Your Monsoon Diet by – Dr. G. G.Gangadharan
In a year there are different seasons. Seasons in Ayurveda are called ‘ritus’. The ritus are Varsha (monsoon), Sharad (autumn), Hemantha (winter), Shishira (late winter), Grishma (summer) and Vasanta (spring). Shishira, Vasantha and Grishmaritus are called the Adana kala.Varsha, Sharad and Hemantharitus are called Visarga kala.
In other words during the Visargakala, the sun is facing towards the south with its intensity attuned by time, course, cloud, wind and rain. The moon will have unobstructed strength and Nature’s temperature will be cooled by the heavenly waters. Amla (sour), lavana (salt) and madhura (sweet) rasas/ taste increase in progressive order with consequent promotion of strength in the body. Human beings experience weakness in the beginning and the end of the season. They will have medium strength in mid-term and maximum strength in the end and beginning of the periods, Visarga and Adana, respectively.
Ritucharya (seasonal regimen)is explained in the Ayurvedic classics and if these seasonal regimens are followed in a proper way then a person will enjoy strength and complexion and a healthy life.
Now that we are welcoming the first showers of rain after the scorching summer, let us know more about the monsoon or Varsharitu.
The body will have weakened during the Adana period. The digestion which will have become poor will be further disturbed by the disorders of Vata and the other doshas during the Varsharitu. The aggravation of Vata and the other doshas during Varsharitu is due to earth vapours, humidity of the clouds and the amla (sour) paka of the water. The diseases associated with the monsoon are malaria, jaundice and gastrointestinal infection like typhoid and cholera. Viral infections like cold and cough also make their presence during this season.
The puddles of water formed due to rain become the breeding place for mosquitoes. Using a mosquito net over the bed is better way of avoiding the mosquitoes. To keep the house free of mosquitoes one can fumigate the house with the smoke of dried Neem leaves in the evening for about 1 to 3 minutes. Precaution has to be taken to prevent dampness around the house. Fumigation has to be avoided if asthmatic patients are there.Moderating living is recommended during this season. One should avoid cold drinks, day sleep, dew, river water, physical exercise and the sun during this season. Using food and drinks mixed with honey is beneficial.
During the rainy season when the day is filled with wind and rain and is much cooler, a diet having predominance of amla (sour), lavana (salty) and snigdha (fatty) articles should be taken for rectification of vata.
Consuming old barley, wheat and rice along with wild meats and prepared soups is beneficial in order to protect the agni (digestion) of the individual. Drinks such as wine and other fermented liquor mixed with honey and a little quantity of rain water or water from a well or tank which is boiled and cooled may be used.
Anointing of the body is advisable. One has to take bath, use fragrance and garlands and wear light and clean clothes. It is advised to reside in a place which is free from humidity.
HOME REMEDIES FOR MONSOON DISORDERS
Rainy season is the time when vata is vitiated and conditions like diarrhoea can happen easily. There are many light dishes that helps agni to work well and digest food properly. Liquid gruels of rice with pepper and turmeric are very good.
One good practice is to use 5 gms of paste of CentelleAsiatica (Brahmi) to clear the bowels. Doing it twice every year during monsoon is very good to avoid any stomach related diseases.