Special Summer-Time Foods

Cooling Herbs and Spices
One easy way to prepare Pitta-pacifying food is to add cooling spices and herbs to your foods and drinks. Here are a few to try in the hot months: anise, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, fennel, fenugreek, licorice, mint and tumeric.

Ghee: the perfect summer cooking oil
Although most oils increase Pitta dosha, ghee (clarified butter) had a unique property of stimulating digestion and cooling Pitta at the same time. It is cherished in Ayurveda as a nutritional food that is good for all body types. Ghen doesn’t burn at high temperatures, so it works great as a cooking oil. Or you can use it on toast or vegetables instead of butter.

Making ghee at home:
It is becoming increasingly more common to find ghee (even organic ghee) in grocery stores. It can also be ordered from The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa’s Herbery and Gift Shop. Or, you can make your own ghee at home. Melt one or two pounds of unsalted butter (ideally organic butter) in a stainless-steel saucepan. Raise the heat to medium and allow the butter to cook slowly until foam rises on top. Skim this off. Reduce heat and allow the butter to cook slowly until all the moisture is cooked out and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn light golden brown. Be careful not to let the mil solids burn. Remove the pan from the burner, let the ghee cool, and pour it in a glass jar. It will be solid at room temperature and can be stored outside the refrigerator for a few weeks without spoiling.

Sweet Lassi
Although yogurt is considered to be a sour food that increases Pitta dosha, when blended with water and sweetener it becomes a healthy, cooking drink called lassi.

3 parts room temperature, pure water
1 part freshly-made yogurt
Raw sugar or honey to taste
Rose water to taste
Pinch of freshly-ground cardamom
Place ingredients into a blender and mix thoroughly

To contact The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa Herbery and Gift Shop visit The Raj web site:
visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:


Protecting Your Eyes During the Summer

According to Ayurveda, the eyes are one of the main seats of Pitta dosha. Pitta governs heat, metabolism and transformation. Whenever our eyes are open, they are involved in the complex process of transforming light into ideas: distilling foreground from background, recognizing objects presented in a wide range of orientations, and accurately interpreting spatial cues. In fact, researchers estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at about the same rate as an Ethernet connection, at roughly 10 million bits per second.
Given the Pitta nature of our eyes, it follows that they become sensitive and irritated when we are exposed to excess heat. Whether you have a lot of Pitta in your constitution or not, everyone should put attention on pacifying or cooling Pitta during the summer, and take extra caution in protecting their eyes.
Tips For Protecting Your Eyes in the Summer
Wear sunglasses and a hat during the day. Bright light can actually cause an inflammatory response in the eyes which can lead to damage of the optic nerve. Sunglasses can also help protect the eyes from the dust and other environmental particles that increase in the summer months.cucumber-eyes-burns-cheap-free-beauty-tips-26-08-2013-png_160107
Cool compresses can help draw out Pitta from the eyes. There is a reason for the traditional spa image of a lady relaxing with slices of cucumbers over her eyes. Cucumbers not only have high water content, they also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Cotton balls with sprayed with rose or chamomile water can also be used as compresses to reduce heat in the eyes.
Air conditioning, dry winds and dust can cause eye dryness or irritation. If your eyes are feeling dry, see an Ayurvedic expert regarding lubrication for the eyes, and drink lots of room temperature water and fluids.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help refresh and rejuvenate the eyes.
During the Pitta season, everyone should eat a Pitta reducing diet, even if Pitta is not your main dosha. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers, cilantro, dill, fennel are all are very cooling. Rice, especially white basmati rice, and barley are ideal grains for summer. Emphasize foods that are liquid rather than dry, and cool or lukewarm rather than hot.
Stress, anger, anxiety, alcohol, spicy food, pollution will all increase your risk for eye irritation
Netra Tarpana
Netra Tarpana is a special Ayurveda treatment that strengthens and protects the eyes against the sun’s rays, relieves tired, achy eyes, and improves vision. This treatment is known to be very rejuvenating for the eyes and is an ancient remedy for many eye and sight ailments.
Freshly made dough rings filled with fragrant oils are placed around the eyes, and gently filled with herbal healing to bathe and lubricate the eyes and surrounding area. As a side benefit, Netra Tarpana also helps address sagging around the eyes and crows feet.
Ayurveda Consultations
Burning, red, or bloodshot eyes, extreme sensitivity to light, and a yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes are all signs of excess Pitta circulating in the system. If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with an Ayurvedic expert.

To schedule a consultation with an Ayurveda expert or to learn more about Ayurveda treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:


( Picture of Lady with cucumber over eye. Source: Google Advance Image Search.
Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)

Foods That Protect You From The Sun

For the US and other mid-latitude countries north of the equator, the sun’s rays in the summer months hit the Earth at a steeper angle than in the winter. Because the light is not as spread out (so it hits the earth more directly) the earth —and it’s inhabitants—absorb more of the sun’s energy. As we absorb the increased heat from the sun, the quality of Pitta or heat increases in our own physiology.
The sun gives off three kinds of ultraviolet waves throughout the year: UVA, UVB and UVC. Only the UVA and UVB rays actually hit the earth. While UVA rays are fairly consistent in intensity all year round, the greatest amount of UVB rays hit between 10 AM and 4 PM from April to October. As a result, we are getting a double dose of light rays during the summer. This can contribute to conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage and skin cancers. UVB rays can also suppress the immune system, reducing our ability to fight off maladies.
Luckily, the perfect organizing power of nature provides summer fruits and vegetables that have a wonderful capacity to protect our skin from UV rays. A medium-size red bell pepper, for example, provides more than 200 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Researchers have suggested that vitamin C can promote the repair of DNA that has been damaged by UV rays.
Red and Orange Vegetables and Fruits
Red fruits and vegetable are rich in lycopene. a natural pigment and carotinoid (antioxidant) responsible for the red color. It turns out that consuming more lycopene can protect your skin from sunburn. A study showed that intake of 2.5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily can reduce the UV rays damage up to 50%. Lycopene also helps rid the body of free radicals.
Beta-carotene — another type of carotenoid found in red and orange produce (like carrots) — has been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns.
Orange and pink citrus fruits contain lavanoid, which has been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays.
Additional healing food
Spinach contains lutein, a carotenoid that protects your skin from UV damage.spinach
Staying out of the mid-day sun, eating meals on time, choosing Pitta-reducing foods, avoiding strenuous activity, keeping well hydrated with room temperature water and other drinks, and eating lots of fresh produce are simple steps you can take to help keep your Pitta pacified during the hot summer months.
Signs of an aggravated Pitta include excess stomach acid, heartburn, skin eruptions, insomnia and irritability. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a visit with an Ayurveda expert can help to identify foods or habits that are aggravating Pitta and give recommendations to avoid more serious imbalances.
For more information on consultations with Ayurveda experts, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa:




( Picture of spinach. Source: Google Advance Image Search.
Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)