Karkidakam, or Karkidaka Masam, is the twelfth month in the traditional Malayalam calendar followed in the Indian state of Kerala. It corresponds to the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar.
Karkidakam is also known as the “Ramayana month” because it is considered auspicious to recite the Ramayana, one of the great Hindu epics, during this month. It is also considered a month of spiritual significance and a time for personal reflection, purification, and renewal.
Many people believe that this month is ideal for undergoing Ayurvedic treatments and therapies to improve their health and well-being. Some traditional practises, such as “Karkidaka Chikitsa,” involve undergoing detoxification and rejuvenation treatments during this month. Some people may benefit from starting the therapies a few weeks before or after Karkidakam to align with their specific health needs and schedules. The maximum duration of Chikitsa is 7, 14, 21, and 28 days.
The following are some of the benefits of undergoing Ayurvedic therapies during Karkidakam for the mind and body, some of which include:
• Detoxification: Eliminates toxins and improves overall health.
• Rejuvenation: Help to rejuvenate the body and mind, thereby increasing energy levels and improving overall well-being.
• Boosting immunity makes the body more resistant to diseases and illnesses.
• Managing Chronic Conditions: Effective in managing conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and diabetes
• Relieving stress and anxiety promotes mental calmness and relaxation.
• Improved Digestion: Reduces bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues.
• Pain Relief: Panchakarma therapies may help relieve joint pain and other types of pain.
• Improved Sleep: Believed to promote restful sleep, which is essential for overall health and well-being.
• Personalised Treatment: Therapies are customised based on an individual’s specific needs and health concerns, which can be particularly beneficial for people with chronic conditions.
During Karkidakam month in Kerala, Ayurveda recommends following a specific diet and lifestyle regimen that is believed to promote health and prevent illnesses. Some of the key recommendations include:
• Diet: It is recommended to consume light and easily digestible foods. Avoid oily, spicy, and heavy foods. Consume more fibre-rich foods like vegetables and fruits. During Karkidakam, the digestive system is believed to be weak and susceptible to various ailments.
• Herbal Teas: Teas made with ginger, cardamom, and other spices are believed to aid digestion and boost immunity.
• Fasting: Some people may choose to fast during Karkidakam, as it is believed to help detoxify and improve overall health.
• Yoga and Meditation: Regular practise can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.
• Ayurvedic treatments like Panchakarma, Abhyanga, and Shirodhara can help detoxify the body, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.
• Bathing with Herbal Water: Water infused with medicinal herbs such as neem, turmeric, sandalwood, etc. This is believed to help purify the body and promote good health.
• Rest and Relaxation: Most of the repair happens when proper rest is given.
After completing Karkidaka Chikitsa or any Ayurvedic treatment, it is important to take care of your body and follow certain guidelines to maintain the benefits of the treatment. Here are some things to consider:
• Follow a Healthy Diet: Eat light and easy-to-digest foods that are rich in nutrients. Avoid oily, spicy, and processed foods. Include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
• Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.
• Get Enough Rest: It is important to get adequate rest and sleep to allow your body to heal and recover. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
• Exercise Regularly: Engage in light to moderate exercise, such as yoga or walking, to improve circulation, digestion, and overall health.
• Avoid stress and engage in relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or gentle yoga.
• Continue with Medications: If you are on any medications or supplements, continue taking them as prescribed by your doctor.
• Follow-up with your Ayurvedic Physician: Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan if necessary.
Overall, Karkidaka Ayurveda therapies are believed to help balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), promote health and well-being, and prevent illnesses. Karkidakam is considered a time for introspection, renewal, and taking care of one’s physical and spiritual health in the Kerala region.