Don’t let a cold or flu get you down

By Rippan Sandhu

Winter is known as the flu season or the cold season, and the season that can affect many of us. Ayurveda says our body in winter is a land ripe and ready for virus attack. When your immunity is strong, the "beej bhoomi"or "body soil" is infertile - it does not let virus grow. But when manured with "ama" or “toxin buildup” the body soil becomes fertile. It’s the ideal time for virus and bacteria to start taking root.

But luckily Ayurveda provides us some simple guidelines for each season that promote our immunity and keep us healthy. What we most need at this time of the year is warmth, nourishment, daily routine and rest.

Our tried and tested tips for winter health!

• Common sense should tell you it's the season to stay away from cold foods like ice-cream and yogurt. Avoid cheese, cold milk, cold meat, cold drinks, banana & soya sauce, cream, peanut butter, margarine etc- for they are "cold" foods that slow down the "agni" or digestive fire.
• Eat warm cooked food. Always drink warm water to keep you hydrated.
• Trust in turmeric, the yellow spice that kills "ama/toxin" and builds immunity. All it takes is a quarter teaspoon of turmeric in your lentils and veggies.
• Mix 1tsp of honey with 1/4tsp of black pepper and add 10 drops of fresh ginger juice and pinch of turmeric , mix well. Take this 3 times a day followed by a drink of warm water. It is very good for congestion, sinus, and bronchitis. Good for the whole family.
• Limit dairy products such as cheese, yogurt when congestion is present. Support your immune system with whole, fresh foods and limit intake of sugar, caffeine or processed food. Stack up your spice rack with "thermogenic" or heat-generating spices like black pepper, ginger, garlic and mustard seed.

Resting well - Good rest is also important and Ayurvedic tradition suggest going to bed between 10 and 11pm to allow body to cleanse, heal and balance during the body’s natural time of self repair.

Scrap your tongue
According to Ayurveda this is a must do, have you ever noticed a white coating on your tongue in the morning? This reflects your digestive health, your tongue should be cleaned with a copper tongue scrapper everyday.

Stay hydrated
Drinking warm and room temperature water throughout the day helps support your system, avoid cold drinks or smoothies at this time of the season. A herbal tea is good option.

Move, move, move
According to Ayurveda, one of the major reasons of disease is the absence of movement/ exercise in one’s regular routine. Due to the nature of our jobs these days, we tend to sit in front of the computer for long hours without realising how it is impacting our health. Get up and take a small 2 minute walk every two hours while you are at work. Keep a reminder at your desk to move, move, move!

Take time off
Regularly even at your job. Yes, as much as you love your job, it is absolutely essential to take some time off every few hours give your mind and body a rest. If you don’t have time to go for a quick walk, sit on your chair at the desk and close your eyes, breathe in and out five times or pinch and squeeze the back of your neck gently with one hand while breathing in and out deeply. These quick and easy small tricks will even help you achieve greater efficiency at work and keep you centred.

Surround yourself with positive people
All of us harbour emotional toxicity in many forms – be it in the form of grudges, anger, hurt or disappointment. Research shows that positive social circle has endless physical as well as mental health benefits. Switch off your computer and cell phone and spend some time with friends and loved ones.

Self massage
Give yourself a daily self massage with warm sesame oil or Oliana oil. In Ayurveda self massage is also known “snehna” means self love. It only takes 5 minutes but is highly rewarding experience.

Breathe and Meditate
Breath is something available to all of us free of charge and yet we underestimate the power of breath. Lot of research has been done on the positive effect proper breathing and mediation have on our minds. Make breathing and short 5 minute meditation part of your daily routine.

Feel good. Age well. Live better Until next time.

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