After The Daily routine (Dinacharya), seasonal routine (Ritucharya) have been mentioned in the classics of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda, has always emphasized to maintain the health and prevent the diseases by following proper diet and lifestyle regimen rather than treatment and cure of the diseases.

With the change in season, the change is very evident in the environment we live in. We see various changes in bio-life around us, such as flowering in spring and leaf-shedding in autumn in the plants, hibernation of many animals with the coming of winter, and so on. As human being is also part of the same ecology, the body is greatly influenced by external environment. Many of the exogenous and endogenous rhythm have specific phase relationship with each other; which means that they interact and synchronize each other. If body is unable to adopt itself to stressors due to changes in specific traits of seasons, it may lead to Dosha Vaishamya, which in turn may render the body highly susceptible to one or other kinds of disorders.

As adaptations according to the changes, is the key for survival, the knowledge of Ritucharya (regimen for various seasons) is thus important.

People do not know or ignore the suitable types of food stuffs, dressing, and others regimen to be followed in particular season, this leads to derangement of homeostasis and causes various diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and so on.

Lifestyle diseases are a result of an inappropriate relationship of people with their environment. Onset of these lifestyle diseases is insidious, delayed development, and difficult to cure.

In our country the situation is quite alarming due to rapid changing of disease profile. The World Health Organization has identified India as one of the nations that is going to have most of the lifestyle disorders in the near future. Nowadays, not only are lifestyle disorders becoming more common, but they are also affecting younger population. Hence, the population at risk shifts from 40+ to maybe 30+ or even younger.

Ritucharya is prominently discussed in the first few chapters of most of the Samhitas of Ayurveda.

In Tasyashitya chapter of Charaka Samhita,

त्तश्यशीताध्यादाहरद बलं वर्णाश्च वर्धते ।

यस्यऋतुसात्मयम विदितं चेष्टाहारव्यापाश्रयं ।।

it is said “Tasya Shitadiya Ahaarbalam Varnascha Vardhate. Tasyartusatmayam Vaditam Chestaharvyapasrayam,” which means ‘the strength and complexion of the person knowing the suitable diet and regimen for every season and practicing accordingly are enhanced .Main theme of this chapter is to make people aware concerning the methods to live in accordance with the environment. In this article, the Ritucharyas mentioned in the classics of Ayurvedahave been discussed and emphasis has been given on the likely impact of Ritucharya on lifestyle disorders.

Classification of season:


The year according to Ayurveda is divided into two periods Ayana ( solstice) depending on the direction of movement of sun that is Uttarayana (northern solstice) and Dakshinayana (southern solstice).

Each is formed of three Ritus (seasons). The word Ritu means “to go.” It is the form in which the nature expresses itself in a sequence in particular and specific in present forms in short, the seasons.

A year consists of six seasons, namely, Shishira (winter), Vasanta (spring), and Grishma (summer) in Uttarayan and Varsha (monsoon), Sharata (autumn), and Hemanta (late autumn) in Dakshinayana. As Ayurveda has its origin in India, the above seasonal changes are observed predominantly in Indian subcontinent.

Uttarayana and its effect

Uttarayana indicates the ascent of the sun or northward movement of the sun. In this period the sun and the wind are powerful. The sun takes away the strength of the people and the cooling quality of the earth. It brings increase in the Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent), and Katu (pungent) Rasa (taste), respectively, which brings about dryness in the body and reduces the Bala (strength). It is also called Adana Kala.

According to modern science, this can be compared with the gradual movement of earth around the sun to the position, in which the rays of the sun falls perpendicularly at 30 degree meridian of the North Pole on June 21st every year, called as summer solstice. The northward journey of the Sun from Tropic of Capricorn to Tropic of Cancer happens.

During Uttarayana the seasonal changes in Indian subcontinent is from Shishira (winter) to Vasanta(spring) and to Grishma (summer). The period can be compared to mid-January to mid-July, when warmness and dryness in weather increases. It has an overall debilitating effect on environment, to which human being is also a part.

Dakshinayana and its effect

Dakshinayana indicates the descent of the sun or movement of the sun in southern direction. In this period, the wind is not very dry; the moon is more powerful than sun. The earth becomes cool due to the clouds, rain, and cold winds. Unctuousness sets in the atmosphere and Amla (sour), Lavana (salty), and Madhura(sweet) Rasa are predominant, so the strength of person enhances during this period. It is also called Visarga Kala.

According to modern science, this can be compared with the gradual movement of the earth around the sun to the position, in which the rays of the sun fall over 30 degree meridian of the South Pole perpendicularly on December 21st every year, is called as winter solstice. The southward movement of the Sun occurs from Tropic of Cancer to Tropic of Capricorn.

During Dakshinayana, the seasonal changes occur in the Indian subcontinent from Varsha (monsoon) to Sarata (autumn) and to Hemanta (late autumn). This period can be compared to mid-July to mid-January, when cool sets, and due to which anabolic activity dominates over the catabolic activity in the environment.

Ayurveda also delineates the ascendant and descendant of strength as per Ritu (Season) which is as follows:

Low StrengthMedium StrengthHigh Strength
Beginning of Visarga Kaal Mid of Visarga Kaal End of Visarga Kaal
End of Aadaan Kaal Mid of Aadaan Kaal Beginning of Aadaan Kaal
F Northam 1.shishir Magh 16th Jan-15th Feb Strongest
sojourn Phalgun 16th Feb-15th March
  2.Vasant Chaitra 16th Feb-15th March Medium
  sojourn 16th Feb-15th March
  2.Vasant Chaitra 16th Feb-15th March Medium
  sojourn 16th Feb-15th March
W Northam 1.shishir Magh 16th Jan-15th Feb Strongest
sojourn Phalgun 16th Feb-15th March
  2.Vasant Chaitra 16th Feb-15th March Medium
  sojourn 16th Feb-15th March
  2.Vasant Chaitra 16th Feb-15th March Medium
  sojourn 16th Feb-15th March

Season affects the physiology of human being, so if appropriate regimen is not followed then one may not cope up with the seasonal changes and fall ill. So to attain the maximum benefits from the good qualities of the Season and protection from its bad effects, Ayurveda prescribes certain rules in regard to diet, behaviour and medicines which is called seasonal regimen or RITUCHARYA(Seasonal regimen).


S No.Name of Ritu (Season)MonthRecommendedRestricted
1. Shishir Maagh and Phalgun(About Mid January to Mid March). Unctuous, Sweet, sour taste diet. Meat of animals of damp region Wine, honey, Milk, milk products,sugarcane products, New Cereals, edible oils ,hot water. Massage Sudation. Much Spicy, Bitter, Astringent taste diet Light and cold food. Much travelling.
2. Vasant Chaitra and Baishakh​(About Mid March-Mid May) Barley, old wheat, honey, roasted meat, Beverages such as asava (fermented infusion), sidhu (fermented sugarcane juice) Emesis(Vaman)​ Physical exercise.​ Dry massage.​ Medicated smoke inhalation​ Keeping medicated liquid in mouth​. APPLY camphor or sandalwood Intercourse. Heavy, sour, sweet, unctuous food. Sleeping in day time.
3. Grishma Jyasth and Aasadha​ (About Mid-May to Mid July) Sweet, cold, unctuous, light, liquid food ​Beverages with sugar.​ Meat of birds, quadrupeds,​ cold water​ milk Sleep in day time at a cool place​. Apply sandalwood paste on body. sour, salty and spicy food Exercise, intercourse
4. Varsha Shraavan and Bhadrapad​(Mid July to Mid September) Food and drinks should be taken with honey​ Sour, salty, fatty food​ Old cereals​ Like barley, wheat, rice​. Meat of Arid animals Vegetable soup​ For drinking use boiled cool water Rub the body​ Take bath​ Wear aromatic garlands​ Wear light and clean apparels​ Live in a place devoid of humidity Groat diluted in excess​ Water of rivers Sleeping in day​ Excessive exercises​ Moving in Sun​ Sexual intercourse
5. Sharad Ashvin and Kaartik​(About Mid September to Mid November) Sweet, light, cold and bitter food and drinks​ Meat of Common quail, antelope, sheep, rabbit etc​ Cereals like wheat, rice, barley ​Ghee medicated with bitter herbs​Water exposed to the sunlight for whole day and to the moonlight in night in this season is called as 'HANSODAK' and this water should for drinking, Bathing and swimming Purgation​ Blood letting​ Clean cloths for wearing​ Garlands made of seasonal flowers​ Staying in moonlight in evening Oil ​meat of aquatic and marshy animals​ alkaline salt preparations​ curd Sun bath​ Sleeping during day time​ Exposure to easterly wind and frost
6. Hemant Margshirsh and Pausha​(Mid November - Mid January) Unctuous, sour and salty taste food​ Meat of borrow dwelling animals and aquatic animals and animals who eat food by snatching​ Wine with honey​ Milk and milk products​ Sugarcane and its products​ Oil​ New rice​ Hot water. Massage​ Apply hair oil​ Fomentation​ Live in basement or inner heated house​ The vehicles, seat and bed should be properly covered by silk cloth or blanket etc​ Wear heavy and warm cloths​ May indulge in sexual intercourse Light food and drinks​ Intake of gruel​ starvation Exposure to cold wave

Ritusandhi : Ritusandhi is of fifteen days, it the time of last seven days one season and seven days of commencement of next season. To adapt the changes between two seasons. Ritusandhi charya is mentioned i.e. during this time the regimen of previous season should be discontinued gradually and that of subsequent season should be adopted gradually.

Disclaimer - Advice given here on this website is only for the purpose of information and is not a substitute for any medical advice. Please contact us personally for any information or your Doctor before making any lifestyle changes , As Nature (Prakriti) of every person is different. The visitor should assume that any and all links on this site are affiliate links. All the content here is from the CHARAK SAMHITA. It is somewhat made easy by Translating to an easy language to make every one understand.