For over a decade I have heeded the advice of Dr. Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic healer. Her council has become invaluable to me, in terms of physical and mental health, and I am not alone in reaping these benefits. “Pratima has provided the gift of healing to thousands of men, women and children for over 40 years” (Pratima). Seasonal and simple eating, while paying close attention to one’s nature, are at the heart of her wisdom. “Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate” (Ayurveda). As happens when life’s stresses knock us about, our delicate balance can be thrown off, but thankfully there are natural remedies to once again restore your order and health.
From my lofty vantage out the third floor window, I see broken twigs and browned leaves, nature’s debris, being blown across my yard. All the while sheets of rain soak and puddle about, making the remaining patches of crusty old snow disappear once and for all. If I don’t turn in immediate despair over this continually gray sky, I might glimpse the green tops of daffodil shoots pushing through along the back border or peering into the garden beds I can spy a dash of white crocus blossoms (yes, this is the far north!). All about us nature is ready to burst anew, while the heavens provide an unwavering cleanse of all that winter left behind. As I face the window panes pelted by this windy April rain shower, I realize this horrid weather is the perfect metaphor for what our bodies need too. Cleansing out the body’s toxins and stresses of the past dark months leads to improved mood and energy levels as well as aiding your digestion and strengthening your resistance. A detox diet is easy to do if you follow sage advice (Warning: avoid over-the-counter detox fad diets that actually do more harm than good!).