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The Ayurvedic Spring

Ayurveda classifies the seasons according to their properties. The summer is for example hot and dry. As a result, seasons can be classified according the corresponding dosha. Summer would be Pitta in our example. The windy cold dry weather of autumn is Vata while winter is largely Kapha due its heavy damp cold and cloudy properties. This is how Ayurveda thinks about the seasons and this is how they will affect us.

Following this reasoning, the beginning of the Spring is in majority a Kapha period (imbued with the left overs of the winter properties) while its second part start to show more Pitta (Fire) qualities, as warmth, light and brightness arrive.

I recommend you take the dosha test here, to know your dominant dosha, so that the rest of this article makes more sense to you.

Each season therefore increases and decreases certain properties within us. To which extend, will depend on our own dominant constitution. So, for example, if your dominant nature (dosha) is Kapha, then the attributes of the early Spring will probably lead you to get Kapha diseases such as allergic rhinitis, cold, flu and the likes. If your dominant dosha is Pitta (fire), you’ll be less prone to catching a cold this spring, because your “drying, hot, light” nature counter balance the effects of the spring season. Along the same lines, if Pitta dominant people want to avoid being angry, and have diarrhoea, they should eat cooling foods in the summer, rather hot spicy and pepper loaded dishes.

Now that you understand the principle of it all, it's easier to act accordingly and be smart approaching the spring and avoid the accumulation and aggravation leading to disease.

Guidelines for spring

“ I am the soul in the body, the mind in the senses, the eagle among birds, the lion amongst animals, among all the trees I am the secret boddhi tree and off the seasons, I am spring”

Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita

In spring, blossoms and sprouting energy move up. Everything is blooming or colourful, people feel energetic and being out again. It's usually a high point in our social lives, full of the qualities of spring which are warm, moist, gentle. Early spring still has to get rid of the accumulated snow and ice of winter. It is like an ice cube you'd leave in the sun: it melts. This overflow of the water element now spread in the body, in places it shouldn’t, and is responsible for cold, flu, sinusitis, rhinitis. In addition, as flowers shed, they’re pulling fragrance and perfume making pitta happy, Vata and Kapha individuals get hay fever and allergic reactions.

In early Spring, stay away from

As a result, we will stay away from cold foods, cold drinks, ice creams and other foods that presents the same properties as this early spring (heavy, cold, immobile, unctuous). That includes avoiding too much bread, pizzas (melted cheese and dough have these heavy and immobile qualities), all dairies (cheese and milk), or drinking too much water. On that note, once your urines are clear in colour, you've drank enough water for the day. After that, it's better to drink either hot water or herbal teas suited to the seasons (below are a few suggestions).

The tastes to avoid are Salty, Sweet and sour tastes: so, we'll avoid yogurts (which are both sour and dairy products), cakes, industrial sweet foods and limit our salt intake (just be conscious to not overdo it).

Also, good to know: if your allergies are heavy and seasonal, Panchakarma is highly recommended to clear the system of accumulated toxins and will prevent allergies hay fever colds and sinus congestion.

As a summary, avoid:

  • salty, sour and sweet foods

  • heavy oily food or fried foods

  • dairy products in general, especially in the morning

  • Avoid ice cream and cold drinks or over drinking cold water

Which food to favour

IInstead, we will prefer foods which are drying, warm, hot, and light in this early part of the spring.

Quinoa, hummus is better than rice and yogurt for example.

Here are some good herbs for spring, which can be used to spice up you’re cooking or as herbal teas: Ginger, cumin, coriander. You can make an herbal tea with the following herbs: Cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in equal proportion. The bitter, pungent and astringent foods or legumes such as yellow split peas red lentils, chick peas, quinoa and pinto beans are a good choice. Radishes, spinach, okra onions and garlic can be used along with the hot spices such as ginger, Indian long pepper, Black pepper, cayenne pepper and Chili pepper. If you are of a pitta dominant nature, then exclude the black and cayenne pepper which are aggravating. this is true for Vata to some extend.

After meals, you can drink a tea made of ginger and cinnamon and pippali to which one can add some honey.

A Note on honey: In ayurveda heated honey becomes toxic in that it blocks our subtle channels. It is therefore best to add honey to a tea that's already cooled down.

As a Summary, prefer:

  • astringent, bitter and pungent taste

  • avoid the pungent taste if your dominance is pitta (black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard...)

  • have drying grains such as chick peas, quinoa, pinto beans

  • radishes, okras, cooked garlic and onion, spinach are good veggies to have

  • turkey is better than chicken

  • salmon and tuna, better than rive white fish

  • cook your foods rather than eating them raw

As the spring evolve and warm up and until the summer heat comes, you can pretty much go on about your diet as you please.

If you'd wish to know the details of your dosha, you can book your doshic consultation here

Wishing a joyful and balanced Spring!


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