The treatment of diseases in the Ayurvedic system of medicine is done in a way that the disease could be rooted out from its origin. Unlike modern medicine, the Ayurvedic method of treatment is not a symptomatic treatment, but a systematic method of treating a disease.
Ayurveda recognizes three primary life forces called Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the body; together they are called the Tridoshas. The term dosha means that which vitiates or spoils. When out of balance, these doshas are causative forces behind the disease process. Tridosha imbalance is prone to happen with the change of season, place or some dynamic life changing event.
At the moment, the autumn or fall season has deeply set in and is governed by the Vata dosha. We can already feel a chill in the air in the morning and evening, and in a few weeks’ time we will be entering the winter season. In the fall, the accumulated heat from the Pitta in summers is overpowered by the dry and cold winds, and Vata dosha starts taking over which leads to variations in the digestive fire, increased bodily stress, and mental fatigue. Sometimes, one may experience a slight congestion in the throat and a fever. To overcome this seasonal change, we must shift towards warm, nourishing foods and start including spices like ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cloves and cardamom while making tea and our meals. Drinking soups, and keeping yourself well clad will help you prepare for the oncoming winter.
Check out our webinar on diet recommendations to learn more.
The ongoing fall or autumn season has its own qualities or Gunas and these are very similar to the qualities of the Vata dosha. These qualities are erratic, rough, dry, windy, cool, light, subtle and clear. As these qualities increase in our body, problems like constipation, dry skin, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety are experienced by many of us. It is always wise to avoid or reduce activities, behaviours and foods that will increase Vata and favour a Vata-pacifying diet and habits. Having warm cooked food and warm drinks like Shubh Saanjh Chai are good for balancing the Vata dosha. We should also try avoiding raw foods that may increase the rough and cold qualities. Instead, have freshly cooked warm foods with some ghee, coconut or sesame oil to increase the smoother qualities. Root vegetables should be included too that are heavier in nature and balance the light quality of Vata.
The transition from Autumn to Winter is a quick progression and many of us fail to cope with the changes. People travelling often fail to cover their heads and faces from the cold, dry winds, which often results in an increased Kapha. Sore throat, chest congestion, cold, and coughing due to a drop in temperature culminates as Kapha soars.
As Winter sets in, the Kapha dosha aggravates and induces phlegm formation in our chest. This is one of the commonest Kapha problems. Drinking warming herbal teas with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, tulsi can help to liquefy, dry, and eliminate excess Kapha. Using small amounts of honey as a sweetener serves to cleanse the system of excess Kapha but can also help diminish sensitivity to pollen. Punarnava is very effective in clearing excess Kapha from the chest and stomach and promotes proper fluid balance in the tissues. As a digestive herb, Punarnava gives strength to a sluggish digestive fire.
There are also more advanced Ayurvedic therapies (like Panchakarma) that offer a powerful means of clearing accumulated Kapha from the system; these are best done under the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner. The use of Trikatu, a traditional Ayurvedic formula containing three herbs - black pepper, long pepper, and ginger, is beneficial in the winter season. This combination is renowned for its ability to rekindle agni, the digestive fire, digest ama (natural toxins), support breathing, rejuvenate the lungs, balance mucus production, clear the mind, and support proper metabolism.
You should focus on enhancing your immunity. It is more likely that you will eat in larger quantities, which is quite natural in winter. So, your body needs a lot of fuel and energizing foods. Ayurvedic medicines like I-immune Capsules and herbal powders like Ayush Kwath are great for building a strong immune system.
Dryness in autumn and winter is more as it affects your hair and skin. So it is recommended to have a regular oil massage at least twice a week. Just heat some sesame oil and apply it all over your body before taking a bath. Also, winter may cause body aches, and oil massages relax the body and reduce pain. Massaging the skin with Ayurvedic oils (Abhyanga) containing neem delivers immune-supportive properties of organic neem on hands, feet, and back.
Foods like green pulses, gram, barley, old wheat, rice, wry, sprouted seeds, white butter, green leafy vegetables, bitter gourd, garlic, mustard oil, black pepper, lemon and honey are to name a few the most beneficial food items. Good water intake and regular gargling is advised to keep phlegm at bay. Also, light exercises and yoga should be included in your daily routine to combat seasonal health worries. A regular morning walk before sunrise, applying oil on the body before bathing and maintaining hygiene are advised to be included in one’s routine.
To keep the human body healthy and fresh, proper sleep is extremely important. After a long day at work, our body and brain get tired. As we sleep only crucial organs of the body like the respiratory system and heart function while the rest sleep. Hence, very limited energy is used for the function of the crucial organs and the rest of the energy helps in rebuilding and strengthening our body. Emotions of fear, worry, anger, sadness, tiredness or pain in the entire body due to excess labour may lead to sleeplessness. Therefore, it’s important to keep your mental health in good shape.
Do check out our webinar on mental health to get tips on how to take care of your mental health.
Ayurveda has the ability to heal each and every individual according to his or her bodily needs. Take our prakriti quiz to determine your body type, and choose from our array of products and lifestyle and diet suggestions. Keep yourselves healthy by learning about your body, and doshic constitution.