As per Ayurveda, to maintain swasthya Awastha ( Healthy state) of both sharir and Manas, we should have follow regimens of ahara & vihar according to different ritus which is known as Ritucharya. It is widely explained in different classics of Ayurveda.
Acharya Charaka has described Ritucharya in Charak Sutrasthan Chapter 6 whereas Sushruta described it in SushrutUttartantra Chapter 64, While Acharya Vagbhata described in Ashtang HridayaSutrasthan Chapter 3
- In Swastha Chatushka of Charaka Samhita, Acharya clearly mentions about the Pathya Aharas and Viharas that everyone should follow for attaining healthy state of both Shareera and Manas. And also explains about its importance in preventing the diseases that can occur in future. These should be followed by considering the Ritus.The main aims of Ayurveda are.
I) Preventive aspect – स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्यरक्षणम To preserve the health of healthy person.II)Curative aspect – आतुरस्य विकारप्रश्मनञ्च।To cure the disease.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
कालो हि नाम (भगवान्) स्वयम्भुरनादिमध्यनिधनः |
अत्र रसव्यापत्सम्पत्ती जीवितमरणे च मनुष्याणामायत्ते |
स सूक्ष्मामपि कलां न लीयत इति कालः, सङ्कलयति कालयति वा भूतानीति कालः ||(Su.Su.6/3)
Kala is the name of the divinity, which is self-born has no beginning middle, end. Abnormalities and excellences of tastes and life and death of human being are dependent on it. It is called “Kala” since it does not spare even minute things since it makes all things into one group and since it brings about death of all living being.
तस्य संवत्सरात्मनो भगवानादित्यो गतिविशेषेणाक्षिनिमेषकाष्ठाकलामुहूर्ताहोरात्रपक्षमासर्त्वयनसंवत्सरयुगप्रविभागं करोति ||४||(Su.Su.6/4)
The god Aditya by his special movement, brings about divisions in the ever moving time commencing from akshinimesha, these are kastha, kala, muhurta, ahoratra, paksha,masa, samvatsara.
तत्र लघ्वक्षरोच्चारणमात्रोऽक्षिनिमेषः, पञ्चदशाऽक्षिनिमेषाः काष्ठा, त्रिंशत्काष्ठाः कला, विंशतिकलो मुहूर्तः कलादशभागश्च, त्रिंशन्मुहूर्तमहोरात्रं, पञ्चदशाहोरात्राणि पक्षः, स च द्विविधः- शुक्लः कृष्णश्च, तौ मासः ||५||(Su.su.6/5)
NATURE OF THE AYANAS
विसर्गे पुनर्वायवो नातिरूक्षाः प्रवान्ति, इतरे पुनरादाने; सोमश्चाव्याहतबलःशिराभिर्भाभिरापूरयञ्जगदाप्याययति शश्वत्, अतो विसर्गः सौम्यः|आदानं पुनराग्नेयं; तावेतावर्कवायू सोमश्च कालस्वभावमार्गपरिगृहीताः कालर्तुरसदोषदेहबलनिर्वृत्तिप्रत्ययभूताः समुपदिश्यन्ते|(Ch. Su. 6/5)
During the period of liberation, the prevailing winds are not marked by excessive dryness; it is otherwise with the period of absorption. During the former the moon with unabated vigour aggrandizes the earth by surcharging it with her cool radiations and nourishes it constantly; therefore the period of liberation is characterized by the predominance of the water element. On the other hand, the period of absorption is characterized by the predominance of the fire element.
In this manner, the sun, the wind and the moon, governed by time as well as their own special natures and orbits, are spoken of as the causative factors of the manifestations of the periods, seasons, tastes, humors and bodily strength
इह खलु संवत्सरं षडङ्गमृतुविभागेन विद्यात्|
तत्रादित्यस्योदगयनमादानं च त्रीनृतूञ्छिशिरादीन् ग्रीष्मान्तान् व्यवस्येत्, वर्षादीन् पुनर्हेमन्तान्तान् दक्षिणायनं विसर्गं च||४|(Ch.Su.6/4)
Now the year, it should be known, consists of six parts when divided according to the seasons, from among these, the three seasons from the dewy season to the summer represent the sun’s northern course and his period of absorption; while the three seasons from the rains to the winter represent the sun’s southern course and his period of liberation
त एते शीतोष्णवर्षलक्षणाश्चन्द्रादित्ययोः  कालविभागकरत्वादयने द्वे भवतो दक्षिणमुत्तरं च |
तयोर्दक्षिणं वर्षाशरद्धेमन्ताः; तेषु भगवानाप्यायते सोमः, अम्ललवणमधुराश्च रसा बलवन्तो भवन्ति, उत्तरोत्तरं च सर्वप्राणिनां बलमभिवर्धते |
उत्तरं च शिशिरवसन्तग्रीष्माः, तेषु भगवानाप्यायतेऽर्कः, तिक्तकषायकटुकाश्च रसा बलवन्तो भवन्ति, उत्तरोत्तरं च सर्वप्राणिनां बलमुपहीयते ||७||(Su.Su.6/7)
As per Sarangadhar samhita, Ritus are
Seasons and Lunar months (Hindu calendar):
तत्र माघादयो द्वादश मासाः, द्विमासिकमृतुं कृत्वा षडृतवो भवन्ति; ते शिशिरवसन्तग्रीष्मवर्षाशरद्धेमन्ताः |
तेषां तपस्तपस्यौ शिशिरः, मधुमाधवौ वसन्तः, शुचिशुक्रौ ग्रीष्मः, नभोनभस्यौ वर्षाः, इषोर्जौ शरत्, सहःसहस्यौ हेमन्त इति ||६||(Su.Su.6/6)
These seasons can be co – related to the Roman calendar as follows:-
|Shishira||Jan. Feb. – Feb. Mar|
|Vasanta||Mar. Apr. – Apr. May|
|Grishma||May Jun. – Jun. July|
|Varsha||July Aug. – Aug. Sept|
|Sharada||Sept. Oct. – Oct. Nov|
|Hemanta||Nov. Dec. – Dec. Jan|
State of dosha as per different seasons
|State of Doshas||VATA||PITTA||KAPHA|
AADAN KALA/UTTARAYANA KALA
The movement of sun in uttardisha in uttarayana. The ayana reduces the saumya or mild qualities from earth and takes away the strength of human beings.
Cause of Decrease the strength during Adana kala
तत्र रविर्भाभिराददानो जगतः स्नेहं वायवस्तीव्ररूक्षाश्चोपशोषयन्तः शिशिरवसन्तग्रीष्मेषु यथाक्रमं रौक्ष्यमुत्पादयन्तो रूक्षान् रसांस्तिक्तकषायकटुकांश्चाभिवर्धयन्तो नृणां दौर्बल्यमावहन्ति||६||(Ch. Su. 6/6)
During the first period, the sun with his hot rays absorbs the moisture from the earth, and the piercing dry winds giving rise to progressive dryness and promoting the formation of the three tastes – bitter, astringent and pungent respectively – lead to gradual waning of strength in men.
वर्षाशरद्धेमन्तेषु तु दक्षिणाभिमुखेऽर्के कालमार्गमेघवातवर्षाभिहतप्रतापे, शशिनि चाव्याहतबले, माहेन्द्रसलिलप्रशान्तसन्तापे जगति, अरूक्षा रसाः प्रवर्धन्तेऽम्ललवणमधुरा यथाक्रमं तत्र बलमुपचीयते नृणामिति||७|(Ch. Su. 6/7)
From the season of the rains to the autumn and the winter, however, the sun who has his face to the south, being shorn of his glory by the cumulative influence of period, orbit, clouds, winds and rains, the moon, remaining undiminished in power, and the summer heat having been quenched by the rains, it is the non – dry group of tastes – sour, salt and sweet- that increases in the given order. During this period to the strength of the men waxes.
- Hemanta Ritu is considered as Mid- November to Mid- January.
Features of ritu
वायुर्वात्युत्तरः शीतो रजोधूमाकुला दिशः |
छन्नस्तुषारैः सविता हिमानद्धा जलाशयाः ||२२||
दर्पिता ध्वाङ्क्षखङ्गाह्वमहिषोरभ्रकुञ्जराः |
रोध्रप्रियङ्गुपुन्नागाः पुष्पिता हिमसाह्वये ||२३||(Su.Sa.Su.6/22)
- The shita vayu moves in the direction of uttardisha with Rajo and dhuma present all around in Hemanta ritu.
- The sun is covered with mist
- Jalasaya are covered with Hima
- Birds and animals
- Crow, rhino serous, buffalos, horse, and monkey
- Lodhra, priyangu, Nagakesara
General conditions of the body
Effect on Dosha- Kapha sanchaya Pitta Prashamana.
Deha Bala- Pravara (Maximum).
Agni Bala- Pravara (Maximum).
During hemantartu due to the Shitaanilasparsha the heat of the body is conserved inside by constriction. This leads to the increase of Jațharāgni. So if proper guru ahara is not consumed, it will burn away the rasadidhatus, as the ahara in the form of fuel is not available.
Aharas (Diet Regimens)
In Hemanta Ritu, the duration of night is long when compared to other Ritus. Due to this, feeling of hunger starts from the early morning.
- Snigdha(unctuous), Amla(sour) and Lavana(salty) Aahara.
- Mamsa Rasa(meat soup) prepared by adding Ghrita.
- Sura(wine) prepared with Molasses and rice flour.
- Pastries prepared with Godhuma (Wheat).
- Masha(black gram)
- Ikshu Rasa (Sugarcane juice).
- Ksheera and Ksheera Dravyas (Milk and Milk products).
- Navamannam (Newly harvested grains).
- TilaTailam (Gingili oil).
- Vasa (Bone Marrow).
Viharas (Lifestyle Regimens)
- Vyayama (Exercise)
- Snana (bath) with Kashaya(astringent) Dravya prepared Jala.
- Lepana (application) of kukuma Kalka (paste of Saffron).
- AgaruDhupana (Fumigation with Agar)
- For Shaucha (Toiletry purposes) Sukhodaka (Hot water) should be used.
- Covering the body with Ushna and LaghuPraavarana (Blankets).
- Yukyarkakiranaan (Exposing to the sun judiciously).
- Padatranam (Wearing Shoes).
- Vyavaya (indulging in Sexual pleasure).
- Residing in underground cellar,
- Taking rest on bed covered with Ajina (Hide of Antelope), Kousheya (Cloth prepared with silk).
- Niyuddha (Wrestling)
Other viharas (including treatment procedures)
- Abhyanga(oil massage)
- MurdhaTaila application (Oil application on head).
- Vimardana (Body massage using palms) with Taila which are Vatahara.
- JentakaSweda(types of sweating)
- VataPrakopaAharas like Laghu (light),Sheeta(cold) and Ruksha Guna(dry) predominant.
- Consuming SheetaJala (Cold Drinks).
- Exposing itself to direct and strong wind.
- Divaswapna (Day sleep).
- Shishira ritu is considered as Mid-January to Mid-March approximately.
Features of ritu
शिशिरे शीतमधिकं वातवृष्ट्याकुला दिशः |
शेषं हेमन्तवत् सर्वं विज्ञेयं लक्षणं बुधैः ||२४||(Su.Su.Su.6/24)
- Sisira ritu is more shita(cold)
- Rain presents along with shita vayu all round
The Hemanta and Shishira Ritu in its nature are almost similar. The two differences between these Ritus are.
1. Rukshata(dryness) as it is the beginning of Adana Kaala.
2. SheetaAdhika (more cold) due to MeghaMaruthaVarsha (Cloud, Wind and Rain).
General conditions of the body
Effect on Dosha- Kapha Chaya.
DehaBala- Pravara (Maximum).
Agni Bala- Pravara (Maximum)
One should avoid annapana which are
Vata aggravating vihara should avoid.
- Vasanta ritu is considered as Mid-march to Mid-May approximately.
Features of vasanta ritu
दम्पत्योर्मानभिदुरो वसन्ते दक्षिणोऽनिलः ||२६||
दिशो वसन्ते विमलाः काननैरुपशोभिताः |
कोकिलाषट्पदगणैरुपगीता मनोहराः |
दक्षिणानिलसंवीताः सुमुखाः पल्लवोज्ज्वलाः ||२८||(Su.Su.Su.6/26-28)
- The vayu moves in the Dakshinadisha(south direction).
- All atmosphere is vimala(clear)
- forest and gardens appear beautiful due to flowering of palasha,kamala,bakula,amra and asoka.
- Everywhere melodious sound of nightingale and bhamara(bees) are heard .
- The trees are full of tender leaves.
Effect on the body
- The kaphadosha accumulated in Hemantaritu gets liquified by the effect of hot rays of sun.
- The kayagni gets diminished and produces different diseases.
Effect on Dosha: Kapha prakopa
Aharas (Diet Regimens)
One should consume food made of
- Puranayava(old barley)
- Jangalamamsa(meat soup) with madhu(honey)
- Mango juice
- Khadira(Accasia catesu)
Viharas (Lifestyle Regimens)
Pacify the aggravated kapha by
- Udavartana(dry massage) by using Powder of Karpura( Cinnamomumcamphora), candana(Santalum album), agaru(Aqualleriaagollacha) ,kumkuma(Crocus sativus)
- Snana with sukhausnaambu(bath with luke warm water)
- One should touch the Mani(beads)
- One should be pleaesd by the loved one’s gazes of the lotus eyes
- One should spend afternoon by hearing at stories, songs, playing chess
- Should sit in the dakshina disha(south direction), Place of shitavayu(dry air) and surrounded by jala(water).
- One should hear bird’s singing
- Different types of fragrant trees should be present in the surrounding to take out ghe heat
- Devaswapna(day sleep)
- Atapasevana(exposure to sun light)
Shwasa(dyspnea), Kasa(cough), Pratishyay (Respiratory allergies/ disorders), Agnimandhya, Ajirna etc.
VyoshadiVati, LavangadiVati, SitopaladiChurna, TalishadiChurna, ShirishadiKwath, KantaryadiAwlehaTrikatuchurna, ChitrakadiVati, AjmodadiChurna, HingwashtakChurna, LavanbhaskarChurna etc.
- Grishma ritu is considered as Mid-may to Mid-july approximately.
Features of grishma ritu
ग्रीष्मे तीक्ष्णांशुरादित्यो मारुतो नैरृतोऽसुखः|
भूस्तप्ता सरितस्तन्व्यो दिशः प्रज्वलिता इव ||२९||
भ्रान्तचक्राह्वयुगलाः पयःपानाकुला मृगाः |
ध्वस्तवीरुत्तृणलता विपर्णाङ्कितपादपाः ||३०||(Su.Su.Su.6/29-30)
- The sun rays are intense and scorching
- Maruta(air) moves in uttaradisha(north direction) which is unhealthy
- Environment is prevalent with intense heat and unhealthy wind.
- The river-bodies dried and the plants appear lifeless.
Effect on the body
- Dosha: VataSanchaya and KaphaShamana, due to excessive dryness
- Bala: Avara (Lowest)
Aharas (Diet Regimens)
- Foods which are light to digest— having Madhura (sweet), Snigdha (unctuous), Sheeta (cold), and Drava (liquid) Guna, such as rice, lentil, etc, are to be taken.
- Shitamantha(cold manta) with sarkara(sugar)
- Salianna(Which are white like kunda flowers and indu ) with ghrita and payah
- Mamsa of jangaladeshapasupakshi(flesh of terrestrial animas,birds)
- Rasa which is natighana
- Rasala (Curds churned and mixed with pippalicurna and sarkara)
- Raga ( Syrup which is swadu, amla and lavana rasa pradhan)
- Khandava (Syrup which has all the tastes,preapred with many subsatances)
- Panakapancasara (Syrup prepared with drakshamadhuka,kharjura,kashmarya and parusaka fruits all in equal quantities, cooled and added with powder of patra,twak and ela)
- Shital jala(cold water) should kept in mud pot along with flowers of patala and karpura for drinking.
- Sasankakirana(hollow, finger-like,fried pastry made of corn flour) should be taken at night.
- buffaloes milk(Mahishkshira) mixed with sarkara(sugar) and cooled by Chandra nakshatra should be used for drinking.
Viharas (Lifestyle Regimens)
- The person should take rest in the gardens having tall trees as if touching the sky, which don’t allow the sun light like Säla, täla etc. and the rest houses decorated with climbers like jasmine & grapes.
- It should be having screens which are sprinkled with water frequently, decorated with mango leaves and fruits.
- One should sleep on the bed made of banana leaf, lotus leaf & blue lotus leaf and decorated with fragrant lotus flowers or else in dhärāgrha with fountain sprinkling from hands, breast or mouth of female doll.
- One should take rest in the cold home in afternoon & under smoothening rays of moon at night.
- One should apply sandal wood paste to his body and forehead. Smoothening touch of loved one, cold sandal wood water and wearing precious stones are beneficial.
- One should stay in forest, near water reservoirs, cold places beautified with flowers in Grișmartu.
- At nights, person should sleep on the terrace having good moonlight, Exhaustion (due to heat of the day) of the person, who is of balanced mind.
- Anointing the body with paste of cañdana, wearing garlands, wearing of very light and thin dress, by fanning with fans made of leaves of täla or large leaves of padmini (lily) made wet, syringes sprinkling cool water softly, garlands of flowers fokarpüra, mallikā, and of pearls and beads of haricandana (white sandal paste).
- Children, särika (mynah bird) and śuka (parrot) talking pleasantly; beautiful women wearing bangles of soft lotus stalk, blossoms of lotus in their hair, moving about nearby
- Madya pan(wine) if addicted then large quantity of water should be mixed
- Lavan (salt), Katu(pungent), Amla(sour), Ushna(hot) substances.
- Vyavaya(sexual activities)
- Sun stroke,
- Trishna etc.
- Varsha ritu is considered as Mid-July to Mid-September approximately.
Features of Varsha ritu
तत्र वर्षासु नद्योऽम्भश्छन्नोखाततटद्रुमाः |
वाप्यः प्रोत्फुल्लकुमुदनीलोत्पलविराजिताः ||३३||
भूरव्यक्तस्थलश्वभ्रा बहुशस्योपशोभिता |
नातिगर्जत्स्रवन्मेघनिरुद्धार्कग्रहं नभः ||३४||(Su.Su.Su.6/33-34)
- The rivers are filled with water and by the force of the current, the trees on the banks are uprooted.
- The lakes look beautiful with blossoming of white and blue lotus.
- The earth is covered with grass, so the pits cannot be made out.
- Earth appears beautiful with different types of grains.
- The rain comes with muffled sound without thunderbolts, sun & stars are covered with clouds in the sky.
Characteristics: Digestive fire is further weakened, Water becomes Amlavipaki(Pungent)
Effect on the body
Dosha: pitta sanchayavataprakopa
Due to the effect of Adänakāla, both body and Agni are weak. The dosha gets aggravated due to varsha, aniladi. Especially vātadosha gets aggravated
- One should drink Sanskritaambu and bhojan along with kshoudra(honey).
- One should consume amla(sour), lavana(salt),andsnigdhaahara(unctous) to pacify the aggravated vata in varsaritu.
- On should comsume ahara which protect the Agni like yava(barley), godhuma(wheat), Sali(rice) along with mamsa rasa of janagaladesha,yusa(meat soup).
- One should take alpamatra of Madhya(wine) praparation like madhvika and arista along with madhu.
- Madhu can be taken in less quantities to reduce the klinnnata in the body.
- One should drink antarikshajala(rain water),usnajala(hot water) and jala from reservoir(saravara).
- One should Dadhimastu(supernatent part of curds) with sauvarcalalavana and pancakola.
Viharas (Lifestyle Regimens):
लघुशुद्धाम्बरः स्थानं भजेदक्लेदि वार्षिकम्||४०||(Ca.Su Su. 6/40)
- Pragharsan(rubbing with thick cloth).
- Udavartana(Powder of unctuous drugs)
- Gandha mala dharan(wearing gragnent garland).
- Laghusuddhaambar(light clean cloth)
- Styas in akledasthana(devoid of moisture)
- One should avoid Nadijala(river water).
- Udamantha ( Mantha prepared from having more water)
- Devaswapna(day sleeping)
- Avashyamnadijalam(river water)
- Ativyama(excessive exercise)
- Atapa(exposure to sunlight)
- Vyavaya(sexual activities)
- Apadachari ( Person should not move on foot)
Amlapitta, endemics like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, skin diseases,
Ushnodaka with honey, Bilwadichurna, Gangadharchurna, TrikatuChurna, HaridraKhanda etc.
- Sharad ritu is considered as Mid-september to Mid-november approximately.
Features of Varsharitu
बभ्रुरुष्णः शरद्यर्कः श्वेताभ्रविमलं नभः |
तथा सरांस्यम्बुरुहैर्भान्ति हंसांसघट्टितैः ||३५||
पङ्कशुष्कद्रुमाकीर्णा निम्नोन्नतसमेषु भूः |
- The arka (Sun) shines with tamravarna and usnata.
- The ponds are filled with lotus leaves vibrating by touch of moving swans.
- The earth filled with wet mud and ant hills.
- The plants of Arjuna, Bana,Saptaparni,Bandhuka, Kasa, Asana flower during this ritu.
Effect on the body
Dosha: Pitta Prakopa
तप्तानामाचितं पित्तं प्रायः शरदि कुप्यति||४१||(Ca.Sa Su. 6/41)
When the body, which has become habituated to the cold of rains, is suddenly heated by the rays of the sun in the autumn, the accumulated pitta in the body is generally provoked.The pitta accumulated during varşā ritu gets aggravated during sarata ritu due to the reduction of clouds and increased intensity of sun rays. The wet mud gets dried by this and produce paittika disorders.
Aharsa (Diet Regimens)
- One should consume swadu(sweat),tikta(bitter),shita(cold), laghuannapan(light) in required quantity.
- Mamsa of lava, kapinjala, ena,urabhra,sasa,sali,yava,godhuma should be consumed.
- Hamsodaka should use.
- Food having tikta(bitter), swadu(sweat) and kasya(astringent) taste, light in quality should be consumed after feeling of hunger.
- Mamsa of jangaladehsaanimales.
- One should apply candana, ušira.
- Wear the garlands of pearl & clean cloth.
- Sit over the terrace of white washed house and enjoy the moon light in the first part of night.
- Even in Kysnapakşa one should enjoy the cold breeze at night.
- The garlands made of flowers of śaratritu should be worn along with clean cloth. Moon rays in the first 3 hours of night is conducive for health
- Atishaitya(excessive eating)
- Vasa(muscle fat)
- Tikshna Madhya(strong alcoholic preparation)
- Devaswapna(day sleeping)
- Pragvata (Which increase kapha)
- One should avoid Tushar(mist)
Amlapitta, Sheetpitta, Kandu etc.
AvipattikarChurna, Ushirasava, Chandanasav, MadhuyashtiChurna etc.
दिवा सूर्यांशुसन्तप्तं निशि चन्द्रांशुशीतलम्|
कालेन पक्वं निर्दोषमगस्त्येनाविषीकृतम्||४६||
हंसोदकमिति ख्यातं शारदं विमलं शुचि|
स्नानपानावगाहेषु हितमम्बु यथाऽमृतम् ||४७||(Ca.Sa.Su.6/46-47)
The water of the Sarada ritu (autumn) which is well heated by the rays of the sun during the day and well cooled by the rays of the moon by night, perfected and freed from impurities by the course of time and detoxicated by the radiations of the star Agastya(Canopus) and which is clear and pure, is called Hansodaka(Pure water which is beloved by swans).
This autumnal water is crystal clear and clean, and the use of this water for bathing, drinking or immersion is as beneficial to the body as ambrosia.
Water is exposed day time in sun ray and in night moon light called Amshudakam. It is snigdha and tridoshanahaka property.
Importance of ritucharya
तस्याशिताद्यादाहाराद्बलं वर्णश्च वर्धते|
यस्यर्तुसात्म्यं विदितं चेष्टाहारव्यपाश्रयम्||३||(Ca.Sa.Su.6/3)
According to Ayurveda, an enhancement of strength and lustre includes happiness etc. caused by the maintenance of tissue elements. Acharya Charaka says that the seasonal dietary and regimen practiced by a man who knows the seasonal homologation with regard to behaviour and diet, promote his vigour and complexion.
The Ritusandhi though principally has been accepted by AcharyaCharaka but it is only explained in AshtangSangraha.
It has been said that the last seven days of the previous and the first seven days of the ensuing season (fourteendays) is called Ritusandhi.One should give up and start the regimen of the previous and coming season simultaneously to avoid the homologous diseases.
Importance of ritusandhi
In order to keep the homeostasis, one has to take care of his dietetics and other regimen of life during the change of seasons, as one accustomed to one particular routines of a season, if happens to face the change of another, he is bound to follow certain principles advocated in Ayurveda under the heading of Ritusandhicharya.
It is the period which precipitates at the junction of two seasons when a person gives up the established dietetics and regimen of one season and accepts the new of another season.
- This term has been used by Acharya Sharangdhara
Representing a junction period of Kartika (Oct. – Nov.) and Margashirsha (Nov. – Dec.).
This period has been designated to be influenced by Yamaraja – the one who takes away the life of the individual. The text reveals that the last eight nights of Kartika and first eight nights of Margashirsha is called Yamadanshtra and one who takes meals in less quantity, remains happy in these period.The period is of great importance due to forming a junction of two Ayanas (Visarga and Aadana) of the year.
Charaka Acharya mentions that if we follow Pathya Aharas and Pathya Viharas daily, it is the best way to attain Swasthya Avastha (Healthy state) and to prevent Ajathanam Vikaranaam (those diseases that can occur in future.The forthcoming diseases can be compared to life style disorders. So for preventing these, Ritucharya plays a vital role as for the above mentioned we have to take in account about the different seasons also. In Hemanta Ritu due to its Sheeta Guna the air in the atmosphere is cold. Due to the Yogavahi quality of Vata, the Sheeta Guna will do Agni Avarodha in humans. By the coldness in the environment, it obstructs the normal flow of the Agni to the outside. A potter who is making earthen vessels by placing them in a pit and covering them after keeping the fire will produce more heat. Same is happening in our body like Sheeta Vata will cover our whole body which has already Agni inside. Due to these more heat will be produced in our body i.e. Agni (Digestive fire) will become more. This enhanced Agni is capable of digesting large quantities of food. Therefore Guru Aharas are to be properly given during this Ritu which includes Newly Harvested grains etc. If not giving proper Aharas at proper time, Agni will start to attack the Rasa Dhatu and will finally lead to Vata Prakopa. Therefore we should provide Guru Aharas and proper food at proper time inured to prevent this Vata Prakopa.Life style disorders are the outcome of inappropriate or improper relation of humans with their environment. These life style disorders will occur in our body very slowly and they are difficult for curing. A study conducted jointly by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Max Hospital shows that the incidence rate of Hypertension, Obesity and Heart diseases are increasing in an alarm rate. According to the opinions of experts, the main reasons for these disorders are sedentary life style along with increased usage of fatty food and alcohol. Asthma symptoms will get worsens during this time due to the more dryness of the air. Barometric pressure will get decreased by cold temperature and due to these drastic changes, it will lead to migraine. Due to low temperature, swelling in the joints will increase and will be very difficult for patients suffering from Arthritis. Dry air will cause eye irritation.Due to lack of light in this season, it will adversely affect the sleep cycle and make the people feels like tired throughout the day.As in this season hunger is more, our body will crave for food. So we have to provide rich foods which will provide warmth and nourishment to the body. This is the good season for improving immunity because during this Season, hunger will be more and the digestive system of our body works better. As a result, foods are digested easily. By this it will help in providing nourishment to the body. So during this season, our body should be provided with more nourishing foods like spices having anti microbial properties that will help us to get protection from cold and other infections. They will act as a media for increasing digestive enzymes and cellular metabolic functions and thus ensuring the complete assimilation of nutrients.Peripheral vasoconstriction and Cold Diuresis- When our body becomes cold, it will reduce the circulation to the extremities and skin surface by the process called as Peripheral Vasoconstriction and will result in concentrating a greater volume of blood in the body core. Due to these, arterial blood pressure will get increase. The body will response to this by trying to reduce this increased arterial blood pressure. The kidneys will reduce the volume of circulating blood by removing water and this will go outside in the form of urine which is defined as Cold Diuresis.Heart attack frequency- will be more in this season as during this season there will be drop in temperature. This drop in temperature will increase the blood pressure. This will create more strain on the heart. At the same time, our body has to work harder for generating additional heat when it is cold. To prevent this, the best way is to keep warm all the times. As a response to the low temperature of this season, constriction of blood vessels take place and in turn it will raise the blood pressure.Human body contains several types of fat. Among these the prominent ones are White and Brown fats. White fats have the quality of storing extra energy. It is one of the important features of Obesity and Diabetes. Brown fat has the quality of burning chemical energy for creating heat and will help in maintaining body temperature.Studies have proved that when humans were exposed to cold climate overnight for one month, it will lead to an increase in brown fat. This can be used for burning fat and also to corresponding changes in body metabolism.Best way to escape from this cold climate is to warm up by wearing more clothes. Layer principle of dressing is mentioned as it is one of the effective ways of staying warm as air gets trapped between the layers and within the layers. Flu virus flies more easily in cold air. So we have to take care as chances of Flu occurrence are more.
To fulfill the motto of Ayurveda and according to modern ‘disease better than cure’’ the importance of Ritucharya in the present scenario. Ayurveda makes the people understand about their body types and insist them to live according to this. As changes in the environment affect our body also, it is very important for our body to get familiar with these changes. If we are not doing so it will affect our body and mind leading to Dosha Vaishamya. In the latter stages, these imbalances will lead to various types of life style disorders. So for preventing these disorders, the best way is to understand Ritucarya which explains about the various dietary and behavioural regimens according to different seasons. By proper understanding and following these regimens, we can easily achieve our primary goal “Swasthasya Rakshanam”. It also brings about Strength, Complexion and longevity wi
- Acharya Y T ( editor),Charaka Samhita of Agnivesh with Ayurveda Dipika commentary by Chaukhambha Surbharati prakshan,Varanasi,2000.Sutra sthana, chapter 5,page
- Acharya J T and Acharya N R (editor),Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta with Nibanda Sangraha commentary by Dalhana, Chaukhambha Surbharati prakshan,Varanasi,2000
- A text book of swasthvritta by Dr.Mangalagori V.Rao, Chaukhambha orientalia , varanasi, reprint 2016,Page no 34-50
- Text book of Swathvritta by Dr. Bargale sushant sukumar, Dr.Shashirkha H.K, Chaukhambha publications, New Delhi First edition 2016, page no 52-65.