Tips for Kapha time between March and June. By Dr. med. Ulrich Bauhofer

According to Ayurveda a properly functioning immune system is closely linked with the strength of agni. Reinforcing agni is especially recommended in spring as the period between mid-March and mid-June is dominated by the Kapha dosha where cold and wet weather can lead to an increase in the Kapha dosha and more severe, cold and lethargic tendencies are consequently produced in the body and mind. Ayurvedic tradition states that this promotes the build-up of ama (What is ama? see Note). Signs of ama in the body, according to Ayurveda, include stiff joints, a sluggish digestion, lethargy or dullness, headache and fatigue. Strong agni helps remove ama (see Note) and maintain lightness and energy.

1. Lighter meals and regular exercise

Kapha periods are a time for a light diet. At this time your diet should include hot, spicy and well cooked food as well as soups and green vegetables. Get involved in recreational sports to stimulate agni and shed unwanted pounds. Take sips of hot water throughout the day in order to release ama (see Note) and boost the body's natural process of waste elimination.

2. Fresh food, more spices

Certain Ayurvedic dishes support the formation of ojas, a quality associated with light and joyous feelings in the body, according to Ayurveda. Partake in general of fresh and pure food that is easy to digest. This includes whole grain as well as fresh organic vegetables and fruit. Furthermore light dairy products such as ghee (clarified butter) and lassi, a probiotic drink, prepared from water and fresh yoghurt that stimulates digestion, also promote the body's natural defences.

Include more spices than usual in your diet during the Kapha period. The Maharishi Ayurveda prepared spice mixtures make this very easy. Use Kapha Churna for your soups and vegetables and start your day off with a cup of Kapha tea.

3. Avoid food that strains your body

Stay away from food that is difficult to digest. Industrially produced products, frozen and canned food are all difficult to digest and weaken agni. Leftovers, fast food, chemically cultivated nutriment and food containing preservatives generate ama (see Note) and block the shrotas, the subtle channels in the body, which according to Ayurveda should be kept free and open.

Dr. med. Ulrich Bauhofer is regarded as one of the leading Ayurvedic specialists outside India and was involved in establishing Ayurveda as a science in 1980. The bestselling author and co-author of Ayurvedic reference works runs an Ayurvedic practice in Munich and advises companies in the area of healthcare management. He is President of the German Ayurveda Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ayurveda).