Diseases like cold, cough, psoriasis, dry skin, arthritis, winter depression, viral fever, etc surface during winter. Our body is susceptible to these diseases when our immunity is low. But ayurveda acharyas have framed certain diet and lifestyles methods which boost immunity in winter season. These essentially boost body immunity if followed regularly. Thus you can keep winter disorders, at bay by following this regimen. Texts of ayurveda call seasonal regimens as “Ritucharya”.
During winter the digestion power increases. According to ayurveda this happens due to increase in fire (agni) component of body. Hence sumptuous and nourishing foods have to be taken. Include whole wheat bread, fresh corn, black gram, milk, citrus fruits, amla, (emblica officinalis or amalaki) vegetable oils and sugar cane products in your daily diet. Dishes which are sweet, sour and salty have to be savored in this season. These foods are high in calories and help to release sufficient energy to maintain body temperature. They also help to supply adequate nutrients required to increase the immunity level of body. Sour fruits like amla or Indian gooseberry provide ample of Vitamin C which help to fight common cold and cough.
Use warm water for bathing and washing purposes. Always drink warm water till the winter season ends. This helps to maintain body temperature at normal level. A little drop in body temperature can invite virus attack. Warm water aids easy digestion of food. Patients suffering from arthritis and joint pain are more benefited by consumption of warm water.
Cover yourself with warm clothes from head to toe. Take care to cover head, ear and feet. Use warm woolen or cotton clothes. Keep the house warm and moist with room heaters and humidifiers.
Exercise regularly in this season. Massage your body with warm herbal oil and take bath in warm water. Sesame oil infused with herbs like Bala (Sida cardifolia) help to prevent flaring up of skin diseases in winter season. Dry skin, psoriasis etc can be prevented by regularly massaging the skin with oil.
Keep your home well lit. Well lit house help to reduce seasonal disorders like winter depression. Practice Yoga and Meditation to keep the stress levels down. Increased stress lowers body immunity.