Ayurveda in the WINTER

VATA (dry, mobile and cold qualities found in our bodies/mind and in nature) and KAPHA (slow, heavy and cold qualities  found in our bodies/mind and in nature) are both cold doshas and therefore both increase during the winter. Because they have pretty contradictory characteristics, it’s a real challenge in winter to keep both doshas balanced.

Vata is already increased in the autumn, mainly due to the mobile quality of this season. As winter begins there is more silence, nonetheless Vata must be well taken care of. The digestive fire is in fact the strongest in the winter (which explains the appetite for stews) and therefore it needs extra nourishment. If this is not satisfied the fire will consume our tissues and cause wasting. This then gives typical Vata symptoms such as dry skin, chapped lips, but can ultimately weaken our immune system.

We need extra heavy and fatty foods in winter and this causes Kapha to increase.

Kapha is heavy and oily, and if we do not compensate for these features, there may be excess Kapha in our bodies. In winter people often put on weight, but in addition, when spring arrives it can result in typical spring ailments such as colds, depression and spring fatigue.

With the following remedies you can ensure that both Vata and Kapha dosha are in balance in the winter and keep you healthy throughout this season!


  • Massage yourself daily with warm oil: it protects against the cold and provides extra nutrition to your tissues. Use uplifting and nourishing oils to fight against winter blues and excess Kapha, such as ASMI Orange & Neroli Massage Oil . Or herbal oils like Sugandhadi to calm the nervous system. For the face, Organic Almond oil is very good for this time of year!
  • Get plenty of exercise such as yoga and walking. This prevents stagnation of both body and mind and makes sure you don’t feel heavy and lethargic. It also ensures good blood flow.
  • Do Pranayama (breathing exercises) such as Bhastrika and Kapalabhati (breath of fire). These exercises are have a stimulating effect and help break down mucous.   
  • Increase the intake of heavy, oily foods. Put the emphasis on sweet, sour and salty foods. Add sufficient spices (for example, ginger) in order to avoid an excess of Kapha. Good nutrition in winter includes stews, nourishing grains, lentils and beans. Add extra ghee to the meal.
  • Drink nourishing, hot drinks, such as warm milk with anise or chai. Nutmeg in milk makes for a good night’s sleep!
  • Make sure you stay warm enough: Don’t wash your hands with cold water, use warm blankets and visit the sauna.
  • Ayurvedic remedies like Ashwagandha, Chyavanprash and Guduchi support your immune system and help prevent colds and flu.
  • You can put some Lavender essential oil in an oil burner for a relaxing and cosy atmosphere in your home.
  • Do you often suffer from colds during winter? Use Trikatu; a mixture of equal parts of dried ginger, long pepper (Piper longum) and black pepper.
  • Use the silence of the winter to turn inward, to meditate and to process the past year. Possibly keep a journal with reflections and perform a ritual for the new year.

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