Five Tips for Spring
Spring has sprung here in North America. For those of us living in the mountains, that means temperamental fluctuations in weather and an overall excitement about the blooming of the earth. The transitional seasons of Autumn and Spring are inspiring and lovely, and at the same time bring to the surface some health challenges.
In the spring we may be prone to an increase in toxicity in the gut, where the build up of our nourishing winter diet starts to manifest as sluggishness in the Stomach, Small Intestine, and Large Intestine. Because the Small Intestine and Large Intestine play an important role in our emotional well being, sluggishness and depression go hand in hand. We may also experience skin issues like acne, as well as insomnia, mood swings, constipation or irregular elimination, and cravings for sweets.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the element of Wood. The element of wood is not only reflected in the trunk of the tree, but also in the budding stem of the wildflower. In the spring we can aim to be like the wildflower. Strongly rooted in the earth, but flexible and agile, able to move with what surfaces in our day to day experience.
Here are five fresh and fun ways to lighten up in the spring...
Train your heart
Take time to get quiet and listen to your heart. In yogic philosophy we have the principle of citta, the heart mind field of consciousness. How’s your heart? How’s your mind? What is the conversation taking place between the two? Are they at peace with one another? Training the heart involves looking deeply and honestly at ourselves and facing the spaces that need to heal.
Honey is harmonious in nature and is used in Ayurveda to expel excess Kapha. It takes on the properties of the flowers with which it is made, making each honey special. Honey helps to discharge phlegm, dissolve fat and at the same time it nourishes the mind, nerves and senses. It helps increase vitality and immunity. Honey is best uncooked and unheated in its natural form. It is one of the best vehicles for the consumption of herbs that are not in tablet form. Honey is also a fantastic topical for your skin.
Mustard Oil is a common cooking oil in India. It is anti-cough and helps to loosen mucus from the lungs. It can also be rubbed topically on the chest for the same purpose. It is helpful for arthritic pain, congestion and feelings of cold and heaviness. Mustard oil is a high heat cooking oil and can be used effectively in small amounts.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to receive body work? Or acupuncture? Or support from a dear friend? I am a firm believer in the healing power of alternative therapies and I highly recommend that you give this gift to yourself from time to time.
Sprouts like Alfalfa and Sunflower are helpful in clearing toxicity from the gut. They are alterative, astringent, and diuretic. They cleanse the blood and lymphatic systems and help reduce fat and tumors. They are good for acne, boils, skin cancer, arthritis, gout, obesity, and tumors. An excellent source of vitamin C as well as a little iron, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin A.
Enjoy a nourishing spring.