Here we go again! – by Enyaj Pitchford
COVID cases are on the rise; new variants are popping up. Whether you’re a ranting pro or con covid vaxxer, there are some ageless Ideas to keep one ready for the vulnerability of the respiratory system that come each fall. Let me explain, traditionally Autumn is a time of great changes. Winds, cold, dry, moving, variable conditions, lightness; all relate directly to the VATA dosha, or the air and ether element of the body. Let me explain another way. The body is made out of VATA, air/ ether the element of movement, ie circulation, ; PITTA fire/ water, the digestive element , whether of thoughts , experiences or food and KAPHA water/ earth, which is the solidity of our bones and muscles and the stillness of our minds. These elements get ‘disturbed’ or displaced and physical problems arise from that. Autumn , having the same elements as VATA, is a time when the ‘wind’ element gets aggravated. The lungs, being the target of air/ wind, ie our breath, is most affected this time of year, thus it’s deemed “the cold season.” And as we all know, COVID is a cold on steroids!
So, according to, for over 5,000 years of keen observation and response, the orifices most vulnerable to the pernicious winds are the places where the disease first enters the body; i.e. ears, nose, mouth. COVID has been shown to enter from the patient’s mouth to the recipient’s nose, hence the mask model was developed. There’s common sense behind this, especially if you observe how far a sneeze or cough, saturated with spittle, actually travels. You can look this up online. However, deep breathing helps clear our lungs and sinus’ and a mask prevents deep breathing, so how do we resolve this conflict? For those who engage indoors with sick patients or are immune compromised, wearing a mask is definitely helpful. I would suggest however, having eucalyptus , tea tree , oregano , rosemary, lavender, lemon essential oils, in combo or singularly, put directly in droplets on one’s mask to assist breathing deeply. There’s a company called OBLAS which makes a great oil blend and both a ‘stick’ type nasal inhaler and a ‘pastille’ which is a slow dissolving chewy lozenge that has their signature essential oils on it for you to suck on. The inhaler and the lozenge are a great preventative and I myself and clients have used this combo when we felt that ominous clenched dry throat feeling, and found it to pass away and not take hold into sickness. I’d suggest a good hot cup of tea along with this, especially to counteract the dryness of the season. Peppermint with a dash of raw honey is splendid, but make it strong. Instead of one tea bag, use two or three, and let it steep. Use lemon or lime instead of milk which tends to attract mucous. We need to clear the body of things that cling and stick to it for this season. And when one eats, it should be warm, liquidy, nourishing, grounding , earthy. It’s time for some oil/ fats mixed with spices. For those sensitive to spices, explore cumin, coriander and fennel along with herbs like thyme, rosemary , sage, to clear the digestive and respiratory tracts and to help things move along. A simple laxative at night is also highly recommended, as a great toxic release. Every plan needs an exit strategy! And here I would avoid the traditional , forceful methods, like senna, and gravitate towards the gentle action of triphala, literally ‘tri’ or three ‘phala’ fruits; one of which is Indian gooseberry , which releases heat from the body, and two hard bitter fruits, bibhitaki, which releases excess water and sticky elements and haritaki which helps unclog the hard, crusty elements, blocking the way out. Triphala does not cause cramping, like other laxatives and should be taken at night time with a cup of warm water or plain tea, two hours after the last meal, ½ -1 tsp dosage. It does not taste good, so either enjoy the tea it’s mixed in, put it in capsules or get it as a tablet.
Extracts of echinacea, best a whole plant extract that includes both angustifolia and purpurea species with or without goldenseal (Goldenseal is not recommended for hypoglycemic patients, or diabetics, as it lowers blood sugar levels.) Tulsi or holy basil which blends well with peppermint and other mints is a great tasty preventative tea to sip on all day. Elderberry is also an excellent choice! I put the berries with water on low in a slow cooker overnight for a strong extract for the following day. A little lemon and honey and I’m ready to rock and roll through my day! You can add it to your favorite fruit juice as well.
Adding a variety of medicinal mushrooms (not psilocybin!) ,will also enhance one’s immune function. They can be added to sauces/ roux, soups, dressings or taken as a tea, but oil enhances the absorption so have them with something oily or add some oil, butter or ghee to your tea. It’s a great way to get those lips wet and oiled against the winds as well and prevent chapping. A simple uptake of antioxidant vitamins C, D, A, E and zinc along with stress relieving B complex vitamins is a great preventative choice as well. Nutritional yeast that has B12 in it helps a lot when added to foods to maintain healthy B complex levels, especially for vegans. Remember that anemia is often caused by a B12 deficiency which prevents iron uptake in the body, so ‘B’ mindful of that. Also, do not overlook the stress relieving qualities of magnesium, which is best taken as a complex form of various strands. And an epsom salts bath, of two pounds per bath, with some essential oils added is a great way to treat and prevent various pernicious wind problems. As the ancient Greeks discovered , after plundering India, “ let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” Look up tips online for a vata soothing diet and enjoy your journey to self care and preventative medicine.
Categories: Health Care