Springtime is allergy time. For some people we only need mention the word “spring” and they begin to sneeze. Many people feel confused when they become sick in the spring. After all the weather has become warmer and during the cold winter months they were quite healthy. Why now, they wonder? Why now am I sneezing and coughing and wishing my sinuses would not be constantly reminding me of their existence?
Both the ancient medical system of Ayurveda and modern medicine know that seasonal transitions challenge the body: they cause minor illnesses and contribute to larger ones. If we wish to stroll through the year with a happy and healthy step we must consistently aim to keep the mind-body in balance. Spring’s health disrupting influence is partly the backlog of winter’s effects. Kapha dosha gives the body strength and substance during the winter months. In the spring the warmer weather loosens and liquefies the kapha and if there is an excess of this dosha mucus (which is a physical waste product) appears. In the spring we are all more susceptible to colds, nasal allergies, coughs, sinusitis, and other respiratory congestion syndromes.
Ayurveda offers a manual for living. The ancient sages understood the place of the human being in the natural world and they understood the effects changes in nature had on the mind-body. Wisdom, coming from the sages, was originally passed through the generations orally. Later texts were written and we are fortunate to have this knowledge at our disposal today. Whereas modern medicine is beginning to take note of the problems inherent in seasonal transitions Ayurveda gives deep knowledge and practicalities for how to handle these challenges. Following are some interventions you can use to eliminate a susceptibility to allergies or spring time colds and coughs.
- Eat well cooked beans and lentils. These are drying to the physiology. In the spring we need foods that dry and warm the body. Lentil soups and dahl will serve you well during this time of the year.
- Try drinking fennel tea. Digestion often becomes slower as the weather warms and fennel tea will act as a digestive aid.
- Now is a good time to eat onions, garlic, shallots and leeks. This family of foods is heating and drying. Consuming them will help you to dry and warm the body.
- A few drops of sunflower oil in the nose will help to coat the lining of the sinuses. These drops of liquid will bring down inflammation and will protect the lining of the nose from the pollen and dust which trigger the inflammatory process. Do three drops in each nostril for one month.
- Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. Start your day with this. Just a few drops of lemon in water are a powerful medicine against inflammation. As the body tries to break down the pollen that is fighting against it becomes inflamed. Lemon alkalinizes the body. Inflammation causes an acidic environment and alkalinizing the body is protective.
In natural medicine we do things habitually. It is every day habits which keep us healthy. For instance, we know you will feel better the first time you use the sunflower drops, but you must do this habitually, for at least one month. The same goes for the other suggestions. Stick with them for a month and we believe you will have a smooth transition into summer. It is always possible to feel better than you do. All any of us know is our experience of ourselves—-maximize this experience and be amazed at just how great you can feel!