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The Tea on Health - October

Cold and cough season is among us. There are several things an Ayurvedic Practitioner can do for you during the cold and flu season. Many infections and illnesses are viral, which means there is very little your physician can do for you. They will recommend over-the-counter medications and lots of rest and liquids, which is all good advice. The beauty of herbal medications is that it works in place of over-the-counter medications with usually no side-effects. Herbs do not mask the illness being treated, but rather motivate the body to do the tasks it needs to do to remove the illness.

Ayurveda is precise and can focus on specific aspects of any client’s illness, rather than blanket treatments that focus on all cold and flu symptoms. There are several herbs for removing mucous from the lungs or drying up the sinuses when clients have congestion. There are also herbs specifically for clearing the digestive tract when a cold reduces hunger and slows digestion and absorption. Many herbs focus on headaches; in fact there are 13 different types of headaches according to Ayurveda. Sleep is another issue that there are several herbal combinations used to treat it. These herbs focus on the specific reason for lack of sleep and promote it with no side effects or sluggishness in the morning.

For most simple colds and coughs, I have a Get Well formula on hand. It is a combination of 5 herbs that will dry up cough, reduce inflammation, and reduce the lethargy of an illness significantly. Several clients have these capsules on hand and take them the moment they feel a slight cold coming on and eliminate the illness before a full on cold/flu settles in. A bottle of these herbs costs $25 for 100 capsules, and should last for 3-5 colds. It’s an excellent investment for the season.

Cold and flue season is Vata season, which is the cool, dry season of fall and winter. Vata, which is air and space in Ayurveda, has the same qualities of air and space. It is dry, rough, cold, and mobile. It’s important to eat a diet that offsets these overwhelming qualities in the atmosphere. Favoring opposite qualities in food, such as moist, warm, and dense meals is important. Fall and winter is many clients’ favorite time of year since meats, gravies, soups, and buttered (ideally gheed) veggies and grains are encouraged. Your digestion will be strongest during this time of year and therefore able to digest and absorb these foods if you’re taking care of your body and keeping it in balance.

If you do fall ill this season and your appetite declines; try making kanjee. Kanjee is a basic soup that has healing qualities. It includes:

1 cup basmati rice, well rinsed

8 cups water

a pinch of Himalayan salt, turmeric and ginger powder

Boil the water, salt and spices on high heat. Add rice and allow the water to boil, and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. You may add additional herbs of cumin, ajwain, or cinnamon and substitute the grain for quinoa, amaranth or oats.

If you would like an Ayurvedic consult or more information on the treatments I offer, please visit my website I will continue to offer an introductory package for $99. This includes an initial consult, one treatment, and detoxifying herbs. For more information please call 310-614-3669. I’m seeing clients in Brownsville at 620 Oak Street, as well as my office in Albany at 430 SW Washington Street on Thursday from 12-6. Starting in November I will have an additional office in Eugene and see clients Wednesdays and Fridays.

Have a healthy, happy Vata season!

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