Do the seasons have an influence on your digestion and your health?
In Tune with Nature – Spring is in the Air
Nature functions in seasons, cycles and rhythms. There are daily rhythms e.g. day/ night; sleep, rest, work; monthly rhythm e.g. lunar cycle, menstruation in women, and cosmic rhythm of sun and moon. Hormone levels, temperature regulation, immune function, digestive enzymes, sleep-wake cycles, and cellular reproduction all go through phases of rest and activity. Living in harmony with nature is one of the foundations of Ayurveda, and was also the basis for health before society became too busy and stressed to feel the rhythms of their bodies. When we live in tune with nature we can experience better health, than when we are struggling against it. By understanding the fundamental laws of nature and human beings’ place in that, Ayurveda helps bring balance to the individual by working in alignment with the laws of nature.
Ayurveda considers environment to be a major factor in health care. To help each person adjust to the changing influence of the seasons, Ayurveda recommends a seasonal specific, daily routine. As earth revolves around the sun, it brings changes in the seasons and also changes the doshas predominance in our body. Each season brings with it, its own challenges with respect to your health and needs for balance.
Ayurveda provides a range of preventive and curative measures in terms of life style, diet and herbs to cleanse the body and to restore the balance.
Ayurvedic cleansing essentially is for cleansing the macro and micro channels of the biological system known as Srotas, and is required for free flow of nutrients, energy and the benefits of herbs, and removing the toxins out of the body.
To enjoy a healthy spring, you need to understand the kapha dosha and bring it into balance. Kapha has earthy-watery qualities. It provides lubrication for joints, as well as mucus to protect the sensitive tissues of the sinuses, lungs, and stomach. With the melting of the snows and the thawing of the ground, the fluids in the body also start flowing more freely, and performing an internal cleansing routine at this time accelerates the process of flushing out toxins from the physiology. This is why people tend to get spring colds. It is important to balance kapha in the spring, because kapha accumulates during winter and can create diseases by the time spring arrives. In spring, you need to shed this excess kapha or risk becoming vulnerable to seasonal allergies or head colds.
Your Ayurvedic prescription for spring is to develop a rhythm and routine that helps you gradually lighten up physically, mentally, and emotionally without disturbing the stability of kapha.
The best approach is multidimensional and includes eating lighter foods, adding certain herbs like Trikatu and Triphala to your diet and using Nasya oil, practicing asana, pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, and Panchakarma for your body-mind’s spring cleaning.
A home remedy for congestion:
- Raw honey 6 tblspn
- Turmeric 2 tsp
- Ginger powder 2 tsp
- Cinnamon ½ tsp
Mix together in a jar and eat one tsp twice daily as you start feeling running nose or blocked sinus at change of season. Adjust quantity for children.