The year according to Ayurveda is divided into two kaals:
Aadaan kaal (Uttarayan) (Northeren Solastice)
Visarga kaal (Dakshinayaan) (Southeren Solastice).
This division is done according to the position of the sun. Aadaan means taking away and visarga means giving. In aadan kaal, the sun and wind are powerful. The sun takes away the strength of the people and the cooling qualities of the earth. It is the debialiting period. strength is weakened . In Visarga kaal , the sun releases the strength to the people. The moon is more powerful, the earth becomes cooled due to the clouds, rain and cold wind.
A year consists of six ritus (seasons). Each ritu is two masas (months) long. Three ritus (one semester) form a kaal.
The Six Ritus
The six ritus and their properties can be summarized in the following table
|Kaal (Semester)||Ritu (Season)||Maas (Month)||Properties of the season|
|Aadaan (Northeren Solastice)||Sishira||Magha and Phalguna|
(mid January to mid march)
|Cold and dewy season|
|Vasanta||Chaitra and Baisakh|
(mid March to mid May)
|Grishma||Jyeshtha and Aashadha|
(mid May to mid July)
|Varsha||Shravan and Bhadrapada (mid July to mid September)||Rainy season|
|Sharat||Aashvin and Kartika|
(mid September to mid November)
|Hemant||Margshirsha and Pausha|
(mid November to mid January)
Seasons and Tastes
The following table summarizes the tastes which are more powerful and hence can be included in the diet in each of the six seasons.
|Shishir||Cold and dewy season||Tikta (bitter)|
|Vaasant||Spring season||Kashaya (astringent)|
|Varsha||Rainy season||Amala (sour)|
|Sharat||Autumn season||Lavan (salty)|
|Hemanta||Winter season||Madhura (sweet)|
Seasons and Doshas
Vata dosha accumulates during the dry or dehydrating heat of the summer .It becomes aggravated during the rainy season which causes weakened digestion, acidic atmospheric conditions, and gas produced from the earth.
Pitta accumulates during the rainy season due to the acidic conditions of the atmosphere and a weakened digestion. It is aggravated during autumn when the heat returns .This occurs after the cooling spell of the rainy season.
Kapha accumulates during the cold season due to the cold and damp caused by the winds, clouds, and rain. It gets aggravated during the spring when the warm weather liquefies the accumulating Kapha.
PRESENT SEASON IS :
|Hemanta Ritu (Winter Season)|
Shishira Ritu (Cold and Dewy Season)
|Sweet,sour and salt taste food can be taken. In this season the digestive activity becomes more powerful. Increased vata gets obstructed from spreading out due to cold atmosphere outside which can digest the tissues. More intake of sweet, sour and salt helps reducing the vata.|
Wine prepared from jaggery (molasses) can be taken.
Wheat/gramflour products, milk products, sugarcane products and corn/edible oils can be taken as a part of food.
| Massage with oil.|
Ubvartan with fine paste/powder of kumkum (kesar).
Clothing-leather, silk and wool.
Exposure to sunlight and fire to keep yourself warm.
|Vasanta Ritu (Spring Season)|
In this season, increased kapha is liquified by the heat of sun which causes diminished agni (digestive activity) causing diseases
|Easily digestible food.|
Barley, honey, roasted meat, mango juice can be taken as food.
Beverages such as asava (fermented infusion), arista (fermenteddecoction), sidhu (fermented sugarcane juice), honey mixed with water and water boiled with extracts of chandan (sandal wood).
Avoid hard to digest and cold food, sour, sweet and fatty food. Such food increase kapha causing dosha imbalance and hence genesis of disease.
| Physical exercise.|
Nasal medication can be taken.
After massage bath with karpura/chandan/kumkum.
Avoid sleeping during day time,
|Grishma Ritu (Summer Season)|
In this season, Sunrays become powerful. Kapha decreases vata increases day by day.
|Sweet, light, fatty and liquid food can be taken.|
Wine should not be taken as it can cause burning sensation and even debility. If neccesary take in very little quantity.
Boiled rice with meat, cornflour, curd (yoghurt) can be taken in food.
Drink very cold water. Panak Panchsara (syrup prepared with draksha (sugarcane), madhuka, date, kashmarya and parshuka fruits all in equal quantity cold with cardamom powder.
| Anoint body with chandan paste and take bath with cold water.|
Stay in cool places.
Wear light dresses.
|Varsha Ritu (Rainy Season)|
The agni (digestive activity) weakens further and gets vitiated by doshas.Hence all methods to mitigate doshas and measures to enhance digestive activity can be adopted.
|Easily digestible food to be taken.|
Pulses, meat juice, soups, old grains and mastu (thin water of yoghurt ) can be taken in food.
| Panchkarma can be done.|
Perfumes can be used.
Avoid sleeping at daytime, exertion and too much exposure to sunlight.
|Sharad Ritu (Autumn Season)|
Sudden exposed to sunlight after cold season aggravates pita.
|Bitter, astringent and sweet taste can be included in food.|
Take easily digestible food like rice, green gram, aamla, honey and sugar.
Avoid heavy food, curd, oil, strong liquors.
| Udvartan with chandan.|
Bath with warm water.
Pearls give soothing effect from aggravated pita.