Ayurveda and the Spring Season

Spring season is the time of year when all of the world around us seems to be slowly and easefully waking up after a nice winter's nap. Thanks to the sun's warmth, the ground begins to thaw- loosening up and melting the water (represented by kapha dosha) that has solidified in the cold. According to Ayurveda, our bodies mirror what is happening in nature, so as the temperatures rise outside, the kapha in our bodies naturally begins to loosen up and we experience this as increased mucus production. While mucus can be great for lubricating us after a cold and dry winter, and for catching allergens "at the door" (i.e. our noses and throats), too much mucous production can clog our systems and can trap those allergens inside, causing infection. So Spring season is the ideal time to pay attention to kapha dosha and try to minimize its increase in our bodies. A great way to do this is through modifying our diet so that we minimize or avoid foods that are "kaphogenic" (kapha-producing), such as dairy products and baked goods- especially those made with white flour and/or white sugar. Better alternatives include: nut milks, using honey as a sweetener, seasonal fruits (fresh or dried) for desserts, and favoring ancient grains or at least 100% whole wheat bread products over products made with white flour. It is also a great time to eat the fresh vegetables that we can find at our local farmers' markets, as nature always provides us with the proper foods that we need to stay healthy in a certain season. Spring is a time for decreasing our intake of sweet, sour and salty foods (which are kapha-increasing) and increasing our intake of foods that are bitter, pungent and astringent (kapha-reducing). Many of the early spring vegetables, such as asparagus, leeks and our abundant varieties of leafy greens in the lowcountry have these beneficial qualities!