BEAT THE HEAT

Summer is the season of Vata and Pitta. Heat abounds and we must help our bodies cope with the warmer weather. The sun takes away the strength of the people and the cooling qualities of the earth. It is the debilitating period.

Here are some things you can do to adjust to the scorching days of summer.

Summer Routine

1. This is the time of year to conserve your energy. Leisurely activities are best.

2. Keeping the body cool is recommended, as overheating can cause a Pitta imbalance, So take bath with normal water and anoint the body with sandal paste.

3. Rest and relaxation are advised. This is a great time for the typical “summer vacation”.

4. One can take a nap during the day since nights are shorter in summers. But nap is generally prohibited in other seasons, except in certain health conditions.

5.  Sleep for 7 – 8 hours at night.

6. Surround yourself with calming soft colors and fragrances.

7. Take extra care of your feet, as in warm weather shoes tend to leave feet cracked and dry. You can apply sesame oil to the feet daily. Oil application to the feet not only relives cracks, numbness or pain in feet but also improves eye sight.

8. Wear natural fibres such as cotton to allow your skin to breath. Prefer to wear light color dresses like yellow, light blue or green or pink. These colors help to calm Pitta.

9. One can wear pearl pendant or ring. Pearl helps to pacify Pitta.

10. Exposure to too much sun or too much exertion should be avoided.

11. Protect yourself from sun. Do not go out during the hottest time of the day.

12. Do not overdo anything – avoid over work, over strain or excess exercise.

13. Use suitable creams and oils on the body to prevent damage to the skin due to excess heat. One can use Aloe Vera gel for the face and apply coconut oil or ghee or ksheerabala oil for the body.

14. Place a piece of cucumber / potato or cotton dipped in rose water on the eyes. As eyes is the seat of Pitta, this helps to relax and rejuvenate the eyes.

Summer Diet

1. Eat cool, soft foods like fresh fruit juices or coconut water or sugarcane juice.

2. During summer, as the day time is longer, stomach should not be empty, therefore, three or four helping of semi solids / fluids / fruits.

3. Reduce excess hot and acidic foods like tamarind, sour yoghurt / curd, sour buttermilk, chilies, and vinegar.

4. Reduce excess alcohol as this dehydrates the body.

5. Keep hydrated with plenty of water. It is advisable to drink water from a mud pot.

6. Include buttermilk, fresh fruits and juices, salads, melon, squash, cucumber, peppermint, coriander, cardamom, fennel, anise.

7. Take timely meals.

The Three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas & Tamas

The three subtle basic components (tri gunas) of Sattva, Raja and Tamas are the very fabric of creation. Unknown to modern sciences, they permeate through all living and non-living, tangible and intangible things. The vibrations emitted by anything are dependent on its predominant subtle basic component. This also influences the behavior of all things.

Sattva stands for purity and knowledge and sattvic individual lives in service of society with no expectation of recognition or reward of any ulterior motive. Rajas stands for action and passion and Rajasic individuals live more for personal gain and achievement. Tamas stands for ignorance and inertia. Tamasic individual has no problem about stepping on other’s toes to get ahead or harming the society.

The gunas cannot be explained altogether distinctly from one another. Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas are mixed up with one another. They are attached to one another, serve one another, they feed on one another. Everything in the world is made of these three gunas. The creation of the gunas is eternal. As long as there is goodness so long, darkness exists. And, as long as goodness and darkness exist, so long the passion exists. They perform their journey together,                                                                           in union and moving about collectively.

Sattva can be correlated to potential energy of the system, Rajas – to the kinetic one, while Tamas is the lack of energy. This metaphor complies with physiological descriptions and it is intuitively subject to hierarchization according to up to down axis. For instance, the seed with its potency of making the new plant grow is Sattvic in its nature, the plant in its full bloom is Rajasic while the rotten fruit that has fallen from it is of Tamas nature.

Eat the right Diet

Regular and timely meals should be taken. Over eating and fasting should be avoided. Ayurveda diet emphasizes on eating a healthy diet which helps to maintain balance in doshas. It is not mathematical. It is about eating in moderation, the right diet which is conducive to health. One should refrain from frozen food. Freshly prepared warm meals are advisable. Refined sugar, sweets, chocolates, stimulants, caffeine, coffee, tea, cold drinks and foods, carbonated beverages, preserved food, fried or overcooked food, strong spices, excessively spicy food should be reduced. They interfere not only with the normal functioning of the body organs but also disturb our mental faculties, derange our emotions and thoughts. Also, foods like red meat, aged cheeses, over spiced, oily, salty, pungent and sour foods should be reduced. Hence, avoiding processed, precooked, fast foods and frozen foods is one of the best ways to reduce the Rajasic and Tamasic energies in your diet.

Ghee, cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh warming spices, curd, yoghurt, milk, nuts and dry fruits soaked in water overnight, and cereals are good for maintaining a Sattvaguna, the positive energy of mind which fosters positive attitude and all positive emotions. It also balances of the negative energies in our mind. Sattvaguna is absolutely necessary for keeping our mind free from harmful negative emotions like anger. Hence, including foods that contain ‘Sattvaguna’ is the best way to control negative emotions.

Simple Lifestyle suggestions

Avoid going very late to bed at night or staying awake at night, over work, abuse, social isolation, self destructive behavior, negative thinking, alcohol, smoking and tobacco. Sleeping for 8 hours at night, Going to bed early and waking up early should be practiced. Practice pranayama or focused breathing exercise, yoga and meditation. Go for walking and be physically active all through the day. Listen to soft music at night. Organize your work and keep up with your tasks. It will ease off burdens and enhance Sattva Guna.

Coconut water an ideal natural drink

Botanically it is known as Cocos nucifera and belongs to Arecaceae family. Coconut water is one of the delicious and refreshing health drinks known to everyone. Coconut water is endosperm obtained by opening a tender and immature coconut. The water is clear, sterile and very sweet. It contains sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones.


Coconut plants are well grown in costal environments. Different species of coconut palms are grown all over the world especially in India, Brazilian Coast, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean. They are collected at the age of 5-7 months. A single nut may contain about 200 to 1000 ml of water depending on size and its variety. In some countries it is available canned, or bottled. The natural taste and flavor of coconut water show variations on different parameters like soil, water, atmosphere etc.

Ayurveda Energetics

Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)

Guna (Properties) – Laghu (Light)

Virya (Potency) – Shita (Cold)

Vipaka (Taste at the end of Digestion) – Madhura (Sweet)

Dosha Karma (Action on doshas) – Mitigates Vata dosha and Pitta dosha

Karma (Actions) – Brmhana (Stoutening), Balya (Strength promoting), Mutrala (Diuretic), Hridaya (Good for heart),

Shukrala (Spermatogenic).

Indications – Thirst, Burning sensation, Gastritis.

Nutritional Values :

Sr. No.    Contents    Percentage
1    Calories    45.6
2    Carbohydrate    3 %
3    Fat    1 %
4    Protein    3%
5    Sodium    11 %
6    Potassium    17 %
7    Dietary Fiber    11 %
8    Vitamin C    10 %
9    Vitamin B6    4 %
10    Thiamin    5 %
11    Niacin    1 %
12    Calcium    6 %
13    Iron    4 %
14    Magnesium    15 %
15    Zinc    2 %
16    Phosphorous    5 %
17    Copper     5 %

Health benefits of coconut water

  • Ayurvedic perspective tender coconut specially helps in lowering Pitta Dosha and Pitta related diseases like Pittaj Jwara, Raktapitta etc.
  • Coconut water is help in heart problem, act as appetizer, it also helps to increase sperm count in male infertility and very much useful in kidney stone. 
  • Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.
  • Coconut water is a best drink for dehydration especially in summer season to mitigate thirst.
  • Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
  • Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of the fruits like oranges. (Compare the mineral composition of oranges).
  • Water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
  • Fresh coconut water has a small amount of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid); Vitamin C is a water-soluble ant-oxidant.
  • Coconut water contains a very good amount of electrolyte potassium. 100 ml of water has 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. Together, these electrolytes help replenish electrolyte deficiency in the body due to diarrhea (loose stools) etc and reduce the need for intravenous therapy.
  • The osmolarity of tender coconut water is slightly greater than that of WHO recommended ORS (Oral Rehydration Therapy) osmolarity. Presence of other biological constituents like amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids may account for this higher osmolarity. However, unlike WHO-ORS, its water is very low in sodium and chlorides, but rich in sugars and amino acids.
  • This well-balanced fluid composition with much-needed calories would be an ideal drink than any other brand of soft drink beverages in dehydration conditions and also in summer season.

   So, go ahead and indulge in this nutritious fluid and enjoy its abundant health benefits.

This article is written by Dr. Mahesh Varlekar Ph.D.(Ayu.). Please email at info@chakrapaniayurveda.com for any queries.

Simple tips for winter

  • During winter, as the night time is longer, stomach be kept full in night with such solids which are easily digestible and of high caloric value.

  • Turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

  • Food substances like jaggery, ghee, sesame oil and spice namely, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, and asafetida should be used for cooking.

  • Try to eat freshly prepared warm meals.
  • Since we don’t feel thirsty in winters, many don’t drink sufficient water. Make sure that you drink 10 – 12 glasses of water throughout the day. Preferably drink warm water boiled with little ginger.
  • Regular exercise should be done especially during winters.
  • Sleeping during the day is not advisable.
  • Skin should be massaged with sesame oil daily. Sesame oil should be applied well in the heels of the feet to prevent cracks. Sesame oil pacifies Vata and hence will reduce generalized pains that occur during winters.
  • Self massage of scalp should be done every alternate day with herbal hair oil.

Bala

Botanical name – Sida cordifolia

Family name –Malvaceae

English name – Country mallow

Common name – Bala

Habitat – Sida cordifolia grows as a wasteland weed throughout India in tropical and sub tropical situations especially in damp climates. It is a pan tropical species and hence found in both the hemispheres in similar situations.It grows along road sides, waste lands and found everywhere in tropical and subtropical regions.

Habit – Perennial shrub.

Useful Parts: Root, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds.

Common Uses: Bala is used for weight loss, to increase energy, for impotence, sinus, allergy, throat disease, asthma, bronchitis and to promote a strong skeletal system. The plant is tonic, astringent, emollient, aphrodisiac and useful in treatment of disorders of respiratory system. It is also rejuvenative, nutritive and stimulant to the heart. Externally bala oil is used for massage in muscular weakness and other nervous disorders. Stem is used as a demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, diuretic and in skin disorders. Bark is considered as cooling. It is useful in disorders of blood, throat and urinary system, piles and insanity. Leaves are analgesic, aphrodisiac; demulcent, diuretic, nervine tonic, rejuvenative, stimulant and tonic. Roots are regarded as cooling, astringent, stomachic and tonic, aromatic, bitter, diuretic and are used in rheumatism, leucorrhoea, inflammation and liver diseases. The seeds as considered as aphrodisiac.

Products description – It is a key ingredient in many products like Kshirabala oil, Bala Ashwagandha oil, Sandhivatayog, Swasyog, Rasayanaprash, Vajikaran tea, etc.

Dr. Steven L. Hairfield’s blessings to Chakrapani

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I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people
I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people
I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people
I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people
I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people

Dr. Steven L. Hairfield’s blessings to Chakrapani

I wanted to take a moment while the events of our recent visitation to India and your care were fresh on my mind. I want to say thank you very much for the concern that you had with each one of us while we were there and in your wonderful and patient care. You are truly a gracious host and your giving of so much of your time to each and every one of my people