When people say that they love fall, they’re talking about a crisp, sunny day with golden leaves playing tag at your feet—not bone-chilling rain slapping against your window or dark frigid mornings. But fall wouldn’t be fall without such unpredictable weather. “This is a season to cause imbalance in your body and mind,” says Dr. Naina Marballi, Ayurveda scholar and founder of Ayurveda’s World in New York City. “You might be having sleep disturbance, anxiety, bloating, and irregular digestion.”
While it may seem strange that fickle autumnal weather could be to blame for your mood swings and a pinching waistband, remember that we are all intuitively bound, and guided, by nature. Instead of grumpily shuffling around or resigning to the couch, look to Ayurveda to realign.
Calm Vata with a Teatox
Most people wait until January to start a detox, cleansing the body of holiday goody gluttony. However, in Ayurveda fall is the prime time to restore your body. Of the three doshas that make up your energies—Kapha, Pitta, and Vata—Vata dominates the fall season. Between October and February, its qualities, coldness, dryness, irregularity, and change, are amplified by what’s happening outside. Since Vata governs movement, the nervous system, and your body’s elimination system, it’s no surprise that you may be feeling a bit out of whack. Your body and mind are in overload.
Don’t know your dosha? Take our handy quiz.
In general, imbalance starts with digestion. Your digestive system is your body’s second brain. Filling it with warm soothing herbs can calm the stomach and colon. Teas are a good way to start that healing process—though not just any tea. Swap astringent and bitter black and green leaves for mellow spices and herbs. “Warm, grounding teas will help recalibrate your body’s vibrations and pH levels,” advises Marballi. “It is important that you have sweetness during fall to balance Vata.”
This is not a green light to take on pumpkin pie. Instead of loading up on sugar, which you’re likely craving, consider sipping teas made from cinnamon, licorice, turmeric, fennel seeds and cardamom—all of which give off sweet notes as well as medicinal properties. Here are 9 delicious ways to find solace in the season.
Marballi recommends brewing your own by steeping 1 teaspoon of mixed organic spices in 16 ounces of boiling water for 20 minutes, then using a coffee filter to strain the spices.
Try these combinations:
• equal parts of licorice, ginger and cinnamon
• equal parts of fennel seeds, coriander and cardamom
• equal parts of clove, cardamom and cinnamon.
Don’t have time to make your own? Consider the following ready-to-brew picks.
Chopra Center Organic Relaxing Tea to Balance Vata
Ate too much at dinner? Skip dessert in lieu of this aromatic tea. The primary ingredient, cinnamon bark, is said to help with digestion. Chicory root, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and licorice root fuse together to generate warmth from within—perfect for a chilly autumn afternoon.
See alsoGotta Lotta Vata?
Kusmi Tea Chamomile
Chamomile is touted for its relaxing properties, and a University of Pennsylvania study showed that the herb may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity. Consider this your secret weapon against anxiety. Think: post-holiday-shopping detox.
See alsoBeat Anxiety with Breathwork
($6.95, iherb.com )
The delicate infusion of chamomile flower, licorice root, sweet fennel seed, cardamom, and marshmallow root is what makes this brew a legitimate alternative to lingering Halloween candy.
Numi Organic Tea Amber Sun Turmeric Tea
Vata is the wind element, stay grounded with this earthy turmeric, rooibos, and vanilla bean tea that tastes rich and leaves you feeling grounded and in control. The golden orange turmeric (a cousin of the ginger family) has curcumin, a medicinal compound that helps relieve joint pain, detoxify the liver, and strengthen digestion.
Chopra Center Organic Ginger Tea
Healing ginger has been used since ancient times to settle the stomach and strengthen the body’s digestive fires, known as agni, a key element to extracting nourishment from food and experiences. We recommend drinking this ginger root, black pepper, crystallized ginger, and lemon zest potion daily.
Organic Calming Vata Tea
Not only does licorice help with hormonal balance, but it pacifies irregular vibrations in the body and helps quiet the mind. The inclusion of cardamom and ginger in this tea will also help with digestive issues.
Also tryOatmeal Vata Style
The Republic of Tea Cardamon Cinnamon Herbal Tea
Cardamom’s spicy citrusy flavor profile is extremely palatable. What’s more, this herb’s sedative properties will affect the nervous system in the best way possible. Insomniacs can say good night to counting sheep.
Art of Tea Ammo
The star in this hand-tied bundle—anise—delivers antiviral properties to give your immune system a boost during flu season.