Ayurveda’s summer diet for skin care

Summer brings with it, its own associated beauty risks. According to Ayurveda, increased heat leads to an imbalance of Pitta-dosha. Hence it is necessary to stay hydrated and cool so as to prevent rashes and other skin problems. Ayurvedas recommendations for skin and body care during the hot months are as follows:

Drink water with herbs/spices: Though it a well-known fact that human body needs six to eight glasses of water a day, the requirement is much more during summer, to replace the fluids lost during perspiration. Drinking plenty of water helps in flushing out toxins. To obtain a cooling effect, Ayurveda suggests adding certain spices and herbs to water such as the recipe mentioned below:

Boil two quarts of water. Add quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds, one clove and two rose buds. Store it hot in a thermos. While drinking, pour the required quantity into a glass and cool it to room temperature. This apart from cooling the body, stimulates digestion, and detoxifies by providing hydration to deepest layers of the skin.

Avoid caffeine: Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, as they are very dehydrating, in addition to being toxic to the liver. Excess toxins in the body gets loaded up in the liver, and the first sign of a toxic liver is a dry lifeless skin. Even carbonated drinks are a cause of toxin build-up in the body.

Instead, Ayurveda recommends herbal teas, which is a healthier option, or plain fruits and freshly prepared fruit juices. Milk and Lassi are excellent coolants. Lassi can be prepared by blending yogurt and water in the ratio 1:3, and adding a few curry leaves, a pinch of powdered asofoetida, finely chopped ginger slices and salt (if required). Apart from quenching thirst, this drink aids digestion, and purifies the skin.

Summer Diet: The diet taken during summer should be one that helps cool Pitta dosha. Ripe summer fruits such as pears, plums, nectarines and peaches, apart from being rich sources of moisture, also balance the Pitta dosha and helps in skin purification.

Herbal oils “ Regular massages with essential oils such as Lavender, Sweet Orange, and Grapefruit, in a coconut oil base, will have a cooling effect and purifies the skin. It is suitable even for the most sensitive skins. Massages could be followed by a warm (not hot) bath by adding rose buds or lavender to the water for a cooling effect.

For skin care: Rose water could be sprinkled on the face, for an instant cooling effect. It hydrates and protects the skin. Avoid cleansers with harsh chemicals and preservatives and switch over to ones that contain a high content of herbal essential oils that helps cleanse, hydrate and preserve the skin.