Well-awaited and ever cherished monsoon is here. Although the rains lift our spirits and are simply an asset in many ways, yet at the same time the season brings with itself a number of health dilemmas like stomach infections, skin rashes and allergies, lethargy and malaise, respiratory afflictions and viral fever.
- According to Ayurveda, during the rainy season there is a considerable loss of energy levels and also decrease in the digestive powers. This accounts for the feeling of low and frailty and increased incidence of gastric upsets during this period of the year.
- Also, all the three doshas or body humors i.e. the vatta, pitta and kapha (air, fire and phlegm) get distorted, more particularly the air body humor.
- As Vatta is on the rise, you may experience more of joint pain and muscular stiffness that tends to augment during the rains.
Dietary Changes are Desirable
- Go more for home made, freshly cooked and easily digestible foods.
- It has been stressed that the foods that help in decreasing the aggravated air humor are a must. For this purpose, feast more on sour, salty and oily foods. Do not start munching on fried and spicy delicacies but try and keep a balance because dry and rough food items tend to aggravate the vatta.
- It is equally important to keep the digestive powers up in this season. Therefore, the foods that tend to invigorate the gastric fire need to be included in your daily diet. Intake of old jaun (barley), wheat, old rice, oats and vegetable soups with a tadka (seasoning) of cumin, pepper and asafoetida in ghee has been suggested. Non-vegetarian food items are also not discouraged.
- Use plenty of garlic in your food preparations.
- The herbs of ginger and holy basil when boiled in your morning tea, could save you from the viral infections that are in the air.
- Honey is another boon during this season. Take it daily mixed in a glassful of boiled and self-cooled water or simply lick on a spoonful.
- Increase your water and liquid intake to cope up with the excessive sweat produced in this season and to stay clear of dehydration.
Lifestyle Changes for Monsoon Season
- Ayurveda counsels that it is highly significant to maintain personal hygiene during the damp season.
- Scrub the skin nicely after daily bath so as to avoid direct contact and accumulation of infection causing germs and microorganisms.
- Use of perfumed talcs and deos is also suggested. A paste prepared by rubbing sandalwood on mortar would keep your skin soft and supple as well as fragrant. This also helps to keep away bad odour due to increased sweat.
- Body massage of a paste prepared by mixing powders of turmeric and besan in water or raw milk is also advocated once or twice a week.
- Avoid perspiring for long times, the sweat being a culprit for most of the skin afflictions. For this, a regular change of underclothes is a must. It is advisable to wear clean and comfortable cotton clothes. Synthetic clothes are a strict no-no for this humid season.
- Keep your surroundings clean and dry to stay clear of a variety of pests and insects, the accidental bites of which is a giver of skin allergies and toxins in the body.
What to Avoid during Rains
As per the Ayurvedic texts, during the rainy season you need to be restrictive in a few activities:
You need to cut down on activities like taking up tough exercise schedules and going out in the sun, as these would enhance the sweat production in your body and also leave you all the more weak and debilitated. Sleeping in the daytime and drinking river water or sattu mixed in water is also prohibited.
Dr. Sonica krishan is Ayurveda and Natural Lifestyle Consultant, Freelance Health Writer, Editor and Books Author based at Chandigarh, India. She has authored natural home cure books ‘Herbal Healers’, ‘Home Remedies’ and ‘Healing through Ayurveda’ and is presently writing for National and International publications. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.herboveda.co.in