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As we sail through the winter months, you must take extra care to be comfortable and warm and stay in the best of your health. The best way to do this is to embrace the ancient science of Ayurveda and utilize its timeless advice. Following these winter safety tips in your daily self-care routine is essential to help your body in these chilling conditions.
Ayurveda is 5000 year old science with validates practices for seasonal changes for not only health promotion but disease prevention as well. This article will give easy to use basic principles to be followed to stay winter_proof.
1. Follow an Ayurvedic Winter Diet
Ayurveda lays down a specific list of foods to be consumed, especially in the winter. If you follow a winter diet as per Ayurveda, you will be in optimal health and have sufficient energy for your daily activities. Let’s take a look at what these foods are.
Jaggery (Gur): Jaggery is produced from sugarcane and is responsible for generating body heat. It also cleanses the body from external pollution. Jaggery aids in producing digestive enzymes and boosting immunity.
Khichdi: This is an ancient Indian superfood made from rice and lentils. It can be consumed if you feel unwell, increasing the body’s immunity. Besides, it is rich in protein and provides essential amino acids.
Sesame seeds (Til): These provide warmth and are rich in good fats. Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, copper, and iron and keep flu away, building immunity.
Leafy green vegetables: Ensure you consume enough leafy green vegetables to ward off seasonal flu and cold. These boost immunity if you consume them with ghee. Leafy vegetables can be added to breads, chapati or can be taken in the soup forms.
Turmeric and milk: Add half a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk and consume it to get warm this winter. If you have turmeric milk before bedtime, it helps to alleviate stiff joints, winter sinus, indigestion, and seasonal cough. People with lactose intolerance can add turmeric powder in various veggies , soups and salads. While cooking turmeric can be used as a spice with medicinal properties.
Chicken soup: A bowl of chicken soup goes a long way to provide nourishment and the warmth required in winter. Make sure that you are really hungry to digest this soup. Chicken or other meal soups are sometimes heavy to digest if you are recovering from cold,flu or fever. Make sure that heavy to digest food is taken in day time than late evenings.
Herbal green tea: The last on our list of ayurvedic foods for winter is green tea with ginger, lemongrass, and basil, which instantly alleviates cold symptoms and provides you with immunity.
2. Stay Active and do Yoga
Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand. Yoga is a spiritual, mental, and physical practice that will unite your body and mind through postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. The body is prone to inactivity and laziness in the winter season, and yoga is perfect for keeping your body flexible and moving
Per Ayurveda, the three doshas (Pitta, Vata, and Kapha) are the fundamental energies that govern the mind and the body, and each dosha has its own characteristics and needs. One of the best safety tips for the winter is to practice yoga to help balance these doshas by relaxing, reducing stress, and increasing circulation in your body.
Yogaduring the winter will also strengthen your internal organs, increase your energy levels, and improve your overall health. Ayurveda and yoga ensure complete body well-being and are excellent treatments for various health conditions.
3. Stay Hydrated and Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is important for overall health and wellness. It is as important in the winter as in the summer. When it is cold outside, you tend to drink less water because you are not sweating and usually don’t get thirsty. However, your body still requires water, and a lot of it; thus, it is recommended to drink warm or room-temperature water.
Dehydration can cause various health problems, like fatigue, dry skin, headaches, and constipation, to name a few. In winter, the dry air from heating systems can cause dehydration by causing dryness in the nasal passages, throat, and skin.
Warm water is natural gut system purifier. It also aids in improving digestion and absorption of micro nutrients from food.
Drinking water helps remove toxins from your body. Ayurveda recommends drinking warm water with ginger and lemon first thing in the morning during the winter as it aids digestion and detoxifies the body. You can also go for herbal teas like licorice, ginger, and tulsi.
4. Get Quality Sleep
Ayurveda stresses the importance of sleep as one way to maintain overall health and well-being. Adequate and good-quality sleep is essential for your body to rest and repair itself. It is also crucial for optimum emotional balance.
The body has a natural daily rhythm called the circadian rhythm that closely follows the cycles of the sun and the moon. Your body is most active during the day, and most rested during the night. If you disrupt this rhythm, it will lead to dosha imbalance, which can manifest in physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.
As one of the winter safety tips, you should ideally go to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. and rise early, by 5 or 6 a.m. Meditating and practicing yoga before sleeping can help you fall asleep sooner.
In case you ate having sleep problems explore meditation, guided meditation techniques like yoga nyara, breathing exercises, pranayam with kumbhaka practices etc.
5. Massage with Essential Oils
Winter sees you struggling with dry and flaky skin, and Ayurveda can help prevent this. If you massage your skin with Ayurvedic essential oils, you can protect your skin by reducing winter woes like acne in children and adolescents and wrinkled skin in adults.
Clary sage, rosemary, geranium, frankincense, neroli, lemon oil, tree oils, cinnamon oil, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and patchouli oils are among the essential oils available. To find out if you are allergic to any of the above oils, apply the oil to a small patch of your skin before going ahead and massaging your entire body with it.Oils need to mild, warm and applied without excessive pressure oils are helpful to use everyday before taking a warm water bath. Oils needs tk be tested for local sensitivity tests like any other dermal applications.
Essential oils have various benefits, like anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. They help deal with skin-based microbes and pathogens. Lastly, they help fight oiliness, acne, and rashes, especially in the winter.
Ayurvedic Winter Skin Care
If you want glowing, radiant, and healthy skin in the winter, one thing to do is ensure that your mind and body are at ease. It is also crucial to stay hydrated for great-looking skin throughout the winter season.
It is the Ayurvedic practice of massaging your entire body with warm oil, from your toes to your scalp. You can go for warm coconut oil or mustard oil mixed with turmeric for Abhangya. The benefits include anti-aging, muscle toning, firmness to limbs, joint lubrication, increased blood circulation, internal organ stimulation, stress relief, and the elimination of impurities from your body.
This facial oil massage will do wonders for you this winter. Mix coconut oil, almond oil, Nalpamaradi oil, and cow milk. Blend and massage your face for tight, toned skin. Aloe vera like medicines are natural moisturizers.
This Ayurvedic practice is a steam therapy for your skin, especially beneficial during the winter. You can take a hot steam shower, a warm water shower, a warm tub bath, or even an herbal steamed bath. It helps open the pores on your skin to retain moisture for a long time.
Using face packs is also a great way to improve the overall quality of your skin in the winter. You can check out these face packs:
Blend 2 tablespoons of finely powdered orange lentils with 2 teaspoons of rice flour, 12 teaspoons of yogurt, 2 teaspoons of oatmeal, and milk. Refrigerate this paste for 10 minutes. Before applying it to the face, you should coat it with cold milk. Leave it on for 20 minutes, wash it off with cold water, and watch it do wonders for dull and pigmented skin.
Add 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice to half a cup of yogurt and make a fine paste. Use this as a mask on your face, neck, and arms for 20 minutes, and wash off with lukewarm water. This mild bleaching effect will peel off dead cells, dirt, and sebum, giving you radiant skin. Orange juice also tones your skin and removes blemishes.
Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamins. They improve elasticity, hydrate the skin, and strengthen the connective tissues. Blend half a mashed banana, the juice of 1 lemon, and 2 teaspoons of milk with 1 teaspoon of honey. Once pureed, apply this mask to the face and neck. Let it sit for 20 minutes, and wash it with lukewarm water.
Face Scrubs For The Winter
The following Ayurvedic face scrubs are highly recommended for you in the winter:
A mixture of oat powder and milk
A mixture of honey and sugar
A mixture of coconut oil and coffee
Winter Hair Care
You'll want to take extra good care of your hair during the winter months since cold and dry weather can make hair conditions like hair fall, dandruff, and scalp psoriasis worse. You can help yourself by following these simple safety tips for winter hair care.
Use a scarf to protect your hair from cold and chilly winds.
Always eat well-balanced meals with plenty of micronutrients included in your diet.
Oil…oil…and oil…are three important scalp applications Massage your scalp with warm oil. Cover head with a warm cap and then the next day take a head bath with Ayurveda shampoo.
Massage aloe vera on your scalp to relieve inflammation caused by scratching due to dandruff and fungal infections.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do we keep our body warm in winter in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda recommends eating warm foods, drinking warm liquids, exercising or doing yoga, massaging with warm oils, wearing warm clothing, avoiding cold, raw, and heavy foods, and practicing pranayama and meditation to keep the body warm in winter. Consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations.
2. How do you eat healthy in the winter as per Ayurveda?
According to Ayurveda, certain foods can help keep the body warm during the winter months. These include Honey, Ghee, Sesame seeds, Tulsi, Dry fruits, and organic eggs. Consuming these foods is believed to increase the body's internal fire, or Agni, which helps to keep the body warm. Additionally, adding a small amount of ghee to cooked pulses and vegetables can enhance the taste and provide additional nutrition for the body.
3. What is Ayurvedic Self Care?
Ayurvedic self-care is a holistic approach to maintaining health and well-being that is based on the principles of Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India. Ayurvedic self-care focuses on maintaining balance within the mind and body and emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with nature. It includes a variety of practices and lifestyle changes that are designed to promote overall health and well-being.
Winter is a great time to stay healthy, and Ayurveda offers many tips for the season. Eating warm foods and drinking warm liquids will keep your body balanced, and regular massages with herbal oils will keep your skin healthy. Yoga and meditation are great ways to balance out your body and mind and keep you in optimum health.