Have you listened to the songs of the birds lately? They are back, so is the sun. The temperatures have risen to 6-7° Celsius. For Germany, that’s somewhat warm – and a clear sign that spring cannot be far. Also in my own preferences and eating habits I notice the turn of the seasons. Lately, I crave more salads and fresh fruits again – foods for which I did not have had much interest during winter.
Starting in early march, the beginning of “Vasant Ritu” (that’s Sanskrit for spring) - is a major turning point within the year. The cold season during which the body needed primarily warmth and nourishment has ended. During the winter, due to all the heavy food, the dampness and cold temperatures Kapha dosha got aggravated. The body has collected mucus.
In Spring Kapha Needs to Be Balanced
This causes a risk for Kapha diseases, especially for children and teenagers because they have more Kapha in their bodies already. Kapha diseases are cough and cold, sinusitis, congestions, lung infections, respiratory diseases, chest infections, asthma and all kinds of allergies.
To prevent these problems the right diet and lifestyle for Vasant Ritu is crucial. “Agni”, the digestive fire is low now, so the food should be light and vegetarian or even vegan. The use of spices is good to aid digestion. Honey has a heating effect on the body and should be taken now. Attention: Don’t heat it over 40° Celsius!
Heavy food, milk, dairy and sweets should be avoided. If you heat milk and drink it with spices (e.g. Indian chai) this counters its Kapha-aggravating effect. Still, milk should be taken in moderation. Goat milk and nut milks are less mucus building than cow milk.
Tipp: A nasal irrigator or neti pot help you to get rid of sinus congestions. If you feel clogged, inhalation with thyme and sea salt is also a good idea.
- Light food
- Vegetable soup
- Boiled or steamed vegetables
- Consume ginger especially dry ginger (ginger tea, cook with ginger)
- barley & wheat
- almonds (best with honey)
- fried and heavy food
- sweet, unctuous and sour rasa
- yoghurt and cheese
- red meat (in general, but especially in spring)
- alternative: meat of birds and fish
- Good amount of exercise
- Avoid day-time sleeping
- Panchakarma – vomiting recommended (ask your local Ayurveda specialist about it)
- Use turmeric (natural antibiotic for cuts, injuries)
- Ubtan & udvartanam (drying ayurveda therapies)
- Paste of sandalwood applied on the body
Recipe for a natural Anti-Allergicum (Anti-Kapha)
Fry 1 teaspoon of curcuma with 1 teaspoon of ghee in a pan and take it in hot milk.
Kapha Balancing Herbs and Spices
Almost all spices are warming and thus counter Kapha. The following products can help you to balance Kapha in Vasant Ritu. The first two are spice mixes. Of course you can also just prepare your own Ayurvedic spice mix. Take for instance ginger, black pepper, chili, cinnamon, fennugreek, cloves, nutmeg.
The product below is a Kapha-balancing Rasayana. Rasayana means youth elixir. It contains next to Indian spices also the Ayurvedic healing herbs Ashwagandha and Amla. Amla is known as an immune booster, Ashwagandha gives strengths and is a powerful adaptogen.