In comparison to the European winter, Australia has milder temperatures but it does get cold and damp especially in the mornings and evenings.
Because of the Ayurvedic rule that ‘like attracts like’ this is why in the winter season our Kapha and Vata dosha are likely to aggravate and often result in weight gain, depression, cough and cold, sinusitis etc.
Tips to stay balanced:
1. Favour a warm, nourishing diet to pacify Vata without aggravating Kapha. We’re designed to eat a little bit more in winter. However, it must be the right types of foods to nurture whilst minimising congestion.
2. Rice, barley, rye, healthy oils (ghee, linseed, avocado, hemp, olive), and seasonal root vegetables in soups and stews are all recommended.
3. Avoid Vata aggravating non-seasonal food, such as salads and raw food in general.
4. Lukewarm water aids in digestion (avoid cold drinks)
5. Have a warm breakfast (porridge with a sprinkle of Kapha churna and honey is excellent),
6. Steamed vegetables, rice with a little ghee for lunch and at night time try some hot milk with warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon or cardamon.
7. Stay warm, always wear a hat and scarf outside as 60% of the body heat is lost through the head.
An Ayurvedic oil massage followed by a herbal steam bath is excellent to ward off the cold or ground yourself with a daily self-massage with a warm black seed sesame oil followed by a warm shower/ bath to prevent feelings of coldness, and stiff, aching joints.
8. Use aromatherapy oils that are warm, pungent and uplifting such as camphor, cinnamon, cloves, orange, cedar and frankincense.
9. Favour clothes which are bright, cheery colours, such yellow, oranges, purple and pinks.
10. Exercise: Be up by 6.30-7am at the latest and to do some vigorous exercise to get the lymph moving preventing congestion. Some Sun Salutations are ideal as they build up heat and work all the major muscles
11. Avoid day sleeping as this will diminish your digestive fire and will make you feel heavy and sluggish.
Ayurvedic herbal supplements and winter essentials
• Chyavanprash and Amalaki Rasayana are ideal over the winter month and will help to strengthen the lungs and boost the body’s immune system – preventing cough and colds.
Sitopladi churna/ cough formulation
• To help you get over a cough Sitopladi churna is a wonderful Ayurvedic formulation which is also liked and suited for children.
Ayurvedic spice mix
• Kapha and Vata churna – a warming spice mix which can be added to your meals.
• Vata taila, Kapha taila, black sesame oil – are wonderful oils to use for your daily self massage at home.
Try some Lemongrass Tea
Ingredients: 4 glasses of water, 6-10 leaves of lemongrass, 1/4 tsp grounded pepper or pippali powder, a pinch of grated ginger , 1 pinch of turmeric powder
Boil the lemongrass in 4 cups of water
add pepper powder and crushed ginger and turmeric
let it steep for 2-3 minutes
optional: add natural sweetener such as coconut sugar, jaggery, honey
• Amalaki/ Indian gooseberry is the best source of Vitamin C and most beneficial during this season
• Try a stimulating Kapha tea in the morning and a calming Vata tea in the afternoon
For more information on winter health please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep warm!!