Spring is almost here, but we are still experiencing the cold and dark conditions of the winter. Ayurveda defines rutu sandhi as the transition between two seasons, which generally consists of the final 15 days of one season and the first 15 days of the next. As we move from winter to spring, this “door” or pathway between seasons offers a great opportunity to switch out the old season’s clothes, lifestyle, and attitudes for a fresh new start. This seasonal juncture is an excellent time for a cleansing treatments like panchakarma. Chances are we have accumulated excess kapha in our system during the winter. This imbalance can be aggravated by the arrival of the spring, which like winter is a kapha-dominant season. Ayurveda recommends incorporating certain foods, practices, and herbs into our daily routine at this time of year to keep kapha in balance.
Spring is the king of the seasons. During this time, Mother Earth awakens to bring new life after the dormant winter months. Spring is mild, moist, and full of color. It is a wonderful time for testing new skills, growing intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and starting a new lifestyle. Spring is also a blooming season, when flowers shed their pollen and infuse the air with their glorious fragrance. While the transition to warmer weather and burgeoning plant life can be a delightful experience for some people, it can have a downside for kapha individuals (especially those with pollen-based allergies) and for any anyone else who’s accumulated excess kapha.For these individuals, the irritation of mucous membranes and the buildup of mucus associated with kapha can lead to an onslaught of colds, allergies, sinus infections, asthma attacks, and hay fever symptoms. Their discomfort often intensifies when the warming spring air liquifies the congestion, inducing runny noses and wet, phlegmy coughing.
To alleviate excesskapha in the throat, you can gargle honey and hot water or a cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Another helpful formula for this time of year is a combination of ginger, black pepper, and pippali (piper longum) known astrikatu. This spice blend not only clears mucus from the body but also increases digestive fire and helps eliminate toxins. Adopting a kapha-pacifying diet during the pre-spring period can also lower the incidence of allergies, hay fever, and colds.
Regimen for Spring
Adopt a diet dominated by bitter, pungent, and astringent foods.
Eat lightly, and consume easily digestible 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.
Practice yoga, meditation and pranayama.
Keep warm and dry.
Rinse nasal passages with warm saltwater and herbs. By taking just a few seconds to do this, you can avoid days of misery from sick sinuses.
Things to Avoid
Fatty and fried foods
Excessive amounts of sweet, sour, and salty foods
Large, heavy, breakfasts
Between-meal snacks, except for dried fruit
Cold or iced beverages
Exposure to dust, dirt, and pollen
Cold drafts and air conditioning
Foods for the Season
Legumes, split peas, red lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, and fresh soybean products
Amaranth, barely, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa,
Radishes, spinach, artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, lettuces, okra
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.