This is the season where the 'frozen' stores in the body begin to move and the body begins to cleanse. Like the analogy of the tree sap starting to move, the lymphatic system also begins to move. The respiratory system is also vulnerable at this time as the crisp spring air fluctuates between hot and cold and is faced with pollen. Digestion or agni is also shifting and increasing as the weather warms up. A few herbs or formulas that are in the spotlight this season for digestive health and respiratory health are Tulsi, Trikatu and Sitopaladi.
|Holy Basil or Tulsi|
Also known as Holy Basil, this herb is revered for its numerous health benefits and sattvic quality. It is rejuvenating and uplifting for spring. It has an affinity for the lungs and respiratory system and promotes easy breathing. It is also light for the spirit, helping you feel a sense of peace and well-being and is an adaptogen, meaning it improves your resilience to stress. This is a wonderful herb for children as well, in lower doses to help come through the spring cold & flu season.
How to Take:
- Balances Vata & Kapha
- The dried or fresh leaves can be steeped in your herbal tea and sipped on, warm in the morning. Approximately 1/2 tsp per cup of boiling water. Can be added to your usual herbal tea or your Ayurvedic Am pachan tea.
- Holy Basil is easily available in health food stores and even grocery stores as tea bags.
This is a trio of heating spices: ginger, black pepper and pippali (long pepper). A Kapha-friendly combination, these spices help strengthen digestion which is turn promotes healthy elimination and metabolism. This also acts on parasites that may be lingering after travel and causing bloating. Trikatu also benefits the respiratory system and gets rid of mucus, congestion and overall winter sluggishness.
How to Take:
- Balances Kapha & Vata
- Add into soups, veggies or stir-frys like how you would add pepper or ginger powder to your cooking. Best taken with food.
- Can also take a pinch in hot water with honey as a herbal drink in the morning for cleansing. Mix a pinch of trikatu with honey as a home remedy for coughs.
A traditional Ayurvedic formula made of pippali, cinnamon and cardamom which has an affinity for the respiratory system. It helps break up congestion in the lungs and sinuses. This is an excellent combination for clear breathing during spring blossom (allergy) season. It also tastes good!
How to Take:
- Balances Kapha & Vata and Pitta (though increases in excess)
- Can mix 1/4 tsp with ghee and take on the spoon in the morning.
- Make a delicious Ayurvedic cinnamon toast with ghee and sprinkled sitopaladi.
- Can also be taken as a herbal tea.
These are just a few of the many herbs and spices that can support you this spring season. Some of the Ayurvedic formulas are not as commonly known here but are very beneficial and easy enough to find. Please keep in mind that quality is crucial for any kind of herbs so it is always important to buy from a reputable source or speak with your practitioner. Integrating spices and herbs into your dinacharya or daily routine can help you feel fresher, lighter and uplifted this spring!
Dr. Leena Sripada, ND is a naturopathic doctor with extensive training in Ayurveda. She is based in Richmond Hill, Ontario and offers virtual consultations. Whether you have specific health concerns or just interested in staying healthy, Dr. Leena provides customized care integrating Ayurveda & naturopathic medicine. You can read more or book an appointment here: https://www.doctorleena.ca/contact