Refreshing monsoon brings enormous relief from the scorching summer days. However, according to Ayurveda, the rainy season is the worst for our health if we are not careful!
Dosha in the rainy season
Overall, body strength and digestive power are the weakest during the rainy season; therefore, it is essential to take extra precautions during the rainy season to prevent initiation or aggravation of multiple disorders.
Rainy season brings aggravation of vata dosha in the body. Vata dosha is the most powerful of all the three Dosha. If aggravated, it can vitiate all other dosha as well.
Vata dosha and its effect in the rainy season
In the summer season, the body is in a cooling mode. The temperature management system of the body is tuned to excessive sweating and less urination.
However, the rainy season brings an immediate change in the external temperature; this sudden temperature drop can jeopardize body metabolism.
In the summer season, human body lose a lot of essential oils, minerals, and moisture from the body in the form of sweat. This causes a lot of dryness inside the body. Dryness and dehydration are the primary attributes that vitiate the vata dosha. Therefore, according to Ayurveda, summer is the season that results in accumulation of vata dosha in the body.
Digestion is a source of heat for the body. For this reason, in the summer, body tunes down the rate of metabolism and hunger in the body. The low appetite and digestion help to reduce the production of heat inside the body.
With the start of the rainy season, the temperature suddenly cools down, and the body finds itself caught in cold temperature while working while a cooling metabolism (meant for summer climate).
In Charaka Samhita, the rainy season is described as a hot frying pan. First few showers of rain are akin to a sprinkle of water on this hot pan. Therefore, as the water droplets produce a drastic cooling effect that leads to the formation of vapor on the heated frying pan, similarly a severe cooling effect of rains produce metabolic shock in the body tuned to a hot climate.
For this reason, the metabolic transition from summer to the rainy season is the most drastic change for the body. This Sandhikaal or joining of these two Seasons is the time when the body is most susceptible to all kinds of disorders.
Now, as the masters of our bodies, we need to guide them towards a smooth and desirable transition from summer metabolism to rainy season metabolism.
Ayurveda has a most beautiful and elaborate preventive seasonal regiment called ritucharya. In ritucharya, we learn how to manage metabolic changes from one season to another smoothly. Let us look at Varsha Ritucharya and find out how we should eat, live, and behave during the rainy season to preserve our health and reduce the rate of aging.
Now Varsha ritucharya includes both contrary food and lifestyle changes as compared to ritucharya in summer. (link to summer blog)
Ayurvedic food for the rainy season
The rainy season is the worst season for digestion. We must take special precautions to ensure balanced digestion. Here are a few points to prevent any imbalances in the digestive system.
These recommendations for food in the rainy season apply to people of all Prakriti or body type.
Before you leap into food recommendations for the rainy season, it is extremely crucial to realize that each person is entirely different and you might have unique requirements.
Therefore while following these recommendations, please be attentive to the requirements of your body.
For example, curd and buttermilk are perfect for consumption in the rainy season; however, if you are not comfortable with eating curd or hate the taste of buttermilk, please skip that.
Ayurvedic food for the rainy season
Honey is one of the indispensable foods for Varsha Ritu. According to Ayurveda, honey is light, cool, dry, and excellent appetizer. Honey reinstates the digestive system weakened in the rainy season. It is antiseptic in nature and protects the body from all kinds of pathogenic infestation during the humid rainy season.
Honey also helps to prevent cough, cold, and flu due to seasonal change in the rainy season.
However, it is crucial never to heat honey. According to Ayurveda, it can denature the proteins and enzymes present in honey and make it toxic for human consumption. In fact, you must ensure that the honey you consume should be raw honey and not pasteurized.
During the pasteurization process, a substance is heated to very high temperature and suddenly cooled. This process helps to kill maximum pathogens present inside the respective content. The pasteurization process is used to sterilize milk, honey, and many other products.
The climatic conditions are unstable during the rainy season. For example, one day can be frigid due to continuous rain; however, the other day might be sunny.
During the cold days of the rainy season, you must consume sour, salty, and oily food to ensure the best nutrition for the body and balance aggravated vata dosha.
That is why rainy season in India is closely connected to deep-fried delicacies like pakoda, mangoda, cheela, samosa, aloo vada, and other fried salty savories. I remember my mother cooking crispy Pakoda whenever it rained.
However, it is essential that you should have all oily and heavy food during the daytime and not late in the night.
You must use aged grains during the rainy season Aged grains like old jowar, wheat, and rice are very easy to digest, and they fuel the digestive power as well. Millets might cause digestive problems like bloating, indigestion in some people, therefore, should be used with caution.
You must altogether avoid all kinds of junk food, packaged food, un-natural food like ice cream or cold chilled aerated drinks to preserve proper digestion during the rainy season.
During the meal time, please ensure that the food that you eat is warm and freshly prepared. Avoid drinking water immediately before or after the meal. Even if you have to drink water, make sure that you do not take only a few sips of water.
Sattu mixed with water. Sattu is highly recommended during the summer season; however, it can cause excessive cooling and vata vitiation inside the body in the rainy season, and we do not want that.
You must not consume green leafy vegetables, spinach methi, lal bhaji, etc., for any kind of non-seasonal fruit or vegetable during the rainy season as it can cause severe vata aggravation in the body.
You must also not use vegetables like cabbage cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, brinjal, green peas, and potato as they can aggravate vata dosha in the body. Lentils or pulses should be used only after tempering with oil or ghee as they also can aggravate vata dosha in the body as well.
You must ensure the use of buttermilk during the rainy season as buttermilk is hot temperament in nature and accelerates the digestive process. You have excellent digestion you can also use curd during cold days cold rainy days. However, you must never use curd in a heated form or during the night.
Ayurvedic lifestyle for the rainy season
Vata dosha can get vitiated in the rainy season with the slightest of provocation, especially in elderly people, vata prakrati people and physically weak and the sick. Therefore, you must make the best use of Ayurvedic Marma therapy, massage, steam treatment, ubtan, and Panchakarma therapy according to your body strength and Prakriti.
The rainy season is a humid season which triggers all kinds of pathogenic growth on the skin surface, especially the delicate skin of the face. Regular facial care with Ubtan face Scrub for all skin can help to remove vulnerable dead skin and prevent all kinds of skin disorders during the rainy season.
If you are a vata prakriti person, regular body massage with sweet almond oil, sesame oil mixed with one-fourth of castor oil, or kushala pain relief body and bath oil can help you ward off all vata-related problems.
If you are a pitta prakriti person then, ideal oil choices for ayurvedic body massage are organic extra virgin coconut oil, sesame oil, and Tej energizing body and bath oil. For all kapha prakriti people, sweet almond oil, sesame oil or Sudyuti skin glowing Ayurvedic oil are the best choices.
We all love getting drenched in the rain. Rainwater today is totally different from what it used to be a few decades back. This rainwater, at times, can be highly acidic in nature, especially in polluted areas. Therefore, please avoid getting drenched, in the first few rains-showers of the season.
Also, make sure that you do not expose yourself to a chilly climate. You must keep yourself warm at night time.
You must not plan to enjoy the cloudy weather by sleeping outdoors in the rainy season. There is no scientific evidence for the following fact. However, according to Ayurveda, sleeping outdoors under a cloudy sky can cause severe vata disorders that can lead to even paralysis.
Fatigue due to any reason can severely vitiate vata dosha; therefore, you must avoid excessive exercise or sexual indulgence as both of these factors aggravate vata dosha. As the rainwater from the surrounding areas gets absorbed in the rivers, the rivers are highly polluted at this point in time. Contact with this contaminated river water can lead to various skin and digestive disorders.
During the rainy season, sun rays passing through the cloudy sky are not considered to be very beneficial; therefore, you must altogether avoid sunbath during the rainy season.
Sleeping during the daytime can cause excess kapha dosha that can slow down the digestive process. Never sleep during the daytime in the rainy season, unless you are sick or completely exhausted.
Varsha Ritucharya for body pain
The rainy season is notorious for aggravation of all kinds of body pains. We have the perfect remedies for you to control all types of body pain.
Shoulder and neck pain
Sukhata Ayurvedic pain relief oil is an excellent method to get relief from any kind of body pain. It contains much Ayurvedic pain relieving herbs like Karpura, Ajamoda, Bala, Kantakari, Devadaru, etc.
Neck chest shoulder wrap is another product that complements the effects of sukhata oil. It helps in better absorption of all types of topical applications, including massage oils. Neck chest shoulder wrap helps to warm the skin and dilate the blood vessels. It helps in better absorption of massage oil and bring immediate pain relief.
Warmth is a natural contradiction to the coldest vata dosha that causes all kinds of body pain. Therefore, even if you are not able to go for a shoulder, neck, or back massage simply used pain relief wrap, and it will kill the pain with its mild heating effect.
Digestive problems like constipation, bloating, indigestion, etc. are prevalent in the rainy season, particularly in the elderly and vata prakriti people. An Ayurvedic massage with Sukhata pain relief oil and application of pain relief waist stomach wrap can bring immediate relief in case of bloating or stomach ache.
Aggravation of joints pain, especially the knee pain, is quite common in the rainy season. This knee pain can become severe, particularly during the evening time. Mind Ayurvedic massage with sukhata pain relief oil and application of pain relief wrap in the afternoon can bring immediate preventive relief from knee pain for the elderly.
You are suffering from sinusitis or migraine, aggravation of vata dosha in the rainy season can cause a severe increase in the intensity of pain. However, Sushwasa breathe easy diffuser oil helps to remove the kapha induced blockages in the head region and therefore reduces the severity and frequency of sinusitis or migraine attacks.
Cloudy weather can lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in many people. Lack of proper sunlight can trigger the seasonal affective disorder. SAD has depression as its main symptom.
If you frequently suffer from low moods or mood swings during the rainy season, you must try ayurvedic body massage with Shantam Distressing Ayurvedic Oil. Tej energizing diffuser oil might also be beneficial in alleviating a low mood during the rainy season.
It is essential to note that you must follow diet and lifestyle during the rainy season before you use any of the products mentioned above. According to Ayurveda, if you have proper food, you will never need medicine. However, if you do not have an adequate diet, you will not benefit from any medication.
Therefore for the best benefit from any product, you must ensure that the food and lifestyle are in line with the rainy season. The rainy season is the spring of life. It brings back the lost greenery of the earth. Rains are there to enjoy and not to spend time suffering from indigestion, body pain, or depression.
Hence, follow the above suggestions and enjoy the rainy season to its best.