Thanks to Ayurveda, there are many practices that help you stay healthy during winters.
Ayurveda works on the principal of ‘like increases like’. The winter season is characterized by cold weather, a sense of heaviness, increased moisture in the form of rain and snow, cloud covered days. These elements increase Kapha and Vata in our body and mind which causes cold, flu, cough, sinusitis and asthma.
Here are 6 best tips from Ayurveda to prevent and cure seasonal cold and cough.
- PRANAYAMA – Pranayama is an ancient breathing exercise technique. Prana means vital breath or life force and Aayam means stretching. This overall means stretching or holding the breath for a long time. Pranayama cures cold, cough, asthma by clearing out the respiratory passage and increasing the vital capacity of lungs. It also brings clarity of mind because prana is the bridge between the mind, body and soul. Bhastrika, kapalbhatti, Anulom Vilom (Naadi shudhi), Sahaj Pranayam helps in clearing nasal passage and increasing immunity against allergens.
- JAL NETI – Jal neti is one of the six purification procedures or ‘SHATKARMAS’. It involves pouring lukewarm water (with 1/2 tsp salt) in one nostril and flushing it out from the other nostril. Make sure your nose is dry after Jal Neti. It is recommended before Pranayama. Kapalbhatti is recommended after Jal neti which will draw out remnants if any. Jal neti helps in clearing the nasal passage and flushing out bacteria, mucus and other blockages. It is a daily regime recommended by Ayurveda for nasal hygiene.
- NASYA (Nasal drops) – The nose is the direct route to the brain and also the doorway to consciousness. Administration of Nasya oil helps in nasal cleansing and prevents seasonal and allergic cold and sinusitis. It helps in balancing doshas, improving the quality of voice, strengthening vision, and promoting mental clarity. Daily nasya helps to release stress. It is included in the daily practice according to Ayurveda. Anu tail is advised for daily nasya. Other than this sesame oil, mustard oil, ghee can also be used. 2-3 drops in each nostril are recommended. Nasya enhances the sensory perception of all the sense organs.
- STEAM INHALATION – According to Ayurveda, ginger is one of the best remedies for cold. Its pungent nature reduces the kaph dosha. Boil one teaspoon of ginger in 500ml of water. A person can also use 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water. Infused steam helps in reducing cold, sinuses and lung congestion. Finally, it eases breathing.
- TURMERIC TEA – Turmeric and ashwgandha helps in boosting immunity. Turmeric contains curcuminoids which are very strong antioxidant and anti inflammatory in nature. Make a tea with ½ tsp turmeric powder in 1 cup of boiling water and add ½ tsp of honey and black pepper. Drink it twice daily. One can use ½ tsp turmeric or 1 tsp of ashwgandha in milk to boost immunity during winters.
- VITAMIN C – Add some lime into lukewarm water to stay hydrated during winter. It loosens the mucus and clears the passage. You can eat orange, sweet lime, Alma, berries for Vitamin C. They are natural sources of Vitamin C and your body recognizes them very well. You should drink lots of lukewarm water, soups, and herbal teas to stay hydrated.
If you include all these tips in your daily routine, you will enjoy good health and prevent seasonal allergies during winters. Other than this, spare sometime alone to reflect and meditate, center yourself and cleanse the mind and body using the techniques recommended for your particular dosha.