A person can remain healthy throughout the year, but in Kerala there are several Ayurvedic rejuvenation programmes to boost the well being of the physique and the mind during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (July-August). This is because the changing seasons leave an impact on body. During summer and rainy seasons, body gets weakened and is prone to diseases. The result in the onset of various ailments even as rains set in.
Regenerative therapy (sukha chikitsa) gains significance in this context. The daily diet during Karkidakam is also different. The food taken enables easy digestion. This is to tackle the relatively slower digestive process witnessed during the rainy season. However, hunger will be felt more acutely when it rains. So, low intake of food is suggested.
‘Karkidaka chikitsa’ (treatment during Karkidakam) is done under the Panchakarma method which aims at expelling the impurities in the body and maintaining health. This treatment can be resorted to even if a person does not suffer from any particular disease. In fact, wellness can be ensured by Karkidaka chikitsa.
As per Ayurveda, in the month of Karkidakam, the presence of the causative agents of various diseases, ‘vatham, pitham and kapham’, increases. In olden days, most Keralites engaged in agricultural activities. Karkidakam was a month when heavy rains were witnessed and people in the state found time to engage in Ayurveda treatment and ‘pathyam’ (regulated diet suitable for health).
The Karkidakam treatment starts from mid-July and extends up to mid-August. A person of any age starting from youth to old age can undergo Karkidaka treatment. The main stages of the treatment are ‘kashaya’ treatment, ‘pizhichil’, ‘uzhichil’, ‘njavara kizhi’, ‘dhara’ and ‘vasti’, along with adequate rest.