Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Nature's Healing Qualities: The Gunas:Hot
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Hot Ayurvedic Perspectives
Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC
Recipes Ingredients Products

Pitta aggravating

Elements: Fire
Balanced by 'Cold'.
ayurvedic notes

Hot Climate

"Hot" is anything that causes an increase in temperature or causes sweating. The body radiates heat from the blood through sweat. When the weather is hot, the blood vessels on the surface of the skin dilate and the heart rate increases, making the skin red and flushed.

Summertime is the season of poor appetite. Red skin is engorged with blood, leaving less blood for digestive organs. Hot weather makes the body relaxed, comfortable, and grounded. Pathological heat causes dizziness and fainting. The body becomes lethargic like the "lazy dog days of summer."

Sweating and secretions help cleanse the skin, digestive tract, circulatory, and lymphatic system. Saunas, baths, steam baths, sweat lodges, and exercise are among the numerous ways people cleanse with heat.

Heating Foods

Spicy food brings blood flow back to the GI tract. It stimulates the appetite, burns toxicity, and reduces tissues (burns ojas). Heating foods cause thirst, sweat, a burning sensation (as in chilies), and even bleeding. For example, eating too many chilies makes the body sweat. Chilies are hot because they irritate the digestive tract lining.

Eat too much turmeric and you might get angry. Turmeric is heating because it dilates blood vessels. Vinegar is heating because it is acidic. Generally, avoid heating foods in the summer.

Hot Water

Hot water is one of the most powerful herbal medicines. As hot weather brings blood to the surface of the skin, hot water brings blood to the GI tract. Flush with the blood, hot water improves digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. Hot water improves circulation. It is a powerful diaphoretic that opens the surface of the body, and is the primary therapy for fever in Ayurveda.

Hot water is also a decongestant, liquefying all Kapha.

Effect of Heating Foods on the Nervous System

When there is too much heat, the mind becomes hot tempered, angry, irritable, or impatient. Heat increases courage and valor. Passion is hot. Heat generally projects the personality outward. Yogis spend time in cool mountaintop temperatures because it helps them turn inward.

Causes of Excess Heat

Any irritation or wound, fermentation in the small intestine, exercise, or too much clothing causes heat. Liver imbalance, infection, hot climates, hot foods, and Pitta imbalances cause heat conditions.

Signs of Excess Heat

The signs of heart and blood heat are red skin, red eyes, and a red tip of the tongue. The signs of liver heat are yellow eyes or a yellowish tinge to the hands and skin. Other signs of heat include rashes, acne, infection, fever, anger, irritability, and sweat. Heat relieves spasms and causes suppuration of wounds, liver spots, premature graying of the hair, and loss of hair. If you have poison ivy and eat heating foods or take a hot shower, the poison ivy may get worse.

Treatment of Hot

Bitter tasting food and herbs, such as neem, clear blood and liver heat. Astringent food and herbs, such as amalaki, relieve inflammation in the gut. Sweet tasting foods and herbs, like shatavari and licorice root, cool Pitta and soothe Vata. Milk, cucumber, cilantro and watermelon are cooling. Washing the face or sprinkling the body with cool water is cooling.
herbs & products with Hot quality
Weight Away (9.6 oz.)
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Weight Away is a cleansing formula with herbs traditionally used for weight loss and encouraging proper fat and sugar metabolism.

Candida Cleanse Tea
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Contains anti-fungals, blood cleansers, and circulatory stimulants to assist in clearing candida from the body.

Vata Massage Oil
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
$24.95 $22.45
Experience the deep calm encouraged by Vata Massage Oil. Nourishing, grounding, calming herbs are infused into a sweetly warm blend of sesame and sunflower oil.

Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Calms the nerves while rebuilding strength and stability. Energy all day long and sound sleep are benefits of ashwagandha.

Hingvastak Churna
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Relieves gas & bloating, improves digestion, and tastes delicious.

Control Cravings Food Freedom Tea
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Control food cravings & portion size while addressing the root causes of emotional eating including poor circulation, lymphatic congestion, & toxic buildup.

TrikatuVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDashamoola PowderVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Garcinia Cambogia FruitVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingAyurvedic Roast Coffee Substitute (11 oz)Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Gymnema sylvestreVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingWarm and Nourish - Vata Pacifying Spice BlendVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Chyavanprash Nutritive Jam (9.4oz)Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingSinus RinseVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
GuduchiVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingKapha Massage OilVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
ChitrakVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingHoly Basil Leaf (Tulsi)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Shilajit TonicVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingVital Step - Thyroid TonicVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Ashwagandha TinctureVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingStrong LungsKapha pacifying
Triphala Guggulu TabletsVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingAshwagandha TabletsVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Castor OilVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingHoly Basil (Tulsi) TinctureVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Healthy Vata TabletsVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingTriphala GugguluVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Bayberry TinctureVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingHealthy Kapha TabletsVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Mahanarayan Oil (16 oz)Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingAbhayrishta- Colon TonicVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Grapefruit Lemongrass SoapVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingHeat Conditions: My Practitioner Says I Have One
Immune SupportVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingMahanarayan Oil (4 fl oz)Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Turmeric Cumin Rescue TeaVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingVacha (calamus)
Lose Weight with Ayurveda - Starter KitMotil-Colon Stimulant LaxativeVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
aggravates these symptoms*
Presence of these symptoms may be a sign 'Hot' is aggravated in your body.
Blood and Circulation
Autoimmune DisordersPitta aggravatingBloodshot EyesPitta aggravating
Blurry VisionPitta aggravatingBright red lips, face or palmsPitta aggravating
Bright red tonguePitta aggravatingChronic InfectionVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Clear / absent tongue coatingPitta aggravatingDilated PupilPitta aggravating
Fast HeartbeatVata aggravatingFlushes EasilyPitta aggravating
Gall Bladder InflammationPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingGall Bladder RemovedPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Gallstones / AttackPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingHeat aggravatesPitta aggravating
Hepatitis (Past/Current)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingHerpes - Mouth / FacialVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
High Blood PressurePitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingHot FlashesVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Hot in torso/chest areaKapha aggravatingInflammationPitta aggravating
Interstitial CystitisLiver SorePitta aggravating
Liver spots numerousVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingMultiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)Pitta aggravating
Night sweatsVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingRed dots on tongueVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Red tip of tonguePitta aggravatingSensitive to AlcoholVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Sensitivity to bright lightPitta aggravatingSour sweatPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Staph infectionPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingStinging EyesPitta aggravating
Strong body odorPitta aggravatingSweat oftenPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Sweaty palmsPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingThalassemia MinorVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Yellow tongue coatingPitta aggravatingYellowish skinPitta aggravating
FibromyalgiaVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFine, straight, light or reddish hairPitta aggravating
Hair lossPitta aggravatingOsteoporosis / OsteopeniaVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Rheumatoid ArthritisPitta aggravatingSwollen joints
TendinitisPitta aggravatingThin hairVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Weak musclesVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
AlcoholPitta aggravatingChocolateVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
CoffeeVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFood is romantic / passionatePitta aggravating
PeanutsVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingPizzaPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Spicy foodPitta aggravatingTobacco Cigarette Smoker (Current)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravating
TomatoesVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Anal ItchingPitta aggravatingAppendicitisVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Bad breathVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingBurning abdominal painPitta aggravating
Celiac DiseasePitta aggravatingCitrus allergyPitta aggravating
Crohn's DiseaseVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingDry Mouth / TongueVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Duodenal UlcerVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFood allergyPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Frequent cavitiesKapha aggravatingGastritisPitta aggravating
Gum inflammationPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingH pylori infectionVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
HemorrhoidsPitta aggravatingHyperacidityPitta aggravating
Leaky Gut SyndromeVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingReceding gumsPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Sharp abdominal painPitta aggravatingSmelly GasPitta aggravating
Sores inside mouthVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingSour Taste in MouthPitta aggravating
Stomach UlcerPitta aggravatingStrong abdominal pulsePitta aggravating
Strong food cravingsKapha aggravatingStrong hungerPitta aggravating
Strong/frequently thirstyPitta aggravatingTraveler's DiarrheaVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Ulcerative ColitisVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingVomiting BloodVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Yellow teethPitta aggravating
Kidney Bladder Urinary
Bladder infectionPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingBurning/painful urinationPitta aggravating
Cloudy urinePitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingDark Yellow UrineVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Urinary Tract InfectionPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Avoids heatPitta aggravatingMedium wealth, spends on luxuriesPitta aggravating
Mind Stress Sleep
Anger, irritable, ambitious, analyticalPitta aggravatingAt odds with church / religionPitta aggravating
At odds with familyPitta aggravatingAt odds with local communityPitta aggravating
At odds with nationality / cultureConflict makes me angry, irritablePitta aggravating
Dizzy / Light-headedVata aggravatingEasily insulted / sensitivePitta aggravating
FaintingVata aggravatingHyperactive, quickVata aggravating
I'm different from others / uniqueIllegal Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Intelligent, efficient, perfectionistPitta aggravatingIntense emotionsPitta aggravating
JudgmentalPitta aggravatingMigrainesVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Preoccupied with sex / lustVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingSelf CriticalPitta aggravating
Sharp languagePitta aggravatingTobacco Cigarette Smoker (Past)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravating
WorkaholicVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
3+ bowel movements a dayVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingBloody stoolsPitta aggravating
DiarrheaVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingDiarrhea quickly after eatingVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Explosive eliminationVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingFoul odorous stoolPitta aggravating
Green stoolPitta aggravatingPencil stool - thin & longPitta aggravating
Pus in stoolPitta aggravatingSoft StoolPitta aggravating
Stool entirely liquid, no solid piecesVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingStool formed, but porous & airyVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Straining to eliminateVata aggravatingTarry black stoolsVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Yellow stoolPitta aggravating
Reproductive Health
Abortion (Past)Vata aggravatingKapha pacifyingBright red menstrual bloodPitta aggravating
EndometriosisVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingHeavy PeriodPitta aggravating
Acne - generalKapha aggravatingAcne - painfulPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Bruise easilyPitta aggravatingCold soresVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Easily hotPitta aggravatingEczemaVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Flat rashPitta aggravatingHivesPitta aggravating
Itchy skinPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingMoles numerousVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Oily face / dry extremitiesPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingOily SkinKapha aggravating
Oily t-zone onlyPitta aggravatingPainful rashPitta aggravating
PsoriasisVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingRaised & bumpy rashPitta aggravating
RashesPitta aggravatingRed/flushed skinPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
RosaceaePitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingRuddy complexionVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Scaly / flaky skinVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingSensitive to Poison IvyPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Skin red after mild abrasionPitta aggravatingSkin sensitivity to chemicalsVata aggravatingPitta aggravating
Warm & rosy skinPitta aggravating
Weight Loss
Hashimoto's ThyroiditisVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingHyperthyroidVata aggravating
Pear shapePitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingSelf-loathingPitta aggravating

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

What is Joyful Belly?

Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

Learn about Ayurveda from the author of this article and founder of Joyful Belly,
John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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