The fields are harvested, the berry season has begun and the first stormy rain showers announce the next season: Autumn is just around the corner.
The change from summer to autumn is called Ritu (season) Sandhi (transition) in Ayurveda. This transition between seasons can become a bit of a challenge for our bodies. The constant change of weather, a vacation trip to faraway places and the sometimes severe drought of the last few weeks have ensured that our Vata dosha is elevated. This also affects our digestive power, which likes to be a bit moody and changeable during this time. At the same time, most heat accumulates in the body at the end of the Pitta season. That’s why many struggle with skin irritations, stomach and intestinal complaints, and an overheated mind, especially in late summer. Now is the ideal time to balance the three doshas and keep cool and grounded on all levels. These four tips will support you and help you start the fall season powerful and grounded.
1. Providing moisture from inside and outside
When heat and dryness accumulate in and around us, it is important to keep the body hydrated. A coconut lassi with rose water, herbal teas with fennel, cardamom or licorice and plenty of water are ideal now, as they moisturize and cool. You can also do your body good from the outside: Massage yourself every morning before showering with a mixture of sunflower oil and a little coconut oil or Ksheerabala Thailam. Or apply Pitta-reducing Aloe Vera, which makes for wonderfully soft and smooth skin and cools the body.
2. Nutrition in late summer: sweet, bitter, nourishing and moisturizing
In order not to further irritate the increased Pitta, it is best to avoid all foods that are very sour, salty and spicy. Foods with a sweet and bitter taste in particular have a reducing effect on Pitta.
Pumpkin, sweet potato, basmati rice, coconut milk, ghee, figs, raisins, avocados, dates, almonds, grapes, mango
Nettle seeds, arugula, green leafy vegetables, chicory, radicchio, zucchini, artichokes, turmeric, cumin.
Pitta and Vata reducing dishes include a sweet potato mango curry with basmati rice, root vegetables cooked in the oven, or a nourishing rice pudding with blueberries and coconut (recipe below).
To avoid putting a strain on the digestive fire, it is advisable to avoid foods that are difficult to digest and large quantities of raw vegetables in late summer, and rather prefer nourishing and warm foods.
3. Spices that harmonize our digestive fire Agni
When the Agni is irritable and changeable in late summer, one should use hot spices only conditionally and rather prefer bitter and sweet spices and herbs. Fennel, coriander seeds, cardamom, vanilla and fresh coriander are especially good. Cumin, turmeric, fresh ginger and long pepper can also be used. They stimulate Agni without heating the body strongly.
4. Grounding, rhythms and routines
Have you been constantly on the road or on vacation during the hot weeks? Now is a good time to add a little stability to your daily routine. Positive rhythms and routines such as a regular morning or evening routine, a calm yoga practice and meditation lower Vata in particular and provide grounding and well-being.
Ayurvedic Coconut rice pudding with blueberries
This coconut rice pudding is a delicious and cooling dessert that does not burden our agni, unlike the typical summer dessert ice cream. It’s also great for spontaneous indulgences, as it can be prepared in just a few minutes. Ripe, regional blueberries are among the few berries that are well tolerated and lower pitta and vata.
Ingredients (4 persons)
150 g rice flour – 300 ml coconut milk – 600 ml rice drink (alternatively coconut or almond drink) – 4 tsp date sugar – ½ tsp ground vanilla – 1 pinch ground cardamom – 1 pinch rock salt – 2 handfuls blueberries – 4 dates
Bring rice flour to a boil with coconut milk, rice drink, date sugar, rock salt, vanilla and cardamom, stirring constantly until thickened. Continue stirring for a few minutes. Sauté blueberries for a few seconds. Cut dates into small pieces. Divide rice pudding among four bowls and garnish with blueberries and dates.
Enjoy! And happy late summer!