Spring according to Ayurveda
In India, spring is called Vasanta, which means "brilliant" in Sanskrit. It is celebrated during the Vasant Pañcamī festivities in honour of the Goddess Saraswati.
Its distinctive colour is yellow, the colour of sun and pollen. Following the rhythm of nature, listening to changes and maintaining a physical and mental balance is essential for our health. For Ayurveda, this is a Kapha season.
The toxins accumulated during winter begin to melt in our organism and clog our body channels, weakening both Agni (the gastric fire) and the entire metabolism and showing the typical Kapha imbalances, such as colds, excessive mucus, allergies, sore throat, lung congestions, indolence, tiredness and lethargy.
For every Ayurvedic constitution, the period between the end of winter and the beginning of spring is the best time to cleanse the body from metabolic waste products to prevent accumulated toxins turning into a disease.
Spring allergies and Ayurveda
An allergy is a hypersensitivity to certain stimuli or substances that during springtime are represented by pollens in the air, changing temperatures and climatic conditions.
These factors act as antigens and force the body to react with the production of substances like histamine.
Allergies and intolerances are defined Asatmya by Ayurvedic medicine. They are based on Agni, the digestive fire. The main function of Agni is to preserve our natural resistance against external and internal aggressions through the right production of Ojas, Tejas and Prana (roughly defined as immune system, metabolism and life force).
The Agni is in our digestive system that is an important transition space between the external universe (the macrocosm) and the internal cosmos of the human body (microcosm).
According to Ayurveda it is essential to work on a proper nutrition and digestion (in the sense of the functioning of Agni) to help the body to prevent spring allergies.
It is recommended to follow the proper diet for one's kind of constitution, to eat at regular times and to make use of spices like ginger, turmeric and cumin. Furthermore, avoid chocolate, sea fish, molluscs, crustaceans, seaweeds, tomatoes, canned food and all types of food that contribute to clog the channels that transport the nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract to the tissues; like cheese, yogurt, bananas and exotic fruits.
Fighting Spring fatigue with Ayurveda
The arrival of spring can bring physical fatigue and tiredness. Some ayurvedic techniques recommend a detoxifying diet to prepare for the new season, as well as the use and the consumption of adaptogen medicinal herbs that increase the resistance, the defences of the organism and the concentration capacity. Furthermore, they stimulate a positive reaction to the fatigue, the muscular pain and the irritability that are very common during stressful periods like the change of season.
The assumption of seeds rich in vitamin B such as legumes, grains, chestnuts, cocoa or coffee helps to regenerate the nervous system and the brain; they stimulate the metabolism of nutrients and help to eliminate toxins from the organism.
Finally, in order to regain energy, Ayurveda experts advise to pay attention to regular sleep and to the alimentation that has to be based on light meals in the evening.
Furthermore, it is important to free the mind when in bed, using meditation, prayers or breathing exercises.