Traditionally, mid-February is a time when Ayurveda recommends taking actions to avoid spring allergies, colds and flus. Here are some helpful tips for boosting immunity and staying healthy.
According to Ayurveda our bodies are more susceptible to health problems when the seasons are changing. This is because our body functions differently in each season. For example, our digestive capability can fluctuate dramatically during the change from hot to cold or cold to hot. Poor digestion can lead to a build up of toxins (or ama) in the body.
What is Ama
When our digestive process is working properly it means our food is fully digested and the end result is a clear extraction that supplies our organs and tissues with high quality nutrition. Our body is getting the fuel it needs. But if our metabolism is weak and food is not fully digested, the result is an unrefined substance that can clog our arteries and tissues. Ayurveda refers to this as ama and considers it a toxin. When ama accumulates in the body it blocks normal functioning, and can compromise our immune system.
Signs of Ama
If you have high cholesterol, a coated tongue in the morning, joint pain, constipation, dull skin and eyes, gas, or excess mucus, you are displaying physical symptoms of ama. You may also feel the build up of ama as fatigue, dullness and/or irritability.
This helps to explain why respiratory illnesses and allergies pop up so often during the autumn and early spring. We especially see this in the early spring. As the weather starts to warm up, any impurities that have accumulated in our tissue and circulatory channels during the winter begins to soften and liquefy, flooding the numerous channels of circulation throughout our body, and taxing our immune system.
On top of this flood of toxins, our body has to deal with an accumulation of mucus. From mid-February to May is the Kapha time of the year. As a response to the accumulated drying influence of the cold, dry, windy Vata conditions of late fall and early winter, our bodies start to produce large amounts of lubricating mucus. The sticky liquid can cause congestion in the mucus membranes that line our respiratory and digestive tracts, contributing to allergies and sinus conditions.
Spring is nature’s purification season. The progression of the cold of winter to the warmth of spring triggers a natural process of releasing the winter’s accumulation of fats and toxins. By following a few simple steps, we can work hand in hand with our own natural cycle, allowing for a more thorough and efficient removal of these unhealthy substances.
Tips for Kapha Season
Here are a few key adjustments that you can make in your home routine and diet that will help you during the winter to spring transition.
- Sip hot water throughout the day
- Eat more leafy greens. Favor the Kapha-pacifying tastes of bitter, astringent and pungent.
- Favor organic, fresh foods. Avoid processed foods, cold dairy products, and fried and high-fat foods. Remember, light, warm foods counter the cold, heavy qualities of Kapha.
- Barley is a wonderful, Kapha-reducing grain to favor during this season. Eat less rice and wheat.
- Put a little zip in your food: spices like ginger, chili, cloves, and pepper help counter the cold quality of Kapha.
- Try not to sleep later than 6:00 in the morning. Sleeping into the Kapha time of the day can increase Kapha qualities in body and mind. This means going to bed by 10:00 the night before.
Phone or Skype consultations are available with our Ayurvedic Wellness Expert. If you are spending more time at home during this period, let this be an opportunity to create a healthier life-style. To schedule a consultation, call, 800-864-8714.