commonly employed pre-procedure, it means `the dripping of oil like a
thread (dhara) on the head (shiro). This
treatment drips warm oil in a steady stream on the forehead,
particularly on the brow and in the region between the eyes. It is often
added to the Panchakarma regimen because it pacifies Vata and calms the central system.
It cleans both
the mind and the senses, which allows the body's natural healing
mechanisms to release stress from the nervous systems. This in turn,
improves mental clarity and comprehension. Usually given for twenty
minutes, three to four times during a seven-day treatment period, it
uses oils made with special herbs (Mahanarayan Oil, Mahamash Oil etc.)
that calm and nourish the nervous system. The technician administers the
oil in a thin stream which flows from a copper vessel hung approximately
6-8 inches above the patient's forehead.
Fomentation, or sweating, necessarily follows oleation. Induced by heat from different
sources it brings sweat on the skin through hair follicles by opening
the pores of the skin. Due to fomentation the agni is
increased and the fatty tissue gets mobilised. While throwing out waste
as ama (toxins) through the skin it also helps liquify
aggravated doshas, dilating all body channels for the
It is divided
into two main types, Agni Sweda wherein heat is applied
directly as steam and Anagni Sweda where no external heat
source is necessary e.g exercises, fighting, walking, lifting heavy
loads, exposure to sunlight, stay in centrally heated rooms, putting
heavy blankets over the body etc.
Charaka has described about thirteen types of fomentation of which some are in
Upanaha Sweda - fomentation by poultice
Ushma Sweda - steam fomentation
Nadi Sweda - local steam fomentation (steam/vapour of medicated
decoction of leaves)
Avagah Sweda - tub bath in warm decoction of medicated water.
Pizichili - pouring of oil on the body.
therapy patients are advised to go for rest, avoid cold, take warm baths
and get adequate fresh air. Nasal therapy, enema or bloodletting can be
undertaken immediately after fomentation. Purgation should be done only
after two days of fomentation. However, care should be taken to ensure
that no part of the treatment is missed out on as that would not only
reduce efficacy but may even prove detrimental.
Once the body
has been correctly and suitably prepared, under supervision of a
qualified doctor only should the administering of Panchakarma happen. It
is best to depend on a reputed Ayurvedic nursing home and experienced