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A to Z Survival Guide for the Monsoon Period in Jadan

An 'A to Z' list of surviving the RITU (season) of VARSHA (rainy/monsoon season) according to the ayurvedic system of RITUCHARYA (following seasonal diet and behaviour) in 'Jadan Loka'. The two Indian months of this period are Shravana and Bhadra (mid-July to mid-August).

  • Amla powder each evening with warm water to boost vitamin c – boosts immune system.
  • Burns from the sun can happen easily especially during semi cloud cover, so use safe natural sunscreen and wear a hat and long sleeves; burns can also be caused by blister beetles or buras  small brown insects that appear when the heavy rains come.
  • Colostrum is ideal because it strengthens the immune system, which is weakened during this season; Chatur maas is the four month monsoon period during which one should consume only very light non greasy foods.
  • Digestive fire is weakened during varsha (rainy season).
  • Enjoy sitting and watching the rain fall from the eating verandah or any protected and dry area – the airflow at this time is heavenly and cool, and does not happen too often.
  • Fatty foods like cream and milk – reduce. Be sure of frequent hand washing, especially with medicated soaps such as carbolic or Dettol.
  • Ghee is good in small quantities; gourds of any kind (apple, bitter, bottle, snake and ridge) are best, because they are full of water and easily cooked and digested.
  • Hatha Yoga kriyas are ideal for this season. In ayurvedic science, panch karma is done during the monsoon period; hygiene needs to be strictly maintained on all levels; honey is very beneficial at this time
  • If you get diarrhea, then always remember to take isabgol and haldi (psyllium and turmeric) mixed in a little water and yoghurt. Haldi is anti-inflammatory. Rice or conjee and apple can also be taken, as well as black tea with a little ghee inside, or green tea to energize, then later rehydrate with ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) If this does not stop it, then eat lemon slices dipped in salt or seek medical advice.
  • Joint pain and over-strained muscles are common during the rainy season.
  • Keep your umbrella and raincoat with you, if you go for a walk
  • Loban and neem fumes can be used to freshen and dry clothes with
  • Mosquito alert – they breed in water, so all containers that store water outside and on verandahs should be stored away, so the mosquitoes do not breed in the stagnant water. Mosquitoes enjoy sweet blood, so remember to have something bitter in your diet like neem, or karela powder or chips. Use a net if sleeping outside on the roof or verandah.
  • Neem leaves, use tender red ones picked at sunrise for blood purifying, liver cleansing and protection against fevers and malaria.
  • Oral hygiene – disinfect toothbrush and tongue scrapers daily in the wind and sun, floss daily and use a good mouthwash. This is a good time to have the dentist remove plaque from your teeth and to check for cavities.
  • Palak (spinach) and other leafy greens are contraindicated (not advised) during this period – if we plant them in the gardens, the insects destroy them, which is a sign that they are not to be eaten during this period; protection against snakes, scorpios and condalayas (millipedes) should be uppermost in our minds during this time, especially if we are working outside or cleaning a basement area.
  • Quickly dry towels or use light cotton khadi towels (available in organic store for 250Rs each) instead of heavy cotton ones. These dry easily and can be washed daily. Heavy towels host bacteria and fungi such as ringworm.
  • Ritucharya (following the seasonal regime) in ayurveda recommends daal dhokla, old rice, moong and masoor daals; river and rainwater swimming should be strictly avoided.
  • Salads – avoid due to increased presence of bacteria. Avoid eating overripe fruit.
  • Triphala churna for keeping the colon clean and removing old dried stools, which is a common problem during monsoon.
  • Unpleasant itchy skin can be soothed with using neem water instead of soap, or by using medicated talcs and calamine lotion.
  • Vata dosha being unbalanced or vitiated is what leads to illness and disease during this period; vaman dhauti (also known as kunjal kriya - technique of vomiting salty water) is the most beneficial of the hatha yoga kriyas to practice.
  • Wheat and barley (old) should be consumed; walking around the ashram following a heavy rain is one of the most beautiful things in Jadan.
  • X-tremely important is to dry hair and clothes after getting wet in the rain, and to not enter air conditioned rooms, especially our cool room, if wet from sweat or rain.
  • Yoghurt should be avoided and buttermilk taken instead – our cook is adding rock salt, jeera (cumin) and mint leaves to buttermilk for a cooling effect.
  • Ziplock bags are useful for packing clothes etc. when luggage is likely to be transported on top of vehicles during the rain - to avoid everything inside your bags getting soaked!
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