Winter Ayurvedic Remedies - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Winter Ayurvedic Remedies

By on February 2, 2017
ayurveda winter remedies

The ancient Indian science of Ayurveda classifies the seasons according to their predominant dosha: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.

Vata season is fall. Pitta season is late spring and summer. Kapha season is winter and early spring. As it’s winter for the Northern hemisphere, there are Ayurvedic winter remedies which can minimize the ill effects of winter on your health.

Each dosha tends to increase during its own season. This is particularly so for people who have the current seasonal dosha as their predominant dosha, i.e., Kapha predominant people tend to accumulate more Kapha in the winter. By following Ayurvedic winter remedies, we can avoid this accumulation.

Ayurvedic practitioners attempt to arrest dis-ease before it happens.

When you can anticipate the kinds of illness and imbalance that you are likely to have, you can take the proper precautions to prevent them from arising. Ayurvedic winter remedies allow you to adjust your lifestyle, daily routine, diet, exercise, etc. – to keep your doshas in balance and to keep your health at its optimal level.

Ayurveda classifies the doshas according to their gunas or qualities. The dark, damp, cloudy, heavy qualities of Kapha are predominant in the winter.

During this time, the Kapha person feels quite lethargic.

  • It’s important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise during the winter, whether it be yoga, rigorous walking, or a sport. Kapha must be monitored in the heart of the winter season and early spring to avoid colds, coughs, allergies, and sinus congestion in the damp, cool, heavy weather.
  • Begin the day by arising early, brushing your teeth, and scraping your tongue with a stainless steel tongue cleaner.
  • Have a cup of hot water with ½ tsp of turmeric powder to boost your immunity.
  • One of the top Ayurvedic winter remedies is to follow a Kapha pacifying diet. Heavy, thick, sweet, and salty foods will increase Kapha. Kapha is nourished by foods which are dry, light, warming, stimulating, bitter, pungent, and astringent. For breakfast, eat oatmeal, cream of wheat, cornmeal, barley, or tapioca. Eggs are ok during the winter as well.
  • An hour after breakfast, have a tea made of ½ tsp of ginger, ½ tsp of cinnamon and a pinch of clove. Other teas which pacify Kapha dosha are: ginger, cinnamon, dandelion, chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, hibiscus or orange peel.
  • Drink hot water or tea several times a day to remove toxins from the body and to assist with recovery from a cold or congestion. Don’t consume excessive liquids with meals. This kills the agni, or digestive fire and impairs digestion.
  • For lunch, you can have chapatti or bread, steamed vegetables, and creamy soup with ghee, and basmati rice.
  • For dinner, you can have chapati, soup, and cooked vegetables with spices.
  • As snacks, eat astringent fruits like apples, berries, pomegranates, cherries, peaches and pears.
  • Avoid eating too much wheat, pasta, bread or salt.
  • Limit your intake of dairy products during the winter, as they increase Kapha.
  • Avoid eating just before you go to bed.
  • It’s also ill-advised to nap right after you eat, as the meal won’t digest. This will create ama (toxins) in the body and cause disease.
  • Drinking too many cold beverages or ice water also diminishes agni.

We are prone to weight gain in the winter as well. People don’t exercise as much during the winter. We are also prone to SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the winter due to lack of sunlight. A dull, heavy Kapha type of depression can set in as well. Specific Ayurvedic herbs and lifestyle changes can help restore balance.

The blowing winds and cold temperatures can also elevate Vata dosha with the qualities of cold, dry and rough.

  • Reducing the intake of dry, rough foods is advised.
  • Eat cooked, warmed foods.
  • Do an oil massage, or abhyanga with cold pressed, unrefined sesame oil before shower. The oil tends to make the bathtub slippery, so be sure to use a bath mat.

Generally speaking, the Kapha pacifying diet can be followed by anyone having a Kapha imbalance. However, in Ayurvedic medicine, we treat the individual, not the illness. Thus someone having Vata or Pitta imbalances will require more fine tuning in terms of diet and lifestyle recommendations for their Ayurvedic winter remedies.

People living in states where you do not get the winter cold and snow would be best advised to follow a diet according to their constitutional imbalance. You can take this free dosha quiz to determine your current Ayurvedic state of balance. A personalized Ayurvedic consultation will provide you with the ideal Ayurvedic winter remedies to restore balance to your life.

About Madhavi Rathod

Madhavi Rathod is a graduate and former employee of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM, the premier educational facility for Ayurvedic Medicine in the U.S.  She has worked closely with Dr. Vasant Lad, the President of the Ayurvedic Institute. Madhavi has also studied Vedic rituals with Maya Tiwari at the Wise Earth School. She is also a trained Vedic astrologer. Madhavi incorporates these sister sciences to provide people with a comprehensive healing plan for their lives. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner and Vedic astrologer and combines these sister sciences to help individuals achieve their optimal well-being. She resides in Northern California and can be reached at Connect with Madhavi on her website, Facebook or Twitter.




    December 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Actually, Ayurveda teaches there are 6 seasons – this 4 season model is a modern invention that is widespread and can completely throw off your application of proper remedies or seasonal diets without more knowledge.



      December 25, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Could you please indicate the 6 seasons and dates? Or direct me to a book or other resource? I am new to ayurveda but making wonderful health progress. thanks. kris



    December 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Just google it or pick up a copy of Charaka Samhita or Ashtanga Hrdayam to learn more. I posted a link below too for starters. There is some overlap and other factors to take into account such as your personal issues and place of residence so it is just one part of it all, though without properly understanding the real shifts happening with the gunas it gets tricky.Most popular books on the subject don’t really cover it. I’m working on some things as well.



    December 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    or this article explains a bit more.


    Sheeja paulos

    January 12, 2018 at 4:51 am

    As this going season is of winter, I am frequently suffering from Kafa, I am taking medicines but that is not working for me. I was looking for some ayurvedic remedies that I can do to get rid of my Kafa. Thanks for giving these good remedies. This will definitely work for me. Can you please share some remedies for a dry cough??

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