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Role of seasons in health and Disease

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Role of seasons in health and Disease
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Ayurveda stresses a lot at the role of seasons on the body and advises that we must change our daily routine depending on the seasons. This is known as ritucharya. Ayurveda mainly focus on aahaar (diet) and bihaar (exercise etc). It helps in preserving the balance of the doshas as the season changes.

 Disorders & Diseases due to summer
       Heat Cramps
       Prockly Heat
       Heat Exhaustion
       Heat Stroke
They occur easily on the mountains and near the sea as the cliffs and the water reflect sunlight strongly, especially the ultraviolet beam. Dark people are more susceptible to sunburn less frequently than the fairer ones. The signs of sunburn vary from redness to swelling and blistering. The eyelids may swell if the face is affected. There are certain measures that you can take to avoid sunburn and its after effects:
- Sunburn can be minimized with sun tanning. This is body's way of protecting the skin against the burning produced by the sun. The more melanin you produce, the darker you get and the better you are protected; against burning.
- Mild sunburn can be treated with cool, wet compresses for 10-15 minute. Use them three times daily. You might also try soaking in a tub of cool water for the same period of time.
- In order to get effective protection from the strong rays of sun, the best natural herbal sunscreens are sandalwood (chandan, Saussurea lappa) and aloe vera (kumari).
- In more serious form of sunburn, your ayurvedic physician may prescribe you medicaments such as Satadhouta ghritam, Aaranaalaadi tailam, Chandanaadi tailam for external application.

It is an uncomfortable rash that develops in those areas of the body where sweat glands have been temporarily blocked. The common accompanying complaints are burning, tingling and itching. External creams may precipitate or aggravate the condition and heavy sweating may also cause pidaka. Persons with pitta constitution are more prone to this problem. There are some remedial measures that you can take to counteract prickly heat:
- Make a paste by taking equal parts of the powders of sandalwood (chandan), coriander seeds, the tubercle of nutgrass (tungamusta) and the roots of khus-khus grass. Mix with rose water and apply on the body to get immediate relief from prickly heat.
- A cold-water bath taken after the application of the watery paste of gram flour on the body brigs relief.
- The powder of sandalwood used as dust all over the body is very efficacious in bringing relief in prickly heat.
- Chandanabala taila is very good application for prickly heat. It is very efficacious in removing burnng and itching sensation of the skin. It is very soothing and tonic to the skin and the nerves.
- Intake of Pravaala pishti in a dose of 500 mg twice a day, with honey, helps both in preventing and curing this problem.
- Saaribaadi paanakam, Draakshaadi kashaayam, Shadanga Kashaayam and Jambeeraadi paanakam are famous Ayurvedic medicines used internally to combat excessive heat in the body.

If you expose yourself to prolonged period of excessive heat and humidity, then you may develop heat cramps, which are the muscular pains and spasms. Although heat-cramps are the least severe, they are an early signal that your body is having trouble with the heat.

If you continue to work in humid places where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating, blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs, then this results in heat exhaustion, in which you may feel excessive thirst, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, cold and clammy skin and fainting.

The above condition, if continued will lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal. Heat related deaths are especialy tragic because they can be prevented. However, excessive heat can impair judgement and cause confusion, so take precautions before you get too hot.
During the heatstroke, the body temperature control system, which produces sweating too cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise to high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Symptoms of heat stroke include a fever as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit with too dry skin, mental confusion, and convulsions. Other signs include rapid pulse and heartbeat, dilated pupils, rapid and shallow breathing, either elevated or lowered blood pressure and unconsciousness.

- Drink plenty of liquids like coconut water, sugarcane juice, buttermilk or at least 10 glasses of water a day.
- Eat light food- avoid hot, spicy, oily meals and eat foods having high in water content including frits, salads, soups and buttermilk.
- Lassi made from churned curd, cream and ginger or powder of fried barley dissolved in water acts as a re-hydrating agent in summer.
- A fresh green mango baked in hot ash or raw mango with salt can quench excessive thirst.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks containing caffeine (tea and coffee), which can make the condition of heat worse.
- Curd rice prepared by adding boiled rice to curdling milk and kept overnight, should be eaten in morning with plenty of raw onions.
- While going out, wear a white handkerchief or use an umbrella to block sunrays.
- Do outdoor work in the early mornings or late evenings.
- Wear light colored, loose fitting cotton clothes, preferably muted colors such as tan.
- Take frequent baths and showers and apply chandan (sandalwood) paste to body for cooling the body.
- Smoking can constrict blood vessels and impair the ability to acclimatize to heat, so quit it.

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