Winter is the Kapha season when the weather is cold and wet and the Vata season of when it is cold and windy. At times the Vata moving element can dominate our physiology and at other times the stable and cohesive Kapha can get the better of us. How do we keep in balanced with all the challenges our changeable weather imposes on us?
Also, how do we tell if our Vata or our Kapha is out of balance?
When the cold wind blows, Vata increases and this can make us feel restless or worried. We can find it hard to get to sleep and breathing difficulties may arise. This weather and these symptoms are normally associated with Autumn and early Winter.
With cold and rainy weather – normally associated with late Winter and Spring – Kapha tends to increase. We may suffer from colds, sinus congestion, allergies, lethargy, depression and lack of motivation. We may also put on the pounds more easily.
Our articles on Ayurveda on Coughs, Colds and Fevers have plenty of advice to help keep you in balance at this time of year. Also, the following Maharishi Ayurveda herbal preparations are useful to have in your cupboard:
Ama is a toxic waste caused by undigested food that can accumulate in your body and weaken its immune defences – providing a fertile ground for bacteria and viruses to grow. Cold Season Defence offers nutritional support, during the winter season, and it contains a specific blend of herbs to removes deep-seated Ama.
The throat and respiratory system are mainly controlled by Kapha Dosha. When Kapha becomes out of balance impurities can build up and this area we can become prone to infection. Throat infections, occasional coughs and over-production of phlegm can result. Working in synergy, the 17 other ingredients, Throat Soothe syrup helps soothe and cool the respiratory system. This balanced Ayurvedic formulas helps to cleanse the throat and chest of Ama impurities. It helps reduce excess phlegm and it helps calm coughing fits.
Vata Churna and Kapha Churna spice mixes
Both of these churnas (powders) consists of a specially blended spice mix suitable for balancing either Vata or Kapha Doshas. If you have these two in your cupboard you can use them during cold season to keep your body in balance. During cold, dry, windy weather Vata Churna helps to soothe and lubricate the throat and respiratory system. During cold, wet weather Kapha Churna helps to keep your body channels open, the digestion in good condition and it helps purify Ama (internally created toxins), the basis of most infectious disease, according to Ayurveda.
Vata Churna and Kapha Churna teas
Both Vata and Kapha contain the cold quality. To help balance this quality, open the body channels and help the body detox any accumulated Ama, sip small quantities of hot water throughout the day. When you add Vata and Kapha tea bags to that hot water you will naturally be infusing the properties of the herbs and spices they contain and aid in the warming and detoxing process.
If you are feeling cold, sluggish and heavy, use Kapha tea bags. When you feel cold, dry and anxious, use Vata tea.
Digest Plus increases digestive fire or Agni. It improves your appetite and supports digestion. It helps balance stomach acid, helps prevent production of excess gas and supports both liver and pancreas. Digest Plus detoxifies Ama from your body tissues and is particularly suitable to take after a heavy meal.
Trikatu with Clove is a stronger digestive aid than Digest plus and very useful before or after a heavy meal. It consists of four strongly pungent spices – ginger, black pepper, Indian long pepper and cloves and is an important combination used by itself and in many Ayurvedic formulations for its cleansing, digestive, and stimulating effects. Trikatu supports the health of stomach and GI tract and upper respiratory tract. Its stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, increases appetite and balances gas in the stomach.
Lack of appetite for a meal is usually the result of the incomplete digestion of previous meals. It can also indicate a build-up of Ama, or partially digested food that has become toxic to your system. Triphala consists of three fruits, which work synergistically to tone and detoxify your entire digestive tract. Cabbage Rose is added to support and enhance the other ingredients. Besides helping you detox, Triphala Rose enlivens your ability to absorb nutrients effectively and helps maintain your health and energy.