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A Critical Study on Ritucharya and its relation with  Tamaka Shwasa (Bronchial Asthma)

A Critical Study on Ritucharya and its relation with Tamaka Shwasa (Bronchial Asthma)

Author: *Dr. Neeru Nathani1, Prof. S. K. Tiwari2, Prof. J. K. Samaria3

1. Assistant Professor, Department of Swasthavritta and Yoga, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India 2. Professor and Head, Department of Kayachikitsa, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India 3. Professor, Department of T.B. and Respiratory Diseases, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India *Corresponding Author - Dr. Neeru Nathani

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Asian Journal of Modern and Ayurvedic Medical Science (ISSN 2279-0772) Vol.1,no.1, July 2012.[ © The Author 2012]

Published by Mpasvo Letter No.V-34564,Reg.533/2007-2008,All rights reserved.For permissions e-Mail : & .

Research Paper


A Critical Study on Ritucharya and its relation with

Tamaka Shvasa (Bronchial Asthma)


*Dr. Neeru Nathani1 Prof. S. K. Tiwari2  Prof. J. K. Samaria3




T he Declaration of the authors for publication of Research Paper in Asian Journal of Modern and Ayurvedic Medical Science (ISSN 2279-0772) Dr. Neeru Nathani1, Prof. S. K. Tiwari2 and Prof. J. K. Samaria3, the authors of the research paper entitled “A Critical Study on Ritucharya and its relation with Tamaka Shvasa (Bronchial Asthma)” declare that we take the responsibility of the content and material of our paper as we ourselves have written it and also have read the manuscript of our paper carefully. Also, we hereby give our consent to publish this paper in ajmams. This research paper is our original work and no part of it or it’s similar version is published or has been sent for publication anywhere else. We authorise the Editorial Board of the Journal to modify and edit the manuscript. We also give our consent to the publisher of ajmams to own the copyright of our research paper.


Received june 3,2012;accepted june 25, 2012 ,published july1,2012

........................................................................................................................................................... Abstract : Ayurveda proclaims that the environment and man constantly interact with each other and influenced by their mutual relationship. As long as this interaction remains balanced, the man retains the state of health. Entire functioning of body is regulated by the Dosha, which itself are affected by external environment (diurnal and seasonal), food, habits, and habitats, physical and mental conditions etc. Ritucharya (Seasonal regimen) is the basic and important endowment of Ayurveda to balance the rhythmic seasonal variations of Dosha, Bala, Agni and Rasa. In Ayurveda it is said that if a man knows the suitable Ahara and Vihara for every season and practices accordingly, his strength and luster will enhance and he never suffers from seasonal diseases.

In Tamaka Shvasa (Bronchial Asthma) patient feels darkness or suffocation or exhaustion during the respiration particularly at night or early in the morning. Vata obstructed by Kapha produces a variety of dyspnoea associated with wheezing sound and painful respiration. The paroxysms of Tamaka Shvasa get intensified by taking Kapha aggravating ahara-vihara, by cloudy, humid, and cold weather, easterly wind, by animals (pet hair or dander), dust, mold, pollen, tobacco smoke, stress etc. Bronchial Asthma is increasing day by day with increase in the level of pollution and the stressful lifestyle of people. According to WHO, by the year of 2020, Asthma along with COPD will become the third leading cause of death. Various researches proved that the prevalence of Bronchial Asthma is significantly related with seasonal variation. Since the cure of Bronchial Asthma with the modern medicine is only temporary and disease symptoms fluctuate with seasons therefore it is the need of the era to provide appropriate community education and awareness about the importance of Ritucharya and its role in prevention of Bronchial Asthma.                                                       


Key words : Ritu, Ritucharya, Tamaka Shvasa, Prevention.



According to Ayurveda, entire functioning of human body is regulated by the Dosha, which itself are affected by external environment. Man and environment constantly interact with each other and influenced by their mutual relationship, the b alanced state of this interaction retains the human health. In Ayurveda more emphasis has been given to promotion and preservation of health of healthy individuals. For this various health care measures are mentioned in Ayurveda, Ritucharya (Seasonal Regimen) is an important one of them to balance the rhythmic seasonal variations of Dosha, Bala, Agni and Rasa. Education of Ritucharya offers individuals and groups opportunities to increase their knowledge, awareness, skill & support to adopt regular practices of seasonal regimen. In Ayurveda it is said that if a man knows the suitable Ahara and Vihara for every season and practices accordingly, his strength and luster will enhance and he never suffers from seasonal diseases.

Tamaka Shvasa (Bronchial Asthma) is a Kapha-Vatatmaka disease showing diurnal and seasonal variation with higher prevalence in Hemanta, Vasanta and Varsha seasons . Cases of Bronchial Asthma are increasing at a rate of 50% every decade . This may be due to increase in the level of pollution, non-observance of Ritucharya and the stressful lifestyle of people. M anagement of Bronchial Asthma with the modern medicine is purely temporary and at times associated with serious toxic effects. So this is the demand of the society and the responsibility of Ayurvedic experts to evaluate certain Ayurvedic methods for management of chronic persistent Asthma as well as acute stage of Bronchial Asthma. Ritucharya is a safe, effective, cheap and easily administered way of life for Asthma management.



·   Ritu and Ritucharya

The word Ritucharya is made up of two words: Ritu and Charya. Ritu means season, the specific time. Charya means Charana or Lifestyle. Thus the meaning of Ritucharya is “the healthy lifestyle (pathya Ahara and Vihara) that is to be followed during six different seasons”.

Depending upon the position of sun with respect to the Earth, the Year or Samvatsara is divided into two Ayana or Solstices– Uttarayana or Adana Kala and Dakshinayana or Visarga Kala (S.Su.-6/7). Each Ayana includes three ritus. There are six ritus in a year depending upon the position of the Sun from one Rashi (stellar constellation) to the other (Sha.Pu.-2). This is known as Ritu cycle of six seasons. Six ritus are divided on the basis of the predominant effect of Sun and Moon. Charaka said that Vata is responsible for differentiation of Ritus (Ch. Su.-12). Each season is of two months period and specific Ritucharya is described for each season. The Indian meteorological department (IMD) designates four different seasons – Winter, Summer or Pre-monsoon, Monsoon and Post-monsoon season.


·   Different Ritus



Indian Months

English Months

Influential Rashi












(Late winter)

Magha(Tapa) & Phalguna(Tapasya) 

Mid Jan. to Mid March

Makara & Kumbha



Chaitra(Madhu) & Baishakha(Madhava)

Mid March to Mid May

Meena & Mesha



Jyestha(Shuchi) & Ashadha(Shukra) 

Mid May to Mid July 

Vrisha & Mithuna














(Rainy season)

Shravana(Nabha) & Bhadrapada(Nabhasya)

Mid July to Mid Sept.

Karka & Simha



Ashwina(Isha) & Kartika(Urja)

Mid Sept. to Mid Nov.

Kanya & Tula


(Early winter)

Margashirsha(Saha) & Pausha(Sahasya) 

Mid Nov. to Mid Jan.

Vrishchika & Dhanu


·   Effect of Ritus on Tridosha

A particular rhythmic pattern of three doshas occur in relation to six seasons. Sanchaya (Accumulation), Prakopa (Aggravation) and Prashaman (Mitigation) of all three doshas takes place when the sun changes from one rashi to the other.



Sanchaya (Accumulation)

Prakopa (Aggravation)


(Mitigation to normalcy)














·   Fundamentals of Ritucharya

1.  While passing through six seasons our body is bound to face different variations and accordingly it is likely to get affected if the same routine is followed in all seasons.

2.  The basic principle of Ritucharya is to preserve the equilibrium of doshas through the concept of Samanya and Vishesha.

3.  Knowledge and regular observance of suitable Ritucharya (Ahara and Vihara for different seasons) is mainly for the maintenance of health and prevention of diseases. For diseased persons Ritucharya has to be modified accordingly.

4.  The seasons are differentiated according to month, rashi and characteristics. More importance has been given to the appearance of characteristics.

5.  Ritusandhi is the time period of 14 days, including last seven days of the previous ritu and first seven days of next ritu. During this period, the regimen of the preceding season should be discontinued gradually and that of the succeeding season should be adopted gradually to prevent the diseases (A.H.Su.-3/58).

6.  Yamdanshtra is the period of total 16 days i.e. the last eight days of Kartika month and first eight days of Aghana (Margashirsha). During this period mainly Pitta aggravates, which causes improper digestion, many diseases and fatal consequences. So, only those people can live happily who take easily digestible and less amount of food (Sha.Pu-2/30).


·   Hemanta Ritucharya

Grahya Ahara - Amla, Lavana, Madhura, Guru & Snidha dravya, New Rice & Wheat, Fats & Oils, Black Gram & its products, Milk and its products, Sugarcane products, Warm Water, Honey, Anupa(animals of marshy land) & Audaka (aquatic animals) Mansa, Liquor.

Varjya Ahara - Laghu and Vatala dravya,     Pramitahara, Udmantha.

Grahya Vihara - Protection from cold by warm cloths & beddings, Living in warm house, Regular use of shoes, Bathing with warm water, Abhyanga, Utsadana, Vyayama, Atapa Sevana, Intercourse.

Varjya Vihara - Diwaswapna, Direct Air.

·   Shishira Ritucharya

It is similar to Hemanta ritucharya. Specially live in warmer house and protect from direct air. Avoid Katu, Tikta, Kashaya, Laghu, Sheeta and Vatala dravya.


·   Basanta Ritucharya

Grahya Ahara - Katu, Tikta & Kashaya dravya, Ruksa, Laghu &Ushna dravya; Old Wheat, Rice & Barley; Water medicated with Ginger, Khadira, Musta & Honey; Jangal Mansa, Liquor.

Varjya Ahara - Madhura, Amla, Guru, Snigdha & Sheeta dravya, Curd.

Grahya Vihara - Kavala dharana, Anjana, Dhumpana, Vyayama, Udvartana, Chandan & Aguru lepa, Intercourse, Vamana & Nasya.

Varjya Vihara - Direct sunlight, Diwaswapna, Sleeping under Dew.


·   Grishma Ritucharya

Grahya Ahara – Madhura, Drava, Sheeta, Laghu & Snigdha dravya, Mantha with Sugar, Rice, Ghee, Milk, Shali Rice, Jangal Mansa (meat of terrestrial animals).

Varjya Ahara - Lavana, Amla, Katu and Ushna dravya, Curd, Liquor.

Grahya Vihara – Diwaswapna, Living & sleeping in cold place, Protection from heat, bathing with cold water, Chandan lepa, Wearing of light clothes.

Varjya Vihara – Vyayama, Atapa sevana, Intercourse.


·   Varsha Ritucharya

Grahya Ahara - Madhura, Amla, Lavana, Snigdha & Ushna dravya, Old Wheat, Rice & Barley, Yusa, Food with Honey, Boiled & cooled Water, Jangal Mansa, Liquor.

Varjya Ahara - Ruksha & Ati-drava dravya, Udmantha, River water.

Grahya Vihara - Living in dry place, Wearing of light clothes, Pragharshan, Udvartana, Vasti, Virechana, Vamana, Use of flowers and perfume.

Varjya Vihara – Diwaswapna, Vyayama, Living under dew, Eastern wind, Excessive Sunlight exposure, Intercourse.


·   Sharad Ritucharya

Grahya Ahara - Madhura, Tikta & Kasaya dravya, Laghu, Ruksa & Sheeta dravya, Wheat, Rice, Barley & Mudga, Milk, Sugar & Sugarcane, Tikta sarpi, River water, Hansodak, Jangal mansa

Grahya Vihara – Virechana, Raktamokshana, Living under Moon light, Wearing of flowers, pearls, clean cloths

Varjya Ahara – Amla, Katu, Tikshna & Ushna dravya, Kshara, Oils & Fat, Curd, Ginger, Anupa & Aaudak mansa, Liquor

Varjya Vihara – Diwaswapna, Vyayama, Eastern wind, Living in dew, Atapa sevana


·   Tamaka Shvasa and Ritucharya

Tamaka Shvasa is a serious disease of respiratory system, caused by the aggravation of Kapha and Vata dosha. When Vata, predominantly associated with Kapha gets aggravated, vitiates the channels (Srotas) of Prana, Udaka and Anna, located in the chest, then being obstructed itself and moving in reverse order stimulates the Kapha and seizes the head and neck, resulting into Tamaka Shvasa. According to Ayurveda clouds (cloudy days of any season especially rainy season; cold season); water (rainy days; humid days); cold (cold weather, place, food and conduct having cold nature or provide cooling effect to the body); easterly wind and Kaphaja food and conduct aggravates the symptoms of Tamaka Shvasa, and warm things which have warm effect on body or warm natured food, conduct & place, warm weather provide relief to the patient. In winters and Basanta seasons Kapha dosha is vitiated and in Varsha Vata dosha is already vitiated by nature. To balance these doshas and to prevent Tamaka Shvasa particular Ritucharya has to be followed.

Rahul Jaiswal et. al. BHU (2011) in their study found that major risk factors for Bronchial Asthmaare the exposure to cold (like direct cold air, water cooler, fan, A.C.), rain and cloudy sky; exposure to dust (Raja); exposure to smoke (Dhooma), fog; living in humid environment; sedentary lifestyle; late morning awakening (after 8 AM); and day time sleeping; intake of cold items; curd; buffalo’s milk and its products; rice at night; and fruits like banana, guava and fruit juices at night. In a clinical study on 140 patients of Bronchial Asthma we found that maximum cases were registered in Winters (Hemanta & Shishira), Basanta and Varsha seasons; and common anupashaya in those patients were Shleshma Ahara, Shita kala, Meghambu, Raja, Dhooma and Ratri kala. Cold and dry air of winter season leads to excessive dehydration of nasal passage and the upper respiratory tract and increased chances of microbial and viral infection. Warm and humid weather of Varsha season is host to a variety of infectious diseases. Vasanta season is the time of pollens, which are known allergens in case of Asthma.


·   Conclusion

Ayurveda proclaims that there are similarities between human beings and the universe, and specify that the endogenous and exogenous imbalances are responsible for causation of diseases. To maintain the health and equilibrium of Dosha with seasonal variation, and for prevention of diseases, the important concept of Ritucharya has been described. The highest prevalence of Tamaka Shvasa found in W inters, Basanta and Varsha seasons with predominance of Kapha and Vata dosha, which is mainly associated with non-observance of Ritucharya. There is great need to care for paroxysmal attacks of Bronchial Asthma through the observance of appropriate Ritucharya.


·   References

1.  Charaka Samhita- Sutra Sthana: Chapter 6, Chikitsa Sthana: Chapter 17.

2.  Sushruta Samhita- Sutra Sthana: Chapter 6, Uttara Tantra: Chapter 50, 51, 64.

3.  Ashtanga Hridaya- Sutra Sthana: Chapter 3, Nidana Sthana: Chapter 4.

4.  Ashtanga Sangraha- Sutra Sthana: Chapter 4, Nidana Sthana: Chapter 4.

5.  Madhava Nidana: Chapter 12.

6.  Sharangadhara Samhita- Purva Khanda: Chapter 2.

7.  Bhava Prakasha- Purva Khanda: Chapter 5, 14.

8.  Kashyapa Samhita- Khila Sthana: Chapter 7.

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