Come July 17th and the month of Karkidakam starts. As per the Ayurveda calendar, Karkidakam is a month reserved for rejuvenation of the human body and there are specific reasons for this. Karkidaka chikitsa or Monsoon Ayurvedic Therapies, as this rejuvenation is known, is a tradition that has been in practice since several centuries, in Kerala. It’s a fabulous healing strategy to heal physical, mental and spiritual challenges, to achieve healing and prolonged well being.
Karkidakam month is considered the most challenging month of the year as rains and natural reasons cause discomfort due to illnesses, and accidents and unnatural causes are one of the highest during this month. Over 80% of the diseases that inflict us are waterborne. The rains increase the chances of disease spread through drinking water, drainage water, water in atmospheric air etc. causing fever, infections etc. In addition, the humidity in the atmosphere often aggravates several conditions including arthritis, allergies, asthma etc.
Monsoon Ayurvedic Therapies involve special Ayurvedic treatments like Snehapana, Abhyangam, Nasyam, Pizhichil, Dhara, Virechanam, Njavarakizhi, Tharpanam, Karnapooranam, Medicated steam bath and Vasthi. Also, a special diet consisting of oushada kanji (medicated rice gruel) and other herbs are administered to enhance immunity. Another practice is to drink only warm water boiled with purifying herbs during karkidakam.
Other practices to follow during this month of rejuvenation include drinking at least 2 litres of luke warm water daily, avoid non-vegetarian foods, fried foods, alcohol and smoking. Deep breathing exercise for 10 minutes in the morning daily as well as Yoga are also to be included in this therapy/chikitsa.