Hurrah! Spring has arrived at last! The 20th March saw some of the amazing celestial events of the year – Spring Equinox (equal amounts of day and night), a New Moon and a Total Solar Eclipse – all in one day!
The daylight hours lengthen quickly and signs of Spring are bursting from the earth; the snowdrops, primroses, crocuses and daffodils are poking their colourful heads above the ground, making a welcome sight in gardens and hedgerows. Nature is creatively, energetically full of new life!

Early Spring is generally Kapha season and, as in Winter, a Kapha pacifying diet and lifestyle is best to adopt – avoiding dairy, avoid or cut down on eating meat, cold drinks and heavy, oily foods as they promote Kapha in the body. As the temperature rises so accumulated Kapha in the body starts to dissolve; this can be overloading to the immune system giving rise to colds and hay fever. To help prevent hay fever and springtime colds, a spring-clean detox is recommended. Favour foods that are bitter, (rhubarb, salad rocket) pungent (ginger, the peppers black, cayenne and chili (not too much hot spices if your constitution is predominately Vata or especially Pitta!) and astringent (pomegranates, grapefruit). Use warming spices in foods and herbal teas; ginger, cinnamon, black pepper.

The days and nights can vary during the transition from Winter to Spring, warm one day and cold the next with rain, wind and snow thrown in for good measure! So, it just depends on Nature and being alert to the changes and matching our diet and routines to Nature.

Rejuvenating Springtime: here are 3 tips to help you kick-start your Spring-clean detox:

1. Chyawanprash: the immune-boosting Indian jam packed full of fruit and herbs; is there ever enough good things to say about Chyawanprash? I don’t think so! It is super high in vitamin C and is the Ayurvedic way of boosting the immune system as well as the cardiac, respiratory, nervous and digestive system. It is a good stress reliever, rejuvenating and it is also good for the hair, skin and bones….the list of benefits just goes on! And it also balances the three Doshas.

2. Tongue cleaning: cleaning the tongue has health benefits that improve not just oral health and hygiene but also the digestive system and it boosts overall immunity too. The technique is quite simple; every morning on arising gently scrape the surface of the tongue with a tongue scraper from the back to the front, cover all the surface of the tongue and go as far back as you can. You can see how much ama (toxins) is present by the coating on the tongue. Rinse the tongue scraper each time you scrape your tongue until your tongue is clean, about 10 times. Rinse your mouth with water. You can use the side of a stainless steel teaspoon if you don’t have a tongue scraper.

3. Ayurvedic Massage: to rid the body of toxins accumulated during winter, ease joint pains, increase flexibility, improve immunity and help to balance Vata and Kapha.

PS. If you do suffer from a sore throat at this time of year, or any other time, here is a really good Ayurvedic remedy: take a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of salt add to warm water and gargle.