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Spring is here!! You can see mother nature’s artwork as the trees blossom, beautiful flowers bloom, and the grass becomes a lush green. The animals are milling around outside as they wake up, unfurl and rejuvenate themselves from winter’s hibernation. New life is being created all around us! You might find yourself yearning to plant your flower beds, prepare your vegetable garden or go for a brisk walk. This renewed energy and life force that spring brings is an absolute joy!
Along with this joy also comes seasonal allergies, congestion, sneezing, sinusitis and excess mucus build up and lethargy. According to Ayurveda (a traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and mediation), it’s kapha season! Kapha (pronounced Kuffa, doesn’t sound like you are removing mucus from your body?) is one of the 4 Ayurvedic body types, and seasons. The Kapha season begins during late winter into spring is associated with cold, wet, damp, and heavy qualities.
Kapha consists of our body mass, structure and fluids, that consists of our muscles, fat and bones. Kapha dwells in our chest, throat, sinuses, nose, head, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and especially in our mucus. The mucus of Kapha protects our bodies’ tissue, however when too much accumulates, it needs to be expelled in order to avoid illness and disease. During the fall and winter, we tend to eat a lot of high fat and rich foods that leads to the and the accumulation of fat, resulting in sluggish digestion, decreased metabolism and mucus build up in the stomach. Our lungs and sinuses, and lymphatic system are also effected with excess mucus build up. Resulting in stomach bugs, post-nasal drip, severe colds, sinus, bronchial and respiratory infections.
During Kapha season, it is optimal to do a detoxify our bodies by incorporating the following habits:
Eating cleansing foods
Mother nature has provided us with locally grown, seasonal foods in order to get our bodies, and minds back into balance. For example, do you see dandelions popping up everywhere? The astringent and bitter qualities of dandelion greens are perfect for detoxifying your body and getting rid of excess kapha. Add some dandelion greens to your salad. soup or green juice. Turn to foods that are lighter, drier, pungent, and warming foods such as beets, bitter greens, sprouts, asparagus, apples, berries, pomegranates, millet, buckwheat, adzuki beans, mung beans, ghee and most spices are all good choices for eliminating excess kapha. Start your day with a nourishing hot breakfast made porridge made out of millet cooked with some green apples, cinnamon, ginger and a touch of honey. For dinner, make a nourishing and spicy kitchari (spiced lentil and rice porridge) to help your digestion. Decrease your consumption of cold foods, dairy rich and fatty foods as this will increase your kapha. Get some local raw honey to help keep the allergies at bay.
Detoxify your organs
Clean your tongue! Wake up in the morning and use a tongue scraper to slough off the ama, or white coating on our tongues after brushing your teeth. Before you eat your breakfast, or take your first sip of coffee or tea, drink some warm water with lemon to detoxify your liver. Drink multiple warm cups of CCF tea (see recipe below) all day long!
Movement to clean the inside and outside
Exercise, get your body moving! Creating heat in our body through brisk movements like yoga, walking, running, biking, and even fluid and quick yoga poses really helps to move and flush out the excess kapha.
Spring cleaning! Clearing out the clutter in our homes, clears out the clutter in our minds, which is another type of detoxification!
Here is a great recipe for a perfect spring time tea that helps to back into balance. I came across this tea recently at a yoga retreat that I attended, and could not stop drinking it throughout the day!! It’s as if my body was craving it!! I started researching the benefits of this tea, and found that the spices in the recipe detoxify our body, decrease water retention, and increases circulation and metabolism! Wow! The perfect tea for springtime kapha season! Since I started drinking this tea on a daily basis (7-10 glasses sometimes!) it has definitely helped me reduce the excess mucus in my body, and flush out excess water, and it’s so easy to make! I am addicted to it!! Here is the recipe.
Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel Tea (Also known as CCF Tea)
- 1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds (preferably organic)
- 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds (preferably organic)
- 1 Tablespoon whole fennel seeds (preferably organic)
Put all of the seeds together in kettle filled with water and heat the kettle until the water has boiled. Steep the seeds for five minutes and pour out the tea using a strainer. Put back the seeds into the kettle and keep adding water throughout the day and heating it up with the same seeds you started with. You can re-use these seeds all day long, or until you find that they are lacking in flavor. Enjoy! And happy spring!