Seasonal Routines for Winter

By Dr. Ajit

Winter season has the qualities such as coldness, wetness, dampness, moistness, heaviness, slow, dark and thick. It means in this season one can feel cold, damp, heavy, sluggish, slow and dull (the impact of these qualities) Bodily organs that get affected in this season in everyone’s body irrespective of one’s unique body constitution are lungs, nose, tongue, lymphatic system and circulatory system. 

Winter season is dominated by water and earth elements. In this season one of the body’s intelligences that govern our body naturally aggravates. It is known as Kapha. Common problems that one can experience in this season such as cough, cold, runny nose, sinus congestion, sore throat, asthma, cold hands and feet, fluid accumulations, weight gain and migraine. These problems can affect those who do not follow any seasonal routines and live incompatible lifestyle and diet in this season.

To keep one’s body in optimum state one should follow certain specific regimes to eliminate all the toxins as well to keep those organs in optimums state.

1. Brush teeth and scrape tongue

Within three minutes of waking up one should brush teeth, scrape tongue. When you look at your tongue in the mirror you will find that coating on your tongue in winter season is thick and white. If this coating is not removed is responsible to build more mucous in nose, throat, lungs and throat or can make you lymph fluid more thick and sluggish. Try to scrape at least 4 times in the centre and 3 times in the sides.

2. Morning De-tox drink

Immediately after brushing and scrapping make a drink:

- ¼ tsp of grated ginger

- ½ tsp of lemon juice

- ½ tsp of honey

- ½ tsp of fenugreek powder

Fenugreek is good to take excess mucous from body’s tissue as well it works with fat metabolism and counters sluggishness from lymph.

3. Nasal drops

Put three drops of warm oil in each nostril and massage the area x3 times. To be more specific one should use:

- 2 days – sesame oil

- 2 days – medicated nasal oil.

Medicated nasal oil has specific Ayurvedic herbs and preparations according to Ayurvedic traditional principles and has specific qualities to counter congestion from deep seated mucous in sinus areas as well as heaviness in head area.

4. Self-Massage

One should do daily massage before shower with:

- Warm sesame oil – 3 days

- Mustard oil – 2 days (Mustard oil is known for its warming, dry qualities and helps to take excess mucous out of the body. Mustard oil being warm is good for improving circulation, lymphatic flow)

- Kapha oil – 2 days (This is a medicated herbal oil which has at least 45 Ayurvedic herbs that help to expel extra water from bodily tissue thus helps to counter water accumulation and sluggish lymphatic)

The massage should be vigorous, strong pressure and quick. This helps to improve circulation thus counters cold hand problems

5. Gargles

One should gargle at least once a day by adding 1tsp of black salt in warm water. This helps to clear excess mucous in the mouth as well as in the back of the throat. This is a very effective daily regime for those who suffer from post nasal drip or have a sore throat in winter.

6. Care of gums:

Gandoosh at least once a week – Take one tablespoon of sesame oil and add ½ teaspoon of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of black salt, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon of honey and hold in the mouth. Move around in the mouth for 3 minutes and spit out and rinse your mouth with warm water. (This is the best antiseptic and anti-viral treatment available to take effective care of the gums). Every second day use the same mix and gently rub onto your gums with your finger for 2 minutes. Let the mixture sit for 3 minutes  and then rinse. (very effective to reduce bleeding gums).

7. Steam inhalation

In winter, naturally the lungs, sinus and nasal passage can get congested with mucous. This regime helps to clear the congestion and also us to breathe easier. Boil water in a container, add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil. Lean over the container, covering your head with a big towel or blanket and take deep long breaths. Do this for 7 minutes. Dry your face and go to bed. This helps to melt the mucous accumulation in the lungs and sinus areas and helps to breath. This should be done every night before bed.

8. Deep long slow breaths

The heavy, damp, slow and thick qualities in the environment in Winter can make breathing difficult. This can make our lungs and sinus are more prone to accumulate toxins. To avoid this happening one should take at least 10-15 deep, long, slow breaths every 2 hours. This will help to provide more oxygen to the lungs, helps to open the bronicoles and eliminate the mucous which can accumulate there.

9. Exercise

During winter one does not sweat easily so the sweat glands, which eliminate waste from the body, can become blocked. Hence everyone should do vigorous exercise in this season. The best exercise for everyone in this season is a brisk way or run, both morning and evening. Do at least three times a week.

10. Meditation 

Open eye candle meditation and chant meditation are best the techniques to counter dullness, heaviness and darkness from the mind.

11. Diet 

One should avoid foods that are naturally heavy, sticky, damp, cold and thick such as yoghurt, ice cream, cream, butter, muffin, cakes, bread, cheese, cold drink, juice, white flour, cold meats, cold homongenised milk and oily foods such as chips, noodles and pasta. As all these foods have such qualities, regular use can build mucous in the body and that much can start accumulating in areas such as nose, lungs, sinus area, throat, lymphatic system as these areas are naturally weak due to winter season. The reason to avoid such foods is that regular use allows more mucous production and the body is not in a position to easily flush them out so his mucous slowly starts accumulating in the bodily tissues and organs and resultant ailments will come.


12. Lung de-tox mix

At least 3 times a week one should take the following mix that helps to eliminate excess mucous from lungs, nose, throat area and keep their functions open:

- 1tbs honey

- 10 drops of fresh ginger juice

- ½ tsp of black pepper

- ½ tsp cinnamon

- ½ tsp cardamom

- ¼ tsp turmeric

Mix them and lick on your tongue. This mixture can be taken more often if one starts experiencing congestion, runny nose, sore throat or cough and cold

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