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Winter Guidelines

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Previously, mention was made of Autumn wherein the heat of summer decreases and cold increases. This increase in cold continues until the next season enters which is winter.

Winter

During winter, cold intensifies until it reaches its peak. The cold thereafter remains constant for some time after which it begins to warm.

If we look around us and analyze the effects of winter, we notice two things happening:

1. Plants tend to become dry until they even begin to look dead. However, the plants bear new blossoms in spring, which means that the plants nourish the outer sections less and retain moisture within to continue living.

A similar effect is noticed on our bodies, where the heat is now more concentrated on the inner organs, and this effects the body in different ways.

Some of them are:

· Digestion is enhanced. This is because once the heat is concentrated inward, it increases the working of the digestive system. That is why we tend to get more hungry in winter than in summer.

· This cold also forces us to move a lot more than in summer. This is done to increase heat within the body and also helps to increase circulation to the outer portions of the body.

· Another effect of this movement, which causes the constant contraction and expansion of the muscles, is that the body is strengthened and the muscles and flesh become firmer.

These beneficial and natural effects are spoiled when we constantly laze in front of the heater or fireplace, or completely change our surroundings by making it warmer.

2. During winter, the humors are retained within the body as the body does not want to lose any avenue of generating heat. Hence, these humors increase and stagnate, due to which they tend to cause a problem later on in spring, causing different allergies and reactions as the body tries to rid itself of these excesses.

Winter also affects the phlegm humor more than others. Therefore, more phlegm-related sicknesses are noticed such as colds, coughs, catarrh, migraine, etc.

A few Guidelines for this Season are:

· Try to keep the surrounding temperature constant. This means that one should not keep one room or the entire house so hot that a jersey or warm clothing is not necessary. Otherwise, when one has to leave that room or the house for a short while, one will not be adequately dressed. Thus, this warm body comes into contact with the cold which affects it greatly and harms the body.

· Always dress warmly and make sure that the ears are covered, especially when going outdoors or when in a very cold room e.g. a warehouse, etc.

· ‘Heavy’ foods can now be consumed as the digestive system is also in a better condition. Beef and oily foods can also be taken. Cold and phlegm inducing foods should be avoided, such as lettuce, cucumbers, rice, lemon, poppy seeds, celery, excess milk, yoghurt and sour fruit juices etc. Heat inducing foods should be increased, such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, meat, egg yolk, olives, dates, honey and green peppers etc. Water must be taken at room temperature and not chilled. The same applies to all other liquids as well.

· Use sweet smelling but ‘heating’ perfumes like oud, amber, etc.

· Exercise can continue, but in moderation, as it will aid circulation and nourishment. However, ‘warm-up’ exercises are more important now than in summer, as the cold will cause the muscles to be even more tense than normal.

Adapted and summarized from “Your Health” by Moulana Hakeem Jalil Muhammad Pandor (An Nasihah vol. 91)