Ritucharya is the grouping of two terms, i.e. ritu which means seasons and charya means routine. Its complete meaning means procedure that is to be followed in diverse seasons. Here, the distribution of the seasons (ritus) are done keeping in sync with the position of sun. Each season lasts for approximately, two months.
Ritucharya preserve the environmental value in the shape of balance in different seasons to support defensive and social remedy and this is the principle on which ayurvedic system of medicines has put emphasis because it is said that prevention is better than cure.
There are different seasons in ritucharya, i.e. Winter Season (Hemant), Spring Season (Vasant), Summer Season (Grishma), and Rainy Season (Varsha), Autumn Season (Sharadrutu). The description of each of the season is as follows:
In Sanskrit language, winter season is called Hemant. This ritu starts from mid-November to mid-February. In winter season, cold atmosphere develops and temperature starts decreasing. Chilly and cold wind began to blow which causes imbalance in vata dosha and kapha dosha. In this season, air is on a height and is under depression (pressure or force). A heavy diet needs to be taken that must include milk and its products, wheat, carrot and raddish, tomatoes and sugary food. Yoga exercises are extremely valuable for human body in this season. Massage with almond oil and exercise must be done regularly.
In Sanskrit language, spring season is called Vasant. This ritu starts from mid-march to mid-may.
In spring season, sanchit kapha is stressed by the rays of the sun. So, it is very much obvious that cough, cold and other respiratory problems might get develops.
To get rid of excess cough, it is recommended to encourage vomiting process. Mixture of dried ginger (adrak) and honey (shehad) is useful in treating kapha dosha.
The sharp flavor dominates spring season. Nasal remedy or therapy must be undertaken.
In Sanskrit language, summer season is called Grishma. This ritu starts from mid-may to mid-July. In summer season, sun decreases the dampness in the environment and facilitated the trapping of heat on the earth’s atmosphere. Excessive workouts and sex must be avoided.
The intake of liquid products and honey must be increased so as to prevent dehydration and fatigue. Cotton clothes must be worn during summer season as they provide a soothing effect to the human body. Kattu flavor dominates summer season. Massage must be done with a chandan paste and bath must be taken with the cold water
In Sanskrit language, rainy season is known as Varsha. This ritu starts from mid-July to mid-September. In rainy season, though humidity or moisture in the air increases, but it remains cool. Lukewarm water must be drunk to balance vata dosha prakopa. Vinegary flavor dominates the rainy season.
In Sanskrit language, autumn season is called Sharadrutu. This ritu starts from mid September to mid November. In autumn season, heat from the sun is responsible for the growth of pitta prakopa. Salty flavor dominates the autumn season.