Virechana is one of the five purification therapies of Panchakarma. Virechana therapy is defined as the medicated controlled purgation therapy, which cleanses the Pitta and purifies blood, by clearing the toxins from the body. In simple words Virechana is that procedure which expels out the Doshas through Anal passage.
The treatment concentrates on the toxins that are accumulated in the liver and gall bladder. The gastro-intestinal tract is also cleansed by Virachana therapy.
Importance of Kaphanta Virechana –
Kaphanta means ending with kapha. Kaphanta Virechana means purgation should be administered until kapha is seen in the feces. When kapha is seen in the feces, the purgation therapy should be stopped immediately. Therefore the sight of kapha is a sign of completion of purgation therapy successfully. It is also an indication to the physician that no more purgation should be administered.
When purgation therapy is administered the pitta in the stomach / intestine are pushed downwards due to the effect of the medicine and is expelled through the anal route. Once pitta has been totally expelled, the kapha located in the upper stomach is pulled downwards due to the effect of purgation medicine. When this kapha is seen in the feces, the purgation is said to be completed and pitta is said to be expelled totally. Therefore the physician should carefully observe for the appearance of kapha in the feces towards the end of purgation therapy.
• High Pitta conditions – like skin disorders, blisters, abscess, liver disorders etc.
• Pitta associated with Kapha, where Pitta is the dominant Dosha, as in certain types of vomiting, acid peptic disorders etc.
• Pitta associated with Vata, as in case of gout.
Based on the Doshas involved, there can be two types of Virechana –
• Snigdha Virechana
Snigdha means oily, here, castor oil alone or castor oil along with Haritaki fruit powder is administered. It is given where, Pitta dosha is associated with Vata Dosha.
It is used when Pitta dosha is associated with Kapha Dosha. The most commonly used purgation medicine is Trivrit lehyam – 20 – 30 grams.
Or a simple paste of Trivrit (Operculina turpethum ) in a dose of 12 grams is administered.
Herbs for Virechana –
• Aloe Vera
• Trivrit(Ipomoea Turpethum)
• Castor oil
• Jayapala (Croton Tiglium)
• Aragvadha(Cassia Fistula)
• Bhumi Amalaki
• Senna (Sona mukhi)
• Black Sesame Seeds
• Sat Isabgol (Psyllium Seeds)
• Yellow Thistle (Suvarnaskshiri)
• Purvakarma (preparatory procedures)
Purvakarma begins with a proper diet and regimen prescribed by your doctor after your initial assessment. If required, your doctor may give you medicines to boost your metabolism and digestion. Then you will be administered Snehapana which is the intake of a special medicated ghee (clarified butter) everyday, early in the morning for about 5 days, in ascending doses. This is done with the intention to lubricate the internal body systems and loosen up the toxins, even at the cellular level. These toxins are expelled in the main procedure of Virechana.
Subsequent to Snehapana is the procedure of Abhyanga and Swedana (fomentation) conducted for about two to three days. Abhyanga is a relaxing and rejuvenating full body oil massage with warm, medicated, herbal oils. This is followed by Swedana which involves a full-body, steam bath using a special herbal steam. The night before the main procedure a specific meal is prescribed for the patient.
• Pradhana Karma- Virechana
On the Virechana day, after assessing the patient’s condition, the prescribed Virechana medicine such as Trivrit or Triphala is administered on an empty stomach in the morning. You may be advised to drink warm water intermittently. The action of the medicine induces bowel movements. This purgation will occur several times in episodes called Vegas. This may last for about 6-12 hours. Care is taken during the procedure to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. The doctor will check your condition at intervals.
• Paschat Karma – Post-Virechana procedure
Once your condition has been assessed, you will be given a special diet regimen to follow over the next few days known as the Samsarjana Krama. This regimen is adjusted for each individual by the doctor. Follow up medications may also be advised
Diet Regimen after Virechana –
It is also called as Samsarjana Krama. Soon after purgation, the digestive capacity of the patient is very low. Hence, all of a sudden regular diet cannot be introduced. In stead, liquid diet should be started and gradually turning to solids.
• In the same evening or the next day after virechana, patient should take bath in lukewarm water.
He should be given like- warm gruel (Manda) prepared with well cooked old rice. The gruel should be very thin. This is to be given with due regard to the power of digestion, for three meal-times.
• For the fourth meal- time, gruel prepared with rice (Vilepi), well-cooked, warm and devoid of oil / ghee and salt altogether or with oil / ghee and salt in small quantity is to be given. Warm water is to be taken after the intake of gruel.
• The same type of diet is to be continued for the fifth and sixth meal-times.
• For the seventh meal-time again, well-cooked porridge (odana) prepared with the same type of rice of two Prasruta along with a very thin green gram soup (Mudga yusha), added with oil / ghee and salt in small quantity is to be given.
• Warm water should be taken after the intake of the porridge. The same diet is to be repeated for the eight and ninth meal-times.
• For the tenth meal-time, thin meat-soup (Mamsarasa) prepared with water and salt should be given. Warm water is to be taken after this.
• This is again to be repeated for the eleventh and twelfth meal times. Thereafter, the patient should take food having different tastes and he should start taking his normal diet from the seventh night.
Virechana Therapy is recommended and is highly beneficial for the following:
• It eliminates toxin accumulation in the GI tract, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal tumors, gastrointestinal problems and constipation.
• It gives effective treatment for piles, acidity, ulcers, liver/ spleen diseases, jaundice, inflammations etc.
• It cleanses the body from poisoning.
• Cures mild and chronic skin disorders.
• Relieves headaches, anaemia, pain in the large intestine, non-healing wounds
• This therapy is also used for treatment of several other diseases such as diabetes, asthma, goitre, leprosy, elephantiasis, heart diseases and gynecological disorders.
• The patient feels very relaxed, clean, light and strong after going through virechana therapy successfully.
• It normalizes the digestion, assimilation and appetite of the body.
• Virechana therapy helps to bring clarity to the mind and also stimulates the intellectual level.
• Fever of recent origin
• Poor digestive activity
• Bleeding disease of lower part of the body (such as bleeding per rectum
wounds, Ulcers of the rectum
• diarrhoea, dysentery
• Who have been administered decoction enema
• who have undergone excess of Oleation treatment
• emaciated person – because, purgation involves water loss, which is not ideal for a person who is already debilitated.
For more informative articles on Panchakarma and other health related issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult.