumulated in water bodies is comparatively heavy; hence the need for lightened water. The food items best suited in monsoon includes those made from barley, rice & wheat, cow's ghee, lentils, green gram, etc. Consuming a small piece of ginger with rock salt before every meal helps enhance agni. In order to counteract pitta dosha, Ayurveda suggests the use of bitter- tasting vegetables & herbs like bitter gourd, neem, turmeric, etc.
Some days are exceptionally cold and thus a sour, salty and oily diet is preferred. Eating warm food and drinking excessive fluid is advised to prevent further deterioration of metabolism. The uncooked and raw food are to be completely avoided; maintenance of hygiene while cooking is a must. Several other food habits to be controlled include avoiding the consumption of stale food, greasy & spicy food, leafy vegetables, curd, red meat and any other food which takes longer time for digestion.
How about adopting healthy lifestyle choices for once??
When the season descends from summer to monsoon, it may take a toll on our body if we were to continue our unhealthy practices. Along with the seasonal changes, we too have to fall in the track of Varsha ritu charya. The dietary regimen has been discussed above. Now, moving onto behavioural patterns, the first point to be noted is the avoidance of daytime sleep, since it hampers digestion and decelerates metabolism. It would be better if you could avoid over exposure to the sun, especially in the mid day.
Remember to keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Take special note in clearing the breeding zones of mosquitoes. Get bundled up whenever you go out in the rain, to maintain warmth and unfortunately if you were to get drenched, take care to change your clothes & dry yourself as soon as possible. Well, always keep your feet dry and be careful not to walk in dampened/ dirty water.
In monsoon the best choice to dry your clothes is the fumigation by neem leaves, which have anti- microbial action. Besides, the panchakarma is found to be most effective when done during this period.The body is said to gain enhanced abilities to utilize nutrients after panchakarma therapy.
Did you know that panchakarma, when done in monsoon, has its benefits throughout the year??
The cool and damp ambience the rains present, creates various disturbances in the body. The three doshas fall into chaos and can be brought back to their equilibrium by the panchakarma therapy. It mainly consists of five detoxification procedures namely; vamana, virechana vasti, rakta mokshana and nasya. The atmosphere becomes mild, the body’ s pores open up and it becomes more responsive to healing. That moment when the body is freed from toxic elements and the incursion of fresh nutrients occurs, panchakarma helps in recharging your body and toughening up all organs and tissues.
As a therapy every Ayurvedic physician looks up to, the benefits of panchakarma are numerous. Some of them encompass detoxifying the body, boosting immunity, preventing lifestyle disorders like diabetes, blood pressure, back pain, etc., improving blood circulation and most importantly enhances the digestive fire which gets dwindled during the monsoon.
If one were to properly follow the dietary and lifestyle practices advised in Ayurveda, with the subsequent administration of panchakarma, the positive effects of the therapy would benefit him throughout the year. Not only does this therapy purify the mind and body but it also creates a protective shield against diseases.
The seasons exist for a reason- to ensure mankind does not have a monotonous life. The varieties of season bring about innumerable shades to the world. It is regrettably accompanied by a myriad of seasonal diseases and allergies. Our wish to remain healthy all over the year can be accomplished by adhering to the principles of Ayurveda.