The twinkle of diyas, the aroma of mithai and the laughter of loved ones in the air – Diwali, the festival of lights is here!
As we welcome a season of warmth and togetherness, we also usher in the crisp and refreshing embrace of winter.
In the world of Ayurveda, the transition from autumn to winter is not just a change in weather; it's a shift in lifestyle and nourishment. This ancient Indian wisdom teaches us that winter is a precious season for self-care and rejuvenation. It's a time to fortify the body, preparing it for the challenges that the cold season can bring.
Winter: A Season of replenishment and restoration
Ayurveda, the science of life, recognizes that each season affects the body differently. As the mercury drops, the cold air can aggravate Kapha and Vata doshas, making us vulnerable to a host of afflictions.
An aggravated Vata dosha is characterized by bloating and gas, parched, itchy skin, achy joints and bones, dry cough and an increase in anxiety and stress, while a Kapha imbalance is characterised by sluggish digestion, runny nose, mucous discharge, congestion, oversleeping, lethargy and a feeling of heaviness.
However, we don’t have to fall prey to these conditions.
During this time, Ayurveda suggests focusing on warming, nourishing, and grounding foods. It's about maintaining the body's internal fire, or Agni, to support digestion, immunity, and overall health.
So let's look at how we can replenish, restore and heal our bodies in winter.
- Combatting Cold & Flu
Winter often brings unwelcome companions—cold and flu. The chilly, dry winter air and increase in pollutants and pollen can weaken immunity, reduce blood circulation and shrink our tissues making us more vulnerable to invading bacteria and viruses. Also with the cold winter prompting many to stay indoors away from the healing sun, immunity is further lowered and infections run rampant in crowded conditions. Congestion, runny nose, scratchy throat, fever, fatigue and chills reduce our energy and leave us feeling weak and fatigued. Many people also experience an increase in allergies and asthma.
The best way to prevent and heal these conditions is with rest, fluids and wholesome, organic foods. Avoid stale and processed foods, and foods laden with chemical pesticides, additives and preservatives as they can slow down digestion and detoxification leading to the build-up of toxins and inflammation.
Include whole foods like mung dal khichadi, brown rice, quinoa pulao, lightly cooked seasonal vegetables cooked with nourishing Cow’s Ghee and healing spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, cinnamon, mustard seeds and cloves to boost immunity and reduce inflammation.
Sipping herbal teas and beverages packed with antioxidants including Organic India's Tulsi teas throughout the day can also help replace lost fluids, enhance immunity and promote faster recovery. Tulsi, known for its immunity-boosting properties, helps fortify the body's defences against infections and when combined with Green Tea and herbs like Ginger, Turmeric, and Mulethi helps to alleviate symptoms to reenergize and restore you.
Adding a healthy dollop of healing honey to your tea can help soothe sore throat and alleviate coughs. In Ayurveda, honey is considered an immunity booster and a powerful remedy for coughs, sore throats, and colds. Organic India's Multi Floral Honey, collected from the pristine Himalayan forests is packed with antioxidants, minerals and enzymes to deliver a powerful boost to your immunity.
Combined with the combination of Tulsi teas and infusions, honey serves as a powerful defence against seasonal ailments.
Another way to fortify your body from the inside out is Chyawanprash. Enriched with wild forest Vitamin C-rich Amalaki and around 38 healing herbs including Ashwagandha, Punarnava, Giloy, and Shatavari, Chyawanprash is a powerful Ayurvedic daily tonic to boost immunity and overall health and increase resilience to daily stress and illness.
Jaggery, a healthier alternative to sugar and a delicious addition to Diwali mithai is another ingredient which can protect you against the damaging effects of pollution and boost your respiratory health.
With its ability to remove carbon particles that might be trapped in the lungs, jaggery is a great addition to your diet to reduce your risk of asthma, wheezing, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. Naturally rich in iron and other minerals, Jaggery also helps improve haemoglobin levels, thereby reducing stress on your heart and lungs.
Its warming nature helps protect you from the winter chill, improves digestion and reduces acidity enhancing your overall energy and vitality.
Switching white sugar with nutrient-rich jaggery in your Diwali mithai is a great way to make use of this natural sweetener.
- Healing Dry & itchy Skin & Frizzy Hair:
Who can resist a puran poli doused with hot ghee or a ghee-laden pinni in winter?
But besides adding oodles of flavour, Ghee is also an excellent winter health aid.
The cold weather strips moisture from our bodies, leading to dehydrated, itchy skin, frizzy hair, and a rise in conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Consuming nourishing and moist, warm foods rich in natural fats and essential fatty acids can help to keep the skin supple and your hair lustrous.
ORGANIC INDIA Cow’s Ghee, renowned for its moisturizing and pacifying properties, is made from the milk of cows raised on organic farms with love and compassion. Our ghee is free from chemical pesticides and hormones, ensuring wholesome goodness in every bottle.
A naturally rich source of fat-soluble nutrients and healthy fatty acids, ORGANIC INDIA’s Cow Ghee helps to enhance the assimilation of nutrients from food, moisturises your skin and tissues from the inside out, and nourishes you deeply at the cellular level to restore your natural vitality.
Naturally rich in Omega 3, Organic India Cow’s Ghee also helps to improve memory power and concentration, making it an excellent addition to the diet of growing children as well as working professionals.
Adding it to your Diwali mithai or daily cooking in winter can help you combat the dry effect of winter.
Applied topically to chapped lips, and used as a pre-shower hair conditioner, Ghee also works as an excellent emollient to keep your lips plump and hair soft and silky.
- Soothing Achy Joints:
Winter is notorious for causing joint stiffness and discomfort. Also, poorly digested foods lead to the build-up of toxins or ama, which then settle around your joints causing pain and inflammation. This problem gets more aggravated in winter.
A diet rich in anti-inflammatory whole, organic foods and nourishing fats like Cow’s Ghee and Cold pressed Mustard Oil helps to promote joint lubrication & flexibility, and aid bone health and recovery.
Naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and vitamins A, B, D, K and E, Ghee helps reduce inflammation, relieve joint pain and promote bone growth and repair, thereby keeping you feel strong and flexible.
Ghee also has a grounding quality that helps stabilize the dry, fast-moving Vata, helping you feel rooted and centred during the cold season.
Winter: A Time for Self-Care
Winter reminds us that it’s time to slow down, focus on self-care, and nurture our inner warmth.
This year as the festive spirit of Diwali approaches, let the radiant glow of diyas illuminate not just our surroundings but also our inner selves, reminding us of the profound significance of nourishing both our minds and bodies for lasting well-being.