Wednesday, 21 September 2011

VIRECHANA (Therapeutic Purgation)

Virechana use pitta and vata dosha's downward movment to remove related toxins and waste materials from the system. Virechana works on the pitta zone of the body, whose major organs are the small intestine and liver. Ama associated with pitta and vata gets discharged from the body through the rectum because of its proximity and accessibility to these organs. 

Virechana works in a downward direction to eliminate pitta related ama and excess pitta in the form of acidic secretions. Since pitta has a close connection with the blood, it also helps remove waste matter and toxicity from the blood. Virechana is a natural, herb - induced purging process which automatically ceases once the accumulated ama and toxins are gone.


Snehana and Swedana treatments readies the patient. Full oleation is essential to dislodge the ama and toxins and draw them into the small intestine from the surrounding organs and tissues in the pitta zone.

The meal immediately preceding Virechana includes foods which promote secretions from the organs governed by pitta. Such foods are high in pitta - enhancing qualities - hot, spicy and sour. The purgative is taken when the meal is in the small intestine, in the second stage of prapaka transient digestion. This sour stage of digestion promotes pitta secretions in the mid - zone which supports virechana. On an average, it takes about two and a half hours for food to reach this phase of digestion.

Once the patient has eaten, he should take it easy and refrain from physical or mental activity, which would draw blood and doshic activity away from the gastrointestinal tract and out to the organs and periphery of the body.


Virechana's stimulus should be used when pitta's physiological activity peaks, in the hours around noon and midnight, and when agni bhuta is at its height of influence in the environment. Several hours after taking the purgative, the patient feels the need to move his bowels.

Over the next hour, the patient may have four to ten bowel movements. The fecal matter is solid at first, but progressively softens until it is entirely liquid. The patient may feel mild cramping or a burning sensation. The patient avoids liquids, except for some pure water with a little dried sugarcane juice and black salt. The patient should drink a small amount of this or an organic electrolyte mixture after each bowel movement to replenish electrolytes and prevent dehydration.

For successful Virechana, the patient should have at least four to six bowel movements. Otherwise, the procedure should be repeated within few hours. After virechana, the patient is cautioned to keep away from cold drinks or cold baths, because they shrink the shrotas or channels, aggaravate vata and obstruct the flow of energy.
If the whole process goes fine, the patient feels clean, light and strong. Pitta is normalized, along with digestion, assimilation and appetite.


It is good for all types of pitta - related disorders. This includes hyperacidity, colitis, urticaria, acid peptic disease, hemorrhoids, chronic headaches, some types of diabetes, allergies and skin diseases such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, leprosy, leukoderma and lichen planus syndrome. It is also indicated for malabsorption and migraine headaches.


It should not be used on infants, very elderly and in pregnant women.


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