Ritu Charya In Ayurveda

Ritu in Ayurveda means season and Ritu charya means the seasonal adaptations of the body constitution. Ayurveda always believes in maintaining a balance between the life forces present both inside and outside for good health prevention of diseases. In a nutshell, Rithu Charya can be described as the Ayurvedic principles of life to cope with the varying effects of the changing seasons on the human body and mind.

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Ayurveda concept divides the year into six seasons: They are

  • Hemant Ritucharya
  • Shishir Ritucharya
  • Basant Ritucharya
  • Grishshm Ritucharya
  • Varsha Rithucharya
  • Sharad Rithucharya

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Hemant Ritucharya

Hemant Ritu is the early winter season. According to Hemant Ritucharya body normally is in good health as there are no long nights. This is favorable for proper appetite. Hemant Ritucharya in general brings pleasantness to the atmosphere.

The Vata dosha and Pitta become low in this season. Diet can consist of wheat, corn, gram flour, sugar cane products, and edible oils. Sweet, sour, and salty dishes are recommended for a balanced diet. Exercising and bathing in moderately hot water are good. A warm massage (Abhyangam Achareth Nithyam) and wearing woolen clothes would be ideal for the prevention of disease and protection. Clothes made of silk, wool, and leather are good. Exposure to mild sunlight is helpful as it is rich in Vitamin D.

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Shishir Ritucharya

Shishir Ritu is the winter season when all doshas are balanced. The food that produces heat should be consumed to protect the body from chillness. Exercise and the use of woolen clothes are necessary. Rice and brinjal are some of the suitable foods. It is advisable to drink and bathe in mildly hot water in this season.

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Vasant Ritucharya

Vasant Ritucharya is actually the spring season. In this season, the days become longer than the nights. Excessive eating should be avoided and the use of herbs such as ginger, black pepper, garlic, chilly along with mustard oil and buttermilk is recommended as best for this season.

Diseases such as cold, asthma, flu might spread during this season. It is better to eat less food and exercise less. Healthy and nutritious food are recommended.  Vaman karma is recommended by Ayurveda as the best precautionary action in this season. Generally, fatty and cold food items should be avoided as they increase Kapha dosha disturbing the balance of the three doshas of the body. Nasal medication called Nasyam can be taken.

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Grishshm Ritucharya

Grishshm is actually the summer season when the sun rays become more powerful and it is hotter than usual during the day. There is an increase in Vata dosha and a decrease in Kapha dosha.  The hot environment will cause much sweating, thirst, and hunger. Light cotton clothing is suitable so as to reduce the effect of heat on the body. Direct sunlight exposure should be avoided.

Eating light food is recommended for this season. Boiled rice with curd is yogurt, corn flour are suitable for hot conditions. Liquid consumption should be very high in this season to counter the attack of heat and thirst. Consuming more fluids is necessary as it would prevent the body from dehydration due to excessive sweating.  Watermelon, grapes, mango, pomegranates, and fish can be consumed.  According to Ayurveda bathing in cold water and a short rest during the daytime are good.

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Varsha Ritucharya

Varsha Ritucharya denotes the rainy season. In this season intake of hot food and hot water is recommended. Due to reduced appetite, light food such as boiled rice and chapatti can be taken with boiled vegetables.  According to Ayurveda, there is a need to augment the digestive capacity.

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Sharad Ritucharya

This is the autumn season that follows the rainy season.  Pitta gets aggravated during this season. Bitter foods along with sweets can be consumed.  Suitable foods are rice, wheat, moong, gooseberry, ginger, and ghee can be taken in this season. Swimming is the best exercise in this season. Wearing Pearls can reduce the Pitta dosha aggravation.

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