Ritucharya in Ayurveda states Seasonal Regimen where Ritu means season and Charya means
This section in Ayurveda briefs the dos and don’ts to be followed in each season. Ayurveda categorize
a year into 6 Ritus (seasons) which means 2 months comprise one Ritu.
मासैर्द् विसन्ख्यै माघार्द्यैः क्रमात् षट् ऋतवः स्मृताः ।
शिशिरो अथ वसन्तश्च ग्रीष्मो वर्ष शरद् हिमाः ॥
Winter Season or Shishira Ritu falls between Mid-January to Mid-March;
Spring Season or Vasanta Ritu falls between Mid-March to Mid-May;
Summer Season or Greeshma Ritu is between Mid-May to Mid-July;
Monsoon Season or Varsha Ritu is between Mid-July to Mid-September;
Autumn Season or Sarad Ritu is between Mid-September to Mid-November and
Winter Season or Hemanta Ritu is between Mid-November to Mid-January.
1. Hemanta Ritu Charya
Ayurveda Winter Regimen
अतो हिमेअस्मिन्सेवेत स्वाद्वम्ललवणात्रसान् ।
Due to strong digestive power, one should consume food predominant with sweet, sour and salt tastes. This will protect body tissues (Dhatus) from destruction.
वातघ्न तैलैरभ्यङ्गं मूर्ध्नि तैलं विमर्दनम् ।
One should do massage using Vata alleviating oil especially on the head. While bathing, use astringent powder to wash away the oil. After shower, apply Saffron powder on the body and then expose to the fumes of Agarwood (Aguru).
गोधूम पिष्ट माषेक्षु क्षीरोत्थ विकृतीः शुभाः ।
नवमन्नं वसा तैलं, शौचकार्ये सुखोदकं ।
Wheat, black gram, sugarcane, milk, fresh corn, fat, oil etc can be used for cooking food. For ablution, use warm water.
2. Shishira Ritu Charya
Ayurveda Winter Regimen
अयमेव विधिः कार्यः शिशिरेपि विशेषतः ।
तदा हि शीतमधिकं रौक्ष्यम् चादानकालजं ॥
During Shishira ritu, follow the regimen told in Hemanta Ritu but with more intensity as the cold and dryness is more.
3. Vasanta Ritu Charya
Ayurveda Spring Regimen
तीक्ष्णैर्वमन नस्यादैः लघु रूक्षैश्च भोजनैः ।
व्यायामाद् उद्वर्तनाघातैर्जित्वा श्लेष्मणः उल्बणं ॥
In Vasanta ritu, there is liquefaction of Kapha dosha which in turn reduces the digestive power and gives rise to diseases. Hence, it is advised to expel the excess kapha through Panchakarma process like Nasyam and Vamanam. Also one should eat food which are easy to digest and less fatty. Also, exercising and powder massaging, drinking beverages like fermented infusions/decoctions, grape juice, water mixed with honey and water boiled with Nutgrass are advised in this period.
गुरु शीत दिवास्वप्न स्निग्धाम्ल मधुरं त्यजेत् ।
Foods that are hard to digest and cold; day sleeping, foods that are unctuous, sour and sweet are to be avoided.
4. Greshma Ritu Charya
Ayurveda Summer Regimen
अतो अस्मिन् पटु कट्वम्ल व्यायामं अर्करांस्त्यजेत् ।
As the sun rays are so intense during summer, Kapha gets weak and Vata increases in the body. Hence avoid using salt, pungent and sour foods, and exercise and sun exposure during this season.
भजेन्मधुरसेवान्नं लघु स्निग्दं हिमं द्रवं ।
Foods that are sweet, easy to digest, fatty, cold and liquids should be used. Fermented drinks should be avoided and if necessary should be taken in very less quantity or diluted with more water. Alcohol beverages can cause inflammation within the body leading to weakness, burning sensation and insentience.
पिबेत् रसं नातिघनं रसालां राग खाण्डवौ ।
पानकं पञ्चसारं वा नव मृदु भाजने स्थितम् ॥
Meat soup which is not very thick, curds processed in condiments and sugar (Rasala), syrup which is sweet, salty and sour (Raga), syrup which has all tastes (Khandava) and syrup made from dates, raisins etc (Panchasaram) are advised for drinking.
शशाङ्क किरणान् भक्ष्यान् रजन्यां भक्षयन् पिबेत् ।
ससितं माहिषं क्षीरं चन्द्र नक्षत्र शीतलं ॥
During night, fried items made from cereals and sweetened buffalo milk cooled by moonlight and star should be used.
5. Varsha Ritu Charya / Ayurveda Monsoon Regimen
आस्थािनं िद्धु तनजु ीणंधान्खयं रसानदकृतानद।
जाङदगलं विवितं यषू ानदम्िररष्टं वचरन्खतनमद।
The digestive fire that got deranged during summer, becomes more weak in rainy season which will vitiate all the three doshas. Hence proper attention must be given for body detoxification procedure like Vasti (medicated enema therapy). Grains that have been kept for long time, meat soup, meat of animals living in dry lands, soup made from pulses, fermented decoction etc shall be used.
नर्ी जलोर् मन्खथािैः स्िप्न आयास आतिां त्यजेतद।
Avoid river water, beverages made from fermented cereals, day sleep, heavy exercise and exposure to sun light.
6. Sarad Ritu Charya / Ayurveda Autum Regimen
ततदजयाय घतृ ं वतक्तं विरेको रक्तमोक्षणमद।
To alleviate the Pitta dosha that gets aggravated in Sarad ritu due to sudden exposure to sunlight after the rainy season, intake of medicated ghee which is bitter in taste, purgation and bloodletting procedures are to be adopted.
वतक्तं स्िार्ु कषायं च क्षवुधतो अन्खनं भजेतदलघु।
िावल मद्गुं वसता धात्री िटोल मधुजाङदगलं॥
Foods having bitter, sweet and astringent tastes are to be used. Foods that are easily digestible, rice, green gram, sugar, gooseberries, honey, meat of animals living in arid regions are to be consumed.
िवुच िसं ोर्कं नाम वनमल् ं मलवजतदजलं ।
नावभष्यवन्खर् न िा रूक्षंिानावर्षुअमतृ ोिमं॥
Hamsodaka, the water that gets heated during the day and cooled by the night climate, thus repeated for several days, and that gets detoxified by the rays of Agastya star is said to be pure and cures vitiated dosha.
तषुार क्षार सौवित्य र्वध तैल िस आतिानद।
तीक्ष्ण मर्द् वर्िास्िप्न िरुोिातानदिररत्यजेतद॥
Avoid cold weather, alkali substances, curd, oil, fat, sunlight, strong liquors, day sleeping and wind blowing from east.
ऋत्िोैः अन्खत्यावर् सप्तािौ ऋतु सवन्खधररवत स्मतृ ैः ।
तत्र ििूा्विवधस्त्याज्यैः सेिनीयो अिरैः क्रमातद॥
The seven days at the end of a season and the seven days of the beginning of the next season is known as Ritusandhi (inter season). The regimen that was followed in the preceding season has to be stopped and the regimen told for the succeeding month has to be started during the Ritusandhi to avoid diseases.