In Ayurveda, summer is considered Pitta season—a time when the sun is at its hottest outside, and fiery Pitta dosha predominates within the body. The Ayurvedic mind-body energy associated with fire and water, Pitta fuels digestion, metabolism, clear thinking, and productivity. When Pitta is in balance, you may feel vital, enthusiastic, and energetic. But an excess of Pitta can lead to heat-related problems like skin eruptions, occasional acid indigestion, and feelings of irritability.
Fortunately, there are some simple, Ayurvedic measures you can take this summer to balance Pitta and keep your cool.
How to stay cool in summer
1. Enjoy cooling summer beverages
Cool liquids help to pacify Pitta, but ice-cold drinks and carbonated beverages can dampen your digestive fire (agni). Instead, drink cool or room-temperature water throughout the day to replenish moisture. Other great options:
- Sweet, room-temperature fruit juices (sweet grape or sweet pineapple are refreshing choices).
- Boiled and cooled milk with a pinch of cardamom or a little Organic Rose Petal Spread blended in.
- Sweet lassi, a delicious probiotic beverage made by blending one part fresh yogurt and three parts cool water with a heaped tablespoon or two of Organic Rose Petal Spread and a pinch of cooling cardamom (strain before drinking).
- Organic Pitta Tea is a refreshing summertime beverage for keeping the body, mind, and emotions cool.
2. Eat a pitta-pacifying diet
To counter Pitta’s fiery, heating tendencies, it’s helpful to favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes, and reduce or avoid sour, salty, and pungent tastes. Look for:
- Sweet vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, and zucchini
- Sweet, juicy fruits like melons, pears, and grapes (try our Summer Fruit Salad!)
- Dairy products like milk and ghee
- Grains like rice
Whenever possible, try to avoid sour or spicy foods like sour cream, ketchup and vinegar, and chiles. Cook with cooling herbs and spices like cardamom, coriander, mint, fennel, and anise. Sprinkle Organic Pitta Churna on dishes. For a little kitchen inspiration, try this recipe for Summer Pasta with Cream Sauce.
3. Drink cooling spice water
You've probably heard that drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is important for flushing out toxins. During summer, it's even more important to keep replacing fluids that may be lost to perspiration. Try adding a few cooling herbs and spices, as in our Cooling Summer Water. The herbs in this recipe cool Pitta dosha, while helping to stimulate digestion and cleanse the microchannels of the body.
4. Do cooling exercise
Swimming and other water-based activities are wonderful for soothing Pitta dosha. Leisurely evening strolls are relaxing for both mind and body. An occasional moonlight walk is especially soothing for Pitta-ruffled emotions.
Gentle yoga can also be helpful—but steer clear of hot-yoga classes, which will only increase the heat in your mind and body. (Post workout tip: get hydrated with one of these Three Cooling Summer Smoothie Recipes.)
5. Chill out, and enjoy!
A Pitta-aggravating lifestyle that revolves around overworking, frequent time pressure, deadline-oriented activities, and long commutes will become twice as stressful in the heat of summer. Make sure to balance your work with leisure.
- Plan your vacation for the summer.
- Enjoy fun activities on weekends, and take time to enjoy life.
- When working, give yourself enough time to meet deadlines, and learn to say no if you feel your schedule is becoming stretched.
- Diffuse cooling aroma oils such as Pitta Aroma Oil to keep your environment balanced.
- Sleep with your windows open if you can.
- Experiment with Cooling, Delicious Ayurvedic Summer Recipes.
6. Protect yourself from the sun
Outdoor activities are fun in the summer, but try to avoid prolonged sun exposure during the hottest part of the day. If you must go out, protect yourself with sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat—and eat some sweet juicy fruit as a snack to keep your body cool from within. Remember to drink lots of water and carry a bottle with you.
7. Use rose for it's soothing properties
In Ayurveda, roses are renowned for their powerful cooling effects on the mind, body, and emotions. Ayurvedic herbal formulas that contain a high percentage of heating herbs often include dried rose petals to balance things out. Here are some easy ways to enjoy the cooling properties of roses:
- Try a spoonful of Organic Rose Petal Spread on its own or blended into milk.
- Use our Rose Herbal Soap for cleansing and Organic Rose Water as a pure toner.
- Dry, tired eyes? Spritz some rose water on a pair of cotton pads and place them over your closed eyes for 10 minutes to ease tensions away.
Get support with herbal formulas
Organic Premium Amla Berry from Maharishi AyurVeda helps pacify Pitta and replenishes nutrients depleted by excess heat, stress, and overwork. Aci-Balance helps put out the fire inside if you've thrown your digestion off with too much spicy food.
Feeling stressed? Our Blissful Joy herbal tablets help you withstand the effects of stress on the emotions.
For more helpful, cooling suggestions, check out our article on how to Thrive in Late Summer with These Ayurvedic Tips.
© 1999, 2023 Maharishi AyurVeda Products International, Inc. (MAPI). All Rights Reserved. MAPI does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. See additional information.