Ritucharya

Classification of season

Ayurveda divides the year into two phases, Northern solstice and Southern solstice. Each solstice has 3 seasons. 

A year consists of six seasons, namely: Shishira (winter), Vasanta (spring), and Grishma (summer) in Northern solstice, and Varsha (monsoon), Sharada (autumn), and Hemanta (late autumn) in Southern solstice. 

Note - as Ayurveda has its origin in India, the above seasonal changes are observed predominantly in the Indian subcontinent.

Northern solstice indicates the ascent of the sun or northward movement of the sun. In this period, the sun and the wind are powerful. The sun takes away the strength of the people and the cooling quality of the earth. It brings increase in the Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent), and Katu (pungent) Rasa (taste), respectively, which brings about dryness in the body and reduces the Bala (strength). It is also called Adana Kala.

Northern solstice has three Ritus that is Shishir (winter) Vasanta (spring) and Grishma (summer). The period can be compared to mid-January to mid-July, when warmness and dryness in weather increases. It has an overall debilitating effect on the environment, to which human beings are also a part.

Summer Solstice indicates the descent of the sun or movement of the sun in the southern direction. In this period, the wind is not very dry; the moon is more powerful than the sun. The earth becomes cool due to the clouds, rain, and cold winds. Unctuousness sets in the atmosphere and Amla (sour), Lavana (salty), and Madhura (sweet) Rasa (taste) are predominant, so the strength of person enhances during this period. It is also called Visarga Kala.

Southern solstice is composed of Varsha (monsoon) to Sharad (autumn) and to Hemanta (late autumn). This period can be compared to mid-July to mid-January, when cool sets, and due to which anabolic activity dominates over the catabolic activity in the environment.

As we have six different seasons, Ayurveda describes six different Ritucharyas. 

Northern Solstice

A.Shishir Ritucharya

B.Vasanta Ritucharya

C.Grishma Ritucharya

Southern Solstice

D.Varsha Ritucharya

E.Sharad Ritucharya

F.Hemanta Ritucharya

Shishir Ritucharya (Winter)

Time 

Mid-January to Mid-March 

Environment 

Cold wind, intense sunlight

Effects on our Body

Digestive fire increases

Dosha Status

Kapha Dosha accumulation

Diet Recommendations

As digestive fire is strong during this season, include heavy foods in to your diet like fats, dairy products like milk, cheese, butter etc. Eat food which is sour, salty, unctuous and warm. Non-Vegetarians can include heavy meat/ flesh during this season.  Drink hot water. Ginger tea is a good beverage of the season

Lifestyle Recommendations

Keeping Warm is recommended by the use of sauna, steam baths, hot showers etc. Rigorous exercises and oil massages are indicated in this season.

Avoid/ Reduce

Avoid eating cold food.  Avoid sleeping during the day time. 


Vasanta Ritucharya(Spring)

Time 

Mid-March to mid-May

Environment 

Hot Weather, intense sunlight, season of flowering and origin of new leaves

Effects on our Body

Reduced digestive capacity

Dosha Status

Kapha dosha which is accumulated in Shishir starts melting

Diet Recommendations

Prefer easily digestible food, cereals (old barley, wheat, rice) pulses (Lentils, moong), prefer foods with bitter, pungent & astringent taste, meats which are easily digestible. Prefer use of honey. 

Lifestyle Recommendations

Panchakarma procedures like Vaman & Nasyam to clear accumulated Kapha. Udvartanam (powder massage with cooling herbs like Sandalwood and Saffron) should be preferred

Avoid/ Reduce

Avoid foods which are hard to digest. Cold foods, heavy foods, viscous foods, which are sweet, sour should be avoided. New grains, curd, cold drinks, and so on, are also to be prohibited.

 

Grishma Ritucharya (summer)

Time 

Mid May to Mid-July

Environment 

High intense sunlight, loss of moisture

Effects on our Body

Reduced bodily strength because of intense heat in environment and reduced moisture, Digestive capacity in mild state

Dosha Status

Vata Dosha starts to accumulate

Diet Recommendations

Prefer foods which are light to digest, sweet, unctuous, cold and preferably liquids. Consume plenty amount of water. Apart from water other liquids like butter milk, fruit juice, mango juice should be included in daily diet

Lifestyle Recommendations

Prefer staying in cool places, apply herbal pastes on body made from cooling and aromatic herbs like sandalwood, wear light colour cotton dresses. 

Avoid/ Reduce

Avoid eating pungent, sour and warm foods. Avoid indulging in heavy exercise or hard work. Too much sexual indulgence and alcohol to be prohibited. 

 

Varsha Ritucharya(Rainy Season)

Time 

Mid July to Mid-September

Environment 

Rainy, cloudy, low sun-light

Effects on our Body

Low digestive fire, Reduced body strength

Dosha Status

Vata Dosha gets aggravated, Pitta starts to increase

Diet Recommendations

Prefer foods with Sour, Salty taste unctuous (Moist and oily) properties. Include old barley, rice and wheat and meat soups in diet. 

Lifestyle Recommendations

Basti is the panchakarma which is advised during this season. Hot water showers and use of body oil after bath is recommended during this season. 

Avoid/ Reduce

The foods, which are heavy and hard to digest should be avoided. Avoid drinking excessive water and wine during this season. 

  

Sharad Ritucharya (Autumn)

Time 

Mid-September to Mid-November

Environment 

Rise in environmental temperature, increasing sunlight, clear sky with white clouds

Effects on our Body

Digestive capacity starts improving

Dosha Status

Pitta Dosha starts aggravating, aggravated Vata dosha starts to balance 

Diet Recommendations

Prefer foods which are sweet and bitter in taste, easy to digest and cold in nature like wheat, green gram, sugar candy, honey. 

Lifestyle Recommendations

Habit of eating food, only when there is a feeling of hunger is recommended. Panchakarma procedures like Virechan, Raktamokshan, should be done during this season. It is said that moon rays in the first three hours of night is conducive for health.

Avoid/ Reduce

Hot, bitter, sweet, and astringent foods are to be avoided. The food items, such as fat, oils, meat of aquatic animals, curds are also to be not included in the diet during this season.

 

Hemanta Ritucharya(Late Autumn- Early winter)

Time 

Mid November to Mid-January

Environment 

Blow cold winds, chillness in the environment,  

Effects on our Body

Digestive fire gets activated, body strength to the best levels

Dosha Status

Aggravated Pitta dosha comes back to normal level

Diet Recommendations

Prefer use unctuous, sweet, sour, and salty foods. Among cereals and pulses, new rice, flour preparations, green gram is recommended. Various meats, fats, milk and milk products, sugarcane products, fermented food products can be included in the diet. 

Lifestyle Recommendations

Indulge in various exercises, wear thick clothes. Sexual indulgence as per willingness during this season. 

Avoid/ Reduce

Avoid using Vata aggravating food products which are light, cold and dry in nature. Cold drinks should be also avoided in this season. 


  • Jul 27, 2020
  • Kategorie: News
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