Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Season & Ayurveda

Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter season (Sanskrit Name: Hemant Ritu) is the season of cold, where the atmosphere temperature drops down, the environment becomes chilly. Chilly and cold wind began to blow which leads to the disequilibrium of VATA Dosha and KAPHA sanchay.
In winter the Agni or body fire increases with the support of VATA Dosha. Hence there will be a marked increase in appetite. The frequency of food consumption increases. We should keep a watch on the type of food we consume to satisfy our appetite during winter. Avoid consumption of junk foods, too much of sweets and oil food as these lead to weight gain.
Winter is the best season to improve immunity. It's not a weakening season if you know how to strengthen immunity. And in ayurvedic terms, immunity is connected with the digestion. When digestion is strong and appetite is good, then immunity is strengthened. Whatever weakens digestion weakens immunity. It's that simple. For this reason, it's more important that people eat immunity-boosting foods in winter, and that they follow the ayurvedic daily routine

Some simple tips to say healthy in winter:

Ayurveda has some very simple home remedies to prevent, heal, and quickly avoid lingering congestion:

Kapha dosha is prominent this season. Enable the body to fight the cold outside this season. Energy rich food items like milk and milk products, ghee, carbohydrate rich food items like rice, wheat, whole gram, etc.
A heavy diet needs to be taken that must include milk and its products, wheat, carrot and raddish, tomatoes and sugary food.
In the winter season Vata Dosha is accentuated and needs to be satisfied by a heavy diet (snigdha, Madhura & lavanrasa).
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.
The diet in Hemant Rutu must include wheat, gram, milk & milk products, jaggery, cane sugar, figs, carrots, tomatoes, dates to prevent the disequilibrium of vata dosha.
Drink warm water and it will improve your life span.
Wine prepared from jaggery (molasses) can be taken


1.Be under the Sun for sometime - Sunlight is rich in Vitamin D - lest you be affected by the
Seasonal Affectional Disorder ( lack of Sunlight )
2.Til oil massage is suggested to prevent disequilibrium of vata dosha and excess sanchay of
3.Daily exercises or yoga is beneficial.
4.Consume hot soups.
5.Use VATA balancing foods like wheat, oil, corn, black gram and jaggery.
6.Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour and salt tastes.
7.Sip hot water or tea throughout the day to improve digestion
8.Cover your body with sufficient warm wraps
9.Always wear foot wear.
10.married couple should use aphrodisiacs.
11.Spend your leisure time with friends and relatives whom you like.
12.Reduce or avoid white sugar white flour products as they cause congestion and prevent
digesting nutrients from our food.
13.Don’t expose yourself to cold.
14.Udvartan(Dry or Powder Massage) with fine paste/powder of kumkum (kesar).

In order to keep the doshas in balance one should follow the ritucharya.

Pamper your skin in winter:

During winter skin can not replenish its moisture naturally due to less humidity in air. Low humidity due to indoor heating, hot showers and bath exaggerates this condition and skin is bound to become dry and irritated. Dry skin tends to crack and bleed. Cracked skin looses its ability to protect the body and increases the risk of infection. The best ways to keep the skin soft, healthy and moisturized are
•Avoid long hot showers and bath.
•Quick three minutes’ bath is advisable.
•Use moisturizing body wash.
•Apply petroleum jelly on tough areas like knees elbows and heels.
•Apply lip balm to prevent cracking.
•Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week can give your skin a healthy glow
•Ayurveda stresses on massaging body with oil during winter

Are Bath's A Good Thing?

As much as we love it, taking a hot bath during the winter is not a good habit to get into especially if they are long in duration. As they rob your skin of natural oils so try to limit the time spent in the bath and don't use hot water.
Lower the temperature to something just nice and comfortable. Water that is too hot isn't good for you anyway. Switch to a shower, that is even better. And don't forget a good body lotion and slather it on.

Note -- The material presented in this article is for educational purposes only and is not to be used to treat, cure or mitigate any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.

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