Heatwave Warning: Recognizing Heat Stroke And Ayurvedic Solutions

heat wave

Summer’s scorching temperatures bring the risk of heat stroke, a serious condition that can affect people of all ages. Everyone should be aware of the symptoms from adults working outdoors to children playing in the sun. In this article, we’ll explore the signs of heat stroke in adults and children and share Ayurvedic tips to prevent and combat this potentially life-threatening condition as shared as a Public Health Advisory by the Ministry of Ayush.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

a) General population

Heat stroke manifests differently in adults and children. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

i) Adults

-High body temperature: A core body temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher is a key indicator of heat stroke.

-Altered mental state or behavior: Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, or even coma can occur with heat stroke.

-Hot, dry skin: Skin may feel hot and dry to the touch, and sweating may cease.

-Throbbing headache:
A severe headache is a common symptom of heat stroke.

-Dizziness or fainting:
Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or even fainting can occur due to the strain on the body.

-Muscle cramps or weakness:
Painful muscle cramps, weakness, or fatigue may develop, particularly in the legs and abdomen.

-Nausea and vomiting:
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort may develop.

-Rapid heartbeat:
The pulse may be strong and rapid, indicating the body’s attempt to cool down.

-Rapid, shallow breathing:
Breathing may become fast and shallow as the body tries to cope with the heat stress.

ii) Children

-Refusal to feed: Heat stroke can cause a loss of appetite or refusal to eat, as the body is under stress and may not be able to digest food properly.

-Irritability: Children may become unusually irritable or fussy due to discomfort and distress caused by the heat.

-Decreased urine output: Heat stroke can lead to dehydration, which may manifest as decreased urine output or infrequent wet diapers in infants.

-Dry mouth: Dehydration from heat stroke can cause dryness in the mouth and throat, leading to thirst and discomfort.

-Absence of tears: Dehydration can reduce tear production, resulting in dry eyes and an absence of tears, even when the child is crying.

-Sunken eyes: Severe dehydration can cause the eyes to appear sunken or deeply recessed into the eye sockets.

-Lethargy: Children with heat stroke may become extremely tired, weak, or lethargic due to the strain on their bodies.

-Seizures: In severe cases of heat stroke, especially if left untreated, children may experience seizures due to the impact of elevated body temperature on brain function.

-Bleeding: Heat stroke can sometimes lead to complications such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a serious disorder that can cause abnormal bleeding throughout the body.

b) Vulnerable population

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat stress & heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others and should be given additional attention.

These include:
-Infants and young children
-People working outdoors
-Pregnant women
-People who have a mental illness
-People with heart disease or high blood pressure

Expert tip by Dr. Deepak, Ayurvedic Physician, BAMS, Health Content Editor at TATA 1mg:

-Move the person to a cool environment.
-Apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing.
-Use a fan to maximize air circulation around the individual.

Ayurvedic Tips To Combat Heatwave

-Follow a pitta-pacifying diet:
Include cooling foods like cucumber, watermelon, mint, coriander, and coconut in your diet. Avoid spicy, oily, and heavy foods.

-Drink cool beverages: Incorporate naturally cooling drinks into your routine, such as buttermilk, coconut water, lemon juice, or fruit-based drinks. These help to lower body temperature and keep you refreshed.

-Avoid direct sun exposure: Stay indoors during peak sun hours (usually between 10 am to 4 pm) to prevent heat-related illnesses.

-Use cooling herbs: Incorporate cooling herbs like coriander, fennel, cumin, and mint in your meals to cool the body from within.Enjoy sattu-based drinks: Consume sattu (a coarse powder made from roasted barley or Bengal gram) mixed with jaggery or rock salt for a cooling and refreshing treat.

-Apply cooling pastes: Use pastes made from aromatic medicinal plants like sandalwood and vetiver on your skin to help cool down during hot weather.

-Take cool showers: Take cool showers or baths multiple times a day to lower body temperature and relieve heat stress.

-Wear light and loose clothing: Opt for light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics like cotton to allow your skin to breathe and sweat evaporation.

-Stay in well-ventilated spaces: Keep your living and work spaces well-ventilated and use fans or air conditioning to circulate air and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors.

-Take afternoon nap: Resting during the hottest part of the day 2-4 pm can help reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and keep your energy levels up. A short nap can be refreshing and beneficial in hot weather.

Yoga Practices to Combat Heatwave

-Pranayama technique like Sheetali is designed to cool the body through controlled breathing.

-Certain Yoga postures, such as those involving gentle stretching and relaxation (sukshma vyayam), can help maintain a lower body temperature.

According to Dr. Deepak, “Practicing yoga in a calm and cool environment enhances these effects”.

3 Quick Ayurvedic Recipes To Beat The Heat

1) Nimbukaphala Panaka (Lemon Refreshment)


-Juice of 1 lemon
-6 parts water
-Sugar to taste
-A pinch of ground clove
-A pinch of ground black pepper

How to make:
-Mix lemon juice, water, and sugar.
-Add a pinch of ground clove and black pepper.
-Stir well and serve chilled.
-Enjoy 50-100 ml of this mixture.

2) Amra Prapanaka (Mango Refreshment)

-Pulp of 1 unripe mango
-6 parts water
-Sugar to taste
-A pinch of ground black pepper

How to make:
-Mash the unripe mango pulp.
-Mix it with water and sugar.
-Add a pinch of ground black pepper.
-Stir well and serve chilled.
-Enjoy 50-100 ml of this mixture.

3) Chincha Panaka (Tamarind Drink)

-Tamarind pulp
-6 parts water
-Mishri (rock sugar) and honey to taste

How to make:
-Soak tamarind pulp in water and extract the juice.
-Add mishri and honey according to taste.
-Stir well and serve chilled.
-Enjoy 25-50 ml of this mixture.

Remember, being proactive can make all the difference in preventing heat-related illnesses. Stay cool, stay informed, and enjoy the summer responsibly.


Ministry of Ayush. Public Health Advisory: Extreme Heat/Heatwave. Available online: https://ayush.gov.in/images/whatsnew/PublicHealthAdvisory.pdf

The article is written by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor and reviewed by Dr. Deepak, Ayurvedic Expert

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