Spring time has been called as the ‘father of all diseases’ in Ayurveda. People with allergies who dread spring season would know the true meaning of this saying. Hay fever, Asthma, bronchitis, sinus inflammation, respiratory diseases of every possible form, skin infections, gastrointestinal upsets; viral hepatitis etc. increase exponentially during spring. So it’s not just the nature that is blossoming, the germs and diseases are prospering too!!
Most of us are impatiently waiting for spring to arrive with all its flamboyance. However, we also need to be prepared to protect our health during this exceptionally dynamic season. Rapid changes that are manifesting in the nature during spring time are also mirrored in our own body. Kapha, the most grounded, stable and heaviest of all doshas starts accumulating in our body during the cold winter months. Warmth of the spring starts thawing this accumulated Kapha, which melts and floods our body channels, reduces appetite, slows down digestion and creates dosha imbalance in the body.
Mucous membranes which line our digestive system, respiratory system and most of our external orifices are Kapha dominant. They are also the part of ‘first line of defense’ against disease causing germs. Kapha imbalance weakens our respiratory system which depends heavily on its Kapha dominant mucous membranes for normal functioning. It is most vulnerable to the Kapha imbalance of spring which explains the rise in asthma, bronchitis, sinus inflammation and allergies during spring.
Ayurveda has given elaborate description of diet, lifestyle, cleansing and herbs which are part of the ‘Rutucharya’ i.e. seasonal health care. Here are five essential steps of health care during spring season:
- Prevention- If you are dreading spring allergies, start your spring health care early during the late winter months. Avoid eating kapha vitiating and heavy foods like yogurt, meat, cold and frozen foods, foods with sweet, salty and sour taste. Favor Kapha pacifying astringent, bitter and pungent tastes in your food. Although very tempting; day time siesta should be strictly avoided during winters and spring as it increases Kapha.
- Exercise- All the holiday sweets and binging compelled by seasonal winter boredom does reflect on your weight. Well, it’s not too late after all to start working on your New Year resolution of losing weight. Spring is perfect for exercising. Exercise helps in balancing Kapha and strengthens immunity.
- Oil Pulling or Kavala graha- Oil pulling is a highly effective Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenating procedure that can be done at home. Spring time is ideal for practicing Oil pulling as it helps in pacifying Kapha dosha. To do Oil pulling, hold warm sesame seed oil or sunflower oil in closed mouth leaving enough room for gargling. Hold for approximately 3 minutes and then gargle and swirl it around in the mouth. Lastly, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with warm water. Oil pulling should be ideally done after brushing your teeth early in the morning. When done correctly and regularly Oil pulling alone can cure around 30 diseases ranging from gum and teeth diseases, to diabetes. It strengthens and rejuvenates senses and all organs in the head and neck region.*
- Body Scrubs- Herbal body scrubs are great for getting a smooth, radiant and younger looking skin. What is lesser known is that they are also very effective in balancing Kapha in our body. Skin being our largest body organ plays an important role in balancing our Doshas. Body scrubs made from sandal wood, turmeric, and garbanzo flour help in balancing Kapha along with a perfect spa-like experience in the comfort of your own house.
- Kapha Balancing Herbs- Include warm, Kapha balancing and immunity boosting herbs like Ginger, Turmeric, Tulsi, Long pepper (pippali), Ashwagandha, Triphala, Shirish (Albizzia lebbeck), Pushkaramula (Inula racemosa), Amla, Shati (Hydichium spicatum) etc in your supplements (depending on body type, age, nature of disease if any and digestion).
Our body is our fortress, health and well-being our precious treasures and we are potentially their biggest and most effective guardians. So, this spring leave no breeches in defending them. Dig a mote, fortify your fortress and welcome spring confidently!!
*It is advisable to practice oil pulling only after assessment and guidance from a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner. Being a cleansing procedure, Oil pulling is contraindicated in certain diseases.