Summer is over and fall has begun. Are you prepared for the new season? This is the time of year to prevent flu and improve immunity. There is a sudden change in the environment. The hot days have changed into crisp fall weather. Your diet and lifestyle should also change.
In chapter three of Charaka Samhita, Sarirasthana, the author Charaka says, “The strength and complexion of the person knowing and practicing the suitable diet and regimen for every season is accordingly enhanced.”
With the change in season, the change is very evident in the environment. Leaves are shed in autumn, flowers bloom in spring and so on. You belong to this same ecology and your body is influenced by the external environment.
The general trend is to ignore the food you eat in specific seasons or because of a stressful life, ignore your daily routine. But this oversight in such small things might end up in sickness and lack of immunity in the future. A derangement of homeostasis might end up in lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and so on.
So let’s look at the following carefully.
The Seasonal Regimen For Fall The Importance Of Hand Washing Simple Homemade Hand Wash How To Prevent Flu In Kids How To Improve Immunity In Kids
Ayurveda roughly correlates fall to the season of Sharat Ritu.
Mid-September to mid-November is considered Sharath Ritu. The predominant rasa or taste at this time is lavana (salty). The person’s strength remains medium and Vata pacification takes place during this period. Aggravation of Pitta may also happen. Here’s a list of what you can do.
Have foods that pacify Pitta.
Wheat, grams and sugar should be included in the diet. Milk, butter, fully ripened, sweet fruits like melon, grapes, pears and mangoes are beneficial. Also, vegetables like cucumber, zucchini and asparagus should be included. Food should be taken only when feeling properly hungry.
Panchakarma procedures like Virechana (purgation) and Rakthamokshana (bloodletting) are advised during this season.
Exposure to moonlight is advised at night.
External application of sandalwood paste at night is advised.
Children are exposed to so many impurities at day care, school and home. The best defense is making sure that they wash their hands after playing outside, before meals, after petting animals and after bathroom visits. You can use warm water and a disinfectant hand soap for this purpose.
Make a simple herbal hand wash at home using the following recipe.
Simple Homemade Hand Wash
Ingredients 2 1/4 cups of distilled water 5 Tbsp organic liquid castile soap Your choice of essential oils (quantity depends upon the amount required for adequate smell – approximately 20 drops will be good enough)
Directions Stir together the distilled water and liquid castile soap gently. When its mixed properly, add the essential oil and can transfer to a soap dispenser.
How To Prevent Flu In Kids
Following your pediatrician’s recommendation, get a flu shot.
Drink more water. Water is important especially when your child has a fever or infection. Also, staying hydrated can help your body to fight viruses and microorganisms. Plenty of water also helps in making the mucous thin, thereby easing the breath in children.
Make sure your child eats a healthy diet
Children should get proper nutrients and vitamins which can boost their immune system naturally. Avoid junk food and pre-packed meals if possible. Fall celebrations like Halloween can be fun and entertaining for kids. Don’t fill up on junk foods though. Include veggies and fruits in the diet daily. Give healthy snacks during these celebrations and focus on safety first.
Disinfect your house. Scrub countertops and toilets. Disinfest the toys, kid’s rooms, household surfaces and kitchen. You can use lemon juice and vinegar for kitchens since both are excellent at killing germs and safe to use around food.
For toilets, add two teaspoons of tea tree oil to two cups of water and spray around the inside rim; let sit for 30 minutes, then scrub.
For kid’s rooms, an all-purpose disinfecting spray made with alcohol or vinegar can be used. Soft toys can be washed in a washing machine and can air-dried.
Since flu season is looming, disinfect your house in an appropriate way.
Prepare your kids for winter’s chill and winter blues. A proper diet and lifestyle will keep them strong and happy.
This season requires extra rest so make sure you child sleeps early, by 9pm at the latest, and wakes up early. By following a timely sleep pattern and having adequate rest the doshas can be balanced.
Eat lighter foods. Include more digestible foods like soups and make sure they drink hot water.
Moisturize your child’s sinuses with a cool mist humidifier.
Build a strong digestive system by giving the right food and herbs. Organically grown food is the best since they are devoid of chemicals.
Include turmeric, cumin, and black pepper in their diet. These spices have immune-modulating action and can enhance immunity.
In the classical Ayurveda textbook Kashyapa Samhita, ‘Swarnamruta prashana’ has been explained as an important recipe for a child’s growth and memory enhancement. The ingredients are swarna bhasma (calcined gold), ghrita (ghee), guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), brahmi (Centella asiatica), vacha (Acorus calamus), jatamamsi (Nordostachys jatamasi), shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), yasthimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), pippali (Piper longum), maricha (Piper nigrum), murchita ghrita (medicated ghee) and madhu (honey). Administering swarnabindhu prasana daily in the morning or on days of Pushya Nakshatra (once a month according to astrology) is considered ideal in Ayurveda.1
Benefits of this procedure are: medha (mental ability), agni (digestive power), bala (improves stamina), ayu vardhana (increases life span), mangalakara (gives happiness), punya (auspicious), vrushya (improves virility), varnya (improves complexion) and grhuhabadhanashaka (prevents from recurrent infections). If swarna prashana is done continuously for a month then the child will be parama medhavi (extremely intelligent) and will remain unaffected by vyadhi (disease). If done for six months then child will be shrutadhara (remembers what he hears).
Please remember, before taking any new supplements, consult your health care provider. A qualified Ayurvedic practitioner can help you determine the best diet, lifestyle and additional therapies for you.
References 1. Raj, G.R. Arun, et al. “Preventive Medicine In Children: An Ayurvedic Approach Highlighting Native Vaccinations.” International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, International Journal Of Innovative Research & Development, June 2013, www.ijird.com/index.php/ijird/article/view/36275.