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When the rains come

Pitter patter rain drops, the smell of moist earth, paper boats floating in puddles—monsoon spells pure magic. The dry summer heat gives way to overcast skies, promising respite from the scorching Indian summer.

Rain has inspired innumerable poets, artists, and filmmakers since time immemorial. Who doesn’t feel the infectious energy of singer Shubha Mudgal’s Ab Ke Sawan, showing people across ages surrender all inhibition and get drenched in a heavy downpour? Or heave a sigh of relief at the first drops of rain in the movie Lagaan?

There are many ways to enjoy the monsoon: watching the rain from your balcony with a cup of sipping steaming hot chai in hand, feasting on pakodas with friends, flying colourful kites against the beautiful grey sky, and of course, revisiting the childhood joy of getting out there and dancing in the rain.

The body also experiences certain changes in monsoon. The rise in humidity and temperature fluctuations between heat and cool can give rise to skin and hair issues on the surface, plus low immunity that impacts the body as a whole.

But fear not, these ayurvedic tips will help you mitigate all monsoon woes.

Boost your immunity with healing foods

The dampness in the air causes indigestion, rashes, sluggish digestion, and increased chances of cold and flu. Building a strong immunity is key to keeping such issues at bay.

We may love the occasional pakoda feast, but on the whole, light and nutritious meals will be easy on the stomach while providing the body with essential vitamins and minerals. Use ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and black pepper while cooking, and avoid raw, fried, cold, and stale foods including raw veggies, ice cream, and restaurant food.

Perfect your hair and skin

Constant sweating and humidity can take a toll on your skin and hair, making it dry and frizzy, or causing hairfall and breakouts.

For your face, a gentle cleanser followed by an alcohol-free toner will help curb breakouts, cool the skin, and shrink open pores. Use homemade face masks or ubtans containing cooling and soothing ingredients like sandalwood, aloe vera, turmeric, rosewater, yoghurt and honey mixed into some multani mitti.

For your hair, deep conditioning treatments, regular oiling, and dry head massages before bed will go a long way in moisturising your hair, promoting blood flow to the scalp, and reducing hairfall. If you do get wet in the rain, be sure to shampoo your hair afterwards to clear away the impurities that may settle in your scalp.

Monsoon often causes the sniffles too. Bathing in warm water and regularly massaging the body with oil will counteract this tendency.

Most importantly, take the time to enjoy the beautiful monsoon season.

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