The Ayurvedic way of life is all about balancing your mind, body and gut in order to achieve good health all over the body. It’s not about quick fixes but instead lifestyle switches and, rather than restricting yourself, it focuses on building your physical and mental strength to be able to deal with anything that life throws at you.
But occasionally, after a day of back to back meetings or the arrival of your period, there’s only one thing you want: a glass of wine. And don’t worry, we’re all human. Thankfully, Ayurveda says proper use and moderation is key. So, here, we explore everything there is to know.
Alcohol according to Ayurveda
Ancient Ayurvedic texts say that alcohol is a toxin and that wrong use of it can lead to illusion, fear, grief, anger, and even disease. While that might seem a little scary, we all know the consequences of long-term alcohol use so it’s nothing new. What Ayurveda does say, however, is that proper use and moderate alcohol consumption is key - but we’ll get onto some of the guidelines around drinking a little later.
In the meantime, let’s look at individual doshas. Just like other food and drink, some alcohol will be more tolerable than others - depending on your dosha. In fact, most qualities of alcohol are light, hot, sharp, sour, rough and dry, which can all lead to a Pitta imbalance and symptoms like red cheeks, acid reflux, sickness and even a burning sensation on your tongue.
That’s not to say that alcohol isn’t allowed but Ayurvedic theory would suggest different types depending on your dosha. Vatas should avoid bubbles and instead opt for something sweet like sweet wine. Kapha dosha, who are slow and heavy, might find that red wine or whiskey helps to add a little heat to their digestive system. And while fiery Pittas are advised to avoid alcohol, if you do want to have a drink, bitter and dry types like dry wine and gin are best.
Ayurvedic drinking guidelines
Forget about your double shots and large glasses of wine, the recommended Ayurvedic serving size is 2oz which equals to just under 60ml. So, if you’re into wine, try mixing it with water or lemonade for a spritz. Or enjoy a seltzer or single gin and tonic.
Prepare your stomach
Ayurveda also recommends that if you’re going to drink alcohol you need to eat first to help protect the stomach and combat the effects of alcohol. Ayurveda advises that you hydrate in between each drink too. Ginger Tea or warm water and Lemon can help to rehydrate you and keep things moving inside - and it’ll do wonders for you the next day.
This piece of advice goes for any drink. Ayurveda says large gulps smother the digestive fire which can lead to lots of digestive problems like stomach ache, bloating and gas. Instead, take small sips and don’t drink too much either.
Say no to ice
Okay, so if your chosen drink is a frozen daiquiri this one is going to be easier said than done but drinking overly cold drinks can again cause havoc in your digestive system. Instead, Ayurveda recommends room temperature drinks which are easier on the digestive system. Think red wine and your favourite distilled spirits.
Try tongue scraping
If you do have a few drinks, the most important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up over it. But if you do want to boost your body’s recovery the next day, a morning tongue scraping session is ideal. It’s a great way to remove a buildup of bacteria and toxins that have accumulated over night and will stop them from entering the body. Plus, it promotes good oral hygiene too. At Deja, we like to carry ours around and the handy travel size means it fits into our bag!
Of course, if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative this season, our best-selling latte powders are the perfect swap. Designed to help you to tune into your body, nourish your skin and give your senses a buzz, they’re a great addition to a catch up with friends or a relaxing evening in front of the TV. And if you do find yourself indulging in a drink or two this summer, remember Ayurveda says it’s okay!