Purva karma is a therapy in the traditional Indian medical system of Ayurveda that prepares the body for the detoxifying and cleansing treatment known as Panchakarma. From Sanskrit, purva means “first,” “early” or “preceding” and karma translates as “action” or “activity.”
Viitated Doshas are always located in the body parts where the disease is produced. All Doshas are to be collected into the kostha from where they are eliminated through Panchakarma, for collecting all Doshas(toxins) in the alimentary canal Snehana (oleation therapy) and svedana (sweating therapy) are done. Both the therapies snehana and svedana play an important role not only as Purvakarma but also works as a line by preparatory measures. Before, the actual procedure of purification/detoxification begins, there is a great need to prepare the body for the required methods to encourage it to let go of the toxins.
Procedures in Purvakarma –
Purva karma consists of –
• Ingestion of medicated or herbal oils
• Massage therapy with oils
• Hot baths or steam baths to induce sweating
All of the purva karma methods are designed to stimulate the removal of harmful toxins from the body.
Categories / Types –
These methods of purva karma are divided into two categories
▪︎ Snehana (oleation or oil)
▪︎ Swedana (sweating).
▪︎ The two types of snehana are:
• Bahya (external) – This consists of applying medicated or herbal oil to the skin through massage.
The skin then absorbs the medicine into the bloodstream.This therapy is beneficial for all skin disorders. Snehana is also executed to the patients of vamana and virechana.
• Abhyantar (internal) – This method is designed to stimulate the digestive system by consumption of medicated edible oil or ghee. It works as a lubricant and helps to reduce the dryness of the body.
▪︎ Swedana involves heating the body or a specific area of the body to promote sweating. It is believed that toxins may be eliminated by liquefying or melting them for easier removal.
Both the therapies snehana and svedana of Purvakarma are very beneficial for many diseases. Snehana subsides the provocation of vata, makes the body soft and loosens the mala(waste) while on the other hand, svedana brings the toxins and waste matter to the alimentary canal by liquefying it. Then, it becomes easy to excrete through the measures of Panchakarma.
• It helps healthy patients maintain good health and ill patients to improve their health.
• These procedures help in the balance and normal, active functioning of the body.
• Most heavy metals and waste products are purged out of the body.
• Our body feels rejuvenated and starts functioning in a natural way as it requires.
• Prana stream of energy gets improved and it leads to spiritual and emotional comfort.
• It increases mental alertness, circulation, especially to the nerve ending.
• It also increases the level of stamina during the day and helps in better deeper sleep at night.
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