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Ayurveda: Spring Fever

September 1, 2011

Vasant is the Sanskrit term for spring. It is the time of the year when the Sun’s rays become more intense & “melt” Kaph or the phlegm accumulated over the winter months. We’ve all had this experience of a runny nose or seasonal cold around this time of the year. This is nature and natural, however here are some tips for managing Spring Fever, so to speak.

Have less Kapha aggravating foods or decrease your intake of sugar, ice-cream and full-cream milk. I remember enjoying an ice-cream with a dear friend, secretly on top the roof of our Hostel at the Gujarat Ayurved University and as sure as the knowledge, we both got a cold the following day! One should not eat heavy, sweet or sour & unctuous, (oily), preparations. Eat bitter, pungent & astringent tastes like lemon instead.

 This is because your digestive fire, (Agni), decreases, therefore now is the time to change to a lighter diet. Old barley & wheat can be taken. I guess you are wondering about the word “old”. From an Ayurveda perspective, it is said that the “older the grain, the more Agni or fire present for easier digestion”. If you happen to be non-vegetarian and living in ancient times, rabbit, quail, black bear & bores would be your meat of choice this time of the year. From this I deduce that it is the leanness of the meat, due to their level of activity, so perhaps organic chicken or ostrich would suit.

As per lifestyle, warm water bathing and no day sleeping is recommended as this encourages Kapha or lethargy in the body. Unlike the birds and the bees that come together to procreate and pollinate during this time of the year, moderate sexual intercourse for us two-legged species is suggested. Sandalwood paste applied in an upward direction and left as a body mask, encouraging absorption through the pores, gives a refreshing feeling and pure blackened cow’s Ghee or Aanjan, also known as Kaajal applied under the eye-lids protects the eyes from both pollution and the harsh sun.

Finally, if you have an increased Kapha condition like Sinusitis, frequent colds or flu, you may like to consult with a Panchakarma specialist. Dhooma known as smoke or fumigation and gargling may be recommended. Vanima Karma, which is a form of natural purgation, is also best at this time. They are all very effective, however should only be practiced under guidance from your practitioner.


Claire Stephenson is a Wellness Consultant specialising in Ayurvedic Massage, Diet and Lifestyle Consultations. She lived in both Germany and India, learning and practicing this “Science of Life”. Now back in South Africa, she offers Yoga and Cooking Courses. Contact: 082 338 8001 or or

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