Written by John Immel,
Bi-Annual Temperature SwingAfter six months of preparing for rising temperatures, your body suddenly switches gears mid July to prepare for the thermometer to plunge. Vata season starts the last week of July, when the first colder, drier air masses move in from the north. By August 1st, days are shorter and the angle of the noon time sun is considerably lower, causing temperatures to drop quickly. By the second week of August a thunderstorm will signal the definitive change in season as the temperature drops over ten degrees in just a few hours. Mornings will feel noticeably cooler. Late summer brings with it a certain stillness, the first sign of winter sleepiness.
Since humans are a warm-blooded species, your body spends lots of energy defending itself against changes in temperature. It can take several months for your body to shift gears from the warm season to the cold season. The biannual shift in temperature is one reason why August & February are the two most difficult months of the year to stay healthy. In August, people with deficiency fluids or fats get sick. In February, people with excess fluids or fats get sick.
Craving Sweets & Carbs
A cool breeze beneath my bedroom window at four am wakes me up. I put on a pair of socks enjoying the crisp relief from the sweltering dog days of summer. Later on at lunchtime I notice my cravings for fresh green vegetable suddenly subsiding for mashed potatoes. A friend brings homemade zucchini bread for lunch. Autumn is approaching!
Late Summer DrynessAfter a summer of sweating under the hot sun bodily fluids are at a minimum. Drier blood tends to create dehydration. The skin will feel parched and the bowels dry and constipated. Electrolyte imbalance, dry blood & constipation tends to make the mind anxious. Insomnia may ensue. Late summer is a critical time to replenish electrolytes & calm your mind well in advance of colder temperatures. Avoid drying, astringent or constipative foods. Instead, Vata types can drink water with lime and salt in the morning to combat dryness.
Tired, Crampy MusclesHeat pushes blood to the surface of the skin, and into the arms and legs. As soon as the temperature starts to drop, the volume of blood in your arms and legs drops too, making your muscles feel tired. Electrolyte imbalance may cause some cramping in the first few weeks of August.
Dry RashesMay rashes tend to be wet and weepy. Rashes in August tend to be dry and scaly. Daily oil massages will keep your skin and complexion smooth and supple for the transition to Autumn.
Schedule ChangesTired muscles make the first week of August an ideal vacation week. As the season changes, so does the schedule. With kids returning back to school, parents and kids will be busy scrambling to adjust to a new routine. Give yourself special treats like time off to enjoy the transition in seasons and prepare for the busy year ahead.
Diet for AugustAvoid Cool, sour fruits like grapes, or wild apples (grocery store apples aren't tart enough) can help purge residual heat from summer.
Click here to see a Late Summer Ayurvedic Diet full of tasty Vata pacifying recipes
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About the AuthorJohn 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.
Questions, Comments & Impressions of 'home remedies for august / late summer'?Is there something you'd like to know about 'home remedies for august / late summer'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review, 3 likes
Wow! Exactly what I'm feeling since the last week of July and now entering August. I thought I was a bit "off". Thank you.
Joseph, I stumbled upon" August" and I want to thank you for bringing it together. I have a kind of hit and miss relationship with ayurveda having first experienced it's power many years ago. You made it come alive again with your clear,calm suggestions. Namaste
this was a wonderful video, John. Thank you SOMUCH -Larissa
What about in a warmer climate state. We do not feel much cooking in August at all.. In fact it feels hotter than July. Are the recommendations still the same?
The recommendations are generally for late summer. As late summer approaches we naturally start drying out. Raw foods are generally astringent, so you will want to be sure they are well oiled or lightly steamed.