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Vata summer wellbeing guide

The winds of change are regularly upon us, the seasons consistently roll from one into another. Ayurvedic medicine recognises that this has a profound effect on our health and recommends many helpful suggestions for how we can adapt our lifestyle to stay balanced in each season. Each individual is unique with an equally unique doshic balance.

 

The vata dosha embodies the principles of communication and movement, acting as a messenger and is comprised of the qualities of space and wind (air). Vata is like a current of electricity, busy, and vatas will go wherever the wind may take them. Vata is responsible for carrying information in and out of the body and mind.

In the summer, there are higher levels of heat and sunshine. Therefore, the environment becomes naturally drier. Just as we might put our washing out to dry on a windy day, a vata exposed to excess levels of air will become constitutionally drier, causing ‘dryness’ to become increased in the system. But, what does this mean? For a vata, this means the onset of dry conditions such as hot, dry itchy skin conditions such as eczema or dry coughs.

 

What can vatas do to try and combat this during the summer months? The key here is to stay hydrated and follow a vata-reducing diet.

Here are some top tips:

  • Avoid drying flavours and foods, which are characteristically astringent, bitter and pungent. If they cannot be completely avoided, then try and avoid eating them at the beginning and end of a meal, or at the beginning and end of the day
  • Increase oily, soupy and heavy foods
  • Keep yourself hydrated and moisturized. You can do this by having a daily self-massage to hydrate the skin and encourage the movement of fluid around the body and drinking hydrating herbal teas such as Three Licorice

 

Herbal heroes that will support a Vata during the summer months need to be both hydrating and cooling such as aloe vera, licorice and shatavari. Try the Pukka Aloe Vera Juice or Clean Greens before or after each meal and drink hydrating teas such as Three Licorice, Peppermint & Licorice and Mint Refresh throughout the day to stay cool and calm.

The best way to understand what your dosha needs at the start of each new season is to observe the world around you. Take in your immediate environment, is it hot, cold, dry or damp? What are your principle doshic elements and are they going to be tipped in or out of balance by your surrounding environment? The key is to stay one step ahead by reducing the quality now, that will be imbalanced in the next season.

 

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Katie Pande, Senior Herbal Advisor

Katie is a qualified Medical Herbalist, and member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), currently practicing in Shaftesbury. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Herbal Medicine and a BSc (Hons) in Plant and Environmental Biology.