Here comes Spring

The tree blossoms and flower blooms are spreading the news that the spring is here. It feels like the Nature is waking up after a deep sleep during cold winter. Weather is getting warmer, small tiny leaves with arrays of greens are dancing with the wind and shining in the Sun rays. The rain is refreshing the whole environment. We are infused with energy to hike and bike. There is a magic in the air. Unfortunately millions of people can’t enjoy this magical Spring. Along with the rain, they get showers of runny nose and watery eyes, and attacks of allergies. As the pollen count goes high, their allergies go high. The spring season has become allergy season. 

{xtypo_quote_left}Mother Nature works thru’ three energies – Water, Heat and Wind and those same energies reflect thru’ us. Water is named – Kapha, Heat – Pitta and Wind- Vata. Among the three, Kapha is on the rise during late winter and Spring. Pitta during Summer and Vata in fall and early winter. With more rain and moisture in the air, Kapha begins to accumulate in late winter and start showing its signs – sneezing, wheezing, coughs and colds, sinus congestion and middle ear infection in Spring.{/xtypo_quote_left}What can we do to prevent the problem?  Is there any Natural solution?
Let us peep into Ayurveda, the 5000 year old wisdom of healthy living. Ayurveda very beautifully explains how we are related to Mother Nature. Once we understand this close connection, we can find answers to many of our health problems.
Mother Nature works thru’ three energies – Water, Heat and Wind and those same energies reflect thru’ us. Water is named – Kapha, Heat – Pitta and Wind- Vata. Among the three, Kapha is on the rise during late winter and Spring. Pitta during Summer and Vata in fall and early winter. With more rain and moisture in the air, Kapha begins to accumulate in late winter and start showing its signs – sneezing, wheezing, coughs and colds, sinus congestion and middle ear infection in Spring.

OK, then let us stop Spring to stop Kapha getting out of hands. No, we can’t. “We can’t direct the Wind, but we can adjust the sail”. Adjusting the sail is doing everything to keep Kapha in control. Here is a secret – subtle qualities in Kapha (water energy) are cold, heavy and moist. Opposite qualities – warm, dry and light keep Kapha under check.

Following are some of the healthy tips to add more warmth, dryness and lightness in the body thru’ Diet, Exercise, Pranayama, Spices, Herbs and Herbal teas:

Diet –
Cut down on:

  • Ice-cold water, cold juices. Cold (drinks and foods) increase colds  and congestion
  • Sweet, sour, and salty foods – donuts, candies, cookies, ice cream, yogurt, junk food also increase congestion

Emphasize on:

 

  • Baked, Broiled or grilled foods, hot spices – these foods increase warm, light, and dry qualities
  • Fruits like cherries, berries, and pomegranate. They are light
  • E.g.  – Toasts, baked vegetables, grilled fish, broiled chicken, warm sandwiches, herbal teas

Here are couple of herbal tea recipes:
Ginger tea:

  • 1 glass warm water
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 lime/lemon fresh
  • 1/8 tsp fresh grated ginger Mix together and drink (especially in the morning).

Cinnamon Ginger tea:

  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • ¼ tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 glass water

Boil all ingredients in water for 2-3 minutes and then add 1 tbsp honey and drink

Exercise –Aerobic activities such as hiking, biking, jogging, brisk walk, playing tennis, basket ball increase internal heat and prevent congestion
Pranayama – Few cycles of Kapalabhati (Forceful exhalation and quiet inhalation) and Bhasrika (Forceful exhalation and inhalation) are suited mainly during Kapha time as the brisk movement of Diaphragm, chest and abdominal muscles increase heat. Surya Pranayama (right nostril Pranayama) also achieves similar effect.  Breathing thru’ Surya Nadi ( Pingala – Subtle channel on the right side) is stimulating, heating, creating solar energy. (If you don’t know Pranayama, learn it from the expert).
Spices – Hot pungent spices – cayenne pepper, jalapeños, chili flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper etc. are proven remedies for Kapha. Add some of these spices while cooking, or sprinkle a powder spices on food.
Herbs – Triphala and Trikatu are the most ancient and most beneficial Ayurvedic formulas. Triphala is a combination of three (bitter, astringent) fruits and Trikatu is a combination of three pungents – ginger, black pepper and long pepper – pippali. Both these formulas improve digestion, elimination and reduce congestion.
Neti – is very effective cleansing procedure. The idea behind it is to cleanse nasal passage with luke warm salt water to remove any blockage and clear nasal passage. (It is wise to learn to do Neti from a practitioner).  

{xtypo_quote_right}OK, then let us stop Spring to stop Kapha getting out of hands. No, we can’t. “We can’t direct the Wind, but we can adjust the sail”. Adjusting the sail is doing everything to keep Kapha in control. Here is a secret – subtle qualities in Kapha (water energy) are cold, heavy and moist. Opposite qualities – warm, dry and light keep Kapha under check.{/xtypo_quote_right}Well, you can try some of these Natural remedies. “An ounce of prevention is worth than a pound of Cure”. Now you are ready to spring into Spring!

(Get your Body Constitution evaluation done from your Ayurvedic practitioner to know the extent of remedies you need).

(Dr Jay Apte is an Ayurvedic physician and practices Ayurveda for last 30 years. She has a clinic in Foster City , CA. She offers Ayurvedic program “Diploma in Ayurvedic Sciences” thru’ Kerala Ayurveda Academy. She is a founder of Herbal Care – Ayurvedic herbal product company. She recently launched “Ayurfoods” – Ayurvedically balanced delicious, and quick to prepare meals for health conscious people like you. For more information call (650) 341 – 8400 or e-mail at [email protected])

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