Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ayurveda to Beat the Heat

We are truly blessed to have this special post by Paramliv Kaur. Paramliv recently came to our community from Santa Cruz. She has so willingly offered to share some of her knowledge with us. Maybe, this will become a regular thing. Thank you Paramliv Kaur!!! AND please, if you appreciate this post, let her know. Her contact info is at the bottom.

Ayurveda to Beat the Heat

Just moving from Santa Cruz, California I am having to adjust my own diet to balance the abundance of the fire element effecting Pitta dosha {fire + water elements} here in Arizona. I am called to eat more cooling foods… my taste buds crave sweet, bitter and astringent, all balancing to Pitta dosha.

Since Ayurveda balances through the application of opposites, we should be aware of the qualities of Pitta - hot, sharp, light, oily, liquid, and mobile (or spreading). We can then logically see that by bringing the qualities of cool, slow, heavy, dry, dense and stable into our diet and lifestyle we can counteract the environmental influences. Below are some ideas for balancing Pitta:

Tastes to Balance Pitta

Sweet {Earth + Water - oily, cooling, heavy}: Rice, wheat, milk, dates, maple syrup, seasonal fruits (especially watermelon)

Bitter {Air + Space - cool, light and dry}: Leafy greens, bitter melon, aloe vera, fenugreek, tumeric, dandelion, rhubarb

Astringent {Air +Earth - cooling, drying, heavy}: Tumeric, green tea, pomegranate, chickpeas, green beans

Diet: Favor leafy greens, watermelon, cucumber, cilantro and whole grains. Avoid excess oil and salt, pungent – spicy, sour – citrus and fermented foods (alcohol, vinegar) and cheese.

Summer Lassi: A good Pitta pacifying drink. Try blending ¼ cup yogurt to 1 cup water and ¼ t. roasted cumin seed. Or for a sweet variation replace cumin with 2 T. sucanat or other sweetener and 1 drop rose water.

Summer Kitcharee: ½ cup basmati rice, ½ cup split mung dahl, ¼ cup grated coconut, 1 T. chopped ginger, 2 t. cumin seed, 1 T. ghee, 1 t. tumeric, ¼ cup chopped cilantro and 1 t. salt. Wash rice and dahl and combine with 3-4 cups water, ginger and coconut. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium-low and cook partially covered until done. Heat ghee and add cumin seed. When seeds pop add tumeric briefly and remove from heat. Add to kitcharee with cilantro and salt to taste. May serve with lime wedges.

Lifestyle: Limit exposure to sun and wear sunglasses, daily self-massage with coconut or sunflower oil before shower, listen to calming music, moderate exercise during the coolest part of the day.

Yoga: Sitali pranayama, left nostril breathing, forward bends, twists, quiet meditation

Signs of Excess Pitta: Acid indigestion, burning sensations including heartburn, irritability, anger or cynicism, headaches, inflammation, skin eruptions or rashes, fever, profuse sweating, excessive hunger, nausea and vomiting.

Throughout your day bring your awareness to your diet and lifestyle choices and how certain foods or activities affect you and begin to play with balancing through opposites. I find that it’s helpful to keep a journal to notate the effects.

May we live and eat in harmony with Mother Nature and may we be healed through our conscious choices!

Sat Nam,
Paramliv Kaur

Paramliv Kaur can be reached at She welcomes any comments or questions you may have about this post or other ayurvedic questions.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Thank you dear Paramliv Kaur. Great info!