HOW TO MANAGE KAPHA IN THE SPRING
According to Ayurveda, the king of the seasons is Spring. It’s a time when Mother Earth surges with udana vayu (upward moving energy) causing plants and flowers to grow and bloom. The weather begins to get warmer and the moisture in the atmosphere increases.
This warmth can cause any stagnated or accumulated kapha dosha in our body to liquefy causing allergies and upper respiratory issues.
Spring is the perfect time for Panchakarma with the primary panchakarma treatment being Nasya oil therapy. Nasya, when used during the panchakarma process, helps to eliminate kapha from the sinuses and head area – one the of the main structural areas of kapha dosha.
If you cannot get a Panchakarma from an Ayurvedic practitioner, then I recommend following some of these suggestions to prevent excess kapha in the spring.
DIET DURING KAPHA SEASON
Avoid red meat, sea food, wheat, brown rice, white flour, bananas, coconut, dates, melons, cucumber, sweet potatoes, and squash. Avoid fried, fatty foods, and avoid excess amounts of sweet, sour, and salty foods (so no kombucha)!
Instead, eat foods that are bitter, astringent and pungent in taste.
Some examples are small legumes such as red lentils. Other choices include quinoa, millet, oats, buckwheat, apples, apricots, berries, cherries, dark grapes, mangos, peaches, pears, and pomegranates and dried fruit. Most vegetables are great during Kapha season, just make sure they are cooked. Chicken, eggs, turkey, and venison are better choices for non-vegetarians during spring.
Include hot spice infused teas before meals such as ginger with fennel, or cumin, coriander, and fennel. All sweeteners except for small amounts of honey will aggravate kapha, so it’s a good idea to avoid them during spring.
Eat smaller meals this time of year and avoid snacking, all cold drinks, ice cream, and processed foods – especially if they contain sugar or salt.
Digestion can really slow down during kapha season, so it’s a good time to add Ayurvedic fermented drinks called Arishtams and asavams. Two excellent formulas are Draksha Arishtam which helps with digestions as well as overall lung health, and it’s also vata/pitta pacifying. The other formula is called Pippali Asavam and it is Vata/Kapha pacifying – it improves agni (digestion), absorption of nutrients, and helps with lung/upper respiratory diseases (which increase during spring).
Your regimen during Spring should include:
- Wake up early and do not take naps
- Scrape your tongue every morning before you brush your teeth
- Daily movement such as power waling, weightlifting, and hiking
- Kapha reducing yoga asana
- Daily use of Nasya oil (2 drops in each nostril – you can check out my kapha formula on my website)
- Warm foods
- Add more spice blends to your foods such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, clove, and hing.
- Use essential oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint to open up the channels
- Avoid cold drafts and air-conditioning if possible
And finally, every change of season, check in with your Ayurvedic Practitioner to adjust the lifestyle, diet, and herbal recommendations to your own needs since no two people are the same.