Summer is a great time of year – camping trips, barbeques, and picnics. We all look forward to those bright sunny days, but for some of us the extra heat can cause the internal fire to flare up. When the body becomes uncomfortable due to too much heat, there are natural ways to cool it back down.
Fire is one of five elements discussed in Ayurvedic Medicine, the traditional medicine of India. Summer is the season of Fire. When too much heat is added to the body either from internal (mental, emotional) or external sources (diet, weather, and activity), you may experience one or more signs indicating that you have excess Fire in your system. Some of these signs are: acne, rashes, boils, irritability, anger, impatience, excess thirst, redness of the eyes and/or face, ulcers of the stomach or mouth, joint swelling and pain, heartburn and acid regurgitation.
Some simple solutions to cool and relax the body when it has mild signs* of excess Fire are:
- Drink at least 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water per day, more if you are involved in athletic activities.
- Drink plenty of cool sweet liquids – apple juice, grape juice, or cool peppermint tea. When you drink sweet drinks like juice, always water them down. We have a tendency to make things too sweet in our culture, which can also create an imbalance in the body.
- Avoid vigorous activity during the hottest times of day or in direct sunlight.
- Meditate or take time to quietly relax before bed. This will calm the mind and emotions.
- Swim in a cool body of water.
- Walk in nature, especially by a river, lake or ocean.
- Enjoy a cool shower or bath before bed.
- Avoid overeating, or eating late at night before bed.
- Eat clean, natural food. Impurities also aggravate Fire.
- Avoid ice in your drinks. This is too much cold for the body and can weaken the digestion.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These drinks throw fuel on the Fire.
- Eat foods that pacify or cool Fire. For a complete list of these foods or to learn more about your elemental body type, schedule a Elemental Nutritional Consultation at Integrated Therapies.
Enjoy your summer and if you experience excessive Fire, remember to take these steps to cool it down.
* If any of the above signs or conditions becomes severe you should always consult your health care provider.
Erik Hanzen E-RYT500 is an Elemental Nutritional Consultant and Healing Breath Therapy practitioner at Integrated Therapies.