STAY HEALTHY WITH AYURVEDA THIS RAINY SEASON
The rains are here, and together with the fresh, cool showers comes the possibility of ailments from the changing climate. When the body’s immunity weakens, digestion slows down, and Vata and Pitta doshas increase. In fact, in the past, our ancestors used to stay indoors and chant positivity enhancing prayers to keep diseases away during the monsoon.
Ayurveda prescribes specific diet and lifestyle changes to stay healthy during the rainy season. By following a particular lifestyle, the monsoon can be transformed into a rejuvenation of the body and mind. Here are some of the methods Ayurveda suggests:
During the rainy season, one should consume light foods easy on the stomach, like old grains and old rice. Ayurveda recommends steamed and adequately cooked foods over raw foods and leafy greens, which are more prone to contamination during this season. Extremes should be avoided but mildly sweet, salty or sour foods are recommended. Moong dal and urad dal are easier to digest than toor dal, so add that to your diet. Take ghee with rice and not curd, as the former aids digestion and boost immunity. When the weather gets cold, sipping drinks sprinkled with salt, pepper and ginger will warm the body.
One should avoid heavy foods like meat, fish, and potato as they are difficult to digest. Similarly, frozen, cold, and oily foods are not recommended either. Make sure to drink only warm water which has been boiled well as there are more chances of water-borne diseases during the monsoon.
Ayurveda recommends a special rice gruel for the monsoon months, which is called Karkidaka Kanji in Kerala. A traditional medicinal soup made up of many herbs, pulses, and grains, the gruel can boost the body’s immunity and prevent fevers and rheumatic illnesses that affect the body during the monsoons. The gruel should be taken warm every day for at least seven days for full benefits.
Mild Exercises and Massages
Owing to the rains, usual walks, and outdoor exercises would be limited to a great extent. Thus one should ensure that they do light exercises and yoga inside the house. Oil massages using sesame oil done before the bath can keep the body warm and protect the skin of the feet from infections.
Drying the Hair Properly
Most of the monsoon-related ailments like cold and sinusitis are caused by the high humidity levels in the air. As a result, the hair does not dry properly, especially in the case of long-haired people. Ayurveda has a specific drying method for the hair during the monsoon, using ingredients like eaglewood, camphor, costus, frankincense, and sandalwood. These are crushed and smoked using burning embers of coconut shells in an earthen vessel. After the bath, one should let the hair loose and allow the smoke to pass over it. The fragrant smoke will dry the hair properly and give off a heady aroma as well. This hair treatment can also ward off infections of the scalp and dandruff.