(Last Updated on : 14/03/2012)
The Charaka Samhita prescribes different food preparations and beverages for different seasons that enabled people to remain healthy in all the seasons. People enjoying good health must have been able to discharge their duties efficiently which must have contributed greatly to the happiness of the individuals, as well as the society as a whole. This is because, these rules were framed keeping in view the changes in weather in different seasons of the year.
In the winter season Charaka prescribes food articles fried in fats and sour and saline in taste and meat of fat animals living near water. He also suggested wine prepared from the juice of sugarcane, preparations of milk, sugarcane, fats, oils, new rice and warm water to drink.
In the spring season, according to him one should eat preparations of barley and wheat and meat of a young one of an elephant, hare, sheep, quail and cuckoo and wine prepared with the juice of sugarcane i.e. Sidhu or that with honey i.e. madhavi.
In the summer season one should eat cool paste groats prepared with parched barley or rice meal mixed with sugar, meat of wild animals and birds, clarified butter, milk, boiled sali variety of rice, wine in a small quantity, mixed with plenty of water.
In the rainy season one should take old barley, wheat and sali rice and the meat of wild animals mixed with juices of fruits and wine prepared with honey or arista i.e. a tincture of medicines.
In the autumn season one should take the meat of quails and cuckoos, hare, young one of an elephant, preparations of wheat barley and rice. One should avoid the use of curds, fats, oils and meat of animals living near water.
Thus the food of the rich must have varied according to the suitability of the preparations for different seasons. The poor people must have eaten whatever food articles they could afford but there must have been some changes according to seasons. As for example they probably ate groats mixed with unrefined sugar and water in summer and boiled hot wheat or barley mixed with jaggery in winter.