Cold and flu season is well and truly here, but in addition to eating a balanced, seasonal diet, there are many other Ayurvedic practices that can help you stay healthy throughout the winter months.
Here are my 5 best tips for avoiding bugs and staying healthy this winter:
1. Make a turmeric paste.
Turmeric, which is harvested in autumn for the winter, is an immune-boosting spice. Just take equal parts organic turmeric powder and raw honey and mix it into a paste. At the first hint of a cold, take 1 tsp of the paste every two hours until you’re feeling better. To make the formula even more potent, mix 16 parts turmeric to 1 part black pepper and make a paste with equal parts ghee and honey, and you’ve got a pretty amazing cold remedy.
2. Take Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its immune-boosting properties. Adaptogens help people cope with stress, and since stress can be immune-compromising, [taking Ashwagandha] is a good strategy for staving off colds and flu. Take 500 mg of the whole organic root three times a day after meals when under stress or to prevent winter colds and flu.
*Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
3. Give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage every day.
The skin has millions of sensory neurons on it, so the nervous system is exposed. You can calm and de-stress the nervous system by using your skin as therapeutic access to the nervous system. Self-massage with immunity-boosting oils like sesame oil dampens and calms the nervous system on your skin and allows you to handle stress better, which directly relates to immunity. Plus, the oil helps prevent eczema and rashes, and it’s great for skin health and radiance.
4. Put oil in your ear.
Putting a few drops of warm oil in your ears at night (Sesame oil) lubricates the upper Eustachian tube and the cervical lymph nodes in the neck. Your lymphatic system carries your immune system. If the cervical lymph nodes get dry, you get swollen glands, which means the immune system is stuck in traffic. You want to keep the nodes lubricated so the glands are more effective at getting rid of any bad bacteria that may accumulate.
5. Start oil pulling or swishing.
Your mouth is your first line of defense against a cold. Oil pulling or swishing with herbalized oils takes away any bad bacteria and boosts good immune-boosting bacteria in your mouth.