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In March this year, I participated in an Ayurvedic workshop to coincide with the Spring Equinox. Ayurveda is a very ancient Indian health system, also known as the ‘science of longevity’, since it guides the individual on how to live a long life using a variety of naturopathic techniques: ayur means ‘life or longevity’; veda means ‘wisdom science’. All the suggested treatments, dietary advice and recipes listed below are therefore aimed at helping us to live a longer, healthier and happier life!

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the early spring is a period of transition: the cold and heaviness of the winter months is giving way to the lightness and warmth of spring, so we need to adapt our lifestyle accordingly. Spring is a time to eat warm foods; employ spices to bring heat back into our body and do things to invigorate our system generally such as exercising regularly, practicing dry skin brushing and massaging our whole body with stimulating essential oils oils. I formulated our range of blended body oils particularly with this in mind: ‘Purity’ to detox and cleanse; ‘Vitality’ to invigorate and strengthen; Aches & Pains’ to stimulate and bring warmth to the joints.

Spring is the antidote to winter, so it gives us foods that naturally cleanse the body: nature is understood to be inherently intelligent, so it provides lots of fresh foods and herbs to reset our fat-burning capacity to rebalance the body. Ayurveda advises us to eat according to the season ie locally, but also to practice flexibility so we eat according to the weather, knowing what to apply in any moment. The specific type of diet we adopt and the physical treatments that we choose are also related to our constitutional type: for example, if we feel heavy or light, cold or hot and if our skin is oily or dry. The principle is to find a healthy balance, so in this case we need to apply the opposite. For example, if we are a cold type and we eat ice cream then we increase the cold in our body: however, if we eat a hot broth then we immediately warm up. This may provide an instant effect but long term constitutional imbalance requires persistence to really see any fundamental change: it is common sense!

Therefore, if we have dry skin, and winter always tends to increase dryness, then it is good to apply plenty of super moisturising oils to our face and body, such as our delicious organic argan oil in the spring. If you have especially dry or rough areas on your elbows or heels, then applying a teaspoon of avocado oil on a daily basis is an excellent remedy, with one drop of myth added especially if the skin is cracked. Don’t forget to also nourish dry hair with rich conditioning oils ... jojoba makes an excellent treatment, especially when left on overnight. Adding a few drops of rosemary essence to the jojoba oil will help to make the hair more luscious and shiny ... plus it will smell amazing! Conversely is we have oily skin, then we need to rebalance our complexion by using fresh and astringent flower waters such as witch hazel, geranium, tea tree or rosemary water. Applying light nutrient-rich oils on the skin, such as peach kernel or apricot kernel oil will also gradually help to bring the complexion back to balance: avoid using rosehip seed oil as it is contraindicated for greasy skin.

About 70% of our natural immunity is based on our digestive heat and ability to digest food efficiently, so if we don’t have enough digestive fire then our immunity is impaired and we also accumulate toxins in the body. Spices are one of the ways we can improve and re-kindle our digestive heat and generally improve the warmth in our system. In spring, it is therefore good to keep a fresh ginger root on the table and to grate a little into all our meals. This helps to increase the beneficial microbes in our stomach.

Tip: Drinking a hot ginger and lemon tea first thing in the morning is also very good especially in spring time, as well as at night when our digestive fire is low. Using heating essential oils, such as ginger, cardomom or black pepper in a light carrier oil, such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil and rubbing the belly in a clockwise direction each day will also help to warm and stimulate a sluggish digestion.

Recipe to Warm & Stimulate the Digestion

25ml sweet almond or grapeseed oil

7 drops fennel oil

3 drops cardamom oil

3 drops ginger oil

3 drops black pepper oil

Add all the oils to a small bottle and shake thoroughly to blend. Do a small patch test on your wrist before applying the blend to make sure that none of the essential oils irritate your skin. Massage your belly in clockwise circles for roughly 20 rotations.

Spring is also a natural time to detox and there are many essential oils which can help in this respect. The citrus-scented oils such as grapefruit, petitgrain, bergamot and my favourite, fragonia oil, are all excellent for this. They can be added to the bath, used in body oils or even added to a brush or loofa for dry skin brushing. Always take care to follow any safety instructions carefully when using citrus essential oils as many of them are photo toxic.

Note: We now have fragonia essential oil back in stock which is a fantastic oil to use in the spring due to its unique range of cleansing / immune boosting properties, combined with its lovely citrusy, slightly spicy aroma.