Ayurvedic tips to ward off ill effects of Spring


Second Secretary (Press, Info and Culture) Durga Dass (left) with Ayurveda practitioner Dr Namrata Sambhus at the Indian High Commission in Wellington (Photo INL)

Venu Menon
Wellington, November 11,2023

“Health is defined as being in sync with Nature and your external environment.”

With these words, Wellington-based Ayurveda practitioner Dr Namrata Sambhus opened her address at the Indian High Commission premises on Pipitea St in Wellington, where guests assembled on Friday to mark Ayurveda Day.

Earlier, Head of Chancery and Charge d’affaires Mukesh Ghiya explained the importance of Ayurveda Day in promoting  the 1,000-year-old Indian tradition of medicine which had lost its pre-eminence owing to westernisation trends in India. “So, unless we recognise them [Ayurvedic practitioners], how can we expect the West to accord recognition to Ayurveda?” he asked.

Second Secretary (Press, Info and Culture) Durga Dass then introduced Dr Namrata to the audience as a “Panchakarma therapist with over two decades of experience.”

A registered Alternative Health Practitioner, Dr Namrata “specialises in herbal medicine, formulations and transformative treatments, such as massage, fermentation and Enema therapy. She is renowned for her ground-breaking work in diabetic care, emphasising holistic approaches and lifestyle modifications,” the audience learned.

Second Secretary Dass added: “Additionally, she holds a certificate in sports training, showcasing her comprehensive understanding of sports psychology and nutrition, as well as a tailored exercise regimen.”

At the outset, Dr Namrata sought to demystify Ayurveda while explaining its fundamentals.

“Vata, Pitta and Kapha simply mean what is there in the environment is also inside our body,” she noted.

She cautioned against abusing the body.

“When we disturb [the balance within] ourselves, then Ayurveda reminds us about what we need to do to bring into sync the body, the mind, and the outside environment.”

Dr Namrata broke the concepts of Ayurveda down to their basic elements.

“Vata is a combination of ether and air, which equates to qualities akin to wind. Pitta is fire and air, and suggests a state of agitation. Kapha is earth and water, which relate to stillness and fluidity.”

Dr Namrata noted that Spring, being the transitional season between Winter and Summer, made us vulnerable to illness.

“It is important to note the effects of Spring on our body. The air and soil are starting to warm up. Daylight savings begin as the days get longer. Moisture levels in the atmosphere rise. Spring brings a certain lethargy in us. That is because Spring is aligned with Kapha, the build-up of mucus. Kapha and the Spring season have a lot in common,” she elaborated.

Dr Namrata added: “People with a constitution prone to Kapha will have health issues during Spring.”

Spring fluctuated between “cold and dry, which is wintry weather, to warm and wet conditions.”

In Ayurvedic terms, Spring aggravated both Kapha and Vata qualities.

As Spring progressed towards Summer, the weather heated up and “you need to pacify not only Kapha but Pitta and Vata as well.”

“I have not come across anyone in my practice who has not suffered some kind of problem during the Spring season, as compared to Winter or Summer,” Dr Namrata observed. “In Spring, everything goes topsy-turvy in your body.”

Following a daily routine that was disciplined and healthy safeguarded us from the ill effects of Spring, Dr Namrata pointed out.

In particular, Ayurveda emphasised moderate eating.

“You should always eat to one-third capacity of your stomach. Food needs space to move around for effective digestion,” Dr Namrata said.

She recommended “light, dry and warm foods in Spring,” which did not include  “crackers and chips.” Honey was a good substitute for refined sugars, while roasted vegetables, rather than salads, worked better in Spring.

Dairy products and “lovely Indian sweets that we really die for” were not recommended by Ayurveda during Spring.

“Diwali comes at the right time in India, but not in New Zealand,” Dr Namrata quipped. “This is not the season to be celebrating Diwali  [from the standpoint of  health].”

To rejuvenate the lungs, Dr Namrata recommended the intake of a “quarter teaspoon of pepper mixed with honey twice a day.”

The ubiquitous Indian household remedy of turmeric found overwhelming approval in Ayurveda.

The session, which included a video telecast featuring Auckland-based Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Ajit Singh, rounded off with questions from the floor.

Venu Menon is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Wellington

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