Autumn season is upon us. Nature welcomes richer hues of earth-toned colors, cooler crisp air and musty scents. This means harvest season is in full swing. We warm up with cozy sweaters and blankets, gather around burning fireplaces and sweet aromas fill up our homes. While woody scents, sound of crackling leaves and fresh smell of rain surround the outdoors.
With the change of season, the human body is deeply affected as the temperatures began to drop. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian philosophy on wellbeing, there are three primary doshas: Vata (Air/Ether), Pitta (Fire/Water) and Kapha (Water/Earth). Ayurvedic medicine recognizes the profound impact that Vata dosha has on the mind and body during this time of the year as its qualities are associated with dry, rough, cold and wind. Vata governs all movement within the body and predominates during the fall season and early winter. It is imperative to keep Vata calm and balanced as it can easily compromise our internal environment and manifest into a range of imbalances such as constipation, fatigue, dry skin, and insomnia. Emotional imbalances can lead to fear, loneliness, insecurity and anxiety. Exposure to windy climate, chilly weather, colder foods such as salads and iced drinks can disturb Vata resulting in outbreaks.
During this season of harvest, warming the body with nourishing foods help support the digestive, circulatory and nervous system. Including spices such as ginger, clove, cinnamon and cardamom have a strengthening effect and soothe the nervous system promoting relaxation. Comforting stews and soups made with seasonal root vegetables are balancing and easier on digestion. Adding wholesome grains such as oats and brown rice provide nourishment for those seeking more grounding foods during the colder months. Transitioning from summer’s refreshing cold drinks to warm herbal teas, milks and tonics decrease inflammation and boost immunity. Ghee, also known as clarified butter includes healing properties that assists with strengthening digestion and immunity. Ghee balances the system, reduces dryness internally, releases toxins and eliminates them from the body as well helps transport the medicinal properties of any herbs and spices to the tissues. An excellent fat to cook with, add to your cup of tea, oatmeal or milk of choice to unwind for the evening.
This season, try a delightful herbal autumn chai recipe before bedtime. Its soothing and comforting properties help relax the body encouraging a good night’s sleep.
- 2 cup of milk of your choice
- 2-3 of green cardamom pods
- 1 tsp. ghee
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch of ginger powder
- 1 tsp. raw honey
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- pinch of anise seeds
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of vanilla bean powder
- pinch of sea salt
- Add all ingredients to a small pot and simmer on medium heat.
- Stir occasionally to infuse flavors for 8-10min.
- Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth or nut milk bag in tea mugs.
Being mindful of changes as we transition into a new season helps the mind and body adjust easier. It is important to care for our overall health in every aspect to avoid disturbances. As Vata calls for more nourishing, grounding foods, our mind seeks a calm, safe environment during this season. A consistent practice can help nourish the body from inside and out and restore balance to our delicate system. Small daily rituals such as meditation can help relax the mind, release accumulated stress that’s stagnant, improve the immune system and quiet the mind. End the day with a massage by rubbing warm sesame oil, an excellent remedy to apply on the body to enhance circulation and increase blood flow.