In the science of Ayurveda, one of the important functions of the liver is to regulate the heat in the blood. If you are getting too hot from enjoying excessive amounts of spicy foods, indulging in too much sunshine, exercising out in the midday heat, or working too much under pressure, you might start to see more inflammation in your tissues, loose stool, redness in your complexion, fever, acne, or anger as a result of overheating your system during the hottest time of year. In order to prevent these typical fire/pitta imbalances which are more likely to get aggravated while it’s still summer, it’s wise to consider keeping an eye on the balance between the elements fire and water in your diet, lifestyle, and heart/mind.
In this later phase of summer, I recommend cultivating an anti-fire dinacharya (daily routine) in order to preserve the yin, watery element in your body. Foods high in the water element are: milk and dairy, juicy fruits, plums, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, coconut water, cucumber, and zucchinis. If you have the opportunity to visit your local farmer’s market, you are most likely going to be able to find all of these in one place (minus the coconut water). Foods that typically increase the fire element and decrease the water are: red meat, oily greasy food, and hot spices. For the remainder of the summer, I would encourage you to get your fill of raw vegetables, juice, and whole grains while you enjoy the warmth and heat from the sun and warmer temperatures.
Kitchen herbs like turmeric, mint, fennel, cilantro, and coriander are excellent and tasty flavors for anti-fire diets. Try a new herb or two like gota kola, echinacea, or dandelion root! These are a few of the cooling herbs that help cleanse and detox the blood. I often recommend using aloe gel or ghee as the vehicle to ingest powdered herbs as both ingredients tonify and moisten tissues in the body.
As per the rest of your dinacharya, here are a few suggestions to bring more peace and calm to the heart/mind:
• Wake up before the sunrise at 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. (do your best!) and greet the day with gratitude for another opportunity to celebrate life.
• Wash your face, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, neti pot to rinse your nose, and lubricate your nostrils with oil or ghee if you are in a hot dry climate.
• Drink a big glass of room temperature water to hydrated.
• Meditate for 5 to 30 minutes on water, loving kindness (Metta), or blue sky. Use your breath, intention, and imagination to become the element, be love, and embody inclusivity like the objects of your mediation.
Have fun and if you’d like more ideas on how to establish routines for each season, please order your copy of Art of Sequencing – Volume 2 today!