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Sharad Ritucharya



Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical system, emphasises the importance of living in harmony with nature in order to maintain optimal health. Ritucharya is a term used in Ayurveda, to describe the seasonal regimen that should be followed to maintain health and harmony throughout the year. Each season is thought to affect the body differently, and following ritucharya allows people to adjust their lifestyle, including diet and activities, to align with seasonal changes.


Autumn, also known as Sharad Ritu, is one of the six ritus (seasons) described in Ayurveda, and it typically lasts from mid-September to mid-November in the Indian subcontinent. Sharad Ritucharya focuses on the autumn season, which is considered a transitional period between summer’s hot and humid climate to winter’s cooler and drier conditions. Maintaining a balanced aahaar (diet) and vihaar (lifestyle) is critical for overall well-being during this time. According to Ayurveda, each season has unique qualities and effects on the doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), the body’s fundamental bioenergetic forces.


Sharad Season Characteristics:


Hot and dry: By sudden increase in heat at the end of the rainy season, pitta gets mobilized and aggravated causing hot and dry weather.


Pitta prakopa: The season is marked by increase in pitta dosha which has been accumulated in rainy season.


Variable Weather: Autumn weather can be unpredictable, with warm days and cool nights.


Sharad Ritucharya Guidelines:


Ayurveda recommends specific guidelines for diet, exercise, sleep, and other daily routines to maintain balance and health during the Sharad season.


Sharad Ritu Aahaar (Diet):


Dietary Guidelines:


Foods predominate with sweet taste, bitter tastes & Cold properties. Foods which are laghu (Easy to digest) in nature. Milk, Sugarcane products, Honey, Cereals like Rice & wheat, Pulses like Green gram. Meat of wild animals like common quill, grey partridge, antelope, sheep, wapiti and rabbit,
Fruits like Amla, vegetables like patola, Honey & Sugar candy, bitter ghee.


Include Seasonal Foods: Fall foods such as pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and various grains should be included in the diet. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and they provide essential nutrients that help the body’s immunity and energy levels.


Moderation and Mindfulness: Autumn can cause an increase in appetite, so it’s important to practise portion control and mindful eating. Eating in moderation keeps the digestive system running smoothly, preventing problems like indigestion and sluggish metabolism.


Sharad Ritu Vihaar (Lifestyle):


Panchkarmas like purgation & bloodletting. One should pass evenings on the upper part of house enjoying the white moon light (moon rays first three hours of night are health promotive).

Body well adorned with paste of sandal, camphor and with garlands of pearls and attractive dress.

One may swim in tanks decorated with lotus and lilly.

Applying paste of sandal

Having food only when there is hunger.


Exercise and Physical Activity: Gentle exercises such as yoga, walking, or light stretching can help to keep the body active and flexible. These activities aid in the improvement of circulation, the reduction of stiffness.


Proper Sleep Patterns: As the days grow shorter, it is critical to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night to support the body’s natural healing and energy restoration processes.


Maintain a Routine: Create and follow a daily routine. Consistency in waking up, eating meals, exercising, and going to bed at the same time every day aids in grounding the body and mind.


Finally, during Sharad Ritu, aligning your diet and lifestyle with the principles of Aahaar and Vihaar is critical for maintaining a healthy balance. Sharad Ritucharya principles as outlined in Ayurveda can assist individuals in maintaining their physical, mental, and emotional well-being during the autumn season while minimising the imbalances associated with the transition from summer to winter. Body is unable to cope up with suddent climatic changes.


By sudden increase in heat at the end of the rainy season, pitta gets mobilized and aggravated. This leads to fever that occurs mostly in the early winter. This is called Sharada jwara or autumnal fever.

You can improve your well-being and adapt to the seasonal changes that autumn brings by nurturing your body with appropriate foods and activities. Always seek personalised advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner based on your unique constitution and health status.

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