Ayurveda Treatments are the procedures which help either elimination of increases dosha’s or works as a palliative in action. The intention of ayurvedic treatments is to enhance the healing procedure by eliminating the accumulated morbid doshas.
The treatments in ayurveda can be classified into two categories depending on their mode of action
- Shodana – Cleansing procedures
- Shamana – Palliative remedy
The purpose of shodhana therapy is chosen depending on many factors like age, disease, the state of dosha etc… Shodana therapies are intended to cleanse the system to attain maximum benefits of the medications used in the treatment. These therapies are also known as panchakarma treatment.
Shamana therapy is advised when the doshas can be treatable with medication and other therapies. Again this also depends on other factors like those are not fit to undergo shodana therapy, aged persons, children’s and in pregnancy etc.. The shamana therapies are many and the following are the few of them.
Abhyanga – Ayurvedic Oil Massage
Abhyanga or the Ayurvedic Oil Massage is one of the common ayurvedic treatment practiced widely.Abhyanga is a procedure where medicated oil is anointed all over the body and massaged for a specific duration. Abhyanga is advised for anyone who wishes to be healthy by ayurveda. Therapeutic Abhyanga is done with specific objectives like diseases, condition, season etc..Abhyanga is also a pre-procedure for many other treatments for example in Panchakarma treatments. Ayurvedic texts have explained the benefits of Abhyanga in detail and advise everyone to do it on daily basis to prevent from many diseases and to be healthy. Regular abhyanga also works as a rejuvenator.
Achotana is a procedure where medicine is installed as drops in the open eye. This is a procedure done as the first line of treatment for all eye diseases. Medicines are dropped from a prescribed height (2 angula). This procedure has to be done in the day time. It can be done before administering purificatory procedures. It is indicated when there is a pain, itching, irritation, burning sensation and redness in eyes.
Agni karma is a procedure where the prescribed material is heated and applied over the place of disease. Agnikarma is considered as the superior therapy among the other treatments Because it is simple, fast, cost-effective and gives an immediate result. The various materials are used as instruments in the agni karma such as metals, pippali etc…
Anjanam is a special procedure of application of medicines in the Eye by using a Shalaka(probe). Anjana can be used in different conditions of eye diseases. As the eye is the seat of Tejas and it has the changes getting accumulated kapha to produce diseases it is advised to apply Rasanjana once in a week to drain the Kapha from Eyes.
Avagaha means to immerse or dip. This is a sweating procedure where the patient is made to sit or lie in a tub till the proper symptoms of sweating are seen. The Warm medicated liquid is poured in a tub will induce sweat. This procedure either can be done to the whole body or to any specific part depending on the condition. One should not apply avagaha sweda above the neck level.
Choorna Pinda Sweda(Podi Kizhi)
This is one of the procedures which helps to induce sweat. Here Choorna or means medicated powder and Pinda means bolus. This is also popularly known as Podi Kizhi in Kerala. Medicated powders are heated and tied with a cloth and this bundle is applied over the indicated part to all over the body below the neck. This is mainly indicated in kappa predominant diseases or Vata and kapha diseases.
Dhanya means grains, Amla means sour and dhara means pouring. Dhanyamla is a liquid prepared by using many drugs. It is prepared in the similar to the procedure of preparing Asava/Arishta. It is also one type of sweat inducing procedure where dhanyamla is poured all over the body till the proper symptoms of sweating appear.
Dhanyamla can be used internally also. This is indicated mainly in Kapha and Vata predominant diseases.
Dhooma means smoke pana means intake. Here medicated herbs are burnt and the smoke is inhaled through nose or mouth through a special instrument. It is usually done the kapha predominant diseases especially related to respiratory system. It helps in clearing the pathways. It can be performed as an individual procedure or done after Vamana or Nasya treatment. It is indicated in cold, cough, diseases of mouth etc…
Patra Pinda Sweda (Ela kizhi)
Patra means leaves and pinda mean bolus. It is also known popularly as Ela kizhi in Kerala. Prescribed medicated leaves are collected and chopped into small pieces. These then fried mildly adding medicated oil. Other ingredients like garlic, lemon, etc.. are added during the preparation. Once they are prepared it should be tied with clothes to make a bundle. This bolus is heated and used to induce sweating. This therapy is a combination of dry(ruksha) and unctuous(snidga) together. It is indicated various diseases predominantly where Vata and Kapha are involved.
Greeva means neck and vast is a procedure of retention of medicated oil or ghee in it. This procedure is a combination of snigda and swedana together. A boundary is constructed using the paste of black gram with the specific height. The warm medicated oil or ghee is poured in it and retained for the specific period. It is indicated in neck pain, cervical spondylosis etc…
Uro Vasti or Hrudaya Vasti is a procedure where medicated oil or ghee is retained in the chest region. This is also a mild sudative and unctuous in nature. A boundary is created with specific height using the paste of black gram to retain the medicated ghee or oil. It is indicated in breathing difficulties, Asthma, cardiac problems etc…
Janu means knee and retaining medicated oil or ghee is called Janu vast or basti. Here also paste of black gram is used to construct a boundary with the specific thickness. This procedure induces mild sudation along with unctuousness effect. It is indicated for knee joint pain. The medicated oil is selected according to the dosha predominance.
Jalauka means leech. It is widely practiced method to eliminate the vitiated blood from the localized area. It is one among the blood letting procedures which are considered too easy, safe, with an excellent result. The non-poisonous leeches are used to remove the vitiated blood. It is one among the purificatory procedure helps in cleans the vitiated dosha’s from the localized part.
Kashaya dhara literally means pouring the medicated decoction. A warm decoction prepared according to the condition and poured in a specific manner all over the body except above the neck. This is a form of wet sedation therapy which is in various diseases conditions.
Kati vasti is a procedure where medicated oil or ghee is retained in the lower back. It is a type of unctuous sedation. It is indicated in low back pain, sciatica, stiffness in the back, disc problems etc…
Kashaya Vasti is also known as Niruha Vasti. It is a procedure where medicated decoction is administered through the anus. Kashaya Vasti is indicated in various conditions like eliminating the aggravated dosha’s, as palliative treatment, as nourishing treatment. Kashaya’s are prepared according to the dosha conditions and mixed with honey, saindhava salt, and herbal paste. It is mainly used to treat Vata predominant diseases like arthritis, paralysis, neuromuscular problems etc….
Ksheradhara is a procedure where herbs are boiled with milk. The medicated milk is poured all over the body in a specific manner. This is also used for the Shirodhara.This is mainly used in pitta predominant conditions.
Ksheera doom is a variety of sweating therapy. Medicated milk or milk alone is boiled in a closed container having a pipe to direct the steam. This steam is used to the desired area of the body to induce sweat. It is used in treating facial paralysis, stiff ness in the neck or scapular region etc…
Kshara treatment is a para surgical procedure where specified kshara is applied directly on the required area. Kshara treatment is considered as one of the best curative treatment in certain diseases. Kshara sutra is a thread which is treated with kashara. The kashara sutra is tied to a part which has to be removed. Kshara sutra is widely practiced in diseases related to any rectal region. Some of the common conditions like piles, fistula, fissure are treated using kshara sutra.
Application of medicated paste over the face is called Mukha leapa’s. The medicines are selected according to the dosha are made in to paste. This paste is applied on the face with a specified thickness and kept there for the prescribed time. The Mukha leapa’s are classified in to three categories. The first one is doshagna mukha lepa which helps to clear the dosha’s vitiated, then the second Vishaghna lepa which helps to remove the toxins from the place of application and the last one is Varnya lepa which helps to improve the color and complexion of the face.
Navara Kizhi is also known as Shashtika shali Pinda sweda(SSPS). Here Shashtika variety of grain is taken to make bolus. The Shashtika rice is cooked with milk and bala moola decoction to thick consistency then bolus is prepared. This bolus is applied over the desired area. It can be done to the specific part of the body or all over the body below the neck. It is indicated in degenerative diseases, Vata and Pitta associated diseases, neurological problems, joint pains, paralysis etc….
It is also known as Shashtika Anna lepa. The procedure is similar to that of shashtika shali preparation. This is a mild variety of sedation therapy. Here the paste of shashtika shali is applied over the desired area and retained for a specific period. It can be used all over the body below the neck or to a part. It is done to the patients who are old, children whom can not with stand the procedure of shashtika shali Pinda sweda. It has the same indications where shastika shali pinda swede is advised.
Naranga Kizhi is also called Jambira/Lemon Pinda Sweda. It is a sudation procedure done using the Jambira fruit(lemon) as the main ingredient. The bolus prepared using Jambira and other prescribed ingredients are heated with specific oil. This bolus is applied to the desired area to induce sweat. It is mainly indicated in Vata and Kaphaja diseases like joint pain, frozen shoulder, neck pain etc…
Medicated oil or ghee is kept over the eye is known as Netra tarpana or Akshi tarpana.This can be used for both treating the diseases as well as a preventive therapy. This done constructing a boundary with the paste of black gram. Then the medicated ghee or oil is filled in it till the eye lashes are immersed.
The medicated herbal paste is applied over the eye lids excluding the eye lashes and bandaging is known as pindika.When the paste is getting dry it should be removed by using wet cotton. In vata predominant diseases mild warm pindika is applied and in pitta dominant conditions cold pindika is applied.
Pizhichil or sneha dhara is a special procedure widely practiced in Kerala ayurveda tradition. The warm medicated oil or ghee is dripped over the body with a specific height. It is a therapy that combines both unctuous and sudation in action. This can be used as a curative or rejuvenate therapy. It is indicated mainly in Vata predominant diseases and also in Vata kaphaja diseases.
Pariseka is a procedure where warmed liquids are poured over the body to induce sweating. The liquid materials can be chosen according to the diseases. Medicated decoctions, medicated oils, medicated ghee, medicated milk are commonly used in this procedure. These are warmed and poured over the body in a specific manner with a specific height. Parisekam can be used as a curative procedure as well as rejuvenate therapy.
This is done in a similar way as tetra tarpana. But here instead of medicated ghee or oil, the liquid extract is used. The preparation of liquid is done according to putapaka procedure. It is usually done after Netra tarpana. It is indicated in treating eye diseases.
Shirodhara is a procedure where the prescribed oil/decoction/medicated buttermilk is continuously poured as a stream for a specific period with the specific height. This procedure is a simple and effective both in curing the diseases as well as preventive procedure. This procedure is indicated in diseases related to head mainly and also in some related conditions. Shirodhara helps in improving sleep quality, helps to reduce stress, improves memory power, improves the functions of sensory organs etc…
Shiro Vasti is considered superior among all the other procedures like Shiro Abhyanga, Shiro Pichu, and Shirodhara. Here the medicated oil is retained over the head using a head cap for a prescribed time. It is best to do after the cleansing procedure to get best results. Shiro vasti can also be done directly with out undergoing cleansing procedures. It is indicated mainly Vata predominant and other neurological conditions like paralysis, facial palsy, tension head ache, insomnia etc…
This is a varied of procedure where medicated oil or ghee is kept on the head for a specific period. A small cotton pad or cloth is dipped in medicated oil or ghee is kept on the head. It is advised in Vata predominant diseases, graying of hairs, skin problems of the scalp etc…
Shiro Abhyanga is a procedure where medicated oil or ghee is applied to the scalp and gently massaged. This procedure is done in diseased condition as a treatment or advised as a preventive procedure. It is advised to do Shiro Abhyanga daily with medicated oils to prevent hair fall graying of hairs, dandruff, to have better eye sight etc…
Talapodichil is also known as shirt lepa. It is the application of medicated paste over the head followed by bandaging if for a specific period. It can be done alone or as pre operative procedure to other ayurvedic treatments. It works as mainly a palliative medicine. Talapodichil is indicated in pitta predominant conditions of the head like premature graying of hairs, stress, anxiety disorder, insomnia, hair fall, eye problems etc….
Takra means buttermilk and dhara mean pouring. Takradhara is a special procedure where medicated buttermilk is poured over the body in a specified manner. It can be done all over the body or to a part. When takradhara is done to the head then it is called Shiro takra dhara. It is indicated in Kapha predominant diseases. Commonly used in conditions like itching, skin diseases, etc…
Talam is a procedure similar to the shirt leap or talapodichil. Here the medicated pastes or powders are mixed with prescribed oils or liquid materials and applied on the head or vertex. It is done as a preoperative procedure before doing other ayurvedic treatments. It is mainly practiced in Kerala ayurveda tradition. It prevents the complications of the other therapeutic procedures. It is indicated in fever, head aches, insomnia, psychological conditions, giddiness, etc….
Valuka means sand and sweda means sedation. Here sand is heated in a frying pan and then tied with cloth to make bolus. This is applied over the part desired to produce sweat. Valuka swedana is can be done to the whole body below the neck region or to a local part. It is very economical as well as very effective in the management of pain and inflammation. It is a dry variety of sedation procedure mainly indicated when kapha predominant conditions or data kapha predominant conditions.
Upanaha swedana is a localized sweating procedure where medicated paste is applied over the desired area and bandaged. In general herbal paste is prepared and used as a material for upanaha. The medications can be applied either heating or without heating. It is mainly used in treating Vata and Vata kaphaja diseases.
Udwarthana is an external application of medicated powders or pastes on the body and then with a specific pressure, massage is done. In Udwarthana massage is done in opposite direction to that of Abhyanga ie in pratilomagati. It is usually indicated in skin diseases and obesity and kapha predominant conditions. Some times it is also done as a pre-procedure to the other therapies.
Uttara Vasti is a procedure where the medications are administered through Genito urinary route. It can be done in male and females. In females, it is done either through urinary or vaginal route. This can be done for the cleansing as well as unctuous purposes. It is indicated in vaginal diseases, diseases of the bladder, diseases of the uterus, infertility etc…
Yoni prakshalana is a procedure of irrigating vagina with medicinal decoction. It is indicated in conditions like vaginal itching, vaginal discharge etc…