Season means ritu in ayurveda. Ayurveda believes that body is in tune with nature and changes in season leads to impact on the body. Due to the same reason emphasis is given on following ritucharya for prevention of diseases. Ritucharya can be best described as set of regimens to be practiced by us to cope up with varying effect of the changing seasons on the human body.
Sharad ritu is generally known as autumn or fall .It’s one of the three seasons in visarga kaal. As per the lunar calendar sharad ritu follows the varsha ritu(monsoon) and precedes hemanta (early winter). It comprises months of Ashwin and karthik, which is September to November in the Gregorian calendar.
The nature is at its benevolent best in sharad ritu. The oppressive heat of the summer is a distant memory, annoying downpour of the monsoon has just ended and the chill of the winter is still on its way.
In sharad ritu nature is bedecked as a bride with lush green all around, decorated with profusion of colorful flowers and bountiful laden fruit trees with chirping birds. The skies are clear blue with white cotton clouds floating lazily. The days are sunny, yet pleasantly cool and comfortable and nights are slightly chill, clear and cloudless. The weather is mild, pleasant and refreshing.
Ayurveda considers it as breeding season for all diseases. There is aggravation of pitta dosha and decrease of vata dosha and digestive fire is moderate.
Do's and Don'ts for Sharad ritu
- Eating food only when there is feeling of hunger is recommended.
- Day-sleeping, Excessive eating is contraindicated.
- Exposure to direct sunlight and eastern winds should be avoided.
- Wearing of light colored and loose clothes is encouraged.
- Enjoying a stroll in moonlight particularly during full moon (purnima) is beneficial for health.
- Early morning dew is also not advisable.
- Rigorous physical exercise and excessive work should be rejected.
- Wear Pearls on your body to achieve pleasant cooling effect.
- Raktamokshan (bloodletting) and Virechan (purgation) are two important panchakarma procedures which can be administered under medical supervision in sharad ritu.
- Chandan, Ushira, Kapurkachri, Musta, Sariva etc herbs should be used in the form of ubtan for protecting skin from the damage caused by seasonal change.
- Foods which are bitter, sweet and astringent in taste should be preferred during this period.
- One should consume water purified by rays of sun in day time and rays of rising Agasti star at night time for drinking, bathing etc.
- Food items with pitta pacifying or cold in potency such as rice,green gram,candysugar,honey,amla, patola,wheat,barley,pumpkin,pumpkin seeds, amaranthus(chaulai),whitegourd,white gourd melon,spinach,carrot,peas,bottlegourd,bittergourd sugarcane,ribbelluffa(torai),sweetlemon,meat of animals like chicken,turkey,rabbit,fresh water fish should be included in the diet.
- Fruits like plums,pears,pomegranate, apples,ripe banana,grapes,and avocado can be included.Dry fruits like figs,raisins,dates can be ingested in autumn.
- Well cooked food which is light to digest in the form of porridge, stew or soup preparation is soothing in this season.
- Meals should be accompanied by ghee medicated with bitter herbs.
- Foods that are Fried,spicy,sour,salty,foods hot in potency,heavy to digest such as curds,alcoholic beverages, meat of aquatic animals,asafoetida,red chilies,mustard oil,millet,garlic,brinjals,groundnuts black gram,popcorns,frozen foods,ice cream are to be reduced in frequency or completely avoided for better results.
- Cow’milk,butter,honey,jaggery,cumin,turmeric,cardamom,coriander,aniseeds etc can be used in ample quantity.
- Herbs like shatavari, liquorice, amla, patola, chandan, ushira can be used for internal use to pacify heat.
- Fresh buttermilk with cumin, coriander, candy sugar and aniseeds can be consumed during daytime to combat heat.
- Warm tea fortified with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom is a beverage of choice during daytime similarly warm milk with ginger, honey, a pinch of cardamom and nutmeg is perfect before retiring at night.
- Body is vulnerable to pitta diseases like hepatitis, allergies, piles, herpes, conjunctivitis, hemorrhages, gastric disorders etc.
Major festivals celebrated during Sharad ritu
- Navaratri marks the beginning of the Sharad ritu.Sharad Navratri is celebrated at the change of seasons, a time for the body to change gears and get ready for the next seasonal cycle.In Sharad Ritu, the dry and hot atmosphere resulting from sudden exposure to sunlight after the rains and cool atmosphere increases pitta.Hence if we see the rituals followed during Navaratri, they are purely in accordance with the classical Ayurveda principles.It's that time of the year when people will be seen fasting and feasting to celebrate the 9 auspicious days.Navratri fasting if done in a healthy way can actually help you detox.It is a time to cleanse the mind and body,to rejuvenate.
- For detail post on dussehra you can click here
Sharad Pournima/Kojagiri pournima
- Sharad purnima/kojaagari purnima/kumar purnima is a harvest festival which is celebrated on the full moon day of Ashwin, it marks the end of monsoon. Its also called as kaumudi celebration where kaumudi means moonlight. On this day its believed that moon and earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing body and the soul hence night vigil is observed on this day.