How to Reduce Body Heat with Ayurveda
Pitta is one of the 3 doshas in the body according to Ayurveda and it is believed to control the digestive power or ‘fire’ in the body. When pitta goes out of control it can cause you a lot of discomfort and stomach issues. Pitta is known to be oily, hot and light. This could also result in heat stress. This happens more in summer as the body experiences dehydration and tends to heat up. Experts recommend keeping your body hydrated with water and having water-rich foods to reduce body heat.
What Causes Excessive Body Heat?
Ayurveda says that the imbalance of pitta, one of the doshas in Ayurveda, in the body is one of the main reasons for the accumulation of body heat, so the main question here would be how to reduce pitta levels in the body? But before looking at how to reduce pitta let's understand how this could happen. This could happen due to a variety of reasons including:
- A diet that increases the pitta level in the body including foods full of preservatives
- Continuous exposure to the sun
- Exposure to chemicals
- Mental and physical stress
- Hyperthyroidism could also cause body heat levels to shoot up
- Intense physical exercises could also increase body temperature
- Certain antibiotics and opioids could increase body heat. Fatigue, dizziness, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, rapid pulse, headache, low blood pressure are all symptoms of excess body heat.
Learning how to manage this will help you answer the question "How to reduce heat in body ?" as also "How to reduce Pitta"
Also Read: Effects of Stress On Body
How Does Increased Body Heat Affect Hair?
So, does body heat cause hair loss ? Yes, excessive heat in the body causes hair fall. A high body temperature could lead to weakened hair which could lead to hair breakage and hair loss. But before looking at how to reduce body heat, let's learn about how body heat affects the hair health.
- Dehydration: Dehydration could lead to skin and scalp irritation due to the lack of moisture in the body. This could also adversely impact the hair strands and weaken them. The lack of water could make the hair brittle and cause them to break.
- Inflammation: The excess pitta in the hair roots could be responsible for inflammation of the follicles and result in hair loss.
- Stress: Excess levels of stress are known to contribute to rising body temperature and affect the quality of your hair adversely.
Natural Ways to Reduce Body Heat
The answer to the question How to reduce heat in body? is Ayurveda. Ayurvedic solutions ensure that your body heat problems are a thing of the past with the help of certain natural treatment procedures. There are also your - how to treat pitta dosha home remedies that could also help stop hair fall. Let’s find out more about how to reduce body heat with Ayurveda.
- Pitta reducing diet: You need to include foods to reduce body heat in your diet that will cool down your body and make you comfortable by removing the heat causing substances from the body. Water-rich foods or Body-cooling foods such as plums, berries, water melon, apples, asparagus, cucumber and broccoli will do the trick.
- Water rich diet: The consumption of food rich in water content such as cucumbers, water melon, cauliflower, watermelon and strawberries are the first thing that doctors recommend for reducing pitta levels.
- Celery: The high-water content in celery (close to 90%) is very useful in helping keep your body moisturized and cool. It also has high magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and calcium content.
- Timely meals: Eating food at the right time ensures that the fire in your body is utilised in the right manner. The digestive juices ensure that the food is broken down properly during your noontime lunch as they are at their strongest at that point of time. Eating salads at this time is definitely beneficial in cooling down the body.
- Cold foot wash: Placing your feet in a tub of water with a couple of ice cubes thrown in, is a very effective way of solving your body heat issues. Keep your feet dipped for about half an hour. You can also apply ice to those parts of the body where the veins are exposed such as the wrist, chest or neck. This will help cool the blood that passes through these veins and bring down the temperature of your body significantly.
- Avoid heat increasing food: The answer to the question, " How to reduce pitta immediately ?" is to consume body cooling foods. There are a number of foods that increase the heat in your body. Sour fruits, carrots and beetroots, garlic, chilli, tomato and sour cream are some of the foods you should definitely avoid to stop the temperature of your body from rising. This is a potent natural remedy and is your answer on how to reduce body heat with Ayurveda.
- Coconut oil and coconut water: Coconut oil is a very effective remedy for body heat. Get a good body massage with coconut oil before you take your shower. This will provide a soothing effect to your body and help in cooling it down. Coconut milk is also very effective in controlling pitta. The mineral, vitamin and electrolyte content help in revitalizing the body when it experiences heat stress. There are also a number of castor oil benefits for hair as it is extremely potent in cooling down the body.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is one of the most potent remedies for a pitta ravaged body. The minerals and vitamins restore the body’s energy levels when reduced by the draining heat. A glass of cold buttermilk is your go to option to deal with energy sapping body heat.
- Less hot liquid intake is recommended: Try and reduce your consumption of hot liquids as they increase the pitta levels in your body. Try to drink these liquids at room temperature instead.
- Fenugreek tea: This is an excellent option for detoxifying the body. The fenugreek makes you sweat and releases the body toxins. You can also prepare the tea and then keep it in the refrigerator before drinking it. This is an excellent Ayurvedic medicine to reduce body heat.
- Avoid extremely cold drinks: Very cold drinks or iced drinks only interfere with the digestive processes and further increase the body heat. They douse the fire of the digestive juices, lead to more toxins in the body and aggravate health issues.
- Water melon: The water content in water melons is close to 92%. This helps keep the body cool and hydrated and makes this fruit one of the most effective in reducing heat. Drink water melon juice on a regular basis and find your body heat problems disappear.
- Mint: Mint can be tried out as a chutney which adds to your health while also being able to tingle your taste buds. Mint added to buttermilk and curd helps in cooling down your system and makes you feel fresh inside. This is a good method on how to reduce body heat with Ayurveda.
- Workout during the morning: Going for that jog or attempting those strenuous workouts in the gym during the morning as this is the time when the temperature is the coolest. Doing all these physical activities at any other point during the day will only serve to increase your body heat.
- Soothing oils: The use of cooling oils such as jasmine and sandalwood calm the body and help it cool down. They also provide a soothing psychological effect to help you settle down.
- Aloe Vera: The gel of aloe vera can be applied to the skin to lower down body temperatures. Aloe vera gel can also be consumed when added to water. This is a good way on how to reduce body heat with Ayurveda.
- Chilli: Now this is one of the surprises when it comes to foods that reduce body heat. When you consume chilli, your body feels warm but at the same time it could help reduce your body temperature. This is because the brain gets a message from an element called capsaicin that your body is heating up and causes it to sweat which also produces a cooling effect.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice oxygenates and moisturises the body to improve your energy levels tremendously during summer. The best way to do it would be to add the juice of a half of lemon to a glass of water. Add a teaspoon of honey and a little salt. Drink this combination 3 times a day for best benefits. This is an excellent way on how to reduce body heat with Ayurveda.
- Onion: Apart from having quercetin which is very useful in preventing sunstroke, onion is also great in producing a cooling effect on the body. One of the most common and popular vegetables, onion in the form of a salad or in your sandwiches is also good for overall body health.
- Amla: Amla is also a very good ingredient for reducing body heat during summer and helps keep your body cool by preventing acne and heat boils.
Foods that Help Control Pitta
A balanced diet with plenty of water-rich and cooling foods rich in carbohydrates could be your answer on how to control pitta. Let’s find out more about how you can cure pitta in the body. The following could help:
- Cool foods
- Foods that provide nourishment and are easy on the stomach
- Dry foods are better than liquid-based food
- Fresh juices
Fruits and vegetables are most effective in reducing body pitta. Always have them separately and not as an accompaniment with any other food. Having them at least 30 minutes before your meal will produce the best results as it will enable you to digest your food. Bitter tasting foods need to be removed from your diet. Let’s take a look at the foods that would help you lower your pitta levels.
- Fresh fruits: Fruits like papaya, plums, pears, dates, oranges, watermelon, figs and grapes are very good provided they do not taste bitter.
- Fresh vegetables: lettuce, spinach, okra, peas, pumpkin, radishes, cabbage, cucumber potatoes are some of the vegetables which could be very effective in correcting pitta imbalance.
- Legumes: Legumes are good astringents and therefore are useful in lowering pitta levels in the body. Kidney beans, moong dal, soya beans, chickpeas and tofu among other things are very useful in removing pitta from the body. You need to avoid urad dal, soya sauce and soy meat among other things.
- Grains: Certain grains like barley, oats, tapioca, quinoa, wheat bran and granola could be very useful as part of your pitta controlling diet. Rye, corn, buckwheat and corn are to be avoided.
- Dairy foods: Cow’s milk, ghee, ice-cream, yoghurt and cottage cheese among other things are very effective in helping reduce pitta levels. Stay away from buttermilk, salted butter, sour cream and frozen yoghurt among other things.
- Non vegetarian food: Chicken, freshwater fish, egg white and shrimp are very useful for bringing down pitta levels. Avoid beef, salmon, pork, duck and lamb and egg yolk among other things.
- Oils: Coconut oil, sunflower oil, ghee and olive oil are very useful in controlling pitta. Almond oil, corn oil and sesame should definitely be avoided.
- Spices: For most Indians spices are a very crucial component of the diet as cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, mint ginger, coriander, black pepper, ginger and coriander are very good for your pitta. Avoid spices like garlic seeds, salt, cloves, coriander, black pepper, cardamom and vanilla.
- Sweeteners: Dates and barley syrup are recommended while honey, jaggery and white sugar are sweeteners that you should definitely avoid.
- Nuts and seeds: While most nuts and seeds are generally considered bad because of their excessive oil content, almonds, popcorn, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds among others help restrict pitta. Stay away from cashew nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and peanuts among other things.
To learn how to reduce Body Heat with Ayurveda the most important thing to do would be to maintain a controlled diet full of water rich foods. This would be the best way to reduce your pitta levels and will also lead to a healthier body. Visit us at Traya to learn about more ayurvedic remedies for your hair and body from our team of experts and build your bridge towards a head of healthy hair.
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Dr. Abhishek Mishra, BAMS
Dr. Mishra is an Ayurvedic with a keen interest in Ayurvedic Research. His articles have also been published in renowned Ayurvedic Journals of India,