The first showers after a hot summer are welcomed with a sigh of relief. After getting respite from intense heat everyone dreams of enjoying ginger tea, spicy soups and fried snacks. Monsoon a delightful season lasting from June to September every year also brings in many health issues.
Low temperatures combined with high humidity are perfect conditions for germs to thrive. Allergies, contamination, flue, skin rashes and indigestion become prevalent during this period. Damp weather increases the incidence of dengue, typhoid, viral fevers, pneumonia and gastrointestinal problems. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant rain water and cause diseases. The moisture and humidity in the air makes people susceptible to fungal infections and skin rashes.
Lack of resistance makes you vulnerable to sickness. Robust immune system, the foundation of a healthy body helps to fight infections. Seeking medical treatment is essential when illness strikes, however, strengthening the immunity should be our prime objective.
What Does Ayurveda Say?
According to Ayurveda, three seasons, rainy season, autumn and winter fall in the southern solstice when the sun moves south, cooling the earth. At such times, living beings need a strong immune system to prevent diseases.
During monsoons Vata and Pitta doshas aggravate and weaken body systems. Aggravation of Pitta dosha affects the digestive system to makes it sluggish, resulting in a loss of appetite. Balancing doshas improves and rejuvenates the body and mind.
Ayurvedic Tips for Monsoons
Ayurveda lists some rituals to combat illnesses in the rainy season.
Oil massage, and hot water baths help in pacifying Vata dosha and are highly recommended in monsoons to keep the skin clean, healthy and prevent skin problems. These baths also assist in removing the toxins.
Pranayama During Monsoon
Breathing exercises can do wonders for your well-being. Our hectic schedules overwhelm us so much that we hardly breathe properly. Practicing Pranayama revitalizes pranic energy. Learn the right way of performing these breathing exercises. Doing them regularly can calm the mind and optimize health.
Diet Tips in Monsoons
During monsoons the digestive system becomes weak. Ayurveda recommends a light and nutritious diet. Seasonal vegetables like bottle gourd, snake gourd and okra should be consumed. Milk and cow ghee are also recommended. Old barley, steamed and lightly seasoned pumpkin and moong dal are beneficial.
Drinking enough water to stay hydrated is essential. Having Chayawanprash everyday can provide a dose of vitamin C to build up resistance. Adding a few tulsi (basil) leaves to tea is good for cold, cough and indigestion.
Monsoon is not a reason to be sedentary. Light exercise and yoga are recommended. Create a simple, practical and doable exercise routine and strictly follow it. Regular exercise has a positive impact on physical, mental and emotional well-being.
- Eat fresh home cooked food
- Drink boiled water
- Avoid leafy vegetables, potatoes, carrots, raw vegetables, peas, lentil (masur)
- Avoid eating sweets, fried food, cold drinks and ice creams
- Avoid stale, heavy foods, acidic and sour foods like pickles, chutneys and yogurt
- Include red rice, jowar (Great Millet), ragi pigeon peas, green gram and kulith (horsegram), coconut and dates
- Include turmeric, ginger, rock salt, coriander, cumin, asafoetida, black pepper and piper longum.
Ayurvedic Remedies in Monsoon
- Drink a glass of warm water mixed with a tea spoon of honey and juice of ½ lemon in the morning to flush out accumulated toxins.
- Boil a few basil leaves, 2-3 pepper corns, 1 - 2 cloves and a piece of ginger in a cup of water. Reduce it to half. Bring it to room temperature. Add a tea spoon of honey and drink to prevent, colds, flu and throat infections.
- Grate a small piece of raw turmeric and squeeze the juice (1/2 tsp) Have to twice for three days. This is a great remedy for sore throat.
- For better digestion, boil ½ tsp of carrom seeds, coriander and cumin seeds each with a small piece of ginger in a glass of water. Strain and drink.
- Boil a few mint leaves in a glass of water. Remove from heat. Add a juice of lemon and drink. This herbal drink helps in dyspepsia.
- Ayurveda emphasises on prevention of diseases and strengthening body systems. A strong body adjusts easily in any weather conditions to remain healthy.
- Be fit and happy to dance in the rains
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)
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