Saturday, 16 July 2011

Ritucharya -Varsha Ritu

Varsha Ritucharya
Rain rain go away...come again another day......
      This is what most Bangaloreans pray every time its likely to rain. Everyone is afraid of getting inflicted with cold, cough, fever, headache and so on. The rains takes away all the zeal especially from people who suffer from Asthma, Joint disorders, Arthritis, Psoriasis etc etc. Rains are supposed to bring happiness, joy and colors in our lives. We end up in falling ill. Why is it? Then How could our ancestors rejoice with celebrating series of festivals during this period?? 
Pondering over a solution for these, we realize that the answer is in understanding our relationship with our surroundings.
Understand your mother (nature) and obey her. This is what you can do to be healthy always.
Nature makes us realize its existence in different ways. One among the most important form is THE SEASON. Change over in seasons also brings significant changes in our body.  Ayurveda helps you understand what nature does to you and what you need to do to protect your health.
Let us have a brief description about the concept of Ritu and Ritucharya and then understand what and when for this season.
  Ritu means Season and Charya means following. Ritucharya is the observance of diet and regimen according to the seasonal changes. In Ayurveda, a year is divided into 2 kaala or periods based on the apparent position of the sun in the north and southern directions. They are
  1. Uttaraayana - north and
  2. Dakshinaayana - south
Ayana means journeying. Uttaraayana is also called Aadaana kaala or the taking away period. The sun and wind are powerful during this period. The sun takes away the energy of the people. Due to the heat, air becomes hot and drains the cooling effect of earth. Due to this, we get dehydrated and weakened and the atmosphere becomes hot and dry.
Dakshinaayana is also called Visarga kaala or the giving away period. The moon becomes powerful during this period. The sun releases its energy to the people, the earth cools down due to cold winds and rain. People regain their strength and nourishment that was lost in the Aadaana kaala.
Each year consists of six Ritus or seasons. Each Ritu comprises of two Maasas or months and three such ritus constitute one kaala. Hence Aadaana and Visarga kaalas each consist of six months and three ritus.
The six ritus and their characteristics can be summarized in the following table:

Kaala (Semester)
Ritu (Season)
Maasa (Month)
Characteristics of the Season
(Northeren Solastice)
Magha and Phalguna (mid January to mid march)
Cold and dewy
Chaitra and Vaisakha (mid March to mid May)
Jyeshthaa and Aashaadha (mid May to mid July)
(Southern Solastice)
Shravana and Bhadrapada (mid July to mid September)
Aashvina and Kartika (mid September to mid November)
Margshirsha and Pausha (mid November to mid January)
Varsha Ritucharya (Regimen during Rains)
Varsha in Sanskrit refers to Rain. In varsha Ritu, the water gets polluted due to rains. This is the season when humans are most prone to diseases. The water is heavy to digest. The atmosphere is cold and associated with dry winds. The agni (digestive activity) weakens further and gets vitiated by Vaata. 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.
Effect on Dosha –  Increase in Vaata and Mild increase in Pitta.
Body & health condition during this season:  
  • Low digestion power
  • Low immunity and
  • Low body strength
Certain types of food are good to have during rainy season and we need to restrict certain food and other habits. 
Food to have during rainy season: 
Old grains, Old rice, Wheat, Barley, soup of pulses, thin supernatant water of curds, grape wine, honey.
Food having sour, sweet and salty taste.
An Ayurvedic drink made by adding a pinch of salt, pepper, long pepper and ginger is ideal to take . It helps to improve digestion power.
Food to avoid during rainy season: 
  • Food that causes Vata and Pitta imbalance such as food having bitter, hot and astringent principles, potato, etc.
  • Food items that are heavy to digest.
  • Frozen food stuff, ice creams.
  • Oily food stuff
Health tips for rainy season: 
  • Because it is not possible for out-door activities, you need to take special care to have indoor physical activities. Don’t let laziness grow on you.
  • Avoid Day-sleep
  • Ayurveda recommends every day sex is not ideal during this season.
  • Foot care for diabetics – Because the feet tend to get wet all the time, it is very important for everybody and especially diabetics to take a special foot care. As and when feet get wet, make sure to dry them immediately.
  • Similarly to avoid skin infections and itching, it is ideal to add 1 or 2 spoons of neem oil to half a cup of sesame oil and use this for massage before  hot water bath, at least once a week.
  • It makes sense to prefer hot water bath to cold water bath during rainy season. It helps to curb Vaata. Take luke warm water bath over your head. Do not let water stay on your head for log time.
  • Those who are prone to get joint pains and arthritis, better to avoid sitting or lying down on floor. Skin contact with a cold surface will cause tremendous Vata increase, leading to aggravation of pain.
  • It is better to wear footwear inside home during rainy season and in winters.
  • Cut your nails very regularly. Moisture between them, will invite infection.
  • Keep the body covered fully, do not wear sleeveless dress.
  • Dry hair as soon as you return home.
  • Hot water is better than cold water to drink.
  • Ayurveda recommends undergoing Panchakarma treatment during rainy season.
Do’s for this season:

Varsha Ritu (Rainy Season)
  • Easily digestible food to be taken.
  • Pulses, meat juice, soups, old grains and mastu (Supernatant fluid over curds ) can be taken in food.
  • Ginger, black pepper and lemon juice may be taken to reinforce appetite.
  • Leafy vegetables should be taken sparingly.
  • Foods should be hot and light with ghee, curd and honey.
  • River water is to be avoided for drinking.
  • Panchkarma can be done.
  • Avoid sleep in the day.
  • Avoid exertion and too much exposure to sunlight.
  • Avoid bathing in rivers
  • Regular exercise is beneficial


  1. Hi ,
    Your post on Ritucharya is very good...If you pls give in detail about this
    "An Ayurvedic drink made by adding a pinch of salt, pepper, long pepper and ginger is ideal to take . It helps to improve digestion power."
    It would have been an most invaluable post...

  2. Namaste Durga,
    Thanks for your comment. Well,the proportions of ingredients of the Ayurvedic tea may be difficult for you to judge. I request you to come to Atmayaan and collect the Ayurvedic drink powder with which you can prepare the tea by this week end. All the ingredients are measured and formulated according to the Ayurvedic principles so that it suits everybody.