In ayurveda, there are three aspects of determining body and seasonal characteristics—kapha, vatta, and pitta. A balance between these promotes a healthy life. During the summers, the elements of heat in the body are on a rise. These can create issues such as indigestion, rashes, boils, acne, eczema, diarrhoea, hot flashes, burning sensations, etc. To help bring in coolness, the following herbs have been proven to show significant effects.
Triphala is an ayurvedic formula for cleansing the skin from within, cutting down the excessive heat from body and supporting physical health. It is made by combining three natural herbs— amalaki (Indian gooseberry), bhibhitaki and haritaki. Consumption of triphala removes toxins from the body, flushes out the excessive heat and promotes a healthy healing process for the skin and body. It induces coolness into the body to help fight against the summer heat better.
Neem is one of the natural herbs known for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a cooling agent known to purify blood, complexion, and natural skin. Extracts of neem can be added to the food to get better effects or the neem paste can be applied on the skin for rejuvenation. It also heals wounds and corrects complexion. Problems like skin rashes, sunburn, infections etc can be cured by applying its paste.
Rich in vitamin C, Indian gooseberry or amla is the wonder herb in the books of ayurveda. Fresh amla contains polyphenols that nourishes the skin. It helps fight the bodily heat and instills coolness. Amla also helps in the digestive problems like diarrhoea, belching, bloating etc and detoxifies the body. Amla extracts can be used to hydrate the skin and can be taken as a concoction to aid blood purification.
Tulsi or holy basil is one of the prime herbs in ayurvedic history known to aid wellness. It boosts the immune system and acts as a detoxifying agent. Tulsi is a cleansing agent that also acts as a blood purifying herb. Additionally, it has a sweet aroma that promotes wellness. Seeping tulsi into herbal teas is a good way to maintain a healthy digestive tract, improve immunity and clean skin.
This is an adaptogen known to be used in many ayurvedic medicines. The medicinal properties of this herb bring physiological and psychological effects. It helps manage stress, boosts brain function, treats anxiety and cures sleep disorders. It controls blood sugar levels, cortisol and blood pressure. Consuming ashwagandha in summers reduces fatigue caused by the heat.
The author is the Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre, Pune