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Early winter or Hemanta Ritu is the time that Ayurveda considers good for digestion and the immunity is better than spring or rainy season. It is recommended to eat a lot of seasonal pulses and spices like elaichi (cardamom), dalchini (cinnamon) and tejpatta (bay leaf) to balance your kapha. It is also the time to prepare your body for spring season and work on your immunity by eating well so that your body can ward off infections.
Dr Zeel Gandhi, Ayurvedic doctor and formulator for Vedix in a telephonic conversation with HT Digital suggests herbs, spices and other foods to eat during early winter season to boost immunity and stay warm.
Dr Gandhi says in winter season, there is an increase in kapha – which is made up of water and earth – in the body. The kapha, according to the Ayurveda expert, will however not make one sick during the season. She says just like freezing ice starts to melt around sankrant when the sun is up, the body’s solidified kapha also starts melting and flowing leading to cold and cough around spring season.
“If you take care of Kapha during early winters, you will not fall sick during spring season and can avoid intense infections in case Covid strikes,” says Dr Gandhi.
The Ayurveda expert says herbs can be very helpful in keeping the kapha flowing and healthy while making sure one does not store a lot of kapha in the body and keeps it healthy.
“For Kapha people, the best herbs to use this season is trikatu – black pepper (kali mirch), ginger (adhrakh) and long pepper (pippali),” says Dr Gandhi.
For Pitta people, she says they should avoid taking trikatu a lot as it may increase heat in them which is not good for pittas. The Ayurveda expert suggests Trisugandhi – elaichi, dalchini, tejpatta for them.
“Both vattas and kaphas can defnitely use trikatu while the latter can also take triphala along with them,” says Dr Gandhi.
Winter is the time when you can enjoy a lot of spices in your food from cinnamon, turmeric and pepper. “You can have cinnamon flavoured chocolate milk and the famous turmeric latte with a lot of pepper since turmeric get absorbed better with piperin,” says the expert, adding hot or warm milk with a little ghee is also recommended.
Apart from these spices, the Ayurveda expert advises us to make good use of the excellent digestion that our system is blessed with during this season and load up on fats and herbs so as to balance the kapha dosha in the body.
The other foods that Dr Gandhi asks us to enjoy during this season is pulses and vegetables like moong and matar. “Considering there are so many vegetables that are easily available, you can make soup out of them,” she signs off.