Out of the six seasons documented in the Vedas, summer, or Greeshma, falls under Adana Kal, meaning when the sun is at its peak-taking away all Earth’s cooling effects and increasing Pitta levels.

Our body naturally helps regulate the temperature within when it gets too hot outside. But when high levels of external heat prevail for an extended period, it will cause an imbalance in your doshas, which may lead to serious problems and discomfort.

With more heatwaves predicted over the next few weeks, this Chat on the Mat with Dr.Shweta Labade may be helpful to consider how to optimize your food choices to help you cool down and soothe your mind and body. She will take you through the Ayurvedic approach to a healthier lifestyle.

Vaidya Shweta Labde with 13 years of practice experience purely in Ayurveda, she has founded Seven Ayurveda Care in 2013, and clinics are in Pune and Chinchwad. She also runs her show on Radio, through which she guides the audience around infertility, child health, mental health, covid & post-covid treatments, and various other health topics.

hellomyyoga:  How can you fight against heatwave through Ayurveda?

Dr Shweta Labde: Ayurveda widely explains seasonal regimens for all six rutus, this is known as rutucharya.
These regimens are designed considering the seasonal changes in the weather and changing dosha levels in the body. Slowly adapting the new seasonal regimen while discontinuing the previous season regimen is the right way to maintain the dosha dhatu mala equilibrium in the body and ultimately live a healthy long life.
With the rising mercury levels, one should be careful about health. The increased environmental heat leads to accumulation of Pitta in the body, The dry and hot properties of pitta vitiate the rakta dhatu (Blood) causing excessive thirst, acidity, skin rashes, nasal bleeding, burning micturition, dry & burning eyes, headache, fatigue, and many other mental symptoms like irritation, anger, itching and lack of sleep. External heat can be settled with the use of air conditioners, coolers, fans, etc, but internal cooling has to be achieved with proper diet and lifestyle changes. Avoiding pitta vitiating food and behavioral practices, and adapting activities that will regulate the body heat and dosha balance is the key to staying healthy in this season.

hellomyyoga: What superfoods are good for summers?

Dr Shweta  Labde: There is a long list of foods for summer. All those foods with good water content and sweet, bitter, and astringent taste are good for summers. To name a few
1. Fruits like pomegranate, figs, grapes, melons, Mango, and sweet lime are good. Amla, lemons, and pomegranate despite being sour pacify pitta and reduce heat. These fruits improve the appetite, boost digestion, and reduce acidity issues and fatigue. Lemons should be used ripe. Amla can also be consumed in the form of candy, jam, murabba, or sherbets. Dry fruits like dried figs and black currants are good during summers, avoid nuts like cashews, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts. Melons should not be consumed in large quantities, just after meals and during the night.
2. Vegetables like all gourds (bottle gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd), cucumber, and coriander. White onion is a natural coolant and has rasayan properties.
3. Ghee

शरीरजानां दोषाणां क्रमेण परमौषधम्|| बस्तिर्विरेको वमनं तथा तैलं घृतं मधु||
Ghee taken in any form along with foods like dal, roti, sugar, milk, or singly balances Pitta dosha levels physically and mentally. Summers are the time when energy levels are low, and there is a dislike towards food. Ghee taken in small quantities provides enough energy and nutrition, cures fatigue, kindles digestive fire, and keeps you mentally fit. (NOTE: Ghee should be added separately after cooking, foods cooked in ghee have different effects). Overexposure to blazing sun, can at times initiate nasal bleeding, the use of ghee as nasal drops controls this. ( NOTE: It is always advisable to visit Doctor in case of nasal bleeding for proper assessment, this is only primary care.
In conditions like excessive burning sensation and dryness of skin, Ghee should be applied locally (application of ghee is beneficial in sunburns) on palms and soles at bedtime; It also helps for peaceful sleep, as raised levels of pitta manifest lack and disturbed sleep.

4. Sugarcane – Fresh Sugarcane juice is a coolant drink. It reduces dryness and heat, Pacifies pitta, and increases Kapha. Sugarcane juice cures burning eyes and burning urination. Maintains hydration and takes care of fatigue, and urinary problems.
5. Khus – Khus is another coolant herb, variedly used in Indian homes. Add it to water or medicate the water with it, it will reduce the pitta and burning issues.
or sip khus sherbet, for hydration and cooling effect. or use it in your face packs it will moisturize your skin, help in sunburns, and tan, and also regulate body temperature while beautifying your looks. Gulkand and Amla murabba are yet another super recipe in summer.

hellomyyoga: How to establish a healthy Dincharya according to Ayurveda that is good for summers?

Dr Shweta Labde

● Wake up early, so you can finish your daily chores before it is too hot.
● Practice light exercise.
● Practice use of ubtan or fragrant water for bathing
● Include medicated water with khus/ coriander to keep you cool.
● Light breakfast
● Eat easy to digest food
● Eat only if hungry
● Prefer timely meals
● Include a small portion of sweets like kheer, and pudding in meals
● Daytime sleep is recommended during summers for 30 mins.
● Avoid hot drinks, smoking, or alcohol consumption.
● Raw mango juice (Panha), sherbets, or coconut water serve as a good evening drink.
● Early dinner with rotis made of rice, wheat, ragi, or jowar.
● Practice nasya with milk or ghee
● Apply face packs
● The use of natural fragrances, and flowers pacify pitta and relaxes the mind.
● A small stroll in the park or spending time with kids pacify pitta.
● Have enough sleep.

hellomyyoga: What are the do’s and don’ts one should take care of during summers?

Dr Shweta Labde: 

DO’s –

● It is very important to stay hydrated. Medicated water with coriander seeds, Khus, Nagarmotha, and rose petals not only quenches thirst but maintains the body
● Sherbets like Rose, kokum, Amla, and Khus should be preferred over cold aerated drinks or lassi
● Coconut water and fresh sugarcane juice are nature’s heat regulators and serve as a good energy drink.’
● Apply coconut oil to the head daily
● Apply cooling face packs.
● Practice Nasya (instill drops in the nose) with cold milk or ghee.
● Place cucumber or eye pads soaked in milk or rose water on the eyes.

● Apply a drop of cow’s ghee to the eyes to relieve burning and strengthen the eyes.
● Include the superfood in the diet

DON’Ts –● Avoid excess sun exposure, or take necessary care before going out on Sun.
● Avoid refrigerated water, instead, prefer cold water from an earthen pot.
● Avoid heavy exercise
● Avoid having oily, fermented, or stale food.
● Avoid foods with Sour, salty and spicy(pungent) tastes.
● Avoid splashing water on the face and eyes immediately after sun exposure.
● Avoid Lassi and Curd in the summers. Contrary to the common belief that curd is cold and a must-have during summers. Ayurveda explains curd to be hot in potency, heavy to digest and increases bodily secretions which vitiate pitta and is a cause of many skin ailments, acidity, etc.
● Avoid hot drinks, smoking, and alcohol.


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