The Rainy Season: Ayurvedic Advice for Staying Healthy

In some parts of the world, the tail end of summer marks “monsoon” or rainy season. The shift between summer and autumn. Afternoon thunderstorms, winds that blow hot or cold, and stifling humidity are it’s marks, and these outer changes are reflected inwardly too.

In Ayurvedic literature this time of year is said to aggravate wind, soothe phlegm, and mildly agitate the metabolism. The body cools down over all, and it’s a blessing for places that experience a brutal dry summerbeforehand. The build up of humidity comes with it’s own problems though. Dampness outside becomes dampness inside. Phlegm is “soothed” or alleviated because of the coolness in the evenings during this season and the presence of the water element from the rain, but it is not cleared or dried like it autumn. If there is trapped heat from summer in the body then the heat and phlegm will mix and stagnate, causing “damp heat.” This leads to the damp heat, or in Sanskrit “Pittakaphaja,” disorders.

The collective effects of this season can result in an agitated mind, a feeling of oppression, and a compromised immune system as well as slowed digestion.

Here are some tips from the Ayurvedic sages, so that you can enjoy the cooling rains in good health:

Eat moderately: Good advice for all seasons, but especially now, when digestion is slowed from the dampness. Eat foods high in fiber for clearing phlegm and releasing heat.

Don’t get lazy: Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you should become a couch potato. Make sure you still get plenty of activity to keep your blood moving and your core warm.

Avoid fried or frozen foods

Enjoy aged and fermented foods and drinks, such as kimchee, small amounts of yogurt, kambucha, and wine.

Favor warming, nutritious soups, especially in the evening.

Honey is the sweetener of choice for this season

Avoid mid-day naps and excessive sleeping

Moderation in exercise: Because the immune system is compromised, you want to guard your heart and breath. Use light exercise to break up stagnation and sweat out humidity, but don’t overdo it during this season or you might catch something.

If you see an acupuncturist, now is a good time to drain dampness and heat from the spleen and stomach.

Massage Stomach 44 and Spleen 2 with your thumbs, thirty vigorous presses, to help clear the channels of damp heat.

This is a good time to do exercises and standing postures that work on tendon and sinew strength. A very good season for Tai Chi as well.

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Hidden Elementsย  provides traditional herbal and healing methods from India, Tibet, and China, with a special focus on advanced processing methods that bring out the true strength of the herbal medicines. Special methods are used to specially prepare herbo-mineral health formulas meant to help a person achieve optimal health, as well as to prepare the body for advanced yogic exercises. Hidden Elements was founded by Daniel Murphy, an Ayurveda consultant and herbalist. Daniel offers his valuable knowledge through 1: 1 online consultations so that westerners have access to a form of healing that is usually withheld or lost in translation.

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