As Autumn draws closer, the energetic shift is palpable. The air is fresher, the Summer greens are turning to red & orange and the abundance of the harvest is upon us. In Ayurveda, we see Autum as an opportunity to regain our inner harmony through cleansing our bodies before Winter sets in. We do this by changing our diet and lifestyle, establishing a grounding routine and through seasonal detoxification programs. In Autumn, Pitta becomes aggravated, so we strive to pacify and cleanse excess Pitta thus restoring optimal strength (Ojas) over the Winter.
Some Tips for Autumn:
- Food & Drinks: Seek sweet, light, cold and bitter foods as they will help to cool and calm the body after the Summer
- Detoxify: Autumn is an excellent time to cleanse our bodies internally. Bitter &/or purgative herbs can be beneficial for aiding this process. Some very effective local herbs for this time of the year are Dandelion root, Burdock root and Wormwood (for a parasite cleanse). Ayurvedic herbs like Neem and Aloe vera or formulae like Tikta decoctions are also specific for this season
- Another wonderful Irish herb to include in Autumn is marshmallow root which is sweet, cooling and anti-inflammatory. Marshmallow is strengthening & nourishing and soothes high Pitta
- Generally, reduce foods & activities that will aggravate Pitta (fire)
- Reduce exposure to direct sun on hot days
- Reduce oily foods, red meat, salty foods, fermented foods and yoghurt (as they are heating)
- As Autumnal weather is changeable, be careful of strong cold winds.
- Ojas (energy, strength, immunity, libido, and vitality) is lowest after the Summer and Rainy season, so make sure you seek foods, activities and herbs to help restore Agni to revitalise Ojas in Early Winter. Example: include ghee, dates, seeds, Avocado’s, Coconut products, figs, raisins, sweet potatoes, etc; meditation, reduce stress (oil massage, Yoga, gentle exercise, swimming, book a retreat, socialise, etc), Pranyama (breathing exercises), Panchakarma, Ojas increasing herbs include Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Bala, Triphala, etc.