During spring, though there is sunlight, many often suffer from worsening of asthma, digestive and respiratory disorders. This is because, Kapha that is accumulated in winters gets liquefied by the sun heat and disturbs the digestion powder. It leads to many diseases.
Kapha dosha in spring
What happens to Kapha Dosha during spring?
Imagine Kapha as ice. So, during winter, the Kapha dosha consolidates and stays at one place. But during spring, due to strong sunrays, Kapha Dosha melts and moves into other places of the body, and causes / worsens Kapha disorders such as asthma, indigestion, cold, cough, etc. This process is called as Kapha Dosha Prakopa. Hence Kapha should be controlled quickly, by resorting to strong emesis therapy (Vamana Panchakarma procedure), Nasya (nasal medication) and other therapies.
Vamana (emesis) Panchakarma treatment:
Vamana treatment is recommended for Kapha Dosha. During spring, Kapha dosha gets liquefied and moves to other places. This process is called as Prakopa. Hence, to eliminate imbalanced Kapha dosha, emesis treatment is prescribed during this season.
Nasya treatment (nasal drops) is recommended to expel Kapha Dosha from head, eyes, ear nose and throat.
Herbal smoking is recommended. It keeps upper respiratory tract disorders away. It helps to clear phlegm collection and to relieve sinusitis.
Oil pulling – Gandusha – is recommended to strengthen teeth and to improve oral health.
Question is – oil increases Kapha. Then how oil pulling is helpful in expelling Kapha during spring? In oil pulling, we are not consuming the oil. We are just rinsing the mouth with the oil. This helps to give a churning effect and drags out all the Kapha Dosha from ear nose and throat into mouth, which is expelled out. Read more about oil pulling
We have to balance Kapha Dosha. Hence, avoid, Guru – heavy to digest foods, excess oils and fats, sweet and sour foods.
Recommended foods – old barley, wheat, raisins, grape wine, honey, easily digestible and dry (moisture-free, fat-free) foods.
Mango juice mixed with fragrant substances like cinnamon, cardamom – to quench the thirst in the afternoon.
Jangala mamsa – meat of animals of arid, desert-like land is recommended – goat meat, chicken, rabbit.
meat / chicken roasted in fire is good.
Beverages such as asava (fermented infusion), arishta (fermented decoction), sidhu (fermented infusion), grape juice, sharambu (extract of sandalwood etc.)
Water mixed with honey or water boiled with Jalada (musta – Nut grass) is recommended. It can be had in place of water, twice or thrice a day.
During summer, when the energy is low, napping is fine to do, but certainly not during spring. It increases Kapha Dosha, leading to indigestion and stomach disorders. So it is not advised. Read more: napping tips
Exercise, massage, collyrium
Exercise is a must. It reduces Kapha and improves lung health.
Palm massage and patting helps to relieve joint and muscle stiffness caused by Kapha Dosha.
Anjana – collyrium – Kajal application is useful to relieve heaviness of eyes.
One should smear his body with saffron, camphor, sandalwood and Aguru ( Aquilaria Agallocha). They reduce itching and body odour. This was the ancient way of perfume.
This is the exact quote from Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 3rd chapter –
During spring season, person should spend his midday in the company of friends engaged in pleasant games, pastimes, story telling etc., in forests (or gardens). The gardens should have cool breeze from south direction, with plenty of reservoirs of water all around, invisible or poor sunlight, the land covered with shining crystals, with the cuckoo everywhere making pleasant sounds and engaged in love-play, with trees and different kinds of beautiful and sweet smelling flowers.
Vasanta Rtu Charya – spring season regimen
This is a season of kapha increase. Therefore one should resort to diet and lifestyle practices which would keep kapha in balance.
Since kapha gets vitiated in this season, digestive fire reduces and causes many diseases due to sluggish digestion of food.
One should consume and follow below mentioned foods and lifestyle activities –
- Old barley, wheat and flesh cooked by holding in arrow added with honey
- Mango juice
- Alcoholic preparations like asava, arishta, sidhu etc
- Avoid heavy, cold, unctuous, sour and sweet foods
- Exercise, dry massage,
- Bath, anointments with powders of camphor, sandalwood etc
- Avoid day sleep
- Aggravated kapha should be expelled by administering drastic emesis and nasal medication
Added by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Category of Vasanta
Vasanta Rtu (spring season) is the second season of the Adana Kala or Uttarayana i.e. Northern Solstice. It is preceded by Shishira Rtu i.e. late winter, which happens to be the first season of Adana Kala i.e. Northern Solstice and followed by Greeshma Rtu i.e. summer season, the third season of Northern Solstice. Thus, Spring comes as the middle season of Summer Solstice.
Read – Uttarayana – Adana Kala (Northern Solstice) Definition, Seasons, Effect On Health
Features of Spring
Common for all seasons of Northern Solstice
Sun is predominant in this season.
In Northern Solstice, it is said that the Sun has ascent. In this season, like any other season of Northern Solstice, the Sun moves northwards.
This season takes away the strength of the person and depletes him of his energy stores owing to increasing heat, subsequent increase of dryness and depletion of water components of the body.
This season reduces the mild qualities from Earth and takes away the strength of the human beings, hence depleting their strength and energy.
Intensity of heat is more. The wind is very dry in nature.
In late winter, spring and summer seasons, i.e. the seasons falling in this solstice, bitter, astringent and pungent tastes are predominant. The food, plants, water and medicines predominantly contain these tastes in this solstice. These three tastes always tend to induce excessive dryness in the body. When, due to the impact of dry season and consumption of these drying tastes i.e. foods and medicines rich in these drying tastes, there is increased dryness in the body due to depletion of water components of the body, there will be natural and consequent reduction of strength of the body.
Read – Ritucharya – Ayurvedic Seasonal Regimen – 3rd Chapter – Ashtang Hriday
Specific for spring season
Zodiac / Rasi of the Sun in spring season –
Pieces (Meena Rasi) and Aeries i.e. Mesha Rasi are the Zodiacs which fall into the spring season.
Hindu Months (Saka varsa / masa) which constitute spring season – According to Hindu calendar, Chaitra (Madhu) month which extends from March 15 to April 15 & Vaisaka (Madhava) month which extends from April 15 to May 15, fall in spring season.
Calendar month and time period of spring season –
Vasanta Rtu (spring season) falls between March 15 and May 15.
Dosha status in spring season –
In spring season, aggravation of kapha takes place.
Strength (bala) of the person in spring season –
Person is said to have madhyama bala i.e. moderate strength in spring season.
Predominant taste of spring season –
Kashaya rasa i.e. astringent taste is predominant in spring season. This taste is made up of earth and air elements. This induces dryness in the body. The dryness is of moderate proportions. Though astringent taste is maximum drying in nature, since there is kapha aggravation in spring season, the unctuousness and moistness of kapha will counteract the excessive dryness and balances it. Similarly, the foods and medicines in this season are predominant in astringent taste. Astringent is one among the kapha alleviating tastes. When kapha aggravation goes beyond limits, the astringent taste balances it. Therefore, in spring season, the astringent taste and kapha are mutually balancing.
Climate in spring season
Since spring season falls in the Northern Solstice, heat is predominant over cold. Due to the heat and astringent taste in the plants and medicines, there is moderate amount of dryness prevailing in the atmosphere.
Master Sushruta explains the climate in spring season as –
In spring season, the wind blows in the south of Malayagiri. The entire atmosphere is enchanting and pure in nature. The forests and gardens appear beautiful due to the flowering of Palasha i.e. Butea monosperma, lotus, Bakula i.e. Mimusops elengi, mango and Saraca asoka trees. In every direction, one can hear the melodious sounds made by nightingale and the bees. The trees are full of tender leaves and look fresh green.
Regimen in Spring
In Spring Season, there is aggravation of kapha dosha. The kapha accumulated in the late winter season gets aggravated in the next season, i.e. spring season. This happens when the kapha getting exposed to the intense sun rays melts and overflows. This marks the aggravation and overflow of kapha. This kapha traveling all over the body tends to produce diseases by getting lodging in the weak tissues and damaging them. Therefore, all regimens would be targeted to see that the kapha is taken into control and doesn’t undergo further aggravation. All food and life activities are planned accordingly.
Dietetic regimen in spring
In spring season, since there is aggravation of kapha, it tends to weaken the digestive fire. Therefore the digestion of food will be sluggish. If the fire is not taken care of properly, it would produce many diseases. Therefore one should avoid taking heavy to digest foods and should prefer foods which can be easily digested. One should also avoid cold, unctuous, sour and sweet foods as all these types of foods tend to increase kapha leading to its further aggravation.
The following foods are conducive in spring season and they need to be consumed.
Food made up of old barley, wheat and meat cooked by holding the meat in arrow and heating it on fire, along with honey is conducive.
Mango juice is a seasonal drink. It should be taken with the above mentioned foods. The mango juice having heavy, sour, sweet and unctuous qualities is good for health and can be readily consumed in spring season.
One should consume one or the other of the below mentioned healthy alcoholic preparations –
One should take medicated water processed with ginger, Accasia, honey and Cyperus rotundus.
Activities and therapies
One should undergo the below mentioned activities and therapies for maintaining the health in spring season. This will also prevent the seasonal disorders which are prone to occur in this season.
- The aggravated kapha in spring season should be pacified by getting indulged in proper and regular exercise; upward dry massage using medicinal powders i.e. udwartana and hard massages i.e. aaghaata. Following this one should take a comforting bath.
- After bathing, one should smear the powders of camphor, sandalwood, Aquallatia agollacha and Crocus sativus.
- One should get the comfort and be pleased by the gaze of his loved one having eyes resembling lotus flower.
- One should sit with pleasant mind and take alcoholic drinks being accompanied by his best and beloved friends.
- The afternoon time shall be spent by hearing comforting stories, songs etc. One can indulge in indoor games like chess etc.
- One should sit in southern direction wherein the wind is cold. The place selected for sitting should be surrounded by water all around. Apart from this, the surroundings should have many kinds of fragrant trees. These trees should be capable enough to remove excess heat from the surroundings and comfort the person.
- The place where one decides to spend time or sit should be devoid of sunlight and heat of sun.
- One should touch or wear beads. He should hear to the birds singing and enjoy the same.
- One should totally avoid sleeping in the daytime. This is because when one sleeps during day time, the kapha gets increased. As such the kapha is aggravated in spring season. The kapha increased by day sleep will worsen the condition and further cause aggravation of kapha to greater extent.
- The aggravated kapha shall be expelled our by drastic emesis i.e. vamana and by nasal instillation of medicines i.e. nasya or shirovirechana.
Managing Rtu Sandhi of Spring
Like all other seasons, the spring season too runs to a period of 2 months. Rtu Sandhi is junction period between two seasons. It constitutes a time period of 14 days.
Spring season shares two season junctions, one with its previous season and the other with its succeeding season.
Read – Ritu Sandhi – Seasonal Junction, Meaning, Rules To Follow, Precautions
Seasonal junction with late winter i.e. previous season, the Shishira-Vasanta Rtu Sandhi
The immediate previous season for Vasanta Rtu is Shishira Rtu i.e. late winter season. This is the first season of Northern Solstice. The seasonal junction between the late winter and spring season comprises of the last 7 days of late winter and first 7 days of spring season. In this period, the regimens of late winter should gradually be discontinued and the regimens of spring season should be gradually practiced.
Seasonal junction with summer season i.e. upcoming season, the Vasanta-Greeshma Rtu Sandhi
The immediate next season for Vasanta Rtu is Greeshma Rtu, i.e. spring season. This is the third season of Northern Solstice. The seasonal junction of spring season with summer is the last 7 days of spring season along with the first 7 days of summer season put together. In this period, the regimens of spring season should gradually be discontinued and the regimens of summer season gradually practiced and adapted. This enables one to get ready to enter into another season and get adapted to it easily. Sudden change in regimes may produce many diseases due to asatmya i.e. incompetence. Therefore the changes need to be done gradually.
Opinion of Sushruta
During Spring, the wind blowing from the south through the rows of sandal (Chandana) trees carry their sweet smell and produces pleasure in amorous persons, by enhancing sexual desire, smites the pride of the couple.
The quarters (space around) are clear, forests are decorated with flowers of Kimshuka, Ambhoja, Bakula, Chuta, Ashoka etc. and melodious tunes of herds of cuckoo and bees, hanging creepers full of beautiful tender leaves, shaking by the southern wind captivate the mind.