In Ayurveda, according to movement and position of sun, the year is divided into two parts that are Aadaan kaal (Uttarayan) & Visarga kaal (Dakshinayaan). Three ritus are described under each kaal.
- Adan kaal – Shishir, basant , grishma
- Visarga kaal- Varsha, sharad , hemant
Each ritu remains for 2 months and so there are six ritus in a year . These six ritus are:
- Sishira (winter) – from mid January to mid march
- Basanta(spring)- from mid march to mid may
- Greeshma (summer) – from mid May to mid July
- Varsha(rainy season) –from mid July to mid September
- Sarad (autumn) – from mid September to mid November
- Hemanta (dew) – from mid November to mid January
Dosha changes occur in the body in Sharad ritu
In Sharad ritu, there is an aggravation of Pitta dosha. This is due to the reason because there is accumulation of Pitta dosha in the previous seasons and due to increased intensity of sun in sharad ritu it gets aggravated .
Ahara to be taken in Sharad Ritu
- Pitta dosha is the dosha in the body that is responsible for regulating digestion, skin colour, focus, eye sight and also plays role in developing “medhya” or intelligence. But for all of these functions to occur properly , Pitta dosha has to be in the balance state. Aggravated pitta dosha can cause many kind of digestion related issues like diarrhoea, ulcers, acidity issues and many other health issues.
- So to maintain the equilibrium of doshas various kind of diet regimen has been prescribed in ayurveda so that one can maintain health properly and sustain a healthy life. The food that can be taken in sharad ritu must be easy to digest and light. All Ahara that should be taken in sharad ritu must have predominantly madhura, tikta and Kashaya (sweet, astringent and bitter) tastes.
- Ahara that can be taken in sharad ritu are
- Grains : Grains like Wheat, Rice and Barley can be used in sharad ritu
- Barley is sweet and diuretic in nature , so it is a good to take this in this season
- Green gram should be preferred in this season. Tuvar dal can be also be used .
- Sweet bitter and astringent vegetables should be taken. Parwal / Pointed gourd, bottle gourd are very good to take as they are sweet and slightly bitter in taste.
- One can have small amount of bitters like bitter gourd, methi, etc.
- Vegetables like young radish, Carrot, beetroot etc can be taken in moderate quantities.
- Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage should be taken in reduce quantity and must be cooked well with ghee.
- Cow milk, jaggery,honey, cumin, turmeric can be used in ample quantity.
- Fruits like plums, pears, apple, ripe banana, grapes and avocado can be taken.
- Dry fruits like figs, raisins, dates can be taken.
- Herbs like Amla, patol, shtavari, chandan , ushira can be used internally to pacify heat.
- Dry, lean meat is suggested like rabbit, quail, partridge etc.
Diet to be avoided in Sharad ritu
- All kind of hot , spicy , sour , salty food , food that is hot in potency should be avoided.
- Chana, Rajma, urad shoul be avoided.
- Frozen food should be avoided.
- Heavy to digest food should be avoided like potatoes.
- High fat meat like broiler chicken, pork, etc is to be avoided in this season.
Drinks that should be used
- Water must be taken after boiling with pitta reducing herbs like punarnava, lodhra, amla etc.
- Buttermilk with cumin, coriander should be consumed.
- Oither drinks that are madhur, tikta, kashya in taste shoul be taken.
Other Foods and drinks suggested
- Ghee medicated with bitter taste herbs should be taken
- Draksha or draksha ras
- Amla or amla svarasa
- Slightly cool, light and easy to digest foods and drinks
Hansodaka: special feature of Sharad Ritu
- In Sharad Ritu, there is the effect of the Agastya constellation . Rays of agastya constellation are supposed to make water more medicinal , pure and better to drink.
- It is said in ayurveda that water in sharad ritu that has been exposed to the sun rays of , Moon Rays and the rays of Agastya constellation at night is known as hansodaka and this contains good medicinal properties. Use of this water can be done for bathing , drinking etc.
Other regimen to be followed for Sharad Ritu
- In this Sharad Ritu,where there is aggravation of pitta dosha so one should follow the life style by which aggravated pitta can be control . It can be done through relaxation, fragrances and water-based activities, using various kind of Pitta balancing scents, and fragrances. So it is said that one should sail in beautiful lakes, watch swans swim in water bodies, or spend time near ponds / water bodies with bees, lotus flowers and lily flowers.
- One should wear light clothes and should avoid very bright pitta promoting colours like dark reds, fiery oranges, etc. Pleasing and mind relaxing environment should be preferred.
- Pitta reducing herbs should be used in our hair and skin products like Vetiver, Chandana, Agaru, Rose, Patranga, Musta, etc.
- A special daily activity suggested in Sharad Ritu is to spend the late evenings absorbing the moon rays, as it will relaxes our mind and thus aggravated pitta dosha.
- One should avoid spending late nights in this atmosphere because it can severely aggravate Kapha dosha and can cause seasonal allergies.
So to maintain the proper health one should understand importance of diet and life style according to the season and follow the certain given regimens.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.