Ayurveda says that the human body is a part of the universe. It follows a natural biorhythm aligned to the earth’s movement around the sun. Earth’s revolution around the sun creates seasons. We experience summer when the earth is closest to the sun and winter when it is the furthest. Life on earth is aligned to these seasonal changes.
Each living creature must constantly adjust itself according to the seasonal changes. This metabolic flexibility forms a regular biorhythm that sustains life against erosive seasonal changes. If you align to this universal biorhythm, you will sail through the seasonal changes without any illnesses. But, if you are not prepared for them, you may crash land from one season to the other. This metabolic crash landing creates constant physiological deterioration and diseases.
Besides, seasonal changes are the major factors in aging. The climatic changes can crumble rocks in the long term. They are too powerful for our delicate bodies. However, we can beat the weathering effect of seasons by aligning our dietary and lifestyle habits to the seasons. Ayurveda recommends different food and lifestyle for each season. The same goes for herbal remedies as well! One herbal remedy might work great in summer, but it may produce no effect or side effects in winter.
Impact of the seasons on the human body
To understand the seasonal impact on the human body, we must understand the annual dosha cycle. In brief, the three metabolic doshas follow a waxing and waning cycle, just like the moon throughout the year. Seasons explained in Ayurvedic books like Ashthang Hridya as well as the charak samhita is based upon the patterns that we usually experience in India but as different part of the world have different patterns of seasons so usually what’s seen in the west is that there are 4 seasons (not like 6 seasons in india).For example –
Annual Vata Cycle
Vatadosha accumulates in the body during the summer. It manifests its metabolic imbalance during the rainy season and gradually calms down in early winter (Sep-Oct). During this time, the body is more prone to vata disorders like body pain, joint pain, itching, indigestion, constipation, bloating, etc. Vata dominant people experience more pronounced symptoms than other body types. This vata imbalance is the reason pre-existing joint worsens during the rainy season.
Note : In western world
Autumn or Fall season is dry, cold and windy it is hence Vata season and usually Vata aggrevates in this season
Annual Pitta Cycle
Pittadosha is at its highest during the early winter (Sep-Oct), it reduces and finds balance in the next two months of winter (Nov-Dec). The excess pitta starts to increase again during the rainy season (July- Aug). At this time of the year, it is common to experience a burning sensation, fever, loose motions, and a rise in all kinds of inflammatory disorders. Pitta dominants may feel severe symptoms compared to other constitutions.
Note: in west Summer Season is pitta season as its hot, bright, sharp and intense hence Pitta vitiates in this season
Annual Kapha Cycle
Kaphadosha accumulates in the body during the winter (Dec-Jan). It blows out of its natural proportion in the spring season (Feb-Mar). And finally, Kapha regains its natural balance during the summer (Apr-May). However, during the kapha imbalance, you may experience kapha symptoms like numbness, cold, cough, respiratory disorders, constipation, etc. Kapha dominant people are more prone to these symptoms if they have any related re-existing conditions.
Note :- Late winter & spring …kapha season
That is a lot of change for the body. However, we have a very robust metabolism. In a normal healthy condition, the body seamlessly adjusts to all these changes.
Herbal Remedies and Seasonal Changes
A fever during the spring is different from one in the summer or the rains. This dosha cycle is the reason for the difference. And that is why you must choose an herbal remedy that fits the seasonal dosha condition. Otherwise, the herbal remedy may produce no effect.
Let us try to understand the herb compatibility for seasonal fever/flu. All fevers have pitta dominance. But a seasonal fever also influences their dominant dosha.
- During the rainy season, a fever occurs due to vatadosha. Therefore, herbal remedies should balance vatadosha. Green cardamom helps to balance both pitta and vatadoshas. Cardamom tea can help to stimulate the digestive system and help to eliminate toxins from the body.
- Amla is an ideal herb for seasonal fever in the early winter. Imbalanced pitta causes this fever. Amla naturally grows during the early winter and it brings matchless anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects. It is one of the best remedies for seasonal fever during the early winter.
- Kapha dominates the seasonal fever during the springtime. Honey is a great remedy for both pitta and kapha. Therefore, it is a compatible option for fever in the spring.
Above mentioned remedies are simple single ingredient remedies. They exhibit the seasonal variation of the best herbal options.
If you are using honey for fever in the rainy season, you may still get some benefits. The result depends on several factors like body type, digestive capacity, age, etc. However, using season-friendly herbs is always the best option.
How to find the best seasonal remedy
It may appear tricky to find the most suitable herbal remedy. However, the process is logical and straightforward.
Step 1:Know Thyself
The first step towards finding a compatible Ayurvedic remedy is to ascertain your body type. You can find your body type using online Ayurveda quizzes. The best way to determine your body type is to consult an Ayurvedic physician in person.
Step 2: Find Your Remedy
Find possible herbal remedies according to your body type and health condition. Let’s say, for example, you’re looking for the best remedy for a fever. A fever is the result of excessive pittadosha. However, springtime brings a cyclic kapha imbalance. As a result, if you have a fever from a common cold in springtime, then this fever would also have excess kapha. Some of the common herbal remediesfor fever are –
- Tulsi leaves tea
- Mint leaves tea
Today, you can search online for the effects of an herb on your dosha. Each of the above dosha options is suitable for a specific body type and health condition.
Tulsi leaves tea
Tulsi helps to balance kapha and vatadosha. Therefore, tulsi tea may work better for kapha and vata body types. However, since
Also, Tulsi helps to control both fever and the common cold. It is also a great option for complications like cough, heaviness, or breathlessness.
Mint leaves tea
Most people believe that mint has a cooling effect and helps to relieve pitta. But it is a vata and kapha balancing herb. On the other hand, it increases pittadosha.
Mint tea is also beneficial for people with excess kapha or vata, or in cases of fever caused by excess kapha or vata. However, pitta dominant people should avoid it while suffering from fever.
Cold-induced fever is the body’s attempt to eliminate pathogens and mucus, so all remedies that relieve kapha are beneficial. However, some may be more helpful than others. Some herbal remedies may even create complications!
Therefore, it is always beneficial to use herbal remedies carefully for the best results.
Herbal treatments fail because of ignorance of the seasonal impact on the body, disorders, and treatment. The body follows an annual dosha cycle. This dosha cycle is the prominent factor that decides the success or failure of an herbal remedy. If you use an herbal remedy incompatible with the seasonal dosha condition, you may experience zero or negative results. But if you try an herbal remedy that balances the seasonal dosha dominance, you will get an instant and lasting result.