It is important to keep your body and mind cool. In Ayurveda, body heat or increase in pitta is a concept that is usually attributed to some subtle changes in the body and sometimes it can be taken care of by making suitable lifestyle modifications or dietary compensations. But this should not be neglected if it does not subside soon. If these occur repeatedly or even after adopting lifestyle modifications, then it is advisable to get a doctor's opinion.
Look out for these signs
Burning sensation in feet, palms, eyes, scalp, stomach, chest, acidity, heart burn or burning any where in the body, bleeding in the nose or gums, bad breath or bad odour, mouth ulcers, boils, acne or rashes, excessive or irregularities in sweating, hot flashes, excessive thirst or decreased or disturbed sleep, headache, burning urination or defecation or loose stools, and fatigue could suggest that body is slowly going out of control and that pitta dosha in the body is out of balance.
Sometimes the above could manifest together with symptoms like irritability, anger, frustration, aggressive behaviour or hostility. A person could also suffer from loss of appetite or vomiting or nausea or different sets of symptoms. It is important to keep pitta dosha in a balanced state to enjoy perfect health.
Eating mangoes, chillies, spicy food, yogurt, junk food, fried food, cookies, aerated drinks, alcoholic drinks, smoking in excess or varied pattern of eating, sleeping, and working can add up and manifest the above symptoms in different intensities.
Sometimes the digestive secretions in the body increase but are diluted and hence are not able to cope up with the demands of the body. This causes problems and it is thus advisable to keep a tab on what you eat.
Here are some simple dietary and lifestyle regulations that can do the trick.
- Take 1/2 to 1 tbsp of castor oil with one tbsp hot water to cleanse the digestive system. Or, get an ayurveda expert to suggest most suitable mild cleansing method depending on your condition.
- Drink 300 - 500 ml of water or seasonal fruit juice early morning before your morning walk or yoga practice. This helps cleanse the body heat.
- Adopt pitta-pacifying diet and yoga practices like shitali sheetakari pranayama.
- Avoid frequent snacking or eating before you feel hungry. Eat when hungry and avoid excess salt, spices, pungent and sour tasting food and beverages.
- Eat fresh fruit, vegetables like bitter gourd, cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, dairy products like sweet lassi, milk, ghee, dry fruits like sweet raisins, almonds, and figs.
- Have herbs like coriander, cumin, cardamom, mint, fennel, neem, sandal, and liquorice.
- Soak one tablespoon coarsely powdered coriander in warm water.
- After 6 – 8 hours, squeeze and decant the water.
- Add crystal sugar before drinking.
This can be taken 2 – 3 times a day. Having liquorice tea with more milk also helps.
- Add two cups of warm water to a cup of curd and churn. Remove the butter and add 2 – 3 spoons of rose water to it. This has a soothing effect on the body.
- Take sufficient rest, bland diet, plenty of fresh fruit juice preferably made from apples, grapes, pomegranate, sweet lime, lemons with cardamom powder. Meditation, group prayers calms the mind and helps balance the mind and body.
- Avoid being overly critical of others or self to keep yourself cool.
Being moderate in everything you consume or do is the real rule that one needs to follow to keep body and mind cool and relaxed.
Below are tips to manage five conditions known to be caused by the imbalance of body heat or pitta dosha
Mouth ulcers due to increased body heat can be prevented by the following simple tips:
- Avoid eating hot, spicy food, anger, resentment, tension, depression as they cause mouth ulcers frequently.
- It is important to maintain oral hygiene. Gargle with cooling herbal decoctions like coriander, sandal, neem, and amla.
- Squash freshly cut onion and place them on the ulcers formed 2 – 3 times a day. This treatment stings a little bit, but helps rid of these ulcers faster.
- Take 5 – 6 drops of castor oil mixed in two spoons of warm milk or water at bedtime for a week.
- Stop chewing tobacco, paan, and smoking as repeated mouth ulcers caused by them could lead to cancer.
Mouth ulcers may occur frequently due to acidity, constipation, and a disturbed digestive system.
Observe what causes your indigestion and avoid it. It could be that your body needs to be cooled. Sleeping in the noon after meals can hamper digestion as also sleeping after heavy meals, bathing or any physical exertion immediately after meals. Overeating, frequent snacking, eating while not hungry and irregular food habits are bad for health.
Drink homemade lassi with cumin, coriander, little salt, ginger, and curry leaves. Fasting once a fortnight helps tone up the digestive system. Fasting can either be done by drinking sufficient water or eating small quantity of fruits and vegetables. Taking suitable laxative once in three months is also beneficial.
Simple, regular physical exercises are helpful to regulate digestive system. Stress, anxiety, fear can hamper your digestive system to a great extent.
Drinking sufficient water can be the first step towards getting rid of burning during urinating.
Avoid excessive coffee, cokes, tea, and alcohol. Consume cucumber juice or tender coconut water with coriander powder, crystal sugar or cardamom, coriander or liquorice tea, or other cooling herbal teas.
Sip water mixed with 1 – 2 spoons of honey and 1 – 2 finely powered cardamom.
If you are consuming lot of spices, hot food and tend to sweat more, drink more water.
If your job requires you to sit for many hours, remember to take a break to drink water. If you are always in air-conditioned atmosphere you may not feel thirsty and forget to drink water and this may also be one reason for suffering from burning urination.
Drinking lassi seasoned with curry leaves, coriander, cumin, and ginger is also advised. But if burning urination is frequent and you are prone to repeated urinary tract infections, get your blood glucose checked and get an experts advice.
Pimples, or allergic rashes could be due to increased body heat. It is best to avoid junk food and opt for healthy options like fresh vegetables, fruits, and lassi.
Our skin needs fresh air too. Wash your face frequently especially after returning home from outdoors. It helps keep your face free of pimples. At the same, decrease the use of cosmetics as they can be harmful to your skin.
Constipation worsens pimples. If you get pimples after you consume fried food, or chocolates, avoid consuming them frequently.
If you get pimples just before your menstrual cycle, try taking a small spoon of castor oil mixed with 1 – 2 spoons of warm water at bedtime. This should be taken once a week before the cycle starts. This also helps rid the discomfort during menstrual cycle. Consuming sufficient water, fresh fruit juice is also recommended.
Burning eyes could be due to excessive strain, or working for long or irregular hours in front of the computer. This may result in computer vision syndrome. It may also be due to following a irregular eating or sleeping pattern or travelling frequently or working in hot climates. This results in fatigue in the eyes or red eyes.
- Placing a cucumber or cotton soaked in rose water on closed eyes helps cool the eyes.
- Taking an head and feet massage can also benefit as this helps release heat from the body through the extremities.
- Gazing at the moon, stars at night daily relaxes eyes and helps preserve and improve vision.
- Sprinkling or splashing cool water frequently relieves eye strain.
- Crying or being sad, worrying frequently, losing temper can damage your vision.
- Staring at lustrous objects, excessive use of eyes without rest [working on a PC, telescope, microscope etc for many hours at a stretch] has been found to harm vision.
- Walking bare feet, and exposing your eyes and head to excessive cold, heat, smoke, and dust is best avoided.
- Constipation or diarrhoea can worsen vision. So, regular bowel movements should become a part of your daily routine.
- Being relaxed and cheerful helps improve not only immunity and vision, but also keeps eyes cool.
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