Kizhi Treatment in Ayurveda

Kizhi, A Magical Treatment in Ayurveda

Many of you must have heard of the Ayurvedic treatment called Kizhi. 

Kizhi is an excellent Ayurvedic therapy for many ailments.

Ayurvedic Kizhi treatment is also a magical therapy, especially for pain-related ailments and weight loss.

But at least for one second, you may question what this piece of the medicinal herb can do. 

Can an ayurvedic kizhi cure pain, reduce weight, and nourish the body without hindering daily activities?

Are you curious about the magical power of this therapeutical procedure in Ayurveda?

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    Experience the Effective Kizhi Treatments

    Maybe most of you are stressed out with physical and mental exertions. 

    Due to the stress and strain, we continue to ignore the body’s warning signs like muscle pain, joint pain, weakness, numbness, general debility, etc. 

    Many people may opt for painkillers or some ointments for quick relief, saving time and effort. 

    And finally, when you consult a physician, the distress will limit your daily activities. 

    Many thoughts will come into your mind. How can I resolve this? What is the best solution with the least side effects? Is there any treatment without hindering the daily activities?

    Ayurveda has the best solution to this. 

    This holistic science has a branch named Panchakarma, a bio-cleansing regimen aimed at eliminating toxic materials from the body and increasing the immunity of the body.

    Among the various treatment modalities in this branch, “pinda sweda,” known as” kizhi, ” has the magical power to relieve the above symptoms. 

     After undergoing this treatment once in your lifetime, you may also realize its power in reducing pain, and stiffness, nourishing and rejuvenating the body.

    What does kizhi in Ayurveda mean?

    Kizhi is one of the best Ayurvedic Treatments in Kerala

    ‘Pinda Sweda or ‘kizhi’ in Ayurveda refers to the sudation procedure (swedana karma) performed by the bolus of drugs. 

    The medicinal herbs, herbal powders, sand, rice, etc., are tied in muslin or cotton cloth to form boluses. 

    The bolus is warmed and massaged gently over the body or a specific part of the body for 30- 45 minutes for 7- 14 days.

     It should be performed with utmost Care with the consultation of a physician.

    It mainly cures diseases of Vata-predominant and Vata Kapha-predominant conditions. 

    According to Ayurveda, different types of pain, stiffness, and tremors are due to the increase in Vata dosha (Ashtanga hridayam sutra sthanam). 

    The application of warm kizhi helps to pacify the aggravated Vata dosha and brings it back to normalcy. 

    Hence it is used in the treatment of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. 

    The application of warm boluses increases blood circulation, which helps in the removal of toxins and helps in the relaxation of muscles; increased perspiration leads to a reduction in body weight and delays ageing.

    What are the different types of kizhi in Ayurveda?

    You may be confused with the terms ela kizhi, njavara kizhi, etc. 

    As per Ayurveda, kizhi is named after the medicinal content used for preparing the bolus. 

    They are used in different clinical conditions as advised by the physician. The various pinda swedas include:

    1. Ela kizhi/ Patra potali sweda
    2. Naranga kizhi/ Jambeera pinda sweda
    3. Manal kizhi/ Valuka sweda
    4. Podi kizhi/ Choorna pinda sweda
    5. Njavara kizhi / Shastika Sali pinda sweda
    6. Mutta kizhi/ Kukkudanda pinda sweda 

    Ela kizhi/ Patra potali sweda:

    The kizhi is prepared using medicinal herbs of Vata Kapha pacifying properties like 

    • Nirgundi ( Vitex negundo)
    • Eranda (Ricinus communis)
    • Chincha (Tamarindus indica)
    • Dhatura (Dhatura metel), 
    • Shigeru (Moringa oleifera)
    • Arka(Calotropis Procera)
    • Rock salt
    • Grated coconut fried in medicinal oil.

    It is dipped in warm oil and applied throughout the body with mild pressure in a synchronized manner after an oil massage (abhyanga).

    It is commonly used in neuromuscular diseases like pakshavadha(hemiplegia), gridrasi(sciatica), and rheumatologic conditions like different types of arthritis( amavata,sandhivata, etc.) 

    The anti-inflammatory, anti-degenerative, and analgesic actions of this kizhi help remove toxins, improve blood circulation, and prevent aging.

    Naranga kizhi/ Jambeera pinda sweda:

    Lemon cut into pieces fried in suitable medicated oil along with rock salt, garlic, and grated coconut and made into bolus is used for the treatment. It is applied to the body after heating with or without oil. 

    It has got great results in 

    Vata Kapha pacifying conditions

    • Frozen shoulder
    • Traumatic conditions
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Stiffness of joints
    • Muscle cramps
    • Cervical spondylitis
    • Lumbar spondylitis
    • Muscle spasms, etc.

    Manal kizhi/ Valuka sweda:

    As the name indicates, sand is used for preparing kizhi. 

    Clean sand (preferably river sand) is fried with rock salt, tied in a cotton cloth and pressed on the body. 

    It is helpful in Vata Kapha aggravated conditions. 

    Due to rooksha guna (dry heating property), it helps in the elimination of 

    • Ama dosha
    • Inflammations
    • Pain, etc. (Bhava Prakasha)

    Eliminating ama dosha enhances circulation, smoothens channels in the body, and increases digestive fire. 

    This type of swedana is indicated in Amavata(rheumatoid arthritis, urusthamba ( stiffness of thigh and lower limbs), medo roga( diseases of fat metabolism irregularity), etc.

    Podi kizhi/ Choorna pinda sweda:

    Various medicinal powders like kolakulathadi choornam, kottamchukkadi choornam, nagaradi choornam, jatamayadi choornam, etc. (according to the condition) are fried and tied in clothes.

     This Kizhi can apply to the body by dipping it in oil, dhanyamla, or without oil. 

    It is advised in Vata disorders like 

    • sciatica
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Sports Injury
    • Ligament tear, etc.

    Podi kizhi can be used without oil if ama (indigested materials transported in the body as toxins) is present, e.g., Amavata. It is performed as Snigdha kriya (using oil) when there is only vitiation of Vata dosha.

    Njavara kizhi/ Shastika Sali pinda sweda:

    Njavara kizhi is an authentic Kerala procedure where heated medicinal rice (Njavara cooked in balamoola kashayam) is tied to a cloth and applied to the whole body or a part of the body. Though it is a swedana karma, it has nourishing and rejuvenating properties. The procedure has shown remarkable results in Vata diseases associated with pitta, Kapha, and rakta. It treats neuromuscular diseases like hemiplegia, paraplegia, muscular wasting, and musculoskeletal diseases like osteoarthritis and degenerative disorders.

    Mutta kizhi / Kukkudanda pinda sweda:

    Medicated powder and eggs are fried, tied in cloth, and used to apply kizhi. The treatment is commonly administered in diseases with 

    • Muscular wasting like muscular atrophy.
    • Body Nourishment
    • Neurological disorders like hemiplegia
    • Facial paralysis
    • Sports injury as sandhanakara(binding property)
    • Idiopathic disorders.

    How to Prepare an Ayurvedic kizhi? Step-by-step procedure

    • Take the ingredients to make the kizhi (which varies according to the type of kizhi prescribed, lemon and medicinal herbs are cut into small pieces, sand is washed and dried, and njavara rice is cooked in balamoola kashaya).
    • Ingredients are fried in medicated oil or without oil till it turns to light tinged brown color (excoloror Navara kizhi).
    • The mixture is divided into equal parts and tied in a muslin or cotton cloth to form a poultice.
    • The poultice is applied over the body by dipping it in oil or without oil, dipping it in dhanyamla, or milk after abhyanga, depending on the condition.

    What Are the Precautions Needed While Doing Kizhi Treatment?

    By taking the necessary precautions, this procedure can be done at home. The therapists should be careful while preparing the kizhi and during the time of the procedure. These are the main precautions to be considered by the therapists:

    1. Take Care to prevent the charring of the ingredients while making kizhi and reheating the kizhi.
    2. Ensure the temperature of the kizhi by placing it on the dorsum of the hand of the therapist. Enquire with the patient whether the heat is comfortable.
    3. Tie the kizhi firmly to avoid leaking the contents.
    4. The therapists should apply the bolus synchronously indicated for each type of kizhi.

    Before prescribing kizhi as a treatment procedure, the physician should rule out if the patient has any pitta dosha aggravation, skin diseases like psoriasis, or eczema. It is not recommended for hypertensive, diabetic patients or patients complaining about lymph gland enlargement, fever, or flu. It is not recommended for pregnant women or any condition the physician suggests. The main Care and precautions to be considered by the physician are:

    1. It should be contraindicated in pitta aggravated conditions, skin diseases, pregnant women, etc.
    2. Stop the therapy if the patient feels perspiration or fainting in between the procedure.
    3. If rashes complicate the procedure, apply sheetha veerya drugs like shatadhouta grita, aloe vera, and turmeric with ghee to the affected part.
    4. Manage fainting by sprinkling cold water and applying talam on the head.
    5. Shivering may occur as a complication that can be managed by covering the body with a thick cloth, hot fomentation, or giving hot liquids.

    What are the Do’s and don’ts while doing Ayurvedic kizhi treatments?

    As with any other Panchakarma procedure, there are certain regimens the patient should be followed while undergoing the therapy. Some of the important things are:

    1. After the procedure, rasnadi choornam should be applied over the forehead.
    2. Gandharvahastadi kashayam should be given after the procedure as pathi kashayam.
    3. The patient should rest for at least one hour after the procedure.
    4. The patient should use lukewarm water for bathing.
    5. Light food, preferably semi-solid food, is advised.
    6. The patient should take medicines prescribed by the physician.
    7. It is better to avoid sexual intercourse or strained activities during the procedure or till the physician suggests.

    Can Ayurvedic kizhi be used at home?

    Most people have this doubt, Can Ayurvedic kizhi be used at home?

    Yes, anyone can perform this procedure after being advised by the physician. 

    If you have skin disease, hypertension, diabetes, or severe disease, it is preferable to do it under the supervision of any Ayurvedic physician. 

    In Kerala, therapists come to the home and perform this procedure after consultation with a physician. 

    It is necessary to follow the precautions and regimens while performing the procedure.

     If any discomfort or difficulty arises, you should contact your physician or reach out to the nearest hospital.

    Are there any side effects of Ayurvedic kizhi treatment?

    Usually, this therapy has no side effects as it is an external and non-invasive procedure. 

    But if the pain or inflammation persists or aggravates, consult with a physician as soon as possible.

    Kizhi is a non-invasive and external therapy that can be performed in your home by taking necessary precautions.

     By performing this therapy after proper diagnosis and consultation, pain, stiffness, stress, and strain in daily life can be relieved. 

    You can experience the body’s changes like rejuvenation of body cells, anti-aging, weight loss, and increased muscle and joint movements. 

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