Ayurvedic approach to health is two folds: heal sickness by restoring body’s natural balance of energies (Doshas) and preserve the health by carefully maintaining the balance through daily and seasonal routine. The strength of a person is enhanced by adopting suitable diets and routines according to each season. The seasons consistently roll from one another. Ayurveda recognizes that seasonal change has a profound effect on our health and recommends many helpful suggestions, for how we can adopt our lifestyle to stay balanced in each season.
Spring is the season for “house cleaning”. Have you ever thought of “spring cleaning” of toxins from your body? Detoxifying in spring is an important part of Ayurvedic seasonal routine. Biologically nature supports cleansing of body in spring. In winter the digestive capacity is high and people eat more sweet and heavy foods. Most of the time they are not able to assimilate these hard to digest foods, so Ama (toxic, sticky product of indigestion) starts accumulating in winter in the system. In spring when warm weather melts the snow, it has similar effect on the body. Ama melts and increases in volume blocking all channels in the body. If you don’t assist these toxins moving out of your body they may make you prone for flu, colds, cough, allergies, and sinus problem which are common in spring. Or you might feel unusually fatigued, sluggish or drowsy after lunch or lose your appetite. To remedy this situation Ayurveda offers the gift of Panchakarma. Simple steps of Panchakarma – Smooth oil massage, calming oil drip on forehead (Shirodhara), warm herbal steam and other cleansing procedures loosen all toxins and remove them from the body rapidly. This is the procedure to purify the body of toxins and restore it to balance with natural law. Ayurveda aims to establish the ability to live every aspect of life to its fullest, in complete conscious to nature’s infinite intelligence, a state often referred to as enlightenment.
As seasons changes we change clothing we wear, the outdoor activities we engage in, even the way we set our clocks. But do we ever think of changing the food we eat? In spring the sky is cloudy. This is cold and heavy season. So avoid eating heavy, cold hard to digest foods. (Like increases like) Reduce sweet, sour, salty tastes from your food. Avoid cheeses, ice creams and yogurts. The diet should be hot, dry and light to counter those main qualities of the season. Eat more baked, broiled, or grilled foods, warm foods. Add more spices to your food like Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, and Fennel to help stimulate digestion and detoxify the skin. Pungent, astringent and bitter tastes should be added.
Herbal teas – Ginger, Calamus or Clove herbal tea is good for spring. Medicated wines like Draksha and Ashwagandha are recommended in this season.
Massaging with dry herbal powders (e.g. Haritaki, Ginger) or heating oil (e.g. Mustard oil) also helps. Avoid sleeping during daytime in this season. Regular physical exercise, gargling with warm water (or herbal decoction) and drinking warm water is beneficial.
Spring balancing tea recipe:
4cups of water
1 tablespoon Cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon of sucanat or rice syrup (optional)
Heat water in a pot. Add slightly crushed Cinnamon sticks and Turmeric powder. Boil for three minutes. Add sucanat or rice syrup and grated ginger and boil for two more minutes. Strain and serve hot.
We can never control Mother Nature nor the changes in it. Simply being aware if the time is the key. Time is an important factor in the life of every mortal, and living according to Nature’s time is the only way to remain healthy.