By Dr. Vikram Chauhan , Ayurveda
After the long winters there comes spring season with its own diet and lifestyle changes and rules to be followed, to stay free from any ailment. Here, we are discussing about the spring (Vasant) according to Ayurveda and providing all the necessary information regarding the diet, and lifestyle to enjoy the weather and not getting sick.
“Spring is Nature’s Way of Adding New Life & New Beauty! Let’s Welcome it Enthusiastically!!”
Ayurveda is the epitome of life science which has encompassed all aspects of life such as diet, lifestyle, daytime routine, nighttime routine, seasonal routine, sadvritta and prevention and treatment of many diseases and disorders.
So in order to maintain the level of health and be disease-free, Ayurveda has given some dietary and lifestyle modifications in tandem different seasons (ritu) throughout the year.
According to Ayurveda, the year has been classified into 6 seasons and each season lasts for two months, Shishira (Winter), Vasantha (Spring), Grishma (Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Sharat (Autumn) and Hemanta (Late autumn).
Vasanta ritu comes under Adanakala where the “Nature starts taking away the strength from its creatures”.
Vasant ritu constitutes the months from mid-march to mid-may. After the long chilly winters in the previous season, here comes the spring. As the spring season starts, there is a new charm and chirp in the earth, trees start getting new leaves, flowers begin blooming and newness is seen on the entire earth.
This season can be said as a season of allergies as trees start flourishing and pollens are released into the atmosphere where people with allergies start showing their symptoms.
Predominant Rasa during Vasantharituis Kashaya (astringent) and Mahabhuta are Prithvi and Vayu. Strength of the person remains moderate (Madhyamabala), vitiation and aggravation of Kapha Dosha occur and Agni remains in Manda state (diminished/reduced state).
Bodily changes as the Spring sets in
During the previous season of Shishira (Winters) the Kapha accumulated in the body starts to liquefy due to the warmer climate and this, in turn, the heat reduces the Agni (Digestive fire).
This leads to Prakopa (Increase) of Kapha in the body and leads to many diseases, for the same in this ritu to diminish the ill effects of Kapha treatment modality Vamana (Therapeutic emesis) and Teekshna Nasya (Nasal medication) is advised.
Vasant Ritu Diet and Lifestyle in Consonance with Ayurveda
As already told the bodily Kapha is increased in the on-going season the food and lifestyle have to be in-sync which helps to keep Kapha in check.
In Vasant, due to increased Kapha, agni also reduces and one must consider following the foods and habits which manages the Kapha and its related conditions.
Dietary Modifications (Ahara)
Here in this season, one is advised to consume easily digestible food and the food which mitigates Kapha.
- One must consider the food with low caloric value.
- One should consume light breakfast as Kapha is predominant in the morning.
- Consider having One-year-old Yava (Barley) and Jowar.
- Foods which are predominant of Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent) and Kashaya (Astringent) tastes are good.
- Judicious use of Honey, Raisins, Roasted meat (which is easier to digest), Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Black pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Clove, Fennel, Pulses like Green Gram, Lentils, Horse gram and Toor dal, Vegetables such as Cauliflower, Fenugreek, Spinach, Radish, Lettuce, Mint, Cabbage, Carrots and Green beans, Cereals like Wheat, Rice, Oats, Cornflakes, Puffed rice, Quinoa and Millets, Fruits like Apple, Cherries, Grapes, Pomegranate and Mango is advised in this season.
- Consumption of water boiled along with Nut Grass.
- Intake of warm water every time sip by sip is beneficial in this season.
- Use of Buttermilk topped with the seasoning of black pepper powder is also recommended during Springs.
In this season one should not consume the food which increases Kapha.
- One should not consume the foods which are hard to digest.
- One should not take food which is rich in Madhura (Sweet), and Amla (sour) taste.
- Avoid the foods which are Seetha (Cold), Snigdha (Oily and Viscous) and Guru (Heavy).
- Avoid newly or freshly harvested grains.
- Avoid Cold drinks.
- Avoid Milk products.
- Avoid intake of Cold water.
- Avoid Ice creams and sour cream.
- Avoid Black lentils and Chickpeas.
- Avoid vegetables like Eggplant and Sweet potatoes.
- Fatty foods should be avoided.
One must consider following a food routine otherwise it would imbalance the doshas in this season especially the Kapha dosha within the body leading to diseases.
Lifestyle Modifications (Vihara)
- Regular Vyayama (Exercise) and Practice Yoga.
- Do Abhyanga (Oil massage).
- Dry massage and even Udvartana (With medicated powders).
- Person should take a bath with the water mixed with pastes of herb Sandal.
- Application of Kumkuma on the forehead is advised.
- People should spend their time in the midst of gardens which have a cool breeze.
- Kavala Graha(Gargling with warm water).
- Gandusha (Holding a Lukewarm liquid for a while in the mouth without gargling).
- Application of Anjana (Collyrium) to the eyes.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Day-time sleep, this gravely increases Kapha in the body.
- Avoid exposure to direct air, as it would expose to allergens and pollens.
- Avoid excessive sleep.
- Avoid repeatedly eating and overeating.
- Avoid waking up till late in the night.
Yoga Asanas for the Season
Yoga has an immensely positive effect on the body and practicing it regularly helps to have a balanced body and mind. It benefits the immune system by improving the circulation of different blood cells, thereby enhancing the functions of the lymphatic system. It helps to reduce the level of stress hormones.
Certain yoga postures to be done in this Vasant ritu,
One must consider the following routines with respect to season so as to maintain health and fitness. The people following the daily and seasonal routine would stay free from any infirmities and can live healthily and happily.