As the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, many people find the cold takes a toll on their immune systems. Wet and damp days aggravate the vata and kapha doshas, two of the primary life energies in Ayurvedic tradition. To ward off common colds and the flu, here are 5 ways to use Ayurvedic principles:
1: Adopt a kapha-placating diet
When it is cold out and you are prone to respiratory illnesses, it is best to increase kapha-placating foods in your diet. Warming, pungent, spicy foods help to counteract the cool, fluid solidity of kapha. Incorporating chilli, pepper, ginger (one of the best natural cold remedies) and other heat-generating spices into your diet will help to keep your sinuses clear while balancing kapha.
2: Practice medicated steaming
In Ayurvedic tradition, steam treatments are common for alleviating topical issues such as respiratory problems as well as providing overall detoxification for the body. As winter grows colder, schedule steam treatments or have a home steam that will keep your respiratory tract clear and healthy. Tip : put cinnamon sticks in water, let it simmer and let that steam spread through your house. it will help will nasal congestion and to breathe better.
3: Boost your immune system with herbal support
Herbal immune stimulants that are all-natural give your body an extra little push to see through the colder winter months. Speak to an Ayurvedic practitioner about herbal supplements you can add to your diet to ensure your immune system has all the support it needs.
4: Stay warm
When you are cold, you are more susceptible to germs and the onset of illness. Make sure you wrap up warmly whenever you leave the house and don’t sit in any cold drafts for too long at a time. The throat is often a weak point when venturing out. Invest in a soft scarf to ensure every part of you stays warm.
5: Cut foods that aggravate kapha and vata
In order to ward off colds and the flu, it’s helpful to cut foods that produce phlegm and/or worsen either dosha. Dairy is a major culprit (especially yoghurt and cheese). Dairy aggravates congestion, worsening the symptoms of a bad cold. Also cut sugars which increase mucous production and heavy, cold foods in general.
Provided you take some or all of the steps above, you will enjoy better health and balance this winter.