The primary objective of the Ayurveda is to safeguard the health of a healthy individual. To achieve this Ayurveda recommends following different diet and lifestyle schedule in each season which helps to maintain the health. Achaya Charak has compared our body to a vehicle which requires regular cleansing and occasional servicing. The former is compared to Dinachrya (daily routine) and the later is compared to Rituchaya (seasonal routine) that one needs to observe and adopt.
The year according to Ayurveda is divided into Six Ritus or seasons (Shishir, Vasant, Grishm, Varsha, Sharad, Hemant) the two kaalas-aadan kaal (Uttaryan) and visarg kaal (Dakshinayan). Each Kaala or time period comprise of three ritus. This division of the time periods is according to the position of the Sun. In Aadan Kaala the Sun and Wind are powerful; the Sun takes away the strength of the people. It is a depilating period.
In Visarg Kaala, the Sun releases the strength to the people. The moon is more powerful, the earth becomes cooler due to rain and cold wind. Varsha ritu is the ritu of Visarg Kaala.
Ayurveda describes aggravation of vata dosha in varsha ritu, so the food and lifestyle should thus be such which helps in balancing the vata.
DIET—Agni is weak during the varsha ritu so the metabolism is sluggish. Water available in the reservoirs is also comparatively heavy to digest. An individual is likely to experience digestive problems during this period. Keeping this in mind one needs to make the following changes in their diet—
- Consume light and fresh food prepared from barley, rice and wheat
- Include cow’s ghee, lentils and green gram in daily diet
- Consume small piece of ginger with rock salt before every meal
- Eat warm food and avoid eating uncooked foods and salads
- Avoid leafy vegetables during monsoon
- Drink boiled and cooled down water mixed with honey
- Avoid curds, one may take buttermilk instead of curds
- Avoid drinking excess of fluids at this time as this further slows down the metabolism
- Ginger, black pepper and lemon juice may be taken to reinforce appetite. Use of honey is recommended
- Maintain a balanced diet comprising of foodstuffs of 6 tastes but increase intake of sweet, sour and salty food
- Classics state that consuming haritaki (terminalia chebula) with rock salt is beneficial for this season.
LIFESTYLE—Only taking healthy diet may not provide desired benefits unless supported by a healthy lifestyle. The important changes that one should make in one’s lifestyle are-
- Avoid overexertion and over exposure to sun. Avoid moving out in afternoon sun.
- Always keep the surroundings dry and clean. Don’t allow water to get accumulated around.
- Avoid sleeping during day time.
- Wear light cotton clothes and keep yourself dry and warm.
- Go for an oil massage regularly and have warm water bath daily.
- Panchkarma treatment can be done. This season is ideal for Basti treatments; Vaman and Virechan are also recommended.
- Avoid getting wet in rain. If you happen to get wet, change into dry clothes as soon as possible to avoid getting infections as immunity is low during this season.
- Drying clothes with fumes of lobhan and dry neem leaves is also recommended in Ayurvedic texts. Use of perfumes is advocated in this season.
According to Ayurveda when the season is changing; an individual changes his diet and lifestyle to suit the particular season, the change must be gradual over a period of 15 days. Slowly try to give up the earlier lifestyle and adopt the new one.
For more information visit : Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital