Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Fall is the time for new beginnings and a time to think about projects and activities that will get us through the cold winter months. The tendency of the autumn season is to aggravate vata dosha-in layman’s terms, anyone who tends to feel the cold and who tends to dry skin will feel less at ease than they did in the warm summer months. People who tend to suffer from the heat of summer (those with a more fiery or Pitta constitution or condition) look forward to the coolness of autumn weather. Fall is the time for more warming foods and the harvest of the summer. Eating local seasonal foods now will aid in a healthy immune system for the winter. Research tells us that 80% of our immunity is in the gut and that local in season foods provide the healthy bacteria the gut needs to deal with local viruses. Even more reason to support our local farmers as much as we can and to learn traditional methods of fermentation to preserve these foods. The heavier foods of Fall also bring a challenge to the digestion. If digestion is weak and there is gas and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, there will be a tendency to illness over the winter months. Ayurveda has multiple ways to address a weak digestion and help the intestinal tract heal. If digestion is weak, the body is also not able to effectively detox, which it does specifically during the hours of about 10 pm to 2 am on a daily basis. Ayurveda suggests a simple cleansing treatment called Panchakarma at the change of seasons to help reset the digestion and heal the gut and intesteinal tract. There are also digestive herbs and spices that are added to tasty dishes to support this process of cleansing and rejuvenation. Five Tips For Fall: 1) Weather can change quickly in the fall. Always carry a scarf or thin jacket in your bag or car. The Chinese say that the flu enters from the back of the neck. If your neck gets cold at all, you are at risk of lowering your body temperature, stressing the body’s immune system, and possibly coming down with a cold. As a general rule, don’t allow any body part to remain cold at any time. 2) Eat seasonal foods and drink warming liquids. Now is not the time for frozen yogurt and beer on a patio at night if it’s chilly and you feel cold or if you have any kind of congestion (mucous or phlem). Keep cold and flu busting foods that you can digest on hand. 3) Eat plenty of pre and probiotic foods like kefir, traditionally brined fermented foods, and add some more spice to your life if your digestion can handle it and you are not inflammed (hot and bothered-any burning or sensation of heat in the body is an indication of inflammation) 4) Stay hydrated and purchase a warm mist humidifier for your bedroom. Central heating is incredibly drying and can leave the mucous membranes and your skin quite parched. This is an eco friendly humidifier that requires no electricity to operate. http://www.homedepot.ca/product/eco-friendly-4-litre-room-humidifier/850721 5) Oil your body every day with an appropriate oil for your constitution and condition (known as Abhyanga in Ayurveda). This is easy to do in the shower with about a tablespoon or two of oil.