The Secret to Beauty and Longevity in Autumn
Autumn signals change and transformation. The transition between summer and winter brings dryness and turbulence that is evident in the fluttering and falling of the leaves. According to Ayurveda, autumn is a Vata season with its dry, cool and transformative effects on our bodies, minds, and spirit. While some concerns like dry skin can be easily remedied with extra hydration, protective skincare and increased fluid intake, other more internal concerns such as edema, puffy eyes, and congested skin requires a little more attention. Quick fixes for these issues include stimulating the circulatory system with gentle exfoliation and a diet consisting of warming, stimulating foods like ginger and radish, but to attain long-term relief, we must look to our kidneys.
Kidneys are integral to our everyday life – and our skin health – as they are responsible for filtering our body’s toxins and disposing of wastes. They also help to control the pH, electrolyte, and blood pressure levels in our bodies. Mentally, weakened kidneys can increase the feeling of fear and poor concentration. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the kidneys also influence our rate of aging and weak kidneys are evident in menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, memory loss, constipation, and low energy. These symptoms can be alleviated by taking Ashwaganda, a popular Ayurvedic herb that can restore your body’s energy and strengthen kidneys.
Whether it’s the stress from our lives or the season change, our kidneys are more prone to weakening during this Vata-abundant time. This is communicated on our skin by the following symptoms: dark circles; puffy eyes; dehydrated skin; fine lines; pigmentation; darker and dull skin tone; poor circulation, congested skin, acne and edema.
Because our kidneys have such a profound effect on our skin, we must restore optimal kidney function to truly treat our deeper skin care concerns. The following tips are important year round but especially during this time of change and turbulence.
The first step to a healthy kidney is getting adequate sleep and relaxation. Our kidneys need rest in order to function properly, so this is integral to maintaining kidney health. We should also pay attention to our blood sugar as our kidneys function best when blood sugar levels are consistent. Avoid added sugar by foregoing fast food and processed food; instead, flavour your food with spices that can maintain healthy blood sugar levels such as cinnamon and ginger. Potassium-rich coconut water and avocados are also great choices for this season as they can help maintain healthy blood pressure, which is the key to optimal kidney health.
To prevent bladder infections and kidney stones, drink plenty of cranberry juice. If needed, Chanca Piedra is an Ayurvedic herbal remedy to break up kidney stones and improve kidney function.