nights, short days, sparkling snowflakes and people dressed in warm clothes are
the images that come to our minds when we think of winter. In Ayurveda winter
season is marked as Hemanta ritu and Sisira ritu. Hemanta ritu starts from mid
November and ends in mid January. Sisira ritu starts from mid January and lasts
till middle of March.
Winter causes health problems when adequate precautions
and safety measures are not taken. But winter can be enjoyed to full extent
when we alter our diet and lifestyles a little as nature desires. As we are part
of nature these changes help us to face the seasonal changes without much
serious health problems.
Beat the winter
During winters some of us experience a condition called
Winter Time Blues. This condition causes increase in appetite, craving for
sweets, chocolates or starchy foods, weight gain, mild depression, irritability
and short temper. This condition is well marked in people who live in places with
long severe winter.
In winter the agni or body fire increases due to which
there is an increase in appetite. We should keep a watch on the type of food we
consume to satisfy our appetite during winter. Avoid consumption of junk food,
too much of sweets and oily food as these lead to weight gain.
Simple remedies for this condition are exposing our body
to sunlight, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day and using bright light
when you are indoors
Pamper your skin
During winters skin cannot replenish its moisture
naturally due to less humidity in air. Low humidity due to indoor heating, hot
showers and bath causes your skin to become dry and irritated. Dry skin tends
to crack and bleed. Cracked skin looses its ability to protect the body and
increases the risk of infection. The best ways to keep the skin soft, healthy
and moisturized are:
Avoid long hot showers and bath.
Quick three minutes bath is advisable.
Use moisturizing body wash.
Apply petroleum jelly on tough areas like knees, elbows
and heels .
Apply lip balm to prevent cracking.
Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a
week can give your skin a healthy glow
Ayurveda emphasizes on massaging your body with
oil during winters
Special care for
Avoid washing your face repeatedly. This washes off
natural oils from our skin and makes the skin dry, scaly and wrinkled. Use luke
warm water instead of hot water to wash face. Apply moisturizing lotion if you
feel dryness on skin. Apply sun screen lotion to exposed parts of body and face
when you go out in sun.
and cough in winter.
Consume well balanced good nutritious food,
exercise thrice a week and sleep well to keep up natural resistance. Avoid
direct contact with those who have cold and wash your hands frequently.
Hypothermia is a drop in body temperature to 95 degrees
Fahrenheit or less than this. This can be fatal if not detected promptly and
treated properly. Anybody can get hypothermia but elderly are at the highest
risk as their bodies do not adjust to the changes in temperature quickly. This
condition takes few days to few weeks to develop. A temperature of 60F to 65 F
can trigger this condition. A drop in body temperature triggers fatal responses
from body. The blood vessels near the body surface narrow to prevent heat loss.
Muscles tighten to generate heat. Person affected by hypothermia will be having
symptoms like shivering, drowsiness, slurred speech, week pulse, slow heart
beat, slow and shallow breathing. If the body temperature falls down below 86 F
he may slip into coma.
Do not try to treat a person with hypothermia at home.
Immediately shift him to hospital as soon as you notice the symptoms. Do not
give alcoholic beverages and do not give him hot water bath.
In Ayurveda it is advised to drink hot water,
wear warm clothes and to stay near fire place at indoors in winter to prevent
The exposed areas of body like face, feet, wrists and
hands are affected by frost bite. The skin on the affected part becomes white,
stiff and feels numb.
Warm the affected parts gradually. Wrap the area with
warm clothes or keep the affected hands under arm pits and seek the medical
attention immediately. Do not rub the affected areas as it may damage the
Protect your tiny
tots from cold
Children are usually thrilled to go outside
irrespective of weather conditions. To ensure that they have a safe and fun
winter, take some simple measures to keep them warm and unharmed both inside
and outside. Ensure that they stay warm while waiting for school bus in low
temperature conditions. Keep them as dry as possible in cold weather and make
them to wear properly fitting warm clothes. Cover their head, face and neck as
much as possible. Inadequate head protection leads to loss of almost half of
body heat. Don’t allow them to overexert and sweat. Sweating cools the body
which is hazardous in winter and it becomes difficult to warm up again. Keep
them well hydrated as they may not drink sufficient water in winter due to less
Other precautions for
Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing conditions.
Avoid overdressing or overexertion that can lead to heat illness.
Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear
a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help avoid
hypothermia or frostbite by keeping your feet warm and dry and to maintain your
footing in ice and snow.
Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body
temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup.
Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia as it can become a
serious medical condition: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe
shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.
Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow
skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention
immediately if you have these symptoms.
Daily routine for winters
1. Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour and salt
2. Satisfy your appetite with hot soups, milk and
3. Pamper your body with mild oil massage.
4. Always wear warm clothes.
scrub for winter
Mix yellow gram (channa), green gram
(moong) , fenu greek seeds (methi) in equal proportion. Get this mixture
floured. Use this flour as scrub while taking bath instead of soap and body
Mix few drops of coconut oil in little
water. Rub this all over body at the end of bath or shower. Dab the body with
towel. This helps to increase the moisture of skin naturally.
We wish you a healthy winter. Have a great