From The Desk of Dr. Kotecha



The cold is still more severe in Shishir than in Hemant (early winter) and accumulation

of Kapha starts during this period.

Though it is the starting season of Adankal, still the body-strength is good and other

doshas are in balanced condition (samyavastha). The agni is still optimum, but one

should take cognizance of severe cold in the atmosphere.

Most dietary advices remain the same as that for Hemant Ritu, the only change in the

selection should be about the potency of food items. Instead of cold potency, the food

products of hot potency (heat generating) should be selected, to counteract the

excessive cold. These include stuffed brinjals (bharta), rice with moong dal and

chapatti’s stuffed with jaggery and sesame seeds. The bhakris made of bajra with large

amounts of butter or ghee are ideal at this time. Jaggery and sesame (Tila) are

unctuous (snigdha) and hot (ushna) in attributes. The non-vegetarians should enjoy and

relish with mutton, eggs and meat. In general, diet should be heavy (guru), unctuous

and hot in attributes.

Hot water bath is preferred and drinking water should also be hot. One should protect

with warm clothing, room-heaters and should practice heavy exercises.


Uttarayana already sets in with Shishir, and in Vasanta, the day becomes longer than

night. Obviously, gradually the strong sun-shine begins to liquefy the accumulated

kapha which then starts its work of vitiating the digestive power of its host. The

atmosphere becomes full of fragrance, with the blossoming of various flowers.

Heavy foods like eggs, chicken, sweetmeats and milk, bananas & dry fruits now should

be avoided. To avoid kapha, instead of rice, wheat should be consumed more. The

grains aggravate kapha and cause blockades in the channels (srotasas),

hence bitter, pungent and astringent tastes should be added, to curb the effect of

kapha. Incorporation of ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, asafoetida, chilly and

mustard in daily diet will be beneficial to stoke agni and alleviate kapha. Oils should be

preferred over ghee. Buttermilk and milk will be better than curds. Intake of honey is

advisable. Therapeutic fasting is recommended in this season. Boiled and then cooled

water should be used for drinking. Optimum amount of mild wines (Drakshasava) are

beneficial. In general, moderate amount of diet, avoiding sleep during the day and

practicing moderate exercise is recommended.

Asthma, influenza, sinusitis, cough and cold like kapha disorders are commonly sought

during this season. At the onset of Vasant ritu, prophylactic emesis (vaman), one of the

procedures of panchakarma is advocated to get rid of kapha, Nasal administration

Nasya of Vacha taila is recommended to keep the sinuses clean.