Autumn the ayurvedic way

Extract from an article by Sebastian Pole, Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbalist at Pukka Herbs, of the main causes of disease in Ayurveda is crimes against wisdom (prajnaparadha). This means violating your inner sense of intuition as well as ignoring your past experience. Denying this wisdom results in acting inappropriately for who you are. This gives you great responsibility for your health and is a very empowering tool for taking control of your health

Also classified under this heading is the restraint of natural urges (vegavrodha); there should be no withholding the need of thirst, hunger, sneezing, yawning, crying, urinating, defaecating, farting, burping, orgasm, sleep, waking and breathing due to over exertion. This does not mean wanton indulgence of your needs but also appeals to you to follow your physical needs without letting your mental attractions and aversions get in the way.

A teacher once taught me “graze like a cow and let your spirit soar”, meaning live simply according to the needs of your body and let your consciousness flourish. Simple and true! Ayurveda and Yoga both teach us that the practice of observation is the path to understanding.

Diet suggestions for autumn

• Plenty of warm foods that are sweet, mildly spicy, sour and salty – these flavours increase moisture and encourage feelings of being nourished and grounded.
• Breakfast with a small bowl of porridge of either oats, rice or quinoa flavoured with cinnamon or maple syrup.
• If your system is destabilised by autumn changes and can suffer from vata imbalanced symptoms such as insomnia, erratic digestion, constipation and anexity the most famous Ayurvedic remedy is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) which is great for: calming, strengthening, giving energy and settling the nervous system. Take it at both morning and evening.
• Avoid too many raw salads, cold drinks, ice, beans, fermented foods and yeast in autumn as they cause gas and may destabilise your digestion.
• At the end of a busy day make a delicious cup of milk simmered with a pinch of nutmeg and cardamom to settle in for a blissful night’s sleep!

Nourishing recipe: Kicharee

1/3 cup organic mung dal, 2/3 organic basmati rice (or other grain) simmered in 3-4 cups of water (a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4)
• Add 1/4 tsp each of organic turmeric, fresh ginger, roasted cumin and coriander.
• Add seasonal organic vegetables: carrots, beetroots and squash for an all round healing, healthy and digestive fire enkindling meal.
• The rules are to cook it on a very low heat in a covered saucepan and DO NOT stir it after all the ingredients are added (or you end up with a mush!).

Autumn cleanse

Autumn is a common time to perform a seasonal cleanse to prepare for the winter ahead aimed at clearing the phlegm, bile and wind form the system. In addition to all the above recommendations take organic Triphala at night (for TWO weeks) to ensure that you have a complete cleansing every morning. Triphala is the most famous Ayurvedic remedy and is a combination of three fruits that very gently detoxify the body and rejuvenate the digestive system.

Ayurvedic holiday health tips

Dr Prasanna Kerur, Ayurvedic Consultant, Ayush Wellness Spa, Jersey gives his top tips for stomach cramps, diarrhoea and dehydration, sunburn and sunstroke, insect bites, and prickly heat.

Ayurvedic medicine is the ancient Indian system that incorporates a mental approach, yoga and herbal medicine. Here are some helpful tips that can make all the difference to your summer hols.

Stomach Cramps

Mix a teaspoon of ground cumin and fennel seeds with a bit of fresh ginger in warm water to aid digestion
For diarrhoea put half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg in honey and warm water and take two to three times a day. And drink plenty of lime water with salt and a bit of sugar to rehydrate, or pomegranate juice
To relieve the tenderness in the stomach and bring back appetite, mix cumin, fennel and ajwain seeds in warm water


For sunstroke drink fresh lime juice in half a pint of water, mixed with two teaspoons of honey.

Insect bites

A thick application of coconut oil mixed with a couple of drops of lavender and neem oil can keep mosquitoes away and soothe bites.

Prickly Heat

Shower twice daily in cool water and apply mild essential oils like sandalwood and lavender in carrier oil to the body.