6 Summer Spices
Written by Dr. Rajni Thakur   

The summer season in India is usually the longest season. Apart from the shielding and cozy effect of winters, summer is associated with outdoor activities like picnics, beach activities and vacations for the school children. This season is the warmest of all seasons and is extreme in May, June and July. Heat of sun being unbearable dehydrating our body, bleaches our skin and hair. Appetite is reduced making an individual feel exhausted and lazy. Nature is very kind in course serving us to thrash the heat of this pitiless summer. It has valuable herbs, fruits and vegetables in her lap which can help us to neutralize the harmful effects of the summer season. We can use them as food, health drinks and externally as face masks. Common available herbs can even be grown in our kitchen gardens. Apart from enjoying the health benefits they give cooling and calming effect which soothens our eyes in this extreme heat.

1. MINT
One of the oldest & most popular herb that is grown all around the world. It has a sweet flavor with a cooling after sensation. health benefits include:
Cooling agent in hot summer days, When taken as fresh green healthy drink along with lemon & salt, it eliminates toxins from the body.
Herbal mint tea is helpful in irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Being germicidal agent, it combats bad breath.
Typical aroma helps it to be a good appetizer This aroma is also effective to relieve cough and congestion of nasal & Para nasal sinuses.
Effective anti-itchy so, extensively used in skin diseases, insect bites & acne common ailments during summer.
 
2. CORIANDER
Leaves boast great health benefits, an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron & manganese. A rich source of vitamin C, folic acid & vitamin A, best when used fresh.
Rich aroma helps it to be an excellent appetizer & stimulates digestion.
Offers great relief from stomach Indigestion and helpful in healthy liver functions.
Increases good cholesterol (HDL) & reduces bad cholesterol (LDL)
Possess anti diabetic & anti- Arthritic properties.
Has lot of anti oxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, minerals & essential oils which prevent ageing of eyes, soothe eyes against stress.
 
3. IMLI (TAMARIND)
Effective in dealing with sun strokes. Soak 15 gram pulp of Tamarind in 200 ml of water for an hour. Squeeze, strain & sweeten with sugar, Can be consumed 3-4 times a day.
One of the richest sources of calcium & phosphorus. Generally most fruits contain 150-600 mg of calcium per 100gms. But edible pulp contains 3000 mg of calcium per 100 g.
It is rich in tartaric acid a powerful anti-oxidant.that imparts it a sour taste • Aqueous extract of seeds of Tamarind act as a potent anti diabetic.
Tamarind pulp is rich source of non starch polysaccharides (dietary fibers). The fiber binds to toxins in the food, thus protect the Colon mucus membrane from Cancer causing agents, dietary fibre increases food bulk augments bowel movements and relieves constipation.
 
4. ROSE
Apart from the beautiful buds of roses , a rose flower acquires a number of health benefits.
Clears toxins & heat from the body.
Suitable for all skin types, acts as a skin toner.
Helps to fight the infections in digestive tract.
Wonderful remedy for Diarrhea & Dysentery.
Rose petal tea relieves uterine congestion, an excellent remedy for irregular periods & infertility.
Has an uplifting effect on the nervous system helps in depression, fatigue & insomnia. .
Rose hips (the fruit of rose that appears after the flower drops) are good source of vitamin A, B, C, D, contains bio flavonoids, fructose, citric acid, tannins & zinc.
 
5. BAEL (BILVA)
Cherished tree in Hindu mythology. It has amazing health benefits, strongly used in summer season as a body coolant in the form of Sharbat.
Syrup from pulp of fruit is used conventionally in many parts of India as summer drink which helps to overcome sunstroke effectively.
Unripe fruit used in Diarrhea & Dysentery.
Ripe fruit is used in Constipation. Consumption of ripe fruit everyday for 2 months can eliminate chronic constipation.
helps in reducing Gastric ulcers.
Extracts of Bael leaves are helpful to reduce Diabetes & cholesterol.
 
6. SANDALWOOD (CHANDAN)
The onset of summer clutches the frustrating problem of prickly heat caused due to excessive sweating. To combat this uncomfortable condition choose summer reliever Chandan that can be used externally as face masks & internally as drinks to strike the summer heat.
Chandan oil alleviates stress.
sharbat has immense cooling property & useful in promoting the flow of urine, very useful in burning micturition.
Valuable in gastric irritability.
Local application of paste of sandal wood with water is effective for prickly heat rashes.
Suntan therapy- Prepare a paste of 1 teaspoon each of cucumber & lemon juice, curd, honey & Sandalwood powder. Mix with juice of tomato & apply on affected part. Wash it off after an hour.
Use of natural products in summers helps to enjoy the season and reduces uneasiness of this extreme season.
 
Lecturer Deptt. of Shalakya Tantra
Dayanand ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.