Of Shodhana & Ritu

Words: Dr Deepti L KAWALE & Dr Sharad D TRIPATHI

The balance of dosha, dhathu, agni and mala are all important factors in a person’s health. They are described in great detail in Ayurveda.

The synchronic balance of the atma, indriya, and manas improves physical and mental well-being. To achieve a healthy bodily and mental status, panchakarma, an Ayurvedic method of purification, is advised.

It is essential to perform panchakarma in accordance to particular ritu, so as to achieve all the myriad health advantages of this therapy. If panchakarma is not performed in accordance with rutucharya, certain pathological effects may occur. Panchakarma has the ability to remove malas, or morbid doshas, most effectively when the time and duration of therapy are appropriate and in accordance to disease conditions, or the physical state of patient.

Purvakarma, pradhanakarma, and paschatkarma are the three levels of panchakarma. The basic operations of purvakarma involve snehana and svedana procedures — they are performed as preliminary purification measures. The primary cleansing technique used in panchakarma therapy is called pradhanakarma. It includes practices, such as vamana, virechana, basti, nasya and raktamokshana. Paschatkarma is the after-purification action that helps to support the focal panchakarma therapy. Panchakarma, along with other upkramas, like abhyanga, swedana, and mardana, etc., offer a number of health advantages, as also benefits.

The general pharmacokinetic property of panchakarma dravya helps in the expulsion of toxins from the body. Tikshana guna breaks, or loosens, the toxins, Vikasi and vyavayi guna facilitate the movement of the doshas. Urdhavabhagha action causes their expulsion from the body.

Panchakarma & Ritu

Seasonal variations affect the doshas — they also change the person’s health status. Purifying procedures must, therefore, be carried out in accordance with the weather. When the panchakarma technique is performed in accordance with ritucharya, the morbid doshas get eliminated successfully. Panchakarma performed in accordance with seasonal changes helps in restoring the body’s homeostasis [balance].

  • Vasant ritu is prevalent to kapha prakopa; thus, vamana is suggested to alleviate kaphaja roga
  • In vasanta ritu, teekshna vamana and nasya are recommended.

Ritu nasya with Anu Taila can be performed in varsha and sarad ritu — to open the nasal passages and prevent respiratory discomfort.

  • Taila abhyanga, or avagaha sweda in warm water, increases circulation throughout the body, most notably in the sisira and hemanta ritus
  • Extensive panchakarma should be avoided in summer
  • Shodhana is not advised when vatadi doshas are in their sanchaya kala
  • According to Ayurveda literature, it is obvious, that, if the doshas build up through the winter, they need to be purged during vasanta ritu
  • Doshas in gishma ritu should be eliminated by shodhana during abhrakala
  • Doshas in varsha ritu should be eliminated during ghanatyaya kala.

With regard to ritu shodhana, Ayurveda advocates sadharan ritu and asadharan ritu as favourable, or unfavourable, conditions when panchakarma is to be performed, or avoided.

Panchakarma is not advised for healthy people during the grishma [summer] due to the intense heat. Panchakarma procedures cannot be conducted too during the rainy season. Panchakarma practices like vamana and virechana are to be also avoided throughout the winter. Extreme weather makes it difficult to complete snehapana and panchakarma — this is the primary reason to avoiding the therapy in such seasons. The intense heat, rain and cold conditions during grishma, varsha and hemant ritu are unfavourable for panchakarma. This is why the three seasons are known as asadharana ritus. Contrary to the aforementioned seasons, there are three other seasons [ritus] in which the climate is favourable. This makes snehapana and shodhana possible during such ritus — as they are considered as sadharan ritus.

Significance Of Ritu Shodhana

Tridosha‘s critical balance [homeostasis] determine whether, or not, a person is healthy. The three natural stages for the spread of doshas include chaya, prakopa and prashama. Chaya means the increase in its own site, prakopa means increase that causes the spread from the location and prashama refers to pacification. The seasonal fluctuations may cause aggravation of doshas, leading to pathological manifestations. Ritu shodhana possesses certain advantages for reducing the bad effects caused by aggravated doshas. Ritu shodhana, likewise, helps to prevent diseases, promote health and neutralises vitiated doshas. Ritu shodhana can be performed to acquire general health benefits, irrespective of swastha, or atura.

Doshas that have accumulated during the cold season should be swiftly and effectively expelled during vasanta. Doshas from the summers should be expelled during varsha. Varsha, likewise, should be ‘removed’ during sharad ritu. This way the intensified doshas in various seasons can be effectively countered. The conduction of ritu shodhana helps to avoid contracting illnesses brought on by the effects of the seasons, while ritu shodhana supports the normal functioning of the body. In the right seasons, shodhana helps in the expulsion of vitiated doshas. It also improves the vitality of organs.

Vasanta ritu is favourable for abhyanga and Murdhni Taila. In sisira ritu, vata kapha hara methods, such as abhyanga and vamana, may be used to prevent allergic conditions. Vata prakopa persists in varsha ritu. Thus, basti ‘warns’ of vataroga in varsha ritu. Sodhana ritucharya for vata pacification is indicated since vata gets worse during the rainy season. To relieve exacerbated vata, one might perform asthapana basti in the varsha ritu. Virechana and raktamokshana are prescribed to relieve pitta and rakta since pitta and rakta vitiation may also occur in varsha ritu. Virechana is advised in sharad ritu to avoid pitta prakopa primarily because this season is often vulnerable for pitta prakopa.

Conclusion

According to the dosha, prakriti, kala, and desha status, shodhana therapy should be administered. The vaya and koshtha must be followed when performing panchakarma. Panchakarma as shodhana therapy offers a number of health advantages; its best results can be obtained if appropriately used during a specific season.

Shodhana therapy, according to ritu, is necessary because the dosha predominance varies depending on the climatic conditions. Vasanta ritu promotes vamana and nasya, while sharat ritu indicates virechana. Ritu shodhana treats skin conditions, controls immunological disturbances, lowers disease morbidity, prevents lifestyle problems and maintains hormonal balance. Ritu shodhana also contributes to swastya rakshana and vikara prashamana. The impact of accumulated environmental pollutants can also be reduced by ritu shodhana. Ritu shodhana restores physical strength and delays the onset of premature aging too. It not only prevents, or helps to treat diseases, it also improves general health.

Dr DEEPTI L KAWALE, BAMS, MD [Ayurveda], is Professor, Panchakarma Department, Jupiter Ayurveda Medical College Shankarpur, Nagpur, India. Dr SHARAD D TRIPATHI, BAMS, MD [Ayurveda], is Reader, Shalyatantra Department, Bhausaheb Mulak Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur, India. This article was first published [Shodhana According to Ritu and its Clinical Significance: A Review] in Himalayan Journal of Health Sciences [December 15, 2022; 7{4}:7-9], under Creative Common Attribution-Non Commercial License 4.0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

73  −    =  sixty six

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.