The cold season includes Hemant Ritu (Fall-Winter) and Shishir Ritu (Winter), from 23rd October 2018 to 17th February 2019. This period is considered the best time from a health point of view. In this season, solar energy is stronger than lunar energy. Therefore due to the tremendous increase in the sap of the earth during this season herbs, vegetables and living beings are also nourished. Also, during this period, Kapha dosha is accumulated in the body and Pitta is pacified. As the digestive fire becomes powerful, digestive power remains high. Therefore nutritious and strength-promoting food consumed during this period gives vigour, strength and nutrition to the body for the whole year.
Foods to favour in the cold season
During this season, one should take food predominant with sweet, sour and salty tastes. One should consume a sufficient amount of highly nutritious, hot and unctuous foods. One should consume seasonal fruits like oranges, Indian gooseberry, etc. Pointed gourd (parwal), brinjal, cabbage, bathua (chenopodium album), fenugreek, carrots, green leafy vegetables should be taken. Consumption of nutritious foods like milk, ghee, butter, honey, black gram, sesame seeds, and dry fruits – like dates, raisins, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts, dried coconut, are wholesome. Fresh buttermilk, lemon, etc. can be consumed. Drinking milk 2.5 - 3 hours after having meals at night is beneficial. For drinking purposes, use lukewarm water.
Foods to avoid
In this season, iced water or chilled water (refrigerated water), dry food articles, food predominant with astringent, pungent and bitter tastes, foods which increase Vata, and stale food should not be consumed. Also, do not take overmuch sour foods so as to prevent the aggravation of kapha dosha and disease like cough, asthma, catarrh and cold. Suppressing hunger or not eating at the proper time is not good for health. Do not observe more fasts.
Special food intake
For the protection of health and increasing physical strength, consumption of semen-promoting and nourishing foods like Ashwagandha-Paak, Saubhagya Shunthi Paak, Brahma Rasayan, Chyawanprash, are highly beneficial. Ayurvedic medicines like Ashwagandha powder or tablets, Amla powder, Amla juice (juice of Indian gooseberry), Sapta Dhatu Vardhak herb, can be taken in the recommended amount. Take termanalia chebula powder and dry ginger powder in equal quantities. Add an equal quantity of old jaggery and make tablets of 2 gm each and store them. Take 2-3 gm of these tablets on an empty stomach in the morning every day in this season. It is an excellent rasayana (rejuvenating medicine).
Other things to be followed
During this season, early morning running, morning walk in fresh air, sunbath, Yogasana, etc. should be practiced daily. Massage the body with sesame oil or mustard oil. It pacifies kapha and vata doshas. After oil massage it is good to bathe applying an unguent like (sapta Dhanya Ubatan) to the body. Wearing woollen clothes is beneficial in this season. Avoid cold wind.
(Ashwagandha and Saubhagya shunthi paaks, Brahma Rasayan, Chyavanprash, Ashwagandha powder and tablets, Amla powder and juice, Sapta Dhatu Vardhak herb, Harad powder and tablets, Sapta Dhanya Ubtan, dates, raisins, etc., are available at ashrams and service centers of the Samiti.)
For the control and treatment of asthma
What to do?
(1) When you get an attack of asthma, check for the open nostril and close it. Breathe through the other nostril. It will reduce the symptoms of asthma.
(2) Drink boiled water. Ventilate the room with clean air. Do light exercise, yogasanas and pranayama regularly, to suit your capacity. (3) Repetition of the mantra ‘Hari om Shanti’ helps in asthma.
(4) Consumption of Gojharan Arka and Tulsi Arka, Basil leaves and Pranada tablets, is extremely beneficial.
(5) A special herb to cure asthma is given free in Sant Shri Asharamji Ashrams on Sharad Purnima. Take the benefit of it.
What not to do?
(1) Avoid consumption of very cold food, sour food, sweets, fried food, curd, rice and food which aggravates kapha.
(2) Avoid strenuous physical exercise, heavy work, dry food, exposure to dust and smoky environments. Do not suppress the natural urges of urine and feces.
(3) Do not sleep under or in front of a fan to avoid the air hitting your body. Air conditioning and air coolers exacerbate the attack of asthma.
(4) Stop consumption of alcohol, tobacco chewing, smoking biri, cigarettes and the use of perfume.