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Ayurvedic care for winter

May 15, 2012

Part 1:

We are at the junction of weather. Autumn is going and winter is ahead. But, are we?

Our rhythmus are directly connected to the seasons because of our metabolic nature. And our body’s natural immunity becomes virtually defenseless against impending disease. When the seasons change, we experience a sympathetic internal shift. All life-forms open themselves up to receive cosmic redirection from nature during these crucial seasonal transitions, so we are likely to be more vulnerable and unsettled. Nevertheless, these seasonal junctions can become times of glorious opportunity when we mindfully acknowledge and observe them.

When we live in harmony with the seasons, we strengthen our rhythms and we can achieve our optimal state of health. By observing the seasonal influence of our food we remain in harmony with nature. This is the easiest way to keep our doshas in a state of balance. The Ayurvedic texts say that Kapha is accumulated during the night in cold weather. During day accumulated Kapha is liquefied by the heat of sun and causes diminished Agni, (digestive activity). This blocks our energy channels and causes diseases – especially in our respiratory system.

Common conditions we may experience during winter:

· Common Cold – medically the common cold can be caused by more than 200 viruses and is highly contagious. It usually begins with a sore throat, then progress to sneezing and even fever. You might also feel slight aches and pains in your body and have a runny, stuffy nose but you will still have an appetite.

· Influenza – known as the flu, is spread by viral infection in cold and dry weather as people spend more time in close proximity, usually indoors. Flu is a seasonal condition, accompanied with moderate fever and a headache which subsides after the nose starts running or is congested. This is then followed by a dry cough which can last for up to two weeks and if it is not treated becomes productive with yellow phlegm. It ends up with continuous dull headache with or without chest wheezing. Chills, aching muscles and joints, lack of appetite, sneezing and extreme fatigue are also symptoms. Flu patients can be very drowsy and disorientated. However most people recover without treatment but flu can lead to secondary infections and very high temperatures.

· Hay fever- Allergies are due to an immune system response that releases histamines. Histamines are responsible for the symptoms. All people react differently to these irritants and not all will develop allergies from them. Allergies are indicative of immune deficiency and dysfunction. Gastric permeability can be a trigger for these allergic responses. Sometimes abdominal symptoms can be associated. Hay fever symptoms include congestion, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy nose, throat and eyes. A cough is rare, but the condition can cause a post-nasal drip, which can furthermore cause a chronic cough to develop.

· Sinusitis is often due to a ‘complication’ or progression of an upper respiratory tract infection and can be associated with the common cold, flu and hay fever. With sinusitis, there is often an inflammation of the sinuses caused by bacterial infection. In sinusitis coughing and a loss of smell are primary symptoms as well as fever, fatigue, dental pain, facial tenderness, bad breath and nasal discharge.

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Dr Ram Garg is an ayurvedic doctor who travels between Cape Town, Joburg and India on a regular basis. He can be contacted via email for consultations. ram_ayurveda@yahoo.com

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Loren Hencken permalink
    November 14, 2012 12:02 pm

    antihistamines do work for my post nasal drip but i am still looking for a good natural antihistamines that works like Chlorphenamine and Hydroxyzine.*

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