According to Ayurveda, spring is a lovely season but it brings with it possibilities of illness and disease. An increase in the pollen content in the atmosphere can result in coughs, colds, sneezing and allergies; as such we should be thinking of protecting ourselves, boosting our immune systems and taking preventative measures before we succumb to any illness.
The Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre (IVAC), a caring holistic retreat on the outskirts of Mysore that offers a number of Ayurvedic programs, suggests the ingesting of amla at this time of year. Available in capsule form nowadays, amla is also widely used in Malaysia by Indians there. Also called amlika, it is the fruit of the Indian gooseberry (Emblica officionalis), a pretty pale green in colour and delightfully plump and enticing in its natural state.
If you have access to an Indian gooseberry tree, IVAC suggests mixing a cup of crushed gooseberries with two teaspoons of honey and taking the mixture twice a day. More likely you’ll be taking a couple of tablets instead, as they are readily available in shops selling Ayurvedic remedies. Amla, native to Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka and China, is a highly concentrated source of Vitamin C and is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Indian families often add amla to sesame oil and use it as a hair oil. Partly due to its 20 percent tannin content, it gives a lustrous dark colour to the hair. When taken internally, amla improves immunity, acts as a rejuvenation tonic, and is deemed to promote general strength and balance. If you’re thinking of something more radical, you could check out some of the programs at IVAC. The centre believes that treatment of any disease is possible through the balancing of the three doshas present in the human body (Kapha, Pitta, Vata); its Panchakarma-Vamana, an emesis therapy, and Virechana (laxative) therapy are two effective detoxification programs that help in general balancing. You’ll be required to follow certain dietary and lifestyle recommendations also, but with tasty Ayurvedic food and the peaceful atmosphere at IVAC this isn’t very difficult.
Alternatively, here are a few IVAC home remedies to help you gear up for spring: a) Drink two cups of tea with cardamom, pepper, ginger, lemon juice and honey each day. b) Follow a diet rich in lots of fruits and vegetable of different colours. Add dry grains like chickpeas to your meals and replace meat with fish like salmon, trout or co. c) Mix honey with the juice from half a lemon and take the mixture early in the morning for few weeks. d) Drink a cup of chamomile tea twice a day.