The change in seasons and drastic drop in temperatures becomes an ideal breeding ground for scores of respiratory diseases and viruses to thrive, making you prone to common cold, flu, and fever. According to Ayurveda, the 5000 year old system of wellness and healing, the effect of seasonal changes on health can be understood with respect to Agni, an essential element in the body.
Agni, or digestive fire, varies in intensity in different seasons. It peaks during winters. Improper functioning of Agni can lead to various gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders, according to Ayurveda.
Before we get into how agni works, it is relevant to understand the concept of Doshas mentioned in Ayurveda. An individual’s prakruti or unique physical and mental constitution is the ratio of three dynamic bioenergies in the body. Also known as doshas, these energies are: vata, pitta, kapha . Each of these doshas have specific traits. The pitta dosha is the fire element and is responsible for digestion. The vata dosha is the air element and is responsible for all movement in the body. The kapha dosha is the earth element and provides moisture to the skin and lubrication to joints. Mostly, two of three doshas dominate in an individual. Pulse diagnosis or nadi pariksha can help diagnose how these doshas are balanced in your body. Going by Ayurveda, a severe aggravation of Doshas eventually leads to manifestation of illnesses in the body. A major advantage that Ayurveda has over other forms of medicine is its preemptive value. Nadi Pariksha examination can effectively tell you about the diseases or doshic imbalances you are predisposed to. This is why pulse diagnosis from a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner has a lot of preemptive value when it comes to having a total health assessment.
What is Agni?
An important element of digestion and metabolism in our body is described as Agni in Ayurveda. Ingested food is digested, absorbed and assimilated, a critical function for the maintenance of life, and this is performed with the help of Agni. In Ayurveda, the term ‘Agni’ is used to describe the energy that makes digestion of food and metabolic products possible. Therefore, Ayurveda considers that Dehagni is the cause of life, complexion, strength, health, nourishment, lusture, ojas (vitality), tejas (energy) and prana (life energy).
Low digestive fire causes vitiation of doshas, primarily the Vata Dosha followed by Pitta and Kapha causing various ailments in the body.
A healthy diet complemented by a conducive lifestyle is the key to good health
- Panchakarma treatments are highly recommended during this season in order to prevent any kind of disorders and boost immunity. Ayurvedic massage as part of the Panchakarma treatment helps the oil penetrate the skin, presses into tissues and releases toxins like lactic acid and trapped oils and chemicals that may have seeped in.
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- Perfumes and aromatherapy can be used and wear proper warm clothes which help protect the body from cold breeze, wind and rain.
- Apply warm oil before taking a bath.
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body oil has a nurturing effect on the body
- Luxurious floral essential oils to awaken your inner and outer beauty
- Sensuous and uplifting, leaves skin feeling supple-just what you need to get you through the winter.
- Can be used as moisturizer, massage oil and bath oil
- Rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Strengthens and lubricates the joints and muscles
- Protect yourself from insect bites during this season.
- Avoid sleeping during the day,
- Too much exertion can lead to aggravation of vata and may lead to vata disorder. At the same time moderate exercise will enhance the digestive fire.
- Proper foot care must be taken as feet often tend to get wet during this season, especially for diabetics.
We cannot emphasize this enough. No matter what foot masks and foot scrubs you use, if you do not moisturize them at the end of the foot treatment with a recommended natural foot oil, the dryness is likely to come back. The fresher layers of the skin that have been exposed to the environment after scrubbing off the dead skin needs to be sufficiently moisturized.
comes with the goodness of rich nutrients and antioxidants found in 22 herbs, actives and essential oils like sunflower oleic oil; sesame oil; kukui nut oil; jojoba oil; grapeseed oil; vitamin E Tocopherol; lemon basil EO; peppermint EO; butcher’s broom extract; dashmoola extract; neem extract; cardamom EO; cassia EO; camphor EO; lemongrass EO; tea Tree EO; manjista extract; lavender extract; clove EO; ginger EO (root); olive leaves extract; ashwagandha extract, that are deeply moisturizing and refreshing. They stimulate and energize your feet and helps to keep your feet clean.
After all the scrubbing and sloughing, when you moisturize your feet with the oil, the oil action is soft on your skin and the moisturizing helps to heal cracked heels, does away with the risk of infections from overuse of socks and shoes during the winters, while keeping away the dryness.
Senior Ayurveda physicians given the following dietary tips to stay healthy this winter-
- Easily digestible, hot and light food should be taken during this season
- Use warm and clean water for drinking. Boiled water is preferable than normal water as it has bactericidal capacity, at the same time it is light to digest and helps to strengthen digestion.
- Leafy vegetables and raw salads should be used sparingly as they are difficult to digest and lowers the Agni.
- Ginger, black pepper, lemon can be used to increase digestive fire
- Pulses, soups, old grains and mastu (thin water of yogurt) can be taken with food.
- Honey should be added to the food and water to diminish the kleda (higher moisture) effect.
- Use of Giloy in this season is very helpful in order to digest the undigested food as well as protecting against the fever very prevalent in this season
- Ginger tea one or two times a day will also help to keep your digestive power up and going. adding honey to the tea will be even better