3 Common Winter Ailments And How To Treat Them With Ayurveda

As winter sets in, many of us would do well to remember our health. This time of year can be rough on our bodies — particularly if we live in northern climates with cold temperatures, snow, ice, little sunlight and dry air. Though there are plenty of modern medical technologies to help boost our health and spirits in the winter (hello light therapy and vitamin D supplements), some of us may prefer turning to a more ancient system of treating such maladies: ayurveda.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical philosophy that can often be applied to modern ailments. It’s timeless, really. While any severe medical conditions certainly warrant the help of a medical professional, ayurveda is a great way to simply give your body and mind a little bit of a boost. Here are a few of the most common winter maladies, and how ayurveda recommends you treat them.

Feeling Cold All The Time

The prospect of feeling cold all winter long is all too real, especially for women. Researchers have found that women’s hands and feet are significantly colder than men’s.

“While men registered an average hand temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the mean hand temperature for women was just 87.2 degrees Fahrenheit,” states a study published in the medical journal the Lancet.

So, how does ayurveda suggest you warm up? For one thing, be sure to eat foods that support your agni, or inner fire. According to ayurveda, the inner fire is responsible for digestion, as well as general heat. The key to supporting agni is to eat a clean diet, get plenty of exercise and meditate regularly. Sounds simple, right?

You can also boost your inner heat with a variety of herbs and spices. Garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginkgo are perfect for this, according to the blog, Ayurveda for Life. Add them to your meals and into hot drinks to spice things up.

Positioning is another important key to heating up your body. By practicing inversions, you can use gravity to increase circulation to parts of your body that may not get it during other times of the day. If you’re not used to going upside down, resting your feet up against the wall will do the trick.

Finally, hydrotherapy such as warm baths, steaming sessions and saunas can also be a big help.

“The therapy, targeted towards relaxation, causes vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels) of peripheral blood vessels (arteries and veins in the feet, legs, lower abdomen, arms, neck or head) which in turn, lead to faster and smoother movements of blood,” says Ayurveda for Life. “These are signs of proper blood circulation.”

The Winter Blues

Seasonal depression is no joke—if you feel you may be suffering from depression, you should get help from a medical professional. However, if you simply have a case of the winter blues, ayurveda can help.

Ayurhelp recommends exposing yourself to natural light as often as possible. Obviously, this can help you get more vitamin D, which is known to be a common treatment for seasonal depression.

Self-massage may also help. Indulge in a relaxing massage session with a high-quality body oil in a scent that uplifts you. You can also spring for a professional massage if you’re so inclined.

Dry Skin

To keep your skin healthy and moisturized, ayurveda recommends eating beauty-promoting foods that reduce inflammation, are intensely hydrating and contain plenty of healthy fats.

Inflammation can be calmed through alkaline foods such as leafy greens, savory soups and gentle carbs such as gourds and sweet potatoes. You should try to reduce your intake of sugar, alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.

As for intensely hydrating foods, you’re going to want to turn, again, to greens and other vegetables. Fruits are great too, as they contain plenty of moisture. Some of the most hydrating foods you can eat include cucumber, lettuce, asparagus and daikon radish.

And finally, healthy fats are absolutely vital for plumping your skin and keeping it glowing and moisturized during the winter. Fats make up our cells and balance our hormones, after all, so it’s no surprise that they’re important at this time of year. Ayurveda specifically calls for the consumption of fats through nuts and seeds, so be sure to snack on these plant-based fat sources whenever possible.


Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago


Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago


Brie B.
BumbleBrie B2 years ago

Thanks for this! I saved it to Pinterest

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy B.
Peggy B2 years ago


Muff-Anne York-Haley


Dennis Hall
Dennis H2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

heather g.
heather g2 years ago

In B.C. all we have is rain and grey skies and despite this, we venture outdoors...

Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

thank you for sharing