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Pitta - The Season of Summer

We’re now in the “dog days of summer”, which is the season of Pitta in Ayurveda – a holistic system of medicine from India. Pitta is composed of the elements of fire and water; and when imbalanced, it can express itself in the body as agitation, low digestive fire, sour stomach, and skin irritations. To balance Pitta this summer, try these tips.


  • Keep heavy proteins and grains to a minimum and eat them in the coolest part of the day, i.e., early morning.

  • Keep "heating" foods to a minimum, such as chilies, cayenne pepper, corn, eggplant, olives, radishes, tomatoes, cooked spinach, sour cheeses, hard liquor, and red wines.

  • Instead, choose lighter, easier-to-digest food, such as fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Particularly supportive foods include avocado, coconut, watermelon, asparagus, cucumber, leafy greens, red lentils, chickpeas, yellow split peas, and mung beans, as well as salads.

  • Drink cool (not iced) water. Add lemon, lime, or mint to the water. Yogurt lassi is a great treat, since yogurt is calming and strengthening to the body. See recipe below for “Mango Lassi”.

  • Eat your main meal at mid-day.

Herbs and Spices

Try cooling spices and herbs, such as fennel, coriander, cardamom, cilantro, mint, lime zest, hibiscus, lavender, rose petals, and shredded coconut.


Exercise in the early morning or evenings when it’s cooler, and don’t work too hard. For yoga, try restorative or yin yoga. A great exercise to help digestive strength without over-heating is swimming. So go ahead and jump in a pond or lake and swim. Stay cool and enjoy!

Mango Lassi Recipe – Serves 2

  • 1 cup chopped mango

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • ½ cup milk or milk-alternative

  • 2-4 tsps. honey or sugar (more or less)

  • Dash of ground cardamom

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle a little more cardamom on top. Add a few mint leaves for garnish.


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