Rtu (seasonal regime) as per authentic Ayurvedic texts

Did you know what is happening in the environment is more important than the individual? This is another reason why the Western ayurveda’s Vata, Pitta, and Kapha diet plans are bogus. If a Kapha person was to follow a Anti Kapha diet all year around they will destroy their immune system and the strength of their body by not eating kapha building foods in wintertime. Understanding that the Western Ayurveda’s focus is a very self absorbed look at simplified Ayurveda states volumes. Below is the Seasonal regime as per the main texts of Ayurveda. Notice in absolutely none of them does it state that Vata is high in the winter and that pitta is high in the summer. By understanding what is written below one can only then take this template and apply it to the environment in which they live. in my experience, the seasons are atmospheric and affect everything on that level while local environments are only affecting from a baseline of the higher atmospheric environment first.

Even in Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was in school at the Ayurvedic Institute, I experienced vata being provoked in the summer and diseases of vata being predominant then. Never once did I see any Pitta problems with other students and people around me unless they already had major pitta problems. Only come September did pitta diseases raise their heads proving that even New Mexico follows the same seasonal template as stated by all three of the main texts of Ayurveda.

Rtucharya (Seasonal Regime)

Hemanta and Shishira Ritu Charya
8.    The sun and the wind which is mixed with smoke, dust particles, dew, forms a turbid layer in all directions.
2. The cool air of the nature causes romaharsha(horripilation).
3. Trees like lodhra, priyangu, punnaga, lavalee appears beautiful with flowers.
4. The fish are concealed inside the rivers which are covered with a layer of snow on the top.
5. The water in the well and river are warm to touch.
6. The animals like elephant, goat, buffalo, horse, pig and birds like crow etc become arrogant or wild.


1. Because of nature’s cold air the body heat gets collected inside the jathara(stomach) and increases the agni(digestive fire). So one should eat naturally guru(heavy),  brimhana(nourishing) foods and drinks. If these types of foods are not consumed  the strong agni starts burning the dhatus and causes dhatu kshaya. Due to the dhaatu kshaya and coldness of the  nature the wind gets aggravated(vata prakopa). 1. Due to the contact with external cold wind the body heat goes inside and increases the jatharagni(digestive fire) which becomes capable of digesting guru(heavy) food in terms of guna(quality) and maatra(quantity). If the required food is not supplied it starts digesting the dhaatus and causes vata prakopa. This aggravated wind when combines with coldness of nature gets aggravated further. 1. In hemantha ritu the wind is in aggravated condition due to the cold, dry and mild sun rays. Due to effect of the cold the jatharagni(digestive fire) in the koshta attains a pindeekrita form(attains  form of a ball) and goes further inside. And causes rasadi shoshana(dries up the rasa etc dhatus). So to prevent the vata prakopa one should take snigdha(unctuous) food.
2. Snigdha(unctuous), madhura(sweet), amla(sour), lavana(salt) tasting foods should be consumed by the individuals. 2. One should take food which consists of  snigdha(unctuous), amla(sour), lavana(salt) taste. 2. Should take lavana, kshaara(alkaline), thikta, amla, katu, ahima(warm) foods and drinks. Sarpi(ghee), thaila(oil) should be taken plenty.

Teekshna(strong) drinks can be taken.

3. Meat soup of the meat of vileshaya(animals living in the burrows), prasaha(birds), audaka(animals living in water), aanupa(animals of marshy land) should be consumed plenty. 3.Meat soup  of meats of aquatic animals, marshy animals, bileshaya(animals living in burrows), prasaha(birds) and meat of the animals which have more fat should be taken. 3. Shaaka(vegetables), dadhi(curd), ikshu vikruti, new and flavoured shaali, soup of the meat of prasaha, aanupa, kravyaada, vileshaya, audaka animals processesed with madhura, thikta, katu, amla, lavana taste, tila, masha  should be consumed
4.Foods prepared with guda(jagary) and flour(pistha) should be taken along with madya(alcohol), masha(black gram), ikshu vikriti(various preparations of sugarcane), ksheera vikriti(various preparations of milk), vasa, thaila(oil), navaodana(new grains). 4. Madira(alcohol), seedhu(spirit distilled from molasses or rum) can be taken along with honey as anupana.Ksheera vikruti(various preparations of milk), ikshu vikruti(various preparations of sugarcane), vasa(fat), thaila(oil), navaodana(new rice) are taken internally. 4.  Madya(alcohol) and prasanna (spirituous liquior)can be consumed.  Food and drink that is baladayaka(nourishing) should be consumed by the persons who desire a good nourishment(pushti) of their body.
5. One should undergo vyayama(exercise), udwartana(powder massage), abhyanga(oil application the body), swedana(sudation), dhoomapana(medicated smoke inhalation), anjana(collerium) and aatapa(exposure to sun rays). 5.One should practice abhyanga(oil applications), utsadana(cleaning the body with perfumes ), moordhni thaila (oil application on the head), jhentaka sweda(inducing perspiration in a heated chamber) and aatapa(exposure to sunrays). 5. Should apply oil on the body and do avagaha(tub bath)  in lukewarm water.
6. Luke warm water should be used for the shucha(personal cleanliness). 6. Should use warm water for washing.
7. One should sleep in the room which is built under the ground with a fire place. 7. Should live and sleep in bhoomigraha(a under ground room)or garbha gruha(an inner room of a house).

Travel in a vehicle which is closed in all four sides.

6. Should sleep in an inner room of the house.

The sleeping room and the vehicle should have  the heated charcoal to keep the surrounding warm.

8. The mattress should be made up of kutha(kusha grass), kambala(wool). 8. Should cover the body properly with a pravara(a cloak or an upper garment) which is made up of kusha grass, silk, wool. The same should be used to cover the mattress and the seat cussions. 7. Silk cloths should be used to spread on the mattress as well as to cover the body.
9. Before sleeping one should apply the paste of kumkuma or agaru on the body and should wear light and warm clothes which are dried in the dhoopa(sun). While sleeping one can hug a well nourished woman. 9. Should smear thick layer of  agaru paste on the body and wear guru(thick) and warm(ushna) cloths.

One should sleep hugging a  well built woman who has smeared agaru paste on the body and has  well developed breasts.

One can indulge in sexual intercourse.

8. Apply the paste of agaru on the body.

Should sleep hugging a woman who has well developed body.

One can indulge in maithuna(sexual intercourse) also.



Avoid taking vata aggravating foods, laghu(light) foods and pramitaahara(less quantity of food).

Avoid exposure to pravata(stormy wind or current of air).

Avoid taking barley water(udamantha).

Avoid divaswapna(day sleep) and ajeerna(indigestion).
Because of the excess megha(clouds), marut(wind), varsha(rains) there will be excess cold and dryness in the nature. So one should follow the Hemanta rutu charya in shishira rutu also.  In this rutu along with the dryness generated by aadana kala the coldness is also more due to the clouds, wind and rains. So it is adviced to follow the hemanta rutu charya in this season also.

One should live in a house which is warm and nivata(not windy or sheltered from air).

One should avoid taking  katu(pungent), tikta(bitter), kashaya(astringent), vatala(wind aggravating), laghu(light), sheetala(cold) food and drinks.

Same as hemanta rutu charya.
Vasantha Ritu
1. The wind blows from south direction.
2. The sun rays show copper colour.
3. The trees like kakubha, amala, kimshuka, ashoka starts showing new leaves and bark.
4. The singing of kokila(cuckoo) and alikula(bees) makes the environment pleasant.
5. The shleshma(kapha) which was collected in shishira ritu gets melted due to strong sunrays and depletes agni(digestive fire). This causes many diseases in vasantha ritu. 1. Due to the coldness of the hemanta rutu  the kapha  gets solidified in the body. The warmth of vasantha rutu  aggravates it and causes many diseases.


1. Vamana(emisis), dhoomapana(medicated smoke inhalation), gandoosha(gargling), navana(nasal drops) should be done using strong(teekshna) medications. 1. The kapha which was collected in shishira ritu gets liquefied due to the strong sun rays, suppresses agni(digestive fire)  and causes many diseases. So vamana etc procedures should  be followed. 1. Vamana(emisis) etc therapies indicated for kapha  should be adopted.
2. Should undergo vyayama(exercise) and udwartana(powder massage). 2. Should follow vyayama(exercise), udwartana(rubbing and cleaning the body with fragrant unguents), dhooma(medicated smoke inhalation), kavalagraha(gargling), anjana(collerium). 2.Vyayama(exercise), anjana(collerium), teekshna dhoomapana(inhalation of medicated  smoke using hot or pungent  drugs),kavala(gargling) are indicated in vasanta rutu. In order to expel the kapha collected in hemanta rutu procedures like shirovirechana(nasal drops), vamana(emisis), niruha vasti(decoction enema), kavala(gargling) etc are indicated.

Apart from this niyudha(fighting), adhwa(walking), shila nirghata(breaking stones) etc types of activities are also recommended.

3. Should move around/ accompanied by good friends and beautiful women. 3. One should enjoy walking in the gardens and forests.

Enjoy the company of a woman.

3. Utsaadana(cleaning the body with perfumed powders) and snana(bath) , moving around in the garden or forests, enjoying with vanita(women)  are indicated.
4. smear chandana and agaru paste after bath. 4. Smear  chandana or agaru  paste on the body.
5. Should drink asava, arishta, seedhu, maardweeka, maadhava which are kept in different shaped vessels with pictures of sahakara(mango tree) and kamala(lotus) on them. 5. Drink dosharahita(non polluted) seedhu(rum) and maadhweeka(liquor distilled from the madhuka flowers).

Yava, godhooma(wheat), shaarabha(deer), shasha(hare), yneya(black antelope), lava(type of quail), kapinjala(the tittiri bird) meat are used in food.

4. Madhwasava, arishta, seedhu(spirit distilled from molasses), maadhweeka(spirituous liquor distilled from the flowers of the tree called madhuka), maadhava(fermented products made of honey) are indicated for internal use.
6.  Water boiled with musta, shunthi or kshaudravaari(water mixed with honey) are used for drinking. 6. Use lukewarm water for washing etc. 5. Sukhoshna jala(luke warm water) is indicated for all types of use.
6. Shashtikanna, yava(barley), madhu(honey) mudga(green gram), nivara(rice growing wild or without cultivation), kodrava(aspecies of grains eaten by poor), meat soup of  vishkira(cock), laavaa(quail) are recommended.

Vegetables like patola, nimba, vaartaka or tikta(bitter) tasting vegetables are indicated. Teekshna(hot), rooksha(dry), katu(pungent), kshara(alkali), kashaya(astringent) foods are indicated in general. The foods should be koshna(warm), and adrava(not liquid).

8. Avoid guru, sheeta, snigdha, amla, madhura food and drinks and  divaswapna(day sleep) 7. Avoid  guru, amla, snigdha, madhura, food and drinks.

Avoid divaswapna.

7. Avoid madhura, amla, lavana, snigdha, guru, drava(liquid) foods.

Avoid divaswpna(day sleep).

Greeshma Rutu Charya
1. The earth is extremely hot in all directions due to forest fire (davat) kind of extremely hot sunrays.
2. The wind blowing from nairutya(south-west) direction brings little relief.
3. All animals feels as if they are suffering from fever due to the hot sun, wind and sweat.
4. Due to the heat the pond water dries of and their banks looks high. The water of the river and pond are polluted by elephants and buffaloes.
5. The trees do not give any shade as their leaves have fallen off. These trees are now covered with dry barks and dry creepers.
6. In this season the sun absorbs the unctuous qualities from the living beings as well as from the nature.
1. Should drink pleasant and fragrant panaka(beverage) and mantha(drink prepared by churning) which are stored  in new mud pot with plenty of sita (candied sugar). 1. The unctuous properties of the body are absorbed by the strong sun rays. So one should take sweet, cold, liquid, unctuous food and drinks.

Cold mantha(a drink prepared by churning) along with sharkara(candied sugar) should be taken.

1. Drink cold and flavoured panaka(beverage)or mantha(drink prepared by churning) with candy sugar.
2. Take madhura(sweet), sheeta(cold), drava(liquid) foods and meat of  jangala animals and birds.

Take shali, ksheera(milk), ghrita(ghee), draksha(grapes), narikelambu(tender coconut water), sharkara(sugar).

2. Ghee, milk, shali are used.

The meat of jangala(wild) animals and birds are advised.

Ghee, sweet taste, liquid and cold properties should be included in the food.

At night drink milk which is made sweet with candy sugar.

3. To get cool air use tala vrunta(fan) To get cool air keep sprinkling cold chandana water on the fan. Use a fan(talavrunta) to get cool air.(tala means palmyra tree)
4. Wear garland of kamala and utpala. 3. Wear the garland of mukta(pearl), mani(precious stone). Wear garland of kamala and utpala.

Smear chandana lepa on the body.

5. Wear a thin bracelet of fibrous root of lotous.
6 Walk around the lake/pool/well, near the river in the forest along a woman who has smeared chandana lepa on the body and enjoy the cold air. Walk in the forest or garden which has cold water and flowers. Walk by the sides of pond, river,well.

Walk inside the forest.

7. Wear light and pleasant cloths . Wear light cloths.
8. Sleep in a place which has artificial fountains in the daytime and at night should apply karpoora or chandana  and sleep under the sky on a mattress which is covered with fragrant flowers. Should sleep in the sheetagruha(cold room) in the day time and at night should apply chandana lepa on the body and sleep under the sky on the terrace of the mansion. The mattress should be covered by freshly pluck flowers.

Before sleeping apply chandana lepa on the body.

While sleeping the cool air should touch the body.

Alcoholic drinks should be taken in very small quantity with plenty of water or completely avoid.
Avoid vyayama(exrcise), atapa(sun), katu(pungent), amla(sour), lavana(salt), ushna(hot) food and drinks.

Avoid alcoholic drinks (madya) or should drink very little quantity with plenty of water. The excess and concentrated liquor causes shosha(dryness), shaithilya(weakness), daha(burning), moha(loss of conciousness).

Avoid sexual intercourse.

Avoid maithuna.

Avoid lavana, amla, katu tastes in thefoods.

Avoid exercises.

Avoid exercising, maithuna, ayasa(work which causes tiredness).

Avoid ushna, parishoshi(drying) and agni gunayukta(hot property) tasting foods and drinks.

1. Once the heat of the summer reduces one can start indulging in guru,lavana, madhura, amla tasting foods, meat soups, koshna jala(luke warm water), ghee, brimhana(nourishing), slightly abhishyandi foods.
2. Practice all vata pacifying measures like niruha vasti etc, to control the vata prakopa that has occurred in greeshma rutu.
3. Take yava, shashtika shali, godhooma, new rice.
4. Should live in the center of the large or palatial building or mansion. Should sleep on a soft mattress.
5. Arishta, asava, maireya are used carefully in the ay time and the same should be avoided in the night.
Avoid river water, rooksha, ushna, foods, udamantha, vyayama, atapa, divaswapna.
Avoid new grains, rooksha, sheeta ambu(cold water), saktu(barley fried and ground)
Avoid water which is polluted with the urine, stools, saliva of different animals.
Avoid antariksha jala(rain water collected from the sky) of this season.
Varsha Rutu Charya
1. The wind blows from the vaaruna direction, so all the greenery starts growing.
2. The sky is covered with Indra neela coloured clouds.
3. Due to heavy rains the steps of the ponds are immersed in the water. The river gets filled up and appears like oceans. The ground is not properly visible as it is covered by rain water.
4. Sounds of clouds, peacock, frog etc are heard.
5. The earth appears as if it is decorated with indragopa(a kind of red or white colored insect), vidyudhota(a flash or lustre of lightning)
6. One can see green plants, grass, shileendhra(fungus) all over. One can also see the plenty of kutaja flowers.


1. Due to the effect of the aadana kala the body as well as the agni becomes weak. In varsha rutu it gets affected further by rains, humidity, water, amla paka and the doshita jala(impure water). So it is adviced to undergo purification procedures followed by vasti karma. 1. In the adana kala the body and the agni(digestive fire) becomes weak. The moisture, rains, amla vipaka of water makes this agni further weak. Due to this weak agni wind etc doshas gets vitiated very easily. 1. The increased humidity in the nature makes the agni weak which in turn vitiates vata etc doshas.

Due to the effect of clouds, cold wind and cold water plants are in their tarunavastha(young or tender) and have amla vipaka(sour vipaka).So one should not do excess exercise.

2. Yusha(soup) of purana shali(old rice), godhooma(wheat), yava(barley) can be taken. 2. Yava, purana shali, jangala mamsa, samskruta yusha(processed soup) should be taken to protect the weak agni. 2. The food should be natisnigdha(not very unctuous), nati rooksha(not very dy), nati ushna(not very hot) and should have deepana qualities.
3. Madiraa(spirituous liquor), arishta, madhweeka  can be taken mixing with little quantity of water. 3. Madhweeka, arishta should be taken with honey in very little quantity or drink boiled and cooled water from mahendra(rain water)/ kupa(well)/ sarasa(pond). 3. Drink boiled and cooled water mixed with honey.
4. Divyajala(rain water) or water from kupa(well), chaundya(pond) or sarasa(lake)should be used after boiling. 4. The food and the drinks should be processed with honey.
5. One should adopt kleda hara(which depletes moisture) and vata hara food and drinks. One should eat parishushka(dry), laghu(light), snigdha(unctuous), ushna(hot), amla, lavana tasting foods. 5. In order to pacify the vata dosha one should take amla, lavana and snigdha foods on the days which have more rains and wind. 4. To reduce the moisture and to balance the doshas one should take kashaya, thikta, katu tasting foods and alpadrava(less liquid) foods.
6. Foods processed with honey are also good in this season.
7. Praghrsha, udwartana (powder massage), snana, dhoomapana are to be practiced. Paste of sugandha dravyas(fragrant drugs) are to be applied on the body. 6. Praghrshana, udwartana, snana and gandhamala dharana(wearing perfumed garlands) should be followed
8. Should live in a place which is protected by reptiles, moist, cold, wind, drizzle (sheekara), mosquito, rats etc. The living room should be warm(should be kept warm with the help of fire). 7. Should live in a dry place. Should wear light and clean cloths after bath. 5. One should avoid the exposure to humidity, so should live in a house which is built above the ground level(vihayasi). It should have a fireplace to keep the room warm.

The room should not be windy.

Use thick blankets to cover the body while sleeping.

9. Should wear cloths which have different designs and should wear different types of garlands around the neck. 6. Apply agaru lepa on the body while going out of the house.
10. Should travel on elephant.


Avoid nadijala(river water), udamantha(barley water), divaswapna(day sleep), atidrava bhojana(liquid food intake), maithuna(sexual intercourse), exposure to cold or frost(tushara), padacharana(walking), vyayama(exercise) and exposure to sunrays. Avoid the intake of  udamantha, nadijala(river water),

Avoid the daysleep vyayama, vyavaya.

Avoid exposure to frost and avashyaya(drizzle), sunrays.

  Avoid excess vyayama, jalapana(drinking water), gramyadharma(sexual intercourse).

Avoid the exposure to drizzle and sun.

Avoid divaswapna and ajeerna.

Sharad Rutucharya
1. The sky is mostly covered by white colored clouds. The strong sunrays reach the earth through the clouds.
2. On the earth one can see water mixed  mud(panka) here and there.
3. The earth looks like as if it is decorated with kasha, saptahwa, kumuda, shali.
4. The nature shows reddish brown colouror tawny colour(babhru varna) and looks clean. The rows of krauncha birds can be seen in the sky.
5. The ponds appear clean and clear. The fishes hide in between the kamala plants. The waves created by the movement of the hamsa birds are obstructed by the kamala plants.


1. The body which was affected by the coldness of vatsha rutu and which has sanchita pitta, attains the prakopavastha when it is touched by the strong sun rays. 1. The body which was effected by the coldness of vasha rutu, when comes in contact with strong sunrays of sharad rutu the pitta prakopa takes place.
2. Tiktaka grita pana(drinking ghee processed with bitter drugs), virechana(inducing purgation), raktamokshana(blood letting) are recommended. 2. Tikta ghrita pana followed by virechana and rakta mokshana. 1. Tikta grita pana, virechana, raktamokshana are practiced to expel the pitta which is collected in varsha rutu.

Follow all pitta pacifying measures.

3. The food and drinks should be laghu(light) and sheeta(cold) qualities and should have kashaya, madhura, tikta taste. 3. Food and drinks should have madhura, tikta taste,laghu(light), sheeta(cold), and pitta prashamana(pitta pacifying) property. 2. The food and drinks should have kashaya, madhura, tikta taste.
4. Shashtika shali, godhooma, yava, mudga, sita, madhu, patola, amalaki, draksha, jangala meat should be used internally. 4. Shali, yava,godhooma are recommended.Meat of lava, kapinjala(tittiri bird), yena(a kind of black antelope), anurabhra(a ram) sharabaha(a young elephant), shasha(rabbit) can be used internally. 3. Shali, mudga, ksheeravikruti(various preparations of milk), ikshu vikruti(various preparations of sugarcane), honey, and jangala meat soup are indicated for internal use.
5. For drinking the pond water should be used. The pond water of this season is equal to amruta(nector) because it is heated in the day time by sunrays and cooled in the night by the moon rays and its poisonous effects are removed by agastya star. This water is clean and delighting. 5. Use hamsodaka for snana(bath), pana(drinking), avagaha(tub bath). It gives effects like nector(amruta) 4. The water which is cleaned by moon rays and agastya star, with the qualities like sweet, sheeta(cold), shuchi(clean), clear like sphatika(crystal) and prasanna (pure or limpid) should be used  for all purposes.

Should take bath in the pond which has kamala, utpala flowers.

6. Should wear clean and light clothes.

Should apply sheeta usheera lepa on body and enjoy the moon rays in the terrace.

6. Wear clean cloths and garlands.

In the night expose the body to moon rays in the first half of the night.

Apply chandana lepa on the body. Wear light and clean cloths perfumed with karpura(camphor) and chandana(sandalwood).

Wear garland of white flowers.Should enjoy the moon rays in the first half of the night ((pradosha).

Drink seedhu.



Avoid dahi (curds), vasa (fat), thaila, teekshna madya (alcoholic drinks), atapa (hot sun), kshara (alkali), purovata (breeze from east, riding on vehicle without protection from the breeze), divaswapna (day sleeping), tushara (dew/frost) and eating full stomach. Avoid vasa (fat), taila (oil), meat of audaka (animals growing in water), anupa (animals living in marshy land), kshara (alkali), dahi (curds), divaswapna (day sleep).

Avoid the exposure to sun, avashyaya(drizzle), pragvata.

Avoid amla, teekshna, ushna, kshara food and drinks.

Avoid divaswapna, atapa (exposure to sun), ratri jagarana(staying awake till late night) and maithuna.


5 thoughts on “Rtu (seasonal regime) as per authentic Ayurvedic texts

  1. so are the texts recommending drinking cold drinks during summer? what does that mean for us nowadays? room temperature? not refrigerated or with ice cubes?

    • Fantastic question Kevin. These are just guidelines to understand as the foundation. Everyone is an individual. Therefore no, they are not telling you to drink ice cold drinks in the summer, especially summer as pitta is not in aggravation in summer, vata is. Cold is also being used as potency not temperature in some of the cases in the texts but this is completely lost when translated to english. If someone has high pitta, someone not understanding Ayurveda would say, well, the texts says to and it would make sense since they have high pitta. No. What if they have excess ap maha bhuta in their system? Now you have created ulcers or hyperacidity. Created a disease. Everyone has to be diagnosed as an individual. What if they have high pitta but their digestion is tanked? It is possible. Now a new disease has been created. A little bit of information is dangerous. To answer your question plainly, best to drink room temp in general but even that is different as per where one lives. And no, never refrigerated with ice cubes.

    • great, got it. cold = sheeta virya not cold in terms of literal temperature of the substance. So maybe something like jamaica (room temperature hibiscus tea with coconut sugar or something).

  2. Virya is potency. Yes. Hibiscus tea with coconut sugar?????? I wonder, do you know any cultures that use coconut sugar all the time besides the US? Jamaica uses sugar cane much as other countries do.

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