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Snehapana in Ayurveda

Panchakarma in Ayurveda offers a systematic treatment for dislodging and flushing toxins from every cell using the same organs of elimination that the body naturally employs.

The preparatory process of Panchakarma is the Poorva Karma. It enables a person to receive the full benefits of the main treatment. It consists of two main processes – Snehan (oleation) and Swedan (fomentation).

About Snehapana

The use of medicated oils, either internally or externally, is called Snehan (oleation). Snehan refers to the administration of medicated fats or the massage of oil over the skin for a specific period. A number of methods of Snehan therapy have been described in the Ayurvedic texts. The use of oleation results in unctuousness and softness of morbid doshas, which become easily extractable and ready to move from places where their occupation is undesirable and unwarranted.

Snehan is performed using substances of vegetable origin such as Til, Erand, Mahua, Sarson, Neem, Karanj, Shaijan, Priyal and Bahera, as well as substances of animal origin such as milk, curd, Ghee, meat, fat and bone tissue. The use of a specific snehan substance also depends upon the season of treatment. Therefore, while the use of Ghee has been recommended during the fall season, oil is the preferred substance during winters and the use of fat and bone marrow has been recommended during the spring season.

FAQs on Snehapana

What happens to the ghee that is digested? Doesn’t it add on the lipid load?

No! The undigested ghee adds on to the lipid load. Not the digested one.

Can the body digest so much ghee?

Yes! When the body has only Ghee to digest.

How is it equivalent to surgery?

The answer lies in the basic unit of any living being; the cell. The primary aim with snehapana is to make sure that all the cells in the body are saturated with so much fat that its ready to expel everything out at the first chance, and in the process, flushing out toxins as well. Once the cell expels the fat, the plasma level increases, and to maintain the normal equilibrium, the excess plasma volume is transported back to the GIT (gastro-intestinal tract). Administration of a purgative or an emetic at this point will complete the detox process. So, it is a method of a surgery without cutting anyone open. Once the toxins are out, you are as good as new and ready to accept any medicine or therapy that goes in.

The Procedure

Ghee is consumed at the time specified by the treating doctor.

  • Small sips of warm water are consumed every 45 minutes.
  • Belches are checked for the presence of ghee.
  • Once the feeling of complete digestion is ascertained, some warm water is had to ensure complete digestion of ghee.
  • Food is had only when the person feels hungry.
  • Light food like porridge etc. is preferred.

Precautions

  • The following are to be adhered to for at-least 5 days post the procedure.
  • Hot water is to be used for all purposes.
  • Nothing cold is to be had during this time.
  • Even water for toilet purpose is to be used hot.
  • NATURAL URGES SHOULD NOT BE BLOCKED.
  • No exercise
  • No snacking is entertained.
  • Abstain from all habits
  • Total sexual abstinence.
  • No day sleep.
  • Milk and milk products (except ghee) are to be avoided.
  • Avoid sour substances.

Related resources

  1. Panchakarma therapy
  2. Uses of medicinal plants in Panchakarma Ayurvedic therapy
  3. Standardisation of Panchakarma procedure


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