This time of year, colds are common amongst individuals. We have all had them: runny nose, cough, congestion, headache, drowsiness, and an achy body. In Ayurveda, colds are viewed as a kapha and vata disorder. Kapha due to the congestive qualities (cool & moist properties in excess) along with high vata, manifesting as a decreased appetite, chills and body aches.
If you feel the signs of a cold coming on there are a few key things to remember to do.
1. Rest. Slow down and give your body the time to heal and balance. We have less energy during these winter months. It is a time when our energy wants to go inward so honor this and give yourself the space to relax and restore.
2. Avoid Dairy Products: Dairy increases kapha, which manifests as mucous. If you are feeling congested then it is best to avoid all dairy so you don’t add to this congestion.
3. Sip Warm Water: This will help to flush your system as well as keep you warm throughout the day.
4. Eucalyptus Steams: in a large pot boil water with either eucalyptus leaves or add a few drops of eucalyptus oil once the water is steaming hot. Cover face with towel and bend over pot. Breathe in the steam for several minutes. This should help clear up congestion.
5. Neti: Using a neti pot with salt water will help to flush out excess mucous from your nasal passages. Follow with breath of fire and alternate nostril breathing.
6. Ginger: This is one of the best remedies out there for colds because it combats the kapha and vata qualities out of balance. We suggest using fresh herbs such as ginger root, turmeric root, & cinnamon sticks if these are available to you. If not the powdered versions will do, they just do not contain as many of the oils and potency as the fresh.