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    Pitta Diet For Summer Season

    The Ayurveda Experience July 18, 2018

    In Ayurvedic medicine, everything is considered to have the potential to be a medicine or a poison depending on the context in which, and the skill with which we employ it. The right foods can go a long way in maintaining health. A hearty spiced stew, for example, may be a perfectly balancing meal in the depths of winter, but surely wouldn’t provide the cooling, lightening and soothing qualities desired on a hot summer day. So what should you eat in summer? The following pitta diet for summer will certainly guide you in the right direction.

    Here’s what you’ll learn in this article.

    Ayurvedic Summer Diet + Routine
    Pitta Dosha
    Pitta Diet For Summer Season
    Pitta Pacifying Spices
    Pitta Pacifying Oils
    Pitta Pacifying Fruits
    Pitta Pacifying Vegetables
    Pitta Pacifying Grains & Legumes
    Commonly Available Pitta Pacifying Herbs
    Ayurvedic Pitta Pacifying Herbs
    Medicinal Summer Drinks For Pitta Dosha
    Summer Recipes For Pitta Dosha

    READ MORE: Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know

    Avocado, pitta diet for summer.

    Ayurvedic Summer Diet + Routine

    Ayurvedic principles encourage us to naturally alter our diets and routines according to the cycle of the seasons. As we learn about the natural waxing and waning of gunas and doshas through the wheel of the year, we discover the dietary and lifestyle practices which best support our internal balance in accordance with these external changes. This rhythmic approach to holistic wellness is known as rtucharya, the seasonal routine, which also informs our dinacharya, the daily routine.

    Dietary and lifestyle practices in each season are expected to look unique, not only to each season, but to each individual within each season, as we discover balance with our individual prakrti / vikrti dynamic along with the changing qualities and doshic predominances in our environment. Through the lenses of Ayurvedic medicine we continuously work not only to discover harmony within, but with the world around us.

    Summer, the time of prolonged daylight, penetrating rays of the sun, heat, growth, lightness and humidity, is the season of pitta dosha. During this time, the gunas of pitta (sharp, hot, light, liquid, spreading, unctuous) become more predominant in our environment and are therefore more likely to increase within our own psychophysiology.

    READ MORE: The Perfect Late Summer Ayurveda Meal, According To Your Dosha

    Pitta Dosha

    Pitta dosha is comprised of the water and fire elements. Its primary site in the body is grahani, the small intestine, and it is also found in the eyes, skin, blood, liver, tactile perception, the head (as sadhaka pitta), sweat, sebaceous secretions, and the stomach. Its primary functions include transformation, metabolism, cellular and cognitive intelligence, maintaining digestion, body temperature, vision, the production of hunger, thirst, appetite, complexion, softness or delicacy of the body, as well as passion, courage and valor.

    Pitta dosha can be aggravated by many factors, including the summer season, pungent, sour, sharp, spicy or fermented foods, burning sensations, heated discussions, anger, pitta time (10-2 AM and PM), exposure to the sun’s heat, and the middle stage of digestion. Signs and symptoms of increased Pitta may include irritability, impatience, anger, skin conditions, dizziness, fever, cravings for cold and sweet foods, insomnia, fatigue, sensory weakness, inflammation, perforation, ulceration, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hepatitis, light sensitivity, and yellow discoloration (to feces, urine, eyes, or skin).

    Individuals with pitta dominant prakruti, or individuals who are particularly prone to pitta vikruti, are advised to follow a pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle during grishma rtu, or the summer season. Pitta pacifying foods are generally of sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, with cooling virya and sweet vipaka. During the summer season, it is best to minimize sour, salty and pungent foods as well as foods and herbs with heating virya and pungent vipak. In the chapter on the treatment of the doshas, Vagbhata explains that the best measures for managing increased pitta include the ingestion of milk, ghee (plain or medicated) and taking foods and herbs which possess sweet, bitter and astringent tastes (AH. Su, XII.4). Furthermore, in the chapter on rtucharya (seasonal routine), Vagbhata mentions that it is best to consume foods which are sweet, light, easy to digest, fatty, cold and liquid (AH. Su. III.28).

    In addition to considering what we eat, Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of when and how we eat. In the summer season, it is beneficial to practice shitali or shitkari pranayama before eating, or during the pitta times of day to cool the body and balance pitta dosha. It is also ideal to follow the recommended meal times for the summer season: breakfast from 7 – 8 AM, lunch from 12 – 1 PM and dinner from 6 – 7 PM.

    READ MORE: Pitta Diet: Everything You Need To Know

    Pitta Diet For Summer Season

    Below are a selection of pitta pacifying ingredients as well as recipes for the summer season. In integrating these foods, and whenever making changes to the diet, remember to listen to the innate wisdom of the body and remember that Ayurvedic medicine is a medicine of the individual. Appropriate diet varies from constitution to constitution.

    Pitta Pacifying Spices

    The following items are followed by the rasa (taste), virya (action/energy) and vipak (post digestive effect).

    • Mint: sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Cumin: bitter & pungent / cooling / pungent
    • Coriander: sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Fennel: sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Neem: bitter / cooling / pungent
    • Saffron: sweet, bitter & astringent / heating / sweet
    • Turmeric: bitter, pungent & astringent / heating / pungent
    • Tarragon: sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Vanilla: sweet & astringent / cooling / pungent
    Oatmeal, pitta diet for summer.

    Pitta Pacifying Oils

    The following items are followed by the rasa (taste), virya (action/energy) and vipak (post digestive effect).

    • Ghee: sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Avocado: sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Coconut: sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Olive: sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Sunflower: sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet

    Pitta Pacifying Fruits

    Ripe apples, avocado, sweet berries, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, pear, pomegranate, soaked prunes and raisins, and watermelon.

    Pitta Pacifying Vegetables

    Artichoke, asparagus, beet greens, bitter melon, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, cucumber, dandelion greens, fresh fennel, green beans, cooked leeks, kale, lettuce, parsnip, peas, rutabaga, summer squash, and zucchini.

    READ MORE: Pitta Pacifying Cucumber Dal Recipe

    Pitta Pacifying Grains & Legumes

    Amaranth, barley, durham, oat bran, oats, wheat, quinoa, basmati rice, rice cakes, spelt, tapioca and white rice. All legumes except brown lentils, miso, soy tur dal and urad dal.

    READ MORE: Rice + Ayurvedic Diet: Whit Rice, Brown Rice, Types Of Rice And Doshas

    Commonly Available Pitta Pacifying Herbs

    The following items are followed by the rasa (taste), virya (action/energy) and vipak (post digestive effect).

    • Aloe (Kumari): Bitter, astringent & pungent, sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Barberry (Daruharidra): Bitter & astringent / heating / pungent
    • Burdock: Bitter, pungent & astringent / cooling / pungent
    • Chamomile: Bitter & pungent / cooling / pungent
    • Chrysanthemum (Sevanti): Bitter & sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Comfrey: Sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Dandelion: Bitter & sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Echinacea: Bitter & pungent / cooling / pungent
    • Gentian: Bitter / cooling / pungent
    • Goldenseal: Bitter & astringent / cooling / pungent
    • Hibiscus: Astringent & sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Licorice (Yashti Madhu): Sweet & bitter / cooling / sweet
    • Raspberry: Astringent & sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Red Clover (Vana Methika): Bitter & sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Rose Flowers (Shatapatri): Bitter, pungent, astringent & sweet / cooling / sweet
    • Sandalwood (Chandana): Bitter, sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Senna (Rajavriksha): Bitter / cooling / pungent
    • Yarrow (Gandana): Bitter, astringent & pungent / cooling / pungent

    (Resource: The Yoga of Herbs, Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad)

    Ayurvedic Pitta Pacifying Herbs

    The following items are followed by the rasa (taste), virya (action/energy) and vipak (post digestive effect).

    • Amla: All tastes but salty / cooling / sweet
    • Bibhitaki: Astringent / heating / sweet
    • Gokshura: Sweet & bitter / cooling / sweet
    • Gotu Kola: Bitter / cooling / sweet
    • Haritaki: All tastes but salty / heating / sweet
    • Jati: Bitter & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Padma: Sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet
    • Manjistha: Bitter & sweet / cooling / pungent
    • Musta: Pungent, bitter & astringent / cooling / pungent
    • Neem: Bitter / cooling / pungent
    • Rehmannia: Sweet & bitter / cooling / sweet
    • Shatavari: Sweet & bitter / cooling / sweet
    • Vamsha Rochana: Sweet & astringent / cooling / sweet

    (Resource: The Yoga of Herbs, Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad)

    Cilantro and lime, pitta diet for summer.

    4 Medicinal Summer Drinks For Pitta Dosha

    This classic Ayurvedic drink combines the sattvic and cooling qualities of whole milk, dates and soaked almonds to provide an ojas-building tonic to support your strength and vitality through the summer months. Drink in place of a light breakfast, or in the evening before bed.

    1. Date Shake

    Soak five dates and a handful of almonds in water overnight. In the morning, drain and peel the almonds. Boil and cool one cup of whole milk. Blend one cup of filtered water with milk and the soaked almonds and dates until frothy. Serve warm.

    READ MORE: Dates Benefits, How To Eat Dates + Amazing Date Pudding Recipe

    2. Cucumber Milk

    Cucumber milk is a summer staple for balancing pitta dosha. Grate ½ cup of cucumber and blend with ½ cup of room temperature milk, one teaspoon of rock sugar and one pinch of cinnamon. Drink mid-morning to bring a cooling energy into the pitta time of day (10 – 2 PM).

    3. Rose Milk

    For a sweet, soothing treat, make a cup of rose milk. Boil and cool one cup of milk. Blend with one tablespoon of rosewater, one teaspoon rock candy and a few soaked and peeled almonds. Drink in the evening, before going to bed to cool the body.

    READ MORE: Ecstatic Rose Petal Drink

    4. Hibiscus Lime Tea

    For a refreshing tea, steep ¼ ounce of hibiscus flowers in one pint of cool water along with the juice of one lime overnight. Strain in the morning and sip throughout the day.


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