One of my favorite words in Ayurveda is rasa. It is generally translated as juice, taste, essence. Rasa is also plasma, the watery component of our blood. When rasa is sufficient in the body and mind, we feel calm, nourished and content.
To maintain health in summer, we need to build rasa by incorporating its cool, smooth, moist qualities through food and lifestyle choices.
Use Opposites to Balance Each Other
In Ayurveda, we use the principle of “like increases like, opposites balance each other” to guide our actions. That means we treat an excess of a particular quality by introducing more of its opposite.
Let me give a few simple examples. When there’s excess heat, we favor foods that are cooling. When there’s excess dryness, we favor foods that are moist.
When it’s both hot and dry, what do you think Ayurveda recommends? You’ve got it: moist, cooling, rasa-building foods and beverages. This is the time of year when it’s actually okay to indulge in occasional sweet treats like ice cream. Hooray! (In moderation of course, and during the day rather than at night so it’s less likely to produce mucus.) (more…)