The Panchakarma treatment in Ayurveda aims at offering a holistic and systematic approach to deep-cleanse the body by flushing out toxins at the cellular level. To prepare an individual for the treatment, a preparatory procedure is performed called the Poorva Karma. It allows the individual to receive maximum benefits from Panchakarma and consists of two crucial processes, i.e. Snehan or oleation therapy and Swedan or fomentation therapy.
The substances used in Snehan therapy can either be of vegetable origins, such as Mahua, Sarson, Priyal, Bahera, Til, Erand, Karanj, or of animal origin, such as milk, ghee, meat, fat, and bone tissue, etc. Different substances may be used for the therapy depending on the season; ghee is recommended during the fall season, while oil is recommended during winter, and fat and bone tissues during the spring.
In the Snehan procedure, medicated oils are administered either internally (Sneha Pana) or externally (Abhyanga, Pizhichil, etc.)
Sneha Pana Procedure
In Sneha Pana, medicated ghee or oil along with herbs is orally administered to dislodge the toxins accumulated in the body and ease their expulsion before the main Panchakarma treatment. There are two ways of performing Sneha Pana:
- Achapana, where ghee, oil, or animal fat is given in large quantities depending on the digestion of the individual. Generally, Achapana is performed before Panchakarma procedures like Vamana and Virechana.
- Vicharana, where the fats are given in small quantities through the food daily. This procedure is usually performed as a nourishing therapy in Vata vyadhi and in emaciated individuals.
Dosage and Duration of Sneha Pana
In the initial phases of Sneha Pana treatment, the dosage is decided according to the stage of the disease, the body constitution, and the digestive power of the individual. After that, a fixed dosage will be given considering the time taken for digestion and changes observed in the individual during the therapy.
The duration of the therapy may last anywhere between 1 and 7 days.
Indications of Snehapana
- Individuals seeking Panchakarma therapies
- General detoxification
- Skin diseases
- Eye disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Gastric problems
- Respiratory problems
- Endocrinal disorders
- Emaciated individuals/li>
- Insomnia and stress
- Acute inflammation
- Fever, as the therapy can raise the temperature
- Vitiated Kapha or medas (fats)
- During pregnancy and postpartum
- Weak digestion and metabolism
- Cardiac problems
- Abdominal problems
- Infectious diseases
- Extreme fatigue
- Hemorrhagic disorders
- Boosts the digestive agni and improves the quality of digestion
- Detoxifies the body from within and prevents chronic diseases
- Strengthens the immune system and restores well-being
- Reduces the signs of aging like wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, etc. and makes the skin soft
- Reduces stress occurring from the fast-paced lifestyles
- Promotes longevity
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