Shishir Ritucharya

Shishir ritu comes in Uttarayana.It is first ritu of Uttarayana or aadan kala. Months Jan. 14 to Mar. 14 comes in this period.As per Indian calender months of Magh and Phalgun comes in the Shishir Ritu. There is coldness in weather because of drop in temperature.Some times snow fall will be there. Cold becomes severe and dryness intensify further. Sometime clouds, wind and rainfall are also features of late winter.The trees shed their leaves. ‘Sharir- bal’ or physical strength is maximum during this period of time due decreased in peripheral blood supply and increased in core blood supply.’Jathragni-bal’ or digestive fire is strong, by virtue of the Sun just coming out of it’s Southern cycle and moving into the Northern cycle. Stamina,strength and immunity all three are achieved in this period.

Diet in Shishir Ritu :
–Foods which are sweet,salty and sour in nature is advisiable .Bitter and spicy foods are avoided during this period.

— Due to cold weather,the body retains heat and attempts to preserve it.This causes increase in digestive fire.Strong digestive power is responsible for metabolism of heavy foods such as fats and dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, ghee etc.

— Kidney beans, black beans (urad dal), freshly harvested corn,grains and products made from grains (wheat, rice) should be consumed.
Can eat newly harvested rice,wheat ,barley in this season.

— Sweet products made from sugarcane extracts like jaggery etc.are advisiable

— Dry fruits like dates, almond ,akrod etc are recommended.
Pumkin,Potato,sweet potato,carrot,beetroot,ash gourd are recommended for eating Fruits like guava,grapes,apple are advisiable.

— People who are non vegetarian should eat fish,chicken,goat meat and meat soup .It provide good energy.Drink warm water through out the day.

— Special herbal wines and honey can be taken.Avoid cold foods and drinks
Take the ginger tea for refreshment.


Life style Shishir Ritu :
Cold and wet enviornments causes the accumulation of kapha in body. Hence maintain the body warm.Warm baths, sauna and living in a warm house are beneficial.

Regular body massage (abhynga)with til tail fallowed by swedan is recommended.

— Heavy, warm, dry clothes should be worn.The fabrics that are mentioned are: silk, leather, jute, thick cotton, wool etc.

— Do vigorous exercises. In the treatises, wrestling is recommended, but in its absence, aerobic exercises or other forms of physical exercise routine can be followed.

— Regular body massage with oil according to individuals prakruti should be done.Head massage is also recommended. Massage not only generates heat, thereby providing respite from the cold, but it also keeps Vata dosha from getting aggravated.

— Stream bath (swedan) should regularly be taken.

— After bath, apply ‘lep’ (anointment) of heat generating herbs like ‘kesar’ (saffron), ‘aguru’ (aloe wood).

— Do ‘dhoop’ (inundation of the room with smoke emanating from the embers of an herb) of aguru in the room. Inhalation of the ‘dhoop’ from aguru keeps the respiratory passage clear, and removes kapha

— Expose oneself to morning sun rays for natural sudation (sweati Exposure to sun , fire are good . Always stay in warm and cozy places & use thick blankets .
Regularly one has to go for different vigorous exercises  and a very good season for heavy work outs .

Wear warm , heavy & dry clothes of silk , wool , leather , jute etc .
Anointment with the paste of safforn , agaru or Eaglewood (Botanical name: Aquillaria agallocha) to the body. It keeps the body warm.
Agaru dhoopa is kept in the living room , which keeps the room warm .
One can indulge in sexual activities daily .

Avoid bitter , too much spicy food items .
Avoid dry , cold & light food .
Lady’s finger , spinach , pulses are not advised .

Should not expose to cold and strong breeze .
Avoid fasting .
One should not do day sleep .

Important Note:
The position of India is such that effect of sun rays is specific and that is the reason for six seasons of equal duration in India. The description of seasons and months in Ayurveda is based on India’s location on the map, the months and seasons may vary in other regions. But you may follow the region according to the corresponding season in your zone.

Please note that the actual classification (as given in Ayurveda texts) is done according to the lunar calendar. The solar months indicated above may not exactly match with lunar months but are just approximate equivalents of the corresponding lunar months. For example, when it is winter in India (December-January), it is summer in Australia, so people living in that region should follow the regimen for summer and not for winter.

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