Swedana – The Panchakarma Therapy

Swedana is the process of inducing sweat with the help of steam, generated from medicated herbal decoctions. From Sanskrit, sweda (or swid) means “perspiration” or “sweat,” and during this therapy, sweat is released through the pores in the skin, which releases ama, or “toxins,” that are rooted deep in the body.

Swedana is a cleansing-cum-stress-relieving therapy recommended for patients suffering from ailments such as asthma, weight and digestion issues, and body inflammation.

Types of swedana:

  • Pinda Sweda:  Pinda Sweda is one of the most important sudation therapies used in Panchakarma. During the treatment, various parts of the patient’s body are uniformly massaged with a linen bundle called kizhi dipped in a special kuzhambu, or medicated oil.
  • Ooshma Sweda: OoshmaSwedaorBashpaSwedais a special herbal steam bath. It opens up pores and channels the amm, or toxins in the body, to a central location for ease of expulsion during the main part of the treatment, Panchakarma. 
  • Nali sweda:  Nali is the nozzle of a tube. In Nali Sweda, a Nali is used to focus medicated steam on the disease-afflicted body part. The continuous stream of steam slowly opens up the pores on the skin and gently directs the excess doshas accumulated in the system to a central location for expulsion.
  • Avagaha sweda:  Avagaha means ‘submerged’ in Sanskrit. During an Avagaha Sweda treatment, the patient is made to sit in neck- or navel-deep warm water, medicated with herbal extracts.
  • Upanah sweda: Upanaha Sweda involves applying medicinal mixtures to the disease-affected body part of the patient and leaving it undisturbed for an extended period of time.
  • Patrasweda:  Patra means ‘leaf’, and in this sudation therapy, a herbal concoction made from leaves is used to soothe the disease-affected areas of patients. Medicinal leaves are chopped, mixed with medicated oils, and placed on a piece of cloth to make a fist-sized Kizhi, or linen bundle.


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