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How to Stay Cool and Manage Pitta this Summer



Woman squeezing lemon into hot cup of tea. Hot tea is excellent for maintaining balance in spring.

It is almost officially summer (in the northern hemisphere), and you're probably already feeling the heat. Welcome to Pitta season.


The extreme heat of summer, especially here in south Texas, is one of the main causes of Pitta imbalance. The qualities of our environment become hot, sharp, oily, and light (as in bright). This contributes to feelings of irritability, impatience, anger, and judgement, along with physical symptoms such as inflammation, acid reflux, nausea, and diarrhea. Fun times!


Here are some tips to help you stay cool and manage pitta this summer:


  1. Include more sweet, bitter, and astringent foods in your diet. To counteract the hot, sharp, and oily qualities of Pitta, it’s essential to include foods that are cooling and astringent. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, cucumbers, and summer squash. Sprinkle fresh cilantro or mint on your food to add a cooling digestive herb. Fresh fruit makes an excellent snack or light meal, and beans and lentils are especially beneficial because of their astringent quality. Check out Pitta pacifying recipes here.

  2. Avoid excessive oil and heating spices. Fried foods and spicy chilis will increase heat and aggravate pitta in the body and mind, so avoid them during the summer.

  3. Stay hydrated with room-temperature beverages. Iced beverages are not recommended in Ayurveda, even when the temperature is hot. This is because extreme cold is constrictive, and impairs the secretion of digestive enzymes and absorption of nutrients. However, room temperature drinks are still cooler than body temperature. You can add cucumber, mint, or lime juice to plain water to enhance its cooling effect, and if you're sweating a lot try this Cooling Ayurvedic Electrolyte Drink.

  4. Exercise during cooler temperatures. In the summer, it's even more important to wake up early and move your body before the temperature gets too hot. Walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise for pitta.

  5. Spend time in meditation or other awareness practices. Pitta emotions can be overwhelming: aggression, anger, hatred, competitiveness, comparison, judgement, and perfectionism can all become more intense when pitta is aggravated. Spending time in meditation, journaling, yoga, breathwork, or other awareness practices is a great way to "digest" and transmute pitta emotions, which cools both the mind and body.

  6. Shirodhara. Because heat rises, the increased heat of summer can cause heat to rise into the head, which may lead to insomnia, headaches, obsessive thinking, pitta emotions, and hair loss. Shirodhara is a treatment where warm oil, with cooling herbal properties, is poured over the forehead in a steady stream. This healing Ayurvedic therapy can soothe increased pitta. Learn more and schedule a session here.


I hope these tips help you stay cool this summer!

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