Spring is almost here, but we are still feeling the cold and dark attributes of the winter. Ayurveda defines rutu sandhi as the transition between two seasons, which is generally taken to be the final 15 days of one season and the first 15 days of the next season. As we are coming out of winter and into spring, this ‘door’ or pathway between seasons is a great time to change our clothes, lifestyle and attitudes from the old season and have a fresh new start for spring. This seasonal juncture is an excellent opportunity for a cleanse like panchakarma. Chances are we have accumulated kapha in our system during the winter, which can be aggravated by the entering of the spring, also a kapha season. Ayurveda recommends incorporating certain foods, practices and herbs in our daily routine to keep kapha in balance.
Spring is the king of the seasons. During this time, Mother Earth awakens to bring new life after the winter dormant months. Spring is mild, moist, and full of color. It is a great time to test new skills, for growth and starting a new lifestyle. Since it starts getting warmer during spring, any accumulated or stagnated kapha will start to liquify and run out of the body, which is the cause of spring colds.
Spring is also a blooming season, where flowers shed their pollen and fragrance making it gorgeous for some people, while others, specially kapha individuals or people who have an accumulated kapha, suffer from allergies and hay fever. To alleviate kapha in the throat area you can gargle honey and hot water or a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of each tumeric and saltTrikatu is a combination of ginger, black pepper, and pippali (piper longum) and great for pacifying kapha, increasing digestive fire and eliminate toxins during this changing season. Eliminating any excess kapha during the pre-spring period can lower the incidence of allergies, hay fever and colds. Diet is an important part of this process.
Regimen for Spring
- Eat a kapha pacifying diet primarily bitter, pungent and astringent foods
- Eat light, easily to do digest foods. Favor soups and cooked vegetables
- Use small amounts of raw honey as a sweetener
- Fast for one day a week, preferably on Monday or Thursday for astrological reasons
- Drink warming, cleansing herbal teas, such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove tea
- Practice yoga, meditation, and pranayama
- Keep warm and dry
- A warm saltwater and herbal rinse of the nasal passages takes just a few seconds but it can save days for misery from sick sinuses
Things to Avoid
- kapha aggravating foods like fatty and fried foods
- Excessive amounts of sweet, sour and salty foods
- Heavy, large breakfasts
- Snacking between meals, except for dried fruit
- Cold or iced beverages
- Daytime sleep
- Exposure to dust, dirt and pollen
- Cold drafts and air conditioning
Foods for the season
- Legumes, slit peas, red lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans and fresh soybean products
- Amaranth, barely, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, radish, spinach, artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, lettuces, okra, radish.
- Apricots, berries, cherries, dark grapes, mangos, peaches, pears, pomegranates and raisins
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.