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Written by Dr Ashwini Konnur,
Ayurveda is one of the best and natural ways of preventive cure so that you refrain from visiting a doctor with serious illness. Apart from treating the root cause it specifies modification on diet and lifestyle. Ayurveda provides both palliative and detoxifying measures with Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas.
Detox is recommended the moment these Doshas aggravate.
This is wherein Panchakarma procedure plays an important role and today we will learn more about one such procedure named Vamana. Vamana is therapeutic emesis or medicated induction of vomiting. This treatment helps to dislodge the aggravated Kapha Dosha from the body especially from respiratory and GI tract. Doshas can be aggravated by many reasons including seasonal variations such as Kapha is aggravated in Hemanta Ritu (Spring), Pitta in Sharad (Winter) and Vata in Greeshma Ritu (Summer) hence Vamana therapy is prescribed in Spring season to avoid disorders of Kapha as a preventive measure.
Why Vamana Therapy?
Due to increase in kapha dosha there may be few irregularities that may cause cold, cough, to major diseases such as obesity, anemia, etc. Vamana is usually prescribed to people who are suffering from:
• Respiratory disorders,
• Heaviness of body,
• Skin disorders,
• Vitiation of breast milk,
• Impotency, etc.
Chest region is the seat of Kapha dosha. Expelling increased Kapha from the oral route would be much easier hence Vamana treatment was designed. With increased Kapha alone or increased Kapha with dominance and accompanied with pitta then again Vamana treatment is chosen.
Benefits of Vamana Therapy
There are many benefits of Vamana apart from just expelling out the vitiated Kapha dosha. It is excellent in treating:
• Gastric problems, Enhances digestion and metabolism,
• Helps in boosting immunity,
• Respiratory problems such as asthma and cough are curable,
• Flushes out toxins,
• Helps to slow down the process of aging,
• Skin health improves.
•Despite having many advantages Vamana is not suitable for all individuals.
People who have too much dryness, lightness or roughness or one could say those who have deficiency of kapha dosha are not suitable for Vamana. Children, old people, pregnant women, people who are emotionally very disturbed, patient who have heart problem, those who are weak, debilitated, men with prostate enlargement, who are already suffering from vomiting, etc Vamana therapy is not suitable.
It is a 3 Phase Procedure for Vamana Treatment: there are some pre Vamana procedures that needs to be done but the entire vamana therapy may take a minimum of 9 days to 14 days.
a) Deepana is induced to increase the metabolic rate or to correct the digestion power of an individual. Deepana may be done for 3 to 5 days where he/she may be given medicine such as Ashta churna, hingwashtaka churna/ tablet, trikatu churna, Chitrakadi Vati, etc.
After Deepana, from 4th or 6th day Snehapana will be initiated. Snehapana or oliation therapy where the person is given medicated ghee or oil to drink in the increasing order for a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 7 days. This procedure helps in liquefying the ama or toxins. Ghee is given till the skin becomes soft and oily or the person passes ghee through his motions.
b) Abhyanga (oil massage) and steam is given so that the toxins get accumulated in the nearest exit point. Just the night before Vamana treatment patient is asked to consume food that aggravates Kapha such as Curd rice, Dahi vada, sweets. This helps in aggravation of kapha and expelling it from the body completely and easily.
Usually Vamana is carried out early morning or during kapha kala. On the day of vamana hot fomentation is given to the chest and back so that the kapha gets liquefied further. On the last day, it will be actual day of Vamana where the person is asked to take medicine that would include madanaphala, yashtimadu, vacha, honey. Later he may be given sugarcane juice, milk, yashtimadu phanta so that he vomits in bouts and expels kapha. Immediately after treatment patient should be asked to wash face and mouth with warm water and he must be asked to lay down for some time and rest. He should be counseled and given strength. Immediately after the procedure patient should abstain from following activities such as:
• Speaking aloud,
• Daytime sleeping,
• Eating heavily, getting angry or grief,
• Long distance travel,
• Long distance walking,
• Consuming food with opposite qualities and
• Suppression of natural urges.
C) Post Vamana-
One’s diet must be managed post Vamana hence Samsarjana karma plays a very important role. Digestive capacity of the patient will be at its lowest soon after Vamana, hence normal diet cannot be introduced immediately. To begin with liquid diet without spices is initiated and slowly shifted to solid and eventually to normal diet. Remember to stay hydrated with warm water. Slowly patient is introduced to different taste and finally can take normal meal in about 3- or 4-days’ time. It is a slow and steady process for Samsarjana karma in reigniting the digestive fire slowly and this helps to strengthen the body.
A person who has undergone Vamana therapy experiences lightness in the chest and body, develops good voice, has soft and smooth skin. A completely rejuvenated person with better health. With natural aggravation of Kapha anyone may take Vamana as seasonal cleansing process to maintain health and avoid seasonal ailments. Ayurveda helps to restore the balance in body, mind and consciousness during daily and seasonal regimensapart from maintaining health and boosting immunity.
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