Why do you get sick in “ritu sandhi” – when the season shifts from Summer to Autumn?

In the summer time we are exposed to increased “agni” – the sun’s vicinity to the earth heats up the environment along with our bodies. In response to the heat, our channels dilate and our metabolic “agneya” organs –  liver, spleen, pancreas, stomach – carry and circulate more heat.
But as summer wanes out, and temperatures drop, our channels shrink and slow down. Then the heat accumulated over the summer gets stuck in our physiology, along with all kinds of toxins that were being evacuated freely earlier.
In particular, the already hot or “agneya” organs of the body – the spleen, pancreas, stomach, liver – feel this transition, as they get less support from the environment to process toxins. Being already overheated from the Summer season, they now have to deal with shrunk channels overloaded with toxins. When the processing of nutrients slows down due to reduced environmental agni and high pitta in the physiology, accompanied with the reduced elimination of toxins, our overall transformational agni (in the tissues and organ systems) gets impacted as well, and “apar ojas” or the finest by-product of digestion which maintains our immunity, decreases, and our immunity plummets! When our body’s natural defense is compromised, it is easier for allergens, bacteria, viruses to take over and we may end up contracting the infamous seasonal flu!
Boost your Immunity
Our bodies are exposed to infectious and viral bacteria as well as toxins on an ongoing basis, and immunity is our body’s inherent ability to resist infection by the action of specific antibodies. So the key is and remains in the maintenance and support of your immunity. In Ayurveda, immunity is called “vyadhi kshamatwa” – from vyadi: disease; and kshamat: resistance.
The Charak Samhita explains that there are 3 kinds of “vyadi kshamatwa:”
  • sahaj: innate – some people are born with stronger immunity, while others are not. The point is to take steps to avoid weakening a challenged immunity during “ritu sandhi,” while you also support it and strengthen it.
  •   kaalaj: time-bound immunity indicates that one’s immunity may wear out with the passage of time, i.e., aging, and seasonal changes – even if you have strong immunity, adjusting your diet and routine to ongoing seasonal changes will help keep it stronger;
  •    yuktakrit – addressing immunity through herbs, the adjustment of diet, balanced routine, daily or seasonal detox, etc.
The shastra-s elaborate on all 3 aspects of immunity at length with particular attention on the most challenging aspect the “sahaj” or “beej guna.” Beej guna literally means a property or quality in its seed form from the Sanskrit “beej” – seed. One may be born with great immunity or have genetic predisposition towards low or poor immunity. The shastra-s explain how to support the good predisposition and to disallow poor beej guna immunity from sprouting and taking over. Yukti, or specifically tailored protocols based on individual needs, will help balance your genetic predisposition, whether it is poor or strong: it will help keep the unwanted seeds in seed form so they are not allowed to sprout; it will support a strong “beej guna” to blossom and balance mind, body, and spirit, instead of letting it lay dormant.
The impact of the “ritu sandhi” (seasonal transition) on our immunity is discussed in thecontext of “kalaaj vyadi kshamatwa” – imbalances in the body and mind that result from time bound and seasonal changes, along with specific practical “yukti”-s or protocols that can help.
So what should you do? What “yukti”-s should you follow to avoid a cold this Autumn?
 
1. Mind your channels channels channels!  If you’ve practiced some SVA, you know the importance that Vaidya Mishra and SVA attribute to the channels. These are not, as some think, just the blood vessels, they are rather the micro and macro channels throughout your body, either physical or vibrational, that carry everything from food and nutrients, toxins, energy, and more. They are the “srota”-s and the “nadi”-s. During the change of season, it is important to address these first. How? Supporting your channels is easy based on following protocols tailo
red to your body’s doshic tendencies, or tendencies towards imbalance. Mind your dosha, and balance it out through daily ayurvedic protocol and diet. See the next paragraph for specific details.
2. Be dosha-wise! One size does not fit all!
You will come across a lot of “one size fits all” recommendations, at this point in time, circulating on social media pages and elsewhere. With Ayurveda, your dosha is your body’s propensity towards a specific type of imbalance. This is the best time to make the most out of this knowledge, to help you keep things under control.
If you are primarily a pitta dosha prone to inflammation, heated emotions, over-activity, and over-the-top perfectionist to your detriment, with a voracious insatiable appetite and tendency to over-eat sweets etc, do the following: keep your channels open and cool, by doing ideally daily but if not then bi-weekly self-massage or “abhyanga” with SVA Pitta Massage oil with Magnesium.
Use Shroto Shudhi Tea and Shroto Shudhi Masala at night with dinner only.
Use Pitta Masala and Pitta Tea during the daytime.
Add Wild Alma tablets to cool off all your pitta sub-doshas and boost your immunity – 1 tablet after breakfast and 1 tablet after lunch.
Add Soma Cal capsule once a day after lunch.
 Add 2 drops of Herbal Memory Fennel drops; 2 drops of Yasad or Zinc drops; 2 drops of Coriander; 1 drop of clove.
If you are primarily a vata dosha prone to dry skin, a creative yet out-of-focus mind, a capricious appetite with an unruly daily schedule and helter-skelter life-style and sleep: 
do daily body massage with Vata oil with Magnesium and Vit D. If you don’t have time to do full body, then do at least daily your limbs – arms and legs. This will make a world of a difference!
Add Shroto Shudhi Masala and Shroto Shudhi tea to your diet for lunch and dinner
Occasionally, have a cup of  Bliss and Bliss tea to keep things warm and running.
Add Wild Amla tablets twice a day – after lunch and dinner
Add the following Herbal Memory drops: 2 drops Yasad

Yasad(Zinc)Bhasma Nectar
Yasad(Zinc)Bhasma Nectar

or Zinc, 2 drops Ashwagandha, 2 drops Calm Mind.

If you are primarily a kapha dosha with the tendency to be slow to get-up and go, slower metabolism, and tendency to be blue and low, and gain weight easily: 

Do daily abhyanga massage with Ashwagandha with Magnesium oil
Cook with Medagni Masala a
t night, but Shroto Shudhi masala during the day,
Sip Shroto Shudhi tea during the day
Add Wild Amla tablets to your diet,
Add the following Herbal Memory drops: 2 drops of Black Pepper, 2 drops of Indian Sarsaparilla, 2 drops of Yasad or Zinc.
Follow a kapha pacifying diet: avoid or minimize grains (rice, wheat, even quinoa, barley), have plenty of vegetables with every meal and some light protein – lentils (masoor, mung, ku
lthi, etc) along with a few cubes of paneer – preferably during daytime, not for dinner.
Notorious Green Protein
Nourishing Green Protein
Nurture yourself – in the summertime, we allow ourselves more “soma” food – heavier, sweeter, colder – because the environment and the season support our digestion and elimination. Delicious sweet fruits high in sugar content, cold treats, desserts, salads, etc. Now is the time to switch over to a lighter balancing diet, until the temperatures really drop fully trapping in the agni in our bodies and increasing our hunger, at which point we can start to have heavier meals again as the winter season gets closer. During “ritu sandhi” it is particularly important to eat to balance your body’s tendency towards imbalance, that is: either a vata, pitta, or kapha balancing diet. Make sure to add Vaidya’s SVA Green Protein Recipe to your diet at this point in time, with extra turmeric sautéed in ghee while preparing it.
3) Mind the Cycles of Time – life is made up of cycles, small and large, hourly, daily,weekly, monthly, yearly. When we align our activities with the cycles of nature, we get the most out of our energy and productivity, plus we get full Nature’s support at every step of the way, no matter what comes our way! A balance between rest and activity is the mantra of SVA! The best way to bring your body and mind back to a balanced routine is to gently coax it through mindful exercises such as yoga and meditation. These are sister sciences of Ayurveda that help us not only stay on track, but get more out of life – more balance, more bliss, more life!
 We wish you more of all that your heart desires – welcome Autumn!