Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga originated in India thousands years ago. The word ‘Ayurveda’ means ‘science of life’ aims at promotion, preservation of health, prevention and management of illnesses. The modifications of lifestyle according to seasonal change including sleeping, eating, physical habits can help maintain optimum level of well-being.
The Ayurveda recognizes early winter from November to January and winter from January to March. The early winter is the best period for building health, strength, stamina and optimum wellbeing. The early winter sooths the hyper acidic nature naturally, increases appetite, and induces deep sleep in healthy persons. There may be variations in individuals depends on the status of health and disease one is suffering from.
The changes in eating, drinking habits with combination of herbs and spices not only keep the body clean but also maintains optimum level of health. A spice is not necessarily hot in taste as commonly understood. According to Ayurveda, the spice, herbs, food items, drinks all contain one or more of six rasa (taste or qualities). The spices and herbs are very potent and accelerate the process of well being when taken with food items and drinks.
The early winter is the season for taking more of four rasa (qualities) foods namely – salty, sweat, sour and unctuous (ingratiating). The herbs and spices like ginger, onion, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander seeds, turmeric, cloves and cumin seeds are the best to use individually or collectively or mixed into vegetables, lentils, wheat, rice and other foods that one likes to eat.
Ginger meshed, boiled in water and mixed with honey is one the best early winter drinks that cleanses, detoxifies and keep body warm. One can take warm turmeric water daily during winter. Mix little milk in turmeric water and gargle daily to keep throat clean that prevents one from coughing. The food items that are good in early winter are rice, whole wheat, milk, milk products, lentils, meat, meat soup, seasonal veg. and fruits.
A pinch of above spices and herbs may be mixed with all food items we eat during the day not only add fragrance but hastens the process of digestion, assimilation and absorption. If one does not like the taste or fragrance of any spice/s, mix it with food items one cooks as combination will dilute the smell but will keep its strength and qualities.
Ayurveda recommends massage either with warm sesame or olive oil daily in the morning that keeps joints and muscles flexible. It is always good to keep clove seeds, cardamom, cinnamon sticks with oneself and put anyone into mouth and swallow the juice as its keeps body warm and prevents one from cold and cough.