The wisdom of Ayurveda, stresses great importance on the transition between two seasons. One can think of this transition as a door from one season to the next. As we pass through this transition, we should consider a new lifestyle and new attitude as we pass from the old season and enter into a new season. Living in alignment with the seasons is one of the best ways to help support health and wellbeing, helping to balance the immune system, digestive pathways, and each person’s dosha (for more details about doshas refer the Tridosha article).
Spring is closely linked to Kapha, with the qualities of moistness, heaviness, abundance and also lethargy as Kapha is made up of the elements earth and water. Like the warmth of spring melts the winter snow which brings about moisture to the atmosphere. Similarly, Ayurveda describes ‘Rutucharya’ which means seasonal regimen. At springtime the sun’s warmth (as sun starts traveling in northward direction) melts the accumulated cold quality of “kapha dosha” which liquefies and it’s easy to become more susceptible to allergies, nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, postnasal drip, cough, indigestion and feeling of heaviness.
Spring Lifestyle –
– Exercises regularly, this will help in clearing the increased kapha. and also mantain the digestive fire (Jathar agni).
– Cut down your smoking habit, smoking causes indigestion that again results in kapha aggravation.
– Avoid day-time naps, especially sleeping after the lunch as this slows down the digestion and causes accumulation of kapha.
– Doing massage with dry herbs mixed with little oil etc (udvartan) is very helpful as it produces dry heat by friction it helps in pacifying kapha.
– After massage bath with sandalwood water which has cooling effect on the body and helps strengthen the body.
– Apply Sandalwood or agaru on the body because its fragrance is very soothing and calming for the mind.
– Yoga helps in physical and mental discipline, it also helps boost the immune system, increase blood circulation and helps decreasing stress hormones.
–Panchkarma like Vamana is given. Vamana is also called as emesis therapy. It is the best elimination therapy for kapha dosha. Emesis is the controlled and physician supervised exporatory procedure. It is also called as “Shodhan Chikitsa”
Spring Diet –
Kapha aggravation disturbs the digestive fire hence person experience various digestive problems. Tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringant) and katu (spicy) rasa are useful in reducing Kapha dosha.
– Avoid heavy, oily, excessive madhur (sweet), amla (sour) & lavan (salty) food & cold drinks. As these foods naturally increase kapha, they will aggravate the present symptoms eg:- banana, potatoes, yogurt, nuts.
Time to eat -Kapha is predominant during day time 6am to 10 am so avoid excess eating during that period stick with a light breakfast. Avoid eating sweet, cold foods during that period. Make your lunch the biggest meal of the day. Having lunch in pitta time will aid in digestion.
– Take in old barley, wheat, rice, mung beans
– Eat Vegetabes like bitter green & vegetables, parsley, cilantro, radish, bitter melon, fresh ginger.
– Eat Fruits like apple, pears, pomagranates.
– Spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel helpful stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin. These spices pacify the aggravated kapha in the body. They stimulate the digestive fire or agni and restores the digestion.
– Fresh ginger tea: Drink warm fresh ginger tea with honey 2-3 times a day.
– Buttermilk with added spices like cumin, black pepper powder and black salt helps regulate the digestive system (jathar agni) .
– Ginger (helps improve digestion and removes toxins) , garlic (helps fight various viruses and bacterias) and onion (helps break up the mucus in the chest and head) are good for this season.