Long nights, short days, sweaters, warm clothes and
chilly weather make many of us sick and depressed. This depression which
surfaces especially in winter is a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and is
often called as winter Time Blues or Winter Depression. The exact cause for
this depression is as of yet unclear. But yet few scientists believe lack of
exposure to sunlight as the reason for this disorder.
The symptoms of winter depression are tendency to over
eat, craving for carbohydrates and sweets and weight gain.
Does Ayurveda recommend any remedies for winter
depression? Yes it does. Ayurveda has recommended simple and effective natural
remedies to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It has laid down
explicit guidelines about diet and lifestyles which have to be followed
according to seasons.
The winter season is marked as Hemanta ritu and Sisira
ritu in ayurveda. Hemanta ritu starts from mid November and ends in mid
January. Sisira ritu starts from mid January and lasts till middle of March.
The response of human body to this season is very well
explained in Ayurveda. People will have increased strength and their digestion
capacity is increased. This is marked by increased hunger. These symptoms are
caused by increased body fire which is supported by vata. Vata inside body
increases in winter because of cold and dryness which is prevalent in outer
The winter time depression is noticed mostly in persons
who have vata as major constituent in their prakriti or body constitution. The
cause for this type of change is longer nights of winter.
Light therapy is recommended by doctors for winter time
blues. Exposure to artificial light may cause headache , Irritability ,Eye
strain , Inability to sleep and fatigue. Exposure to sunlight and if sunlight
is not available sitting near fireplace is the remedy suggested in Ayurveda.
Keeping the home well lit with lights help to reduce the
intensity of depression.
Moderate exercise like yoga is another remedy for winter
depression. Ayurveda recommends oil massage (abhyanga) to body and head (moordha
taila.). Indulging in sexual act to keep the moods elevated and to keep the
body warm is another strongly suggested ayurvedic remedy.
Meeting friends who are kind and understanding boosts
morale and brightens up the day. Spending time with friends on the beach helps
to expose your body to sunlight and keeps your spirits high.
Relaxing with meditation, massage, light music and
laughter helps to great extent.
The following ayurvedic tips help to prevent and reduce
the intensity of seasonal disorder of winter, the winter time blues.
1. Expose yourself to sunlight as much as you can. In
absence of sun light sitting near fire place is very helpful.
2. Massage your body with vata balancing herbal oil
(abhyanga). Never forget to apply oil on your head (moordha taila.).
3. Then remove the oil by taking hot water bath. A
mixture of flours of yellow gram (channa), green gram (moong) , fenu greek
seeds (methi) in equal proportion is the best herbal scrub which can be used to
remove the oil. This mixture prevents the washing of natural oil from skin.
4. Consume hot soups.
5. Use vata balancing foods like wheat, oil, corn, black
gram and jaggery.
6. Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour and salt
7. Always use hot water for all daily routine activity.
8. Use thick blankets and sheets made of cotton, silk and
9. Always wear foot wear.
10. Indulge in sexual act.
11. Spend time with friends and relatives whom you like.
Hope these tips will help to stay miles away
from winter depression