Varsha Ritucharya -Diet and Lifestyle for rainy season

Ayurveda primarilly aims at maintaining the health of a healthy individual.To achive this Ayurveda recommends to follow diferent diet and lifestyle schedule in each season (Ritucharya) which helps to mainten the health.

Varsha ritu (Rainy season)according to Ayurveda fals in the Dakshinayana (Southeren Solastice) and the general body strength of an individual is weak. One must folow a specific Diet and lifestyle schedule in rainy season as the chances of having digestive problems is great during this season.

Hindu calender months Shravan and Bhadrapada months (Mid-July to mid-September approximately) are considered as Varsha Ritu. During this season the sky is covered by clouds and rains occur without thunderstorm. The ponds, rivers, etc., are filled with water. The predominant Rasa and Mahabhuta during this season are Amla (sour), and Prithvi and Agni, respectively. The strength of the person again becomes less. There is vitiation of Vata Dosha and deposition of Pitta Dosha. In rainy season the Agni(Digestive fire) is weak and gets vitiated by Doshas.
The food and lifestyle should thus be such which helps in balancing Vata and Pita.

Diet in Varsha Ritu (rainy season):

Water available in the reservoirs during monsoon is comparatively heavy to digest and the metabolism is sluggish during this period. An individual is likely to experience loss of appetite.Keeping this in mind one needs to make following changes in his diet:
  • -- Consume light and fresh foods prepared from barley, rice and wheat
  • -- Include cow’s ghee, lean meat, lentils, green gram, rice and wheat in daily diet.
  • -- consume small piece of ginger with rock salt before every meal.
  • -- take Sour and salted soups of vegetables.Onion, lean meat and vegetables may also be used in soups.
  • -- If the days are cooler due to heavy rains, take a diet that is sour, salty and oily.
  • --Drink boiled and cooled water mixed with little honey
  • --Add ginger and green gram in your daily diet
  • --Eat warm food and avoid eating uncooked foods and salads
  • --avoid drinking excess of fluids at this further slows down the metabolism.
  • --Avoid consuming stale fod.
  • --Avoid leafy vegetables during monsoon.
  • --Avoid curds, red meat and any foodstuff, which takes longer time to digest. One may have buttermilk instead of curds.
  • --Bhavaprakash states that consuming ‘haritaki' (terminalia chebula) with 'Saindhav Lavan'(rock salt) in monsoon season is beneficial to health. Use of 'Hingwashtaka coorna' and 'Dashmoolarishta' to pacify Vata Dosha is advocated.

Life style Varsha Ritu (rainy season):

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 in rainy season are:
  • -- avoid Sleeping in daytime as it hampers digestion and slows down the metabolism
  • --Avoid over exertion and over exposure to sun. Avoid moving out in afternoon sun.
  • --Always keep the surrounding dry and clean. Do not allow water to get accumulated around.
  • --Keep body warm as viruses attack immediately when body temperature goes down.
  • --Do not enter air-conditioned room with wet hair and damp clothes.
  • --avoid walking in dirty water during rainy season. keep your feet dry.
  • --Avoid getting wet in the rains. 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 loban and dry neem leaves is also recommended in Ayurvedic texts.
  • --Panchkarma, mainly Basti, are indicated.
  • -- Use of Perfumes is advocated in this season.

Ayurveda state that when seasons are changing and an individual changes his/her lifestyle and diet to suit that particular season, the change must be gradual over a period of 15 days. Slowly try to give up the initial lifestyle and adopt new one. It the changes are brought about drastically the body may not be able to cope with them and this could lead to problems.

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