Turn to Ayurvedic self-care practices to regenerate your body and your mind to feel fresh and healthy this Spring.
As signs of springtime—renewal, warmth, and expansion—emerge, you may still feel stuck in the cold and heaviness of winter, fighting sleepiness and possibly extra weight from the holidays and being holed up. Or, you may feel worn out from battling budding allergies, rather than energized and ready for the new season. But adopting these simple time-tested Ayurvedic self-care practices for balancing, purifying, and rejuvenating the body and mind can help you fully prepare for and enjoy the dynamism of spring.
See alsoThe Ayurvedic Diet For You
1. Add Turmeric
This common kitchen herb has potent healing properties. A 2014 metastudy in the journal Biotechology Advances tallied more than 6,000 articles about its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer activities. Make a cup of morning tea using 1⁄4 tsp each of ginger and turmeric powder to wake up your digestive system and soothe aches and pains. Turmeric is also effective at drying mucus and soothing irritation associated with allergies and colds. To tackle the sniffles, take 1⁄2 tsp of turmeric powder with equal parts raw honey, used to help clear phlegm, three times a day.
2. Rinse your Sinuses
Using a neti pot, a teapot of sorts that helps you pour saline solution through your nasal and sinus cavities, can clear cold and allergy-related sinus issues. The saline solution, prepared with 8 ounces distilled water and 1⁄2 tsp non-iodized mineral or sea salt, helps tiny hair-like structures called cilia sweep out dust, germs, allergens, and mucus. Fill the pot with solution, and stand over a sink. Place the spout in one nostril, and tip your head back and slightly to the side until the solution starts to drain out your other nostril. If you are really congested, gently drain the saline solution out the same nostril into which you poured it.
3. Eat your Greens
The spring harvest includes important foods for promoting a healthy liver, colon, and lymphatic and immune systems, all of which can become stagnant when you spend a lot of time indoors. Dandelions start popping up this season, and both the leaf and root are excellent for purifying digestive organs. The Italians make an excellent dish by sautéing garlic and dandelion greens in olive oil. If you find the taste too bitter, substitute with kale or spinach, which also pack in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants that promote elimination.
4. Practice Peace, Love, and Understanding
One of the most powerful ways to feel in sync with the change of seasons is to work on lingering issues in your relationships. In winter, we go inside ourselves, but spring encourages us to open up again, and that includes opening up to new possibilities in our relationships. Make a list of loved ones with whom you would like to clear the air or just reconnect,and reach out to them. Forgiveness, peacemaking, and understanding will help lift emotional heaviness and ensure a joyful spring!