Diet & Lifestyle in winters as Per Ayurveda for “Vata Prakriti” People
As we hear the word WINTER the first thing which comes in our mind is the season full of cold and damp environment. Also, the season in which we have to take more precautions and care to save ourselves from the changing weather and its effects on health. In the time of Pandemic, we need to take proper measures to protect ourselves as the winter season may prove as an aggravating factor for it.
In Ayurveda it is said that during this season the ‘bala of chandrma’ (power of moon) [visargkaal] gets increased so the coldness in the atmosphere raises leading to more kapha and vata dosha disorders. So, here we will tell you about “Vata Prakriti” people.
In Ayurveda, Winter season comes under “Hemant” and “Shishir” Ritu the time from (Mid October to Mid-February). In winters “Kapha dosha” (one of the three main intelligences that control our body) is dominant which means symptoms related to kapha dosha gradually increases in the surroundings ultimately impacting the human health.
Kapha means the energy related to Heaviness as per Ayurveda, it means “Guru guna” in our body aggravates and hampers the digestion process in our body, leading to the accumulation of “AMA” (toxins formed from undigested food) in different parts of our body. It further leads to various ailments dominant in the winter such as psoriasis, cough and cold and other upper respiratory tract infections.
From Ayurvedic point of view winter is the season in which ‘Sanchay’ (Accumulation of KAPHA dosha) and ‘Shaman’ (decrease in PITTA dosha) takes place and features of kapha are slightly similar to VATA dosha as both these doshas are cold in nature. So, for a person with “vata prakriti” extra care is required.
Ayurveda and Onset of Diseases
According to Ayurveda the causes of a disease are considered as
- Pragyaapradh (‘dhi, dhriti and samriti vibhransh’ means not knowing what is right & what is wrong for us)
- Parinam (Heenyog and Atiyog of a dosha)
- Kaal (due to change of environment)
Ayurveda clearly mentions that from whatever problem we suffer, it arises due to our unhealthy lifestyle, improper dietary habits, uneven day to day regime with lack of exercise and healthy activities.
Ayurveda is the only holistic science which treats a patient by doing “Prakriti analysis” and does not stick to a particular treatment protocol for all patients. We treat patients with similar disease from different methods by doing their prakriti analysis because every individual is unique having different prakriti (constituency) both ‘manas (mental) and sharirik (physical)’ from others.
In this article our focus is on a person with “Vata Prakriti”.
A person with this prakriti has these features:
- Lean & Thin Body
- Visham Agni
- Dry & thin Hairs
- Veins are Prominent on Hands
- Short Tempered
- Low Memory Retaining Power
- Quickly learn & quickly forget things.
The things, a person with this prakriti must follow in winter season for his/her diet and lifestyle to maintain a healthy living are given below:
- Drink lukewarm water during the whole day because drinking cold water reduces the digestive fire of our body which in turn, results in accumulation of “AMA” in the body and various Kapha related disorders.
- Eat warm and cooked food always, it will help in maintaining digestive fire in our body.
- Avoid cheese products, cold milk and cold drinks because these food items increase kapha dosha in our body.
- Drink herbal kwath (decoction) made up of (Shonth, Kali Marich, Dalchini, Mulethi and Elaichi’) twice daily.
- Take chyawanprash 2-4 grams twice daily with warm water or with warm milk, it will help in boosting immunity and herbs present in this have vata and kapha ‘shamak’ (decreasing) properties.
- Drink golden milk 150 ml daily at night, it works as an antioxidant and possesses vata reducing property because both milk and ‘haridra’ are vata shamak dravya.
- Always add ‘haridra’ (Curcuma longa) in your diet because it is an anti-allergic drug that will prevent you from allergic and other viral infections which are very prominent in the winter season.
- Vata dosha includes ‘laghu guna’ (lightness), ‘ruksha guna’ (roughness), to combat this a person needs to eat heavy food e.g. ‘ghrit’ (ghee), etc. so that it will demolish Vata Dosha from the body.
- Normally, it is advised to avoid eating frequently and maintaining a gap of 3-4 hours in between your meals because it will allow the digestive fire, time to digest previously consumed food, but in winters, specifically in Hemant ritu it is advised to take heavy meals as the Agni bal is greater as compared to other seasons and skipping meals can lead to dhatukshyajanya vaat prakop. (i.e. the increased digestive fire starts digesting the body tissues in absence of proper nutrition).
- Avoid going out in an extreme cold environment because it will raise both vata and kapha dosha in the body.
- Avoid going out early in the morning during fog.
- Add nasal drops- e.g. 2-3 drops of “anu tailam” in each nostril. It will help those suffering from nasal congestion and is beneficial in every “urdhav jatrugat roga”.
- Take steam inhalation for 5-10 minutes twice a day. It will clear the sinuses and prevent onset of cold and cough.
- Massaging your body with warm oil will help in reduction of vitiated Vata dosha in your body by keeping your body warm and soft.
- Take a proper sleep of 7-8 hours a day because sound sleep is very important to maintain proper functioning of the brain, as the vata prakriti people get irritated very easily and it hampers his/her mental health.
- For a person with vata prakriti ‘abhyang and sweden’ (e.g. Bala tailam and dashmooladi kwath) are also beneficial.
Because, it is also said that ‘Being physically fit’ is equally important as ‘Being mentally fit’. So, we need to balance these two factors.
Hence, in winters, Vata Prakriti needs to follow the above mentioned measures to stay healthy and happy. Ayurveda is the science which believes in a Principle – To maintain “swasthya of a swasth person” (to maintain health of a healthy person) and “aturasya vikaroprashamnam” (to treat disease of the diseased one). So, let’s have a balanced life and prevent diseases from affecting you in any way by following the dietary and lifestyle measures mentioned in Ayurveda (especially in ritucharya and dincharya).
Have Healthful and Joyful Winters!!
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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