I overheated in the middle of a hot, sweaty tennis tournament. I was in San Jose, CA in 100 degree hot and humid noonday sun. My body was used to the cool breezes of Santa Cruz.
I was furious with my partner who yelled at me for missing a shot. I fumed as we finished the set and lost. Hotter than I had ever been, I walked off the court and couldn’t cool down. I got some ice water and poured it over my head. That helped…a little.
When I finally arrived home hours later I started to itch and discovered that I had a rash where I had sweated the most.
The rash continued for months afterwards. The itching was the worst part of it. I used an over the counter cream called Sarna that helped the itching enough so I could sleep. It had been waking me up at night.
I finally decided it wasn’t going to go away on its own and went to a dermatologist. He thought I must be allergic to some soap. I knew that wasn’t it. I didn’t want to take the steroid cream he offered for the itching–I wanted it to go away completely.
A few weeks later my Ayurvedic mentor Doctor Sunil Joshi came from India for a program I had arranged for him.
He read my pulse and found that Pitta was in disorder. I had inflammation. And he gave me herbs to cure the rash. He told me I would have to take the herbs for 1.5 years. I readily agreed—I didn’t see that there was anything else that could work.
I took the herbs, and soon the itching lessened. In 1.5 years the rash was completely gone. It never came back. Western science could not cure my rash, but Ayurveda did. With herbs.
After the incident, I realized that all of the causes of excess Pitta and inflammation were there: I was peri-menopausal—I was 45 years old and feeling frequently hot. That is a sign of high, unbalanced Pitta. Also, the hot weather increased the heat in my body, increasing Pitta. And the heat increased my anger which increased Pitta more.
Since then I have loved to treat people with signs of Pitta imbalance like skin issues or hot flashes or inflammation of any sort. I know the herbs that work! (Neem and Red Sandalwood are key ingredients). And of course the foods you eat can also increase (or decrease) inflammatory tendencies.
Are you prone to inflammation? You can get an overview in my book, “Know Your Blueprint” or come to my Ayurveda Meetups in San Jose and Santa Cruz.