Ayurvedic Purgation


Ayurveda, the “science of life,” is a holistic healing system with roots deep in ancient India. In the vast array of Ayurvedic treatments, Virechana stands out as a therapeutic procedure that plays a pivotal role in restoring balance and well-being. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Virechana, shedding light on its historical significance, procedural aspects, and the manifold benefits it offers.

Historical Background

A. Origin and Evolution of Ayurveda

Ayurveda, often considered the world’s oldest healthcare system, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Its roots can be traced to the Vedas, the ancient Indian scriptures, where the principles of Ayurveda were first elucidated. Over centuries, Ayurveda evolved, absorbing influences from various cultures and civilizations.

B. Inclusion of Virechana in Ancient Ayurvedic Texts

Virechana finds mention in classical Ayurvedic texts like the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, indicating its significance in traditional healing practices. These texts provide detailed insights into the philosophy behind Virechana and its role in maintaining health and preventing diseases.

Understanding Virechana Ayurvedic Treatment

A. Definition and Purpose of Virechana

Virechana, often referred to as therapeutic purgation, is a detoxification process aimed at eliminating excess Pitta dosha from the body. Pitta, one of the three doshas in Ayurveda, is associated with qualities such as hotness and sharpness. By inducing controlled purgation, Virechana helps in balancing Pitta, thus restoring harmony to the bodily systems.

B. Key Principles and Philosophy behind the Treatment

Rooted in Ayurvedic philosophy, Virechana aims to eliminate toxins, prevent diseases, and rejuvenate the body by considering the unique constitution of each individual. The therapy not only targets physical imbalances but also addresses subtle energies, emphasizing a holistic approach to health. Following Virechana, a tailored post-treatment regimen ensures sustained well-being, aligning with Ayurveda’s overarching goal of promoting long-term vitality and preventing future imbalances.

Eligibility and Preparations

A. Assessing Suitability for Virechana

Before embarking on Virechana, a comprehensive assessment is essential to evaluate the suitability of individuals for this Ayurvedic therapeutic procedure. Various factors play a crucial role in this assessment, including the patient’s age, constitutional makeup, and the specific characteristics of the ailment they are dealing with. This careful evaluation is crucial to ascertain whether Virechana is an appropriate and beneficial intervention for the individual. The age factor helps determine the resilience and adaptability of the patient’s body to the cleansing process, while understanding the patient’s constitution guides the customization of the treatment to suit their unique bodily tendencies. Additionally, considering the nature of the ailment ensures that Virechana is not only suitable but also effective in addressing the specific health concerns of the individual. This meticulous assessment reflects the personalized and holistic approach that Ayurveda emphasizes, ensuring that the treatment aligns harmoniously with the individual’s overall well-being.

B. Pre-treatment Procedures and Guidelines

Preparation is a crucial aspect of Virechana therapy. It involves a series of preparatory measures, including dietary adjustments and lifestyle modifications. These preparations aim to optimize the body’s receptivity to the therapeutic process. Here is overview of preparation

1. Dietary Adjustments:
  • Individuals undergoing Virechana therapy need to adhere to specific dietary guidelines before the treatment.
  • The diet may involve lighter and easily digestible foods to prepare the digestive system for the upcoming cleansing process.
  • Certain foods or substances that may hinder the effectiveness of Virechana, such as heavy or oily items, might be restricted.
  • Some people are advised to avoid ghee before starting Panchkarma. 
2. Lifestyle Modifications:
  • Adopting a disciplined lifestyle is integral to the pre-treatment phase.
  • Adequate sleep and rest are emphasized to promote overall well-being and support the body’s readiness for the therapeutic procedure.
  • Avoidance of strenuous physical activities or excessive mental stress helps maintain a balanced and calm state.
  • Avoid excessive standing, walking and travelling. 
  • Avoid A.C. Use warm cloths during day and night. 
3. Hydration:
  • Maintaining proper hydration is essential during the pre-treatment period.
  • Sufficient warm water intake assists in flushing out toxins and ensures the body remains well-hydrated, facilitating the detoxification process.
  • It is also mentioned in Ayurveda to use warm water bath, warm water gargle, warm water face wash before Panchkarma. It means it is advised to avoid cold water contact. 
4. Consultation and Assessment:
  • Prior to Virechana individuals undergo a detailed consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
  • The assessment considers various factors such as medical history, current health status, and individual constitution to tailor the treatment plan accordingly.


A. Purva Karma: (Therapies before Virechana)

1. Snehapana (Internal Oleation):
  • This involves the internal administration of medicated ghee (clarified butter) to lubricate the body internally.
  • The patient is given increasing amounts of ghee over a specified period, usually 3 to 7 days.
  • The purpose is to soften and liquefy the toxins (Ama) accumulated in the body, making them more amenable to elimination.
  • Ghee is usually given in morning and advised to avoid food until he or she feels hungry. 
2. Abhyanga and Svedana (Massage and Sudation):
  • External oleation is performed through oil massage (Abhyanga) to the entire body.
  • Swedana or inducing sweating is then carried out through a steam bath or warm water immersion.
  • Svedana further helps in mobilizing toxins towards the gastrointestinal tract.

This Purva Karma needs around 3 to 7 days to complete. When the body signals that internal oleation is completed then we can move to next step.  

3. Sneha Viram 
  • After completing Snehapana, a rest period is observed to allow the body to prepare for Virechana. One to Three days are allocated for Sneha Viram, during which individuals are provided with light breakfast meals. 
  • In the evening of last Viram day, a preparatory diet known as Pitta Utkleshak Ahar is recommended, including items like fish, and spicy diet. “Utkleshak Ahar” refers to the diet associated with the preparatory phase before Virechana therapy.

B. Virechana Therapy 

1. Evacuation of Stool and Urine:
  • Before Virechana, it is essential to ensure the proper elimination of stool and urine. If elimination is not successful, Virechana cannot be conducted properlly. Therefore, on the evening of the previous day, around 7 PM, the patient is advised to consume Utkleshana Ahara (specific diet), followed by a early sleep. Upon waking up early, the patient is instructed to evacuate stool and urine.
  • For those experiencing constipation, 2 grams of Gandharva Haritaki can be given before sleep (for stool evacuation).
2. Pre-Vamana Examination:
  • For patients with hypertension (HTN), medicine should be taken at 6:30 – 7.30 AM. Avoid thyroid and diabetes medications before Virechana. Patient’s weight and symptoms related to dosha imbalance are noted. Pulse and blood pressure in the morning, before and after Virechana, and in the evening also should be noted.
3. Full Body Massage and Steam:
  • Patient is advised to take full body massage followed by steam bath. 
4. Virechana Induction:
  • Then the patient is given a specific combination of herbs to induce therapeutic purgation.
This includes Ichchabedi ras, black raisin juice etc. 
Following this, approximately three hours are required for the initiation of Virechana.
5. Virechana Process:
  • The patient is closely monitored after the Bowel process to ensure a controlled and effective elimination.
  • The expelled content includes excess mucus, toxins, and Pitta, Kapha, thereby balancing the doshas.

C. Paschat Karm (After Virechana Procedure)

1. Gandusha (Oral Rinse):
  • Gandusha, or oil pulling, is recommended.
  • Swishing a small amount of warm sesame oil or coconut oil in the mouth for a few minutes helps maintain oral hygiene and promotes overall detoxification.
2. Medications:
  • Ayurvedic medications may be prescribed to restore balance in the doshas and support the body’s healing process.
3. Rest and Relaxation:
  • Adequate rest is crucial post-Virechana to allow the body to recuperate.
  • Avoidance of strenuous activities and exposure to extreme weather conditions is advised.
4. Hydration:
  • Drinking warm water throughout the day helps in flushing out toxins and maintaining hydration.

D. Diet – Samsarjana Krama after Virechana

Samsarjana Krama, also known as the gradual reintroduction of diet after Virechana therapy in Ayurveda, involves a systematic approach to resume normal dietary habits while ensuring the digestive system gradually adjusts. The key steps include:
1. First Day (Samsarjana Day 1):
  • Start with consuming freshly prepared rice gruel (Yavagu) with a pinch of rock salt.
  • Introduce thin rice water (Peeyusha) during the day.
2. Second Day (Samsarjana Day 2):
  • Continue with rice gruel (Yavagu) and thin rice water (Peeyusha).
  • Include more quantity compared to the first day.
3. Third Day (Samsarjana Day 3):
  • Gradually shift to consuming freshly cooked rice with a mild lentil soup (Manda).
  • Continue avoiding heavy, oily, or spicy foods.
4. Fourth Day (Samsarjana Day 4):
  • Increase the quantity of rice and lentil soup in the diet.
  • Begin introducing simple, easily digestible vegetables in the form of soups or stews.
5. Fifth Day (Samsarjana Day 5):
  • Include a variety of grains and cereals in the diet, along with well-cooked vegetables.
  • Gradually reintroduce the regular diet while maintaining a focus on easy-to-digest foods.
6. Sixth Day Onward:
  • Resume a normal, balanced diet based on individual preferences and constitution.
  • Maintain moderation in food consumption and continue to avoid heavy or difficult-to-digest foods.

Conditions Treated with Virechana

Virechana, a therapeutic procedure in Ayurveda involving controlled purgation, is employed to address various conditions. The primary conditions treated with Virechana include:

  1. Skin Disorders: Virechana is effective in addressing skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
  2. Digestive Issues: It helps manage digestive problems like hyperacidity and gastritis.
  3. Liver Disorders: Virechana is employed for treating liver-related conditions, including jaundice and hepatitis.
  4. Allergic Conditions: Certain allergic conditions can be managed through Virechana therapy.
  5. Chronic Fever: The procedure is utilized in the treatment of chronic fever.
  6. Blood Disorders: Virechana is beneficial for disorders associated with the blood.
  7. Balancing Doshas: It aims to restore balance, particularly reducing excess Pitta dosha.
  8. Overall Well-being: By eliminating toxins, Virechana contributes to enhancing overall health and well-being.


    • Virechana is not a one-size-fits-all therapy. It requires careful assessment by Ayurvedic practitioners to determine suitability based on individual health conditions.
    • Virechana, when administered appropriately, aims for long-term benefits. Regular follow-up consultations help monitor and optimize these effects.
    • No, Virechana should only be performed under the supervision of trained Ayurvedic practitioners in a controlled environment.
    • The procedure is generally well-tolerated, but individual experiences may vary. Practitioners take measures to ensure comfort and minimize discomfort.
    • Virechana is believed to purify not just the body but also the mind, fostering mental clarity and contributing to spiritual well-being.

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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