Monsoon and Ayurveda: Key to Remain Healthy in Rainy Season

How beautiful is the rain ! After the dust and the heat , … How beautiful is the rain !

(H.W.Longfellow )

Everybody has experienced the sheer joy of rain… A walk in the woods, dance in the rain, waiting for the storm to pass, listening to the mesmerizing rhythm of falling rain… though the rain drops are never synchronised, yet their music is a song in itself. And yes, everyone has at least once ran onto the street while raindrops are falling from the sky and danced with mouth open… Letting the raindrops shower upon our face and reaching our hand simply to feel like we have touched the face of God !

Monsoon or rainy season is the time of year when most of a region’s average annual rainfall occurs. The best thing a person wants do when it’s raining is actually stay indoors; play family games, cards, puzzles, surfing on internet, throw a dance party… While children enjoy playing blanket fort, toy bath time, drawing. There are so many ways for keeping family busy , especially in current situations. While we enjoy gazing the rain , mothers back in kitchen are always busy in making delicious monsoon special dishes !

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, movement of sun into the northern and southern solstice positions divides the year into six seasons (Rutu), namely Shishira,Vasanta, Grishma Varsha, Sharad and Hemant. When one season ends and another season starts, there is seasonal junction (Rutusandhi) of 14 days, i.e. 7 days of previous and 7 days of upcoming season. During this phase, environment consist of seasonal characteristics of both the previous and upcoming season. As per Ayurveda, this results in lowered immunity power in a person; if correct diet, lifestyle, daily regimens are not followed. Ayurveda firmly believes that every single person should follow seasonal junction routine. The diet, lifestyle, and daily routine of previous season should be gradually discontinued; whereas diet, lifestyle, and daily routine of new season should be gradually adapted. This way, the person remains in very good health and their immunity power is increased . This will keep most of the disease away including viral diseases .

Ayurveda believes that rainy season is very important. During the second part of sun’s rotation (southern solstice), sun releases the strength to the people by empowering moon and earth becomes cool due to the clouds, rain and cold wind (Visarga kala). The Varsha ritu or monsoon season indicates for the appearance of southern solstice (Visarga kaal) and restoration of lost strength during Shishir,Vasanta and Grishma ritus.

Ayurveda texts quote that person becomes more vulnerable to diseases in rainy season than in any other seasons. Rainy season stands out from the other seasons because there are 2 separate seasonal junctions .
1) Summer ~ Monsoon seasonal junction
2) Monsoon ~ winter seasonal junction

We experience damp, cloudy, moist, windy climate around us. Dakshinayan meaning southward movement of sun causes the weather to become cold and humid. This results in low and sluggish digestive fire which in turn increases indigestion problems. Person gets cravings for spicy and oily foods. Diseases like jaundice, typhoid, cholera, flu and so on are seen in society. Humidity makes our skin moist. Areas particularly around folds (arm, loin, groin, neck) get skin infections. Diseases like allergies are results of increased pitta and vaat in monsoon. Vata dominant diseases affecting heart, kidneys , brain are also seen . We need to take SPECIAL CARE of our health.

An admirable Ayurvedic Doctor are those who are excellent kitchen chef as well as an excellent astrologer!

Good news for spouse of ayurvedic doctor !
Well… moving ahead, let me confess to all SRUJAN BLOG FANS, this article finds itself being written in kitchen! Yes , you guess it right … Kitchen is the place where sacred fire resides in the form of LPG, Oven, Induction and so on.

Family who dines together, stays together !

So, are you ready to discover monsoons kitchen goodies? Here I present to you a few kitchen remedies that are absolutely tasty, delicious, easily available in kitchens all around the world and so simple that even batchelors can have fun making these!

P.S. These are for educational purposes. Before trying kindly take advice of your family doctor.

Remedies for various body parts:

THROAT CARE:
For hoarseness of voice-
1. Soak few kokam (wild mangostrem)(Garcinia Indica) overnight in water. Crush to make juice .
2. Mix kokam fresh juice 4 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon ginger powder + pinch of cinnamon powder + pinch of cardamom powder + 2 tablespoon honey . Have this two times in a day .

For cough and difficulty in breathing-
Have fresh Ginger juice 2 tablespoon mixed with honey twice a day.

EAR PAINS:
Lukewarm fresh juice of ginger + oil + honey and himalayan salt (saindhav) . Is mixed together karna purana is done .
(This is unique ayurvedic technique to put oil in ear )

HEART CARE:
Rainy season naturally increases Vaat dominantly. Heart related problems are suddenly increased. One of 5 types of air elements inside body is called Vyan vayu. It resides in our cardiac area and is responsible for protecting Heart. We protect Vyan vayu, we protect cardiovascular system all together! During monsoon, increased gas trapped inside our abdomen causes constipation. It starts chain reaction of all 5 types of air elements in body . Here is a remedy to support digestion and used as a Cardiac Tonic.
1. Soak few kokam overnight in water. Crush to make juice .
Fresh Juice of kokam + saindhav (Himalayan salt) + jeera (cumin seeds) .

MENSTRUATING PAINS:
Couple of days before the onset of menstrual cycle, have cumin seeds decoction 60ml, and jaggery about 4 tablespoons. Drink it two times in a day .

SCROTAL PAIN:
Fresh Ginger juice 2 tablespoon with seseme oil 2 tablespoon . Have this empty stomach early in the morning .

FEET CARE:
Humid climate affects our feet, especially those who attain washing, cleaning. Fungal infections between fingers are most common. White patches are developed between toe with itching and rash. Keep body parts dry. Use anti fungal soap.
Take Organic Turmeric powder + Honey and apply this paste on whole foot. Wash after half an hour.

OBESITY:
Along with your other medicines, drink warm water which is reduced to half quantity over the heat. That is- take 100 ml water, heated it to boil till it Reduces up to 50 ml. Drink lukewarm.
This water has properties like easy to digest, increase power of digestive fire, detoxes our bladder.

SCIATICA:
Take dehusked garlic and add cow’s milk along with water. Reduce until only milk remains. Drink lukewarm.

BURNING SENSATION:
In monsoon, we often eat spicy and oily foods, due to which Pitta increases.
Take Dhaniya (coriander seeds ) powder 2 tablespoon, mix in 100 ml of hot water. When lukewarm , filter it and drink .

Monsoon special recipes :

Medicated Rice soup (Manda):
Rice one bowl + 14 bowls of water are mixed and boiled together . Filter this liquid and add ginger powder , himalayan salt (saindhav)
Long pepper , black pepper , roasted hingu(Asafoetida )
This is very tasty and good in fever, weakness, anemia, loss of appetite .

Non veg. Special recipe:
Boneless meat is cooked, sautee by adding few spices like long pepper, black pepper, ginger, ghee (clarified butter ). Good for increasing body strength .

General tips for health during monsoon:

Diet during monsoon: As discussed earlier, the digestive fire (agni) becomes sluggish during this period. Hence few changes in diet and lifestyle are advisable:

  • Consume light and fresh foods prepared from barley, rice and wheat. Eat warm food, avoid uncooked foods.
  • Include ghee made from cow milk, lentils, green gram, rice and wheat in daily diet.
  • Consume small piece of ginger with rock salt before every meal.
  • Include sour and salted soups of vegetables in diet.
  • Drink boiled and cooled water.
  • Avoid curd, red and dry meat or any food that takes longer time to digest. Prefer butter milk over curd.

Lifestyle during monsoon: 

  • Avoid sleeping in daytime as it slows down the metabolism.
  • Avoid Overexertion and overexposure to sun, especially in afternoon.
  • Keep the surrounding dry and clean, and keep the body warm.
  • Avoid or minimize the use of air conditioner, and dry the hair properly after wash.
  • Avoid walking in dirty/dampened water, and keep the feets dry.
  • Use of various dhoopan processes (Fumigative disinfectant) like loban and dry neem leaves for drying clothes and killing insects/bacteria.

With proper follow up of diet, lifestyle and daily regimen as described by Ayurveda, you can not just be healthy, but also enjoy many more monsoons to the fullest.

[Author of this post is Dr. Prasad Gokhale, an international Ayurveda Physician and Panchakarma expert. Medical Translator for Russian,Japanese, German and Spanish. Contact: https://www.facebook.com/prasad.gokhale.988373]

Images source: Pixabay

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