The month Karkidakam is the last in the traditional Malayalam Calendar and the final phase of Monsoon season in Kerala. This particular month is considered as the period where humans drain energy from their body at an exact rate. And hence, Karkidakam is significant when it comes to healing, rejuvenation, and detoxification. Karkidakam is ideal for rejuvenation treatments and therapies since the air is moist with the monsoon. When humid air spreads, pores in the body expand and enable Ayurveda medications to be more effective.
According to the concepts of Ayurveda, the entire year is primarily divided into two. The two parts are Aadana , and visarga Kala and both carry six consecutive months. Aadana Kala or uttarayana is the period where it includes the first six months of the year. And similarly, Visarga Kala or Dakshinayana comprises the last six months of the year. According to Vagbhata, the season of Uttarayana reduces the mild qualities for the earth, and this leads to the loss of strength in human beings. And when the second season Dakshinayana begins, the energy will get absorbed to the human bodies. Now the significance of Karkidaka is that this is the season Uttarayana or Aadana Kala ends. This is the time when the humans lost most of their energy from their body. And hence, in this period, the human body becomes vulnerable, less immune and weak. Diseases could easily attack in this season, and therefore it is termed as the treatment period of the year according to Ayurveda.
Karkidakam is considered a challenging month when it comes to physical, mental and spiritual health. During Karkidakam, human health is at a low, and the immunity of body is very much reduced. So the body becomes more susceptible to diseases. At this point, various Ayurveda practices can be done to facilitate energy and to improve health. These ayurvedic practices done at the time of Karkidakam is known as Karkidaka Chikitsa, or Rithu Charya where Chikitsa means Treatment according to Ayurveda and Rithu charya means Seasonal Practices. Karkidaka Chikitsa helps in healing the entire well-being at all physical, mental as well as spiritual level and this includes healthy diets, healing routines, spiritual gatherings, etc. Let's look at some of the main components in Karkidaka Chikitsa.
Medicated hot oil massages like Snehapana and Abhyangam restores strength and rejuvenate the body. Hot oil massages reduce the tension and swelling in muscles by conditioning them. Hot oil massages are used to enhance the immunity, and this will help in attaining good defense against diseases in the period of Karkidakam.
Sukha Chikitsa is another vital treatment to prevent the attacks of diseases and illnesses. This practice helps in keeping the Vata, and Kapha in balance. This treatment also prevents certain lifestyle diseases. The therapy includes massages using medicated oil and the consumption of special food supplements.
When it comes to detoxification, Panchakarma is the best solution, and in the season of monsoon, this is more effective. This is a combination of five processes, and these include Purvakarma, Vamana, Virechana Nasya and Basti. These five practices combined eliminates toxins from the body and improves health.
Karkidaka Chikitsa is not complete without the special Karkidaka Kanji. This ayurvedic food is basically a rice porridge but with medicated herbs in it. This porridge is made of njavara rice which is boiled with ingredients like cumin seed, fenugreek, aniseed, mustard seed, ayamodakam, dry ginger, grambu, etc. A good amount of Coconut milk is also added in this supplement. With its high medicinal value, it revitalizes the body from inside.
Karkidaka Chikitsa aims for detoxification, rejuvenation as well as beautification of the mind and body. By practicing Karkidakam Ayurvedic therapy regime, physical, mental and spiritual health can be restored.