Ayurveda is the ancient holistic wisdom which attempts to re-establish the balance within body and mind. The therapeutic science of Ayurveda also cautions about the do’s and don’ts required for maintaining a healthy life. Out of the valuable reservoir of knowledge that the ancient seers have bestowed upon us, one of Ayurveda’s significant contributions is the awareness about the various seasons and their effect on us.
Health implication of Spring
Ayurveda believes that Spring accounts for a wide variety of physical problems and symptoms related to the respiratory system. The changes that characterise Spring cause the natural aggravation of the kapha dosha, which is associated to the chest and is known as the phlegm body humour. This results in a decrease in physical energy and a greater vulnerability. During Spring, there is an increase in the sun’s supremacy as well as a decline in the chill of the moon. Besides, there is reasonable aridity in the air as well as in the natural vegetation. These climatic changes lead to increased heat in the environment which can impact one’s health.
This is mainly due to the melting down of phlegm in the body that has been accumulated during the preceding winter cold. In Spring, as the sun’s rays tend to become more intense and concentrated, the phlegm is thawed, which in turn suppresses the gastric fire and can result in a number of digestive and respiratory ailments typically encountered in Spring. However, in some cooler climate regions, the afflictions may not come to full bloom till the first part of summer.
Diet & Lifestyle Recommendations for Spring
For this season, Ayurveda discourages the use of ingredients that are heavy, unctuous and cold by nature. The daily consumption of the sweet, sour and salty tastes needs to be avoided. On the other hand, Ayurveda recommends a diet mainly comprised of pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Here are a few suggestions for you.
The pungent taste includes spices such as cayenne, black pepper, cloves, chillies, ginger and mustard, and vegetables such as peppers, onions and garlic.
The bitter taste is mainly found in green leafy vegetables, and in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli and sprouts.
The astringent taste comprises of pluses, such as lentils and dried beans; fruit, such as green apples, grape skins, and pomegranates; and tea.
In addition, meals should essentially consist of light and easily digestible foods. The intake of fermented drinks and herbs — like dried ginger and honey — is particularly suitable for this season.
Ayurveda also has more general lifestyle recommendations for Spring, including:
- study and physical activities, such as yoga asanas;
- deep breathing techniques, such as Pranayaam;
- gargles using pungent ingredients such as chillies and ginger;
- steam inhalation;
- dry body massage; and
- the application of thick sandalwood and turmeric pastes onto the body for thorough cleansing.
- a sedentary lifestyle — especially sleeping during the day time — needs to be avoided.
The impact of Spring on the mind
According to Ayurveda, floral aromas and scents have lasting effects on the mind. Since Spring is the season in which most flowers bloom, the text of ancient Ayurveda advises to take advantage of every opportunity to be in close proximity of nature at its bloom. One way it to make fresh flower garlands and other physical or house ornaments with blooming flowers. Meditation is also advocated to help keep the mind rejuvenated.
Dr. Sonica Krishan is an Ayurveda and Natural Lifestyle Consultant, freelance health writer, and book author based in Chandigarh, India. She has authored the natural home cure books Herbal Healers and Home Remedies, and is presently writing for national and international publications. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.herboveda.co.in