Ritucharya in Hemanta, Shishira, Vasanta and Greeshma
Dr. Mangalagowri V Rao
Associate Professor, Department of Swasthavritta and Yoga
Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi
HEMANTHA RITU (WINTER)
- Cold wind in a northeast direction
- Dust and smoke are present all round
- Sun covered with mist
- Lakes tanks etc are covered with ice
- Birds like crow, animals like rhino, buffalos, horse and monkey get wild
- Flowering season of Lodhra, Priyangu, Nagakeshara
- Agni becomes strong as the body conserves heat by constriction.
- Heavy food should be consumed to prevent burning away Rasadi Dhatus
- Accumulation of Kapha takes place Winter
- The earth continues to revolve around the Sun.
- On the 22nd of December, the Sun is in the Southern Hemisphere and overhead at Tropic of Capricorn.
- The rays fall vertically on the Tropic of Capricorn. Every place in the Southern Hemisphere receives Sunlight for more than twelve hours. At the same time the North Pole is inclined away from the Sun and North Pole is in total darkness.
- Other places in the Northern Hemisphere experiences long nights and short days. This time of the year is called winter season in the Northern Hemisphere.
- The Northern Hemisphere experiences the winter for three months namely December, January, and February. At the same time the South Pole experiences summer.
Winter in India
- Winter, occurring between January thru March. The year’s coldest months are December and January, when temperatures average around 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) in the northwest; temperatures rise as one proceeds towards the equator, peaking around 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) in mainland India’s southeast.
Diet to be taken
- Intake of flesh of aquatic animals, carnivores, like fish, duck, swan etc
- Intake of sweet, sour and salt taste food helps reducing the vata
- Wine prepared from jaggery (molasses) can be taken
- Wheat/gram flour products, milk products, sugarcane products and corn/edible oils can be taken as a part of food
- Carrots, tomatoes, figs, dates, cane sugar, nuts to be taken.
- Warm water should be taken as it aids digestion and also increases life span.
- Diet to be avoided: Bitter, astringent and pungent food must be avoided
Lifestyle to be followed
- Massage with oil followed by steam bath
- Udvartana with fine powder application of powder of kumkum (kesar).
- Fumigation with Kasturi, Agaru
- Exercise (vyaayaama).
- Clothing-leather, silk and wool.
- Exposure to sunlight and fire to keep yourself warm.
- Always wear Chappals
- Be under the Sun for sometimes – Sunlight is rich in Vitamin D – lest you be affected by the Seasonal Disorder (lack of Sunlight )
- Indulgence in sexual pleasure is advised.
- Shuka Dhanya- Yava, Kodrava, Shyamaka, Gavedhuka, Kangu, cheenaka, Jurna, Madhulika, Vajranna, Mahakaya, Neevara
- Shimbi Dhanya- Mudga, Adhaki, Masura, Chanaka, Makushthaka, Kulattha, Rajamasha, Nishpava
- Shakavarga- Tanduliya, Mulaka, Puthiha, Shigru, Kushmanda, Alabu, Karavellaka, Patola, Vrintaka, Raktavrintaka, Surana
- Phalavarga-Dadima, Bilva
Vasanta Ritu (Spring)
- Wind in southern direction
- Atmosphere pure, forest and garden appear beautiful due to flowering of Palasha, Bakula, Amra, Ambuja, Ashoka etc.
- Nightingale and Bhramara make melodious sound
- The tree full of tender leaves
- Effects on the body
- Kapha accumulated during Hemantha gets liquefied and produces many Kaphaja Vyadhis.
- Agni diminishes resulting in many diseases
Vasanta Ritu Charya
- Diet to be taken: Easily digestible food, Old barley, wheat, honey, meat cooked on direct fire, Mango juice can be taken. Beverages such as Asava (Fermented infusion), Arishta (Fermented dicoction), Mardhvika, Madhava, Honey mixed with water and water prepared with Chandana, Khadira, Musta, Shringavera (Ginger)
- Diet to be avoided: Avoid foods that are hard to digest, sweet, cold, fatty, sour foods which increase Kapha.
- Lifestyle to be adopted: Vigorous physical exercise, dry massage, nasal instillation, Bath, anointment, with Karpoora, Chandana, Agaru, Kumkuma etc. Touch precious beads (Mani), hear birds singing
- Lifestyle to be avoided: Avoid day sleep, direct sun light,
- Thikshna Vamana
- Thikshna Nasya
- Dry, light food
- Rays of sun are intense and scorching
- Wind in the northeast direction
- The earth gets heated and rivers become narrow, directions appear blazing
- Creepers and grass appear dry and trees shed their leaves
Summer or pre-monsoon season:
- Lasting from March to June (April to July in northwestern India). In western and southern regions, the hottest month is April; for northern regions, May is the hottest month. Temperatures average around 32–40 °C (90–104 °F) in most of the interior.
- Intestinal infections like diarrheas, typhoid, etc. are more during hot seasons as the intestinal resistance is less during hot seasons
- People mobility is more and they tend to eat outside as the chances of spread of infections through food and water is more
Effects on the body
- Grishma ritu is the season of dehydration, exhaustion, lack of energy and lethargy. During summer, there occurs decrease of kapha due to the heat of the sun and dryness in the air. Hence, the kapha aggravated during Vasanta gets pacified in Grishma. At the same time, there is accumulation of Vata dosha, due to the dryness of the atmosphere.
- The Agni (digestive activity) weakens further and gets vitiated by Vata. Lack of sunshine as well as a cloudy atmosphere are uncongenial to health. Hence all methods to mitigate doshas and measures to enhance digestive activity should be adopted.
Varsha Ritu (Rainy Season)
- Rivers filled with water
- Trees uprooted due to the force of the current
- Lakes look beautiful with blossoms of lotus,
- Earth covered with green grass, and beautiful grains
- The rain comes with soft sound, thunderbolts
- The sky cloudy
Monsoon or rainy season:
- Lasting from June to September. The season is dominated by the humid southwest summer monsoon, which slowly sweeps across the country beginning in late May or early June.
Effects on the body
- Due to cloudy weather and rains Klinnata gets enhanced
- Agni gets diminished leading to improper digestion produces Vidaha
- Vata gets aggravated
- Pitta gets accumulated
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