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Ayurvedic principles for maintaining health in winter

 Ayurvedic principles for maintaining health in winter

Ayurvedic principles for maintaining health in winter

Winter is a season of low temperatures, dry air, and decreased sunlight that often weaken our immune system, making us vulnerable to seasonal illnesses such as flu and colds. Hence, making it essential for us to prioritize health during these cold months.

This is the time when Ayurveda , the ancient science of life, comes in handy providing valuable insights into winter adaptation. In this article we will reveal the Ayurvedic principles for maintaining health during the cold months, because remember, it is not just about surviving the season but overcoming it.

Ayurvedic tips for winter wellness

To maintain health throughout the year, Ayurveda advocates adapting our diet and lifestyle to the changing seasons. Therefore, Ayurveda suggests consumption of warm and nutritious cooked foods and hot drinks like soup and hot milk with honey and turmeric during this cold season. Here are my favorite Ayurvedic self-care tips for maintaining balance during the winter

1. Abhyanga Massage Oil  is not an ordinary massage, but a therapeutic ritual deeply rooted in Ayurveda that involves applying warm oil mixed with nourishing herbs and spices to the entire body. The warm oil used in massage acts as a powerful moisturizer, penetrating deep into the layers of the skin and replenishing lost moisture. Using Abhyanga oil once or twice a week before bathing will keep your skin moisturized and calm your nervous system.

2. Nasya Oil It is an Ayurvedic practice, which involves introducing herbal oils or medicinal substances through the nasal passages. It helps clear the sinuses and supports respiratory functions. They are often thought to enhance mental clarity and focus. Forgetting two types:

  • Sneha Nasya (Nasya Oil) – Inserting herbal oil, often sesame oil, as drops into the nose. 
  • Prashamana Nasya (Nasya Powder) – Ground herbs.

3. Maintaining the digestive system  During the winter, increased vata enhances agni (digestive fire). If one does not get enough fuel in the form of food (which digestive fire can cook or burn), one begins to digest saptha (body tissue), which can manifest as digestive discomfort, acidity, or severe inflammation. . Therefore, in winter, it is recommended to follow a diet that is mostly warm, sweet, salty and spicy to balance the increased digestive fire according to Ayurveda.

4. Balanced Diet A balanced diet with seasonal foods including fruits, root vegetables and whole grains keeps the body hydrated and maintains internal warmth. Adding spices with warming properties such as cinnamon, ginger and black pepper to a meal can help improve blood circulation as well as provide essential nutrients for the colder months. Add protein sources like beans, paneer, lentils and poultry along with healthy fats like nuts and avocado to the diet plan. Most importantly, drink warm drinks such as herbal tea (which we will discuss later) to support digestion and immunity.

Herbal remedies for winter ailments

With the arrival of winter, Ayurveda offers the herbal arsenal to fight the dreaded winter foods, especially influenza which can be very annoying.

Simple chamomile tea:

  • 1 tablespoon chamomile tea.
  • 8 oz hot water.
  • Pour hot water over the chamomile tea and leave it for 5 minutes. Put it in your cup and enjoy.

BENEFITS - Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used externally or sipped on internal soothing to promote general relaxation, treat insomnia, relieve tension headaches, soothe muscle pain, reduce menstrual cramps, improve winter skin conditions and possibly boost the immune system. .

Ginger tea:

  • 1 tablespoon grated or chopped fresh ginger root.
  • 2 cups hot water.
  • Soak the ginger in hot water, then cover it for 10 minutes. (Optional: Add a slice of lemon and a spoonful of raw honey.)

Benefits - Ginger tea is anti-inflammatory, potentially alleviating skin conditions associated with inflammation. It has anti-nausea effects, can help soothe a sore throat, and reduce aches and pains. It can be used fresh or powdered, pressed raw to add to smoothies, or steeped as a tea.

Basil tea:

  • 6-8 basil leaves.
  • 2 cups of water.
  • 2 tablespoons of tea leaves.
  • honey.
  • Add basil leaves to boiling hot water and leave for 5 minutes. Add the tea leaves and turn off the heat. Cover the pot for a few minutes. Strain it into your cup, add honey (optional) and enjoy!

Benefits - Basil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It is considered a natural immune booster, which helps the body defend itself against diseases. The presence of a soothing scent has mood-enhancing effects, which contributes to mental clarity and stress reduction.

Turmeric Milk (Golden Milk):

  • 1 cup milk.
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
  • ¼ tablespoon ground black pepper.
  • Honey (optional).
  • Boil the milk and add turmeric powder and ground black pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil. Add honey, stir, strain and enjoy! (Optional: Add small pieces of fresh ginger.)

Benefits : Turmeric is intrinsically known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Turmeric milk is a powerful ally of the immune system. As a digestive aid, turmeric stimulates bile production, which facilitates fat breakdown and provides relief from indigestion.

Other medicinal herbs:

1. Garlic – It is a great immunity booster and also carries antiseptic and antifungal properties. Therefore, it prevents viral infections that occur in the winter. Garlic is one of the best medicines to combat colds, flu, and other respiratory problems. It is suggested to eat one raw garlic before breakfast throughout the winter.

2. Licorice (Mulethi) - It is a wonderful herb that treats asthma and respiratory diseases, improves digestion, and strengthens immunity, to help the body resist winter diseases. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and treats skin problems.

3. Mint - The presence of vitamin A and antioxidants makes mint a great herb for treating colds and related illnesses. It also prevents indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Eating mint also cures asthma, relieves headaches, and reduces stress.

4. Indian Gooseberry (Amla) - It contains vitamin C which makes blood vessels stronger and improves immunity. It also corrects inflammation and provides healthier hair.