In continuation with summer blues post, summer diet tips are being given in this post.

The super power which created this world and its species, is so kind that what we need to eat in each season, is produced locally in that season. Thus in Mumbai and several cities in India, mangoes and grapes are already appearing in markets. The soaked tamarind (Imli, Chinch), Kokam, Cucumber, Water melon etc are summer fruits. Fridge water which every one wishes to drink plenty in summer, is very damaging to the Agni, the digestive juices secretion. The calm and tranquility of mind very much depends on water balance. Hence, to compensate for the loss of water by sweating, breathing and to keep body cool, we must maintain water balance through fruits. They offer enzymes, vitamins, sugars and minerals. Amongst various fruits, grapes will be discussed here. The reason for choosing grapes is their economic viability for all social classes. Moreover, mothers keep worrying about the health of little angels. Grapes are very useful even in emergency. Equivalent to intra-venous dextrose solutions which hospitals use as soon as a weak patient is admitted.

Acharya Vagbhat calls grapes as "Falottama" meaning best fruit. "Swadufala" is another name. Mruddhika, Manuka, Munakka, Angur etc are some more Indian names in different languages. Grapes turn dry skin lacking ojas into smooth and lustrous due to their "snigdha" guna. The frequent thirst, "always thirsty" can bring their thirst to control by taking fresh juice or raisins soaked for at least three hours and consumed along with soaking water.

A brain tumor patient was suffering from incessant vomiting, and due to always empty stomach, suffered severe weakness. He was brought to normality by feeding soaked grape water spoon-by-spoon since grapes were not available fresh at that time. Along with this, seasame oil massage in anticlockwise direction around navel area could pacify Vata controlling vomits. Two week grape treatment was needed so that he could walk a little. Even diarrhea can be controlled in this manner. One can mix coarsely ground cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds in case of diarrhea.

Acharya Charaka recommends grape juice when inflammation of any parts or whole body is noted, all kinds of fevers, hemorrhage of all kinds (rakta-pitta), Rajyakshma (tuberculosis), Excess alcoholism, coughs, hoarse voice, belching, constipation, etc.

Grapes are useful in case of dry mouth, continuous bitter taste, Vat- pitta generated mouth ulcerations. They build up the flesh tissues and increase sexual power.  Women suffering from Excess bleeding , frequent abortions or unable to conceive due to excess heat in the body can benefit by taking a "heem", meaning 12 hour soaked solution of 15-20 dried black grapes, fennel seeds(1 tsp) and crystal sugar (1 tsp). This should be consumed every morning and evening, when stomach is almost empty. Best way to consume grapes is chewing, but if teeth missing, ache etc., crush and drink after straining. The pacification of Pitta and favorable properties of Fennel seeds for conception/foetus retention offer benefits in above. The author's prescription starts with a date/grape crush for every pre-menopause or harmone imbalanced lady. This Heem can be continued during pregnancy also.

In case of painful and inflammatory urination which occurs due to urine infection (menopausal women) or children drinking less water, 20 black grapes with two cardamom pods can be ground and added to half liter water along with a little sugar. Drinking this water throughout day will reduce inflammation and increase quantity of urination. Continuation of this for 2-3 weeks will reduce pains, if caused by infection, urine retention or swelling in the urinary passage. Even kidney stones.

Dried black grapes have the power of pacifying pitta, act as mild laxative. Daily buying the grapes becomes difficult and getting them round the year is not possible. Therefore, a formulation proposed about a thousand years ago has the name "Kalyan Gutika". Remove the seeds of black dried grapes and mix it with Harde twice by weight. Grind them together well and make 10 gms weight tablets. Daily morning one tablet, dissolved in half cup water for 20 minutes and drunk thereafter, reduces all Pitta caused problems. E.g. heart diseases, blood disorders, malaria, flue, typhoid, anemia, vomiting, skin diseases (inflammations), coughs, jaundice, lack of taste, anorexia, diabetes, gases/acidity, etc. Acne, pimples, boils, sweat caused itching, etc are the skin diseases where this Grape Crush Tab can be used advantageously. If one mixes in Ardusi equal by weight of grapes, these tablets are useful for reducing excess bleeding.

In addition, Drakshasava and Drakshavaleha are readily available pharmacy products which can be used according to directions of a vaidya. 10-30 ml Drakshasava with equal water causes appetite to increase. It also helps in case of asthma, coughs, intestinal problems, piles, worms, skin diseases, migraines, anemia, eye diseases. Drakshavaleha helps in case of hyper acidity or acid reflux problems. It is especially indicated in case of excess bleeding, jaundice, T.B. It needs to be noted that sour grapes as well as green tamarind cause increase of Pitta and Kapha. Hence, patients suffering from acidity and hemorrhage should not consume sour grapes or other sour products.

Dr. Bhate