Food & Lifestlye

Healthcare plans for winter

Health care plan
Winter care

Ayurveda for winter

A season is a subdivision of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight. Spring (vernal), summer (estival), autumn (autumnal) and winter (hibernal) are the major season divided. According to Ayurveda, al together there are 6 seasons (Ritu) namely Shishir, (winterseason) Basant (spring), Gresham(summers), Varsha(rainy), Sharad(autumn), Hemant (early winters). Among them Hemant and Shishira are the cold seasons which falls from month of Nov-Feb. when sun rays are falling directly on northern hemisphere. This phase faces intense rays and heat of the sun. Due to its property rays from the sun makes the air dry and heated and takes away all the coolness present in air.

Change is in the air, the nights are already quite chilly, and the air feels cool and dry. Now is the perfect time to prepare for the colder season. In Ayurveda fall and early winter are equated with the Vata dosha, changes the physiology and psychology. This can manifest in dry skin, hair, brittle nails, constipation, stress, and fatigue.

The cold, heavy, sticky, dull qualities of winter and dampness of spring enhance Kapha. It is important to avoid sleep-ins! Stimulate the digestion and choose hot foods.

With the onset of winter, you are prone to a number of infections. Allergies and viral infections make the rounds, and cold, cough, flu and sinusitis are rampant. Some of the common problems during cold are

  • Sinusitis
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Joint pain (Arthritis)
  • Cracked & Chapped lips
  • Cracked heels

Diet: Sweet,sour and salt taste food can be taken. In this season the digestive activity becomes more powerful. Increased vata gets obstructed from spreading out due to cold atmosphere outside which can digest the tissues. More intake of sweet, sour and salt helps reducing the vata. Wine prepared from jaggery (molasses) can be taken. Wheat/gramflour products, milk products, sugarcane products and corn/edible oils can be taken as a part of food.

Exercise: Winter is kapha season, so it is recommended to do daily exercise during winter season. Moderate regular exercise can be done early morning to keep yourself fit and healthy. Atleast morning walk is beneficial for fitness.

Sesame Oil Massage : Sesame oil is all time favorite essential oil. So it is recommended to massage daily with sesame during winter season. Massage is described as daily routine (Dincharya) in Ayurveda and it can prevent from many ailments.

Hot Water : Drinking hot water daily is best way to balance doshas in winter. It helps to keep yourself warm and eliminate impurities from the tissue.

Ghee or Clariefied Butter: According to Ayurveda, cow ghee is supposed to be good for health. It is good for Vata and Pitta condition. It act as digestive and provide immunity, nourishment etc. Using ghee in cooking enhance Satwa guna and qualities of food. So it is advised to take ghee during winter.

Herbs: Zinger, Tulsi, Black pepper, Cumin, Turmeric, Guggulu, Fenugreek

Chyavanprash – is a multi-mineral, multi-vitamin herbal supplement that both rejuvenates and stimulates the body’s immune system. It is primarily made from a fruit called amalaki, which is known as the most potent form of natural vitamin C in the world. Amalaki is combined with 48 Ayurvedic herbs. It stimulates the lymphatic system to drain, while providing powerful antioxidant properties that work very well in preventing a cold.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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