Virechana Treatment in Ayurveda

Virechana Treatment in Ayurveda

Virechana treatment in Ayurveda is among the Panchakarma and is the ideal and best treatment for eliminating Pitta Dosha and, to some extent, the other two Doshas, Vata and Kapha.

It is a less tedious procedure than Vamana and hence has less possibility of complications, and it can be done easily. 

So Virechana karma is the widely practiced Shodhana therapy in routine clinical practice.

From boosting digestion and metabolism to enhancing skin health and reducing inflammation, Virechana offers many benefits. 

It aids in weight loss, improves liver function, and enhances the body’s immune response. 

With its personalized approach, Virechana treatment addresses individual imbalances and supports the body’s natural healing process.

Embark on a transformative journey as we unlock the benefits of Virechana treatment in this comprehensive guide. 

Discover how Ayurvedic detoxification can revitalize your body, mind, and spirit and pave the way for a healthier, more vibrant life.

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    What is Virechana Treatment in Ayurveda?

    Virechana treatment is a specialized Ayurvedic therapy aimed at eliminating toxins from the body through controlled bowel movements. 

    It is among the five main comprehensive detoxification and rejuvenation therapies in Ayurveda:

    • Vamana 
    • Virechana
    • Vasti 
    • Nasya
    •  Raktamokshana 

    Virechana specifically focuses on purifying the gastrointestinal tract and expelling excess pitta dosha, one of the three vital energies in Ayurveda.

    Effect on Tridosha: Balancing Pitta, Kapha, and Vata

    Virechana therapy is specifically designed to expel excess Pitta dosha from the body. 

    Pitta dosha, one of the three vital energies in Ayurveda, governs metabolism, digestion, and transformation. 

    When Pitta dosha becomes imbalanced, it can lead to various health issues such as liver disorders, gastritis, abscesses, and skin disorders. 

    In such cases, Virechana therapy becomes necessary to remove the accumulated Pitta dosha and restore harmony to the body.

    Virechana therapy not only targets Pitta dosha but also has a balancing effect on other doshas. 

    In conditions where Pitta is associated with Kapha, such as certain types of vomiting and acid peptic disorders, Virechana can be beneficial. Similarly, when Pitta is associated with Vata, as in the case of gout, Virechana helps to alleviate symptoms. 

    Thus, Virechana therapy is a powerful tool for balancing all three doshas and promoting overall well-being.

    Aim of Virechana Treatment

    Virechana treatment aims to restore balance in the body by removing accumulated toxins and imbalances related to pitta dosha. 

    This therapy targets physical impurities and helps calm the mind and balance emotions. 

    By eliminating excess heat and toxins, Virechana promotes overall well-being and vitality.

    Virechana karma helps improve intellectual clarity, strengthens all sense organs, provides stability to Dhatu, Bala, and Agni Deepti, and delays aging.

    Different types of Virechana

    Virechana treatment can be tailored to suit individual needs and imbalances. 

    Ayurveda recognizes two main types of Virechana based on the intensity and nature of the cleansing process:

    The type of Virechana recommended will depend on various factors, including the individual’s constitution, imbalances, and specific health goals.

    Snigdha Virechana: 

    In this Virechana treatment, castor oil or any other oil or ghee-based Virechana medicine is administered alone or in combination. 

    This helps people with aggravated Pitta or Vata doshas.

     

    Ruksha Virechana: 

    20-30 grams of Trivrit, hareetaki, danti, etc, are used as a purgative.

    Individuals with Pitta and Kapha as dominant doshas are often given the Ruksha treatment.

     

    Other Subtypes:

    Purvakarma Yukta Virechana: 

    The treatment consists of two parts: Snehana and Svedana. 

    The patient is first given oil, ghee, or bone marrow soup for 3 – 7 days (Snehana) before being subjected to heat-induced sweating therapy (Svedana).

    Rutu-Anusari Virechana: 

    It is beneficial for people who have an aggravated or imbalanced Pitta dosha, which can result in skin lesions, runny noses, mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and so on.

    Sadhyo Virechana: Recommended for mild to moderate conditions and involves quickly removing faeces from the intestinal tract.

    Nitya Virechana: 

    A mild medicine is administered regularly to maintain intestinal health. 

    The Nitya treatment is effective for both skin diseases and neurological conditions.

    Punha-Punha Virechana: 

    Repeated at regular intervals to eliminate stubborn or aggravated doshas.

    Anulomana: 

    Anulomana drugs help in completing the digestion process. 

    It finalises the formation of faeces after complete digestion. 

    Then, it propels the faeces throughout the

    lumen to expel it.

    Sramsana: 

    In sramsana, the drugs expel the unprocessed mala and doshas without

    waiting for the completion of their digestion from the anal route.

    Bhedana: 

    Bhedana helps break down the bonds of accumulated wastes in the lumen. 

    Bhedana breaks down doshas as well as the toxins accumulated inside the body

    and expels them in a downward direction.

    Rechana: 

    Rechana drugs, with their teekshna veerya, act strongly on the intestinal muscles. 

    They propel the finished and unfinished faeces from the lumen. 

    They don’t participate in any process that involves the formation of faeces. 

    They primarily work towards the propulsion of the faeces from the lumen.

    Diseases and Conditions Treated by Virechana

    Virechana treatment is beneficial for a wide range of diseases and conditions. 

    It helps to address imbalances related to pitta dosha and promotes overall health and well-being. 

    Some of the diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with Virechana include:

    Digestive Disorders 

    Virechana is particularly useful in treating digestive disorders such as indigestion, constipation, and hyperacidity. 

    Cleansing the gastrointestinal tract improves digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, and alleviates symptoms associated with these conditions.

    Skin Disorders

    Many skin conditions are associated with excess toxins and imbalances in the body. 

    Virechana helps to eliminate these toxins, purify the blood, and improve overall skin health. 

    It benefits conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

     Liver Disorders: 

    The liver is responsible for detoxifying the body and eliminating toxins. Virechana treatment supports liver function by removing accumulated toxins and promoting optimal liver health. 

    It is beneficial for conditions like fatty liver, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and liver congestion.

    Metabolic Disorders 

    Virechana helps to improve metabolism and supports weight loss. 

    It removes excess toxins, balances digestive fire, and enhances the body’s natural fat-burning abilities. 

    It benefits individuals with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and related conditions.

    Respiratory Disorder 

    Virechana treatment can effectively treat respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. 

    Eliminating toxins and reducing inflammation in the respiratory system helps to improve lung function and alleviate symptoms associated with these disorders.

    Chronic fever

    Persistent (chronic) fevers last longer than 10 to 14 days. 

    Such illnesses are characterized by weakness, dullness, and a mild fever. 

    Virechana aids in the elimination of excess pitta dosha, which is causing the fever.

    Hemorrhoids (piles) 

    Piles are caused by the development of swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum, which causes pain and discomfort. 

    Virechana helps balance the doshas, reduces the swelling, and helps ease bowel movements.

    Erysipelas: 

    A severe bacterial infection of the skin that affects the upper dermis and later spreads to the superficial cutaneous lymphatics.

    Gout: 

    It is a sudden, severe attack of pain that causes redness, swelling, and tenderness in the joints.

    Glaucoma:

    This is caused by increased internal eye pressure, which damages the optic nerve.

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD):

    Attention Deficit Disorder is a neurological disorder that impairs brain function and can lead to memory loss. 

    It also affects concentration.

    Other diseases include piles, anaemia, non-healing wounds, ulcers, abscesses, and ascites. 

    Virechana therapy is also effective for poisoning, chronic poisoning, vomiting, blindness, pain in the large intestine, urogenital diseases, and bleeding disorders. 

    It also helps manage diabetes, urinary tract disorders, goitre, tumours, fibroids, schizophrenia, and other conditions.

    These are just a few examples of the diseases and conditions that can effectively treated with Virechana. 

    The therapy’s holistic approach addresses the root cause of the imbalances, promoting long-term health and well-being.

    Who are not eligible for Virechana Karma

    • Persons suffering from fever of recent origin, diarrhea, dysentery
    • During the menstrual period
    • Persons with low appetite, ulcerations, or injury in the anal region
    • Persons with anal incontinence, habitual constipation, and distended abdomen
    • Persons with over oleated and excessive dryness in the body
    • Those who are emaciated
    •  People who are undergoing kashaya basti
    • Pregnant women
    • Person above 70 years and below 15 years

    Herbs and medicine used for Virechana

    Virechana treatment uses a variety of herbs and medications to aid in the cleansing process and support the body’s natural healing mechanisms. The individual’s constitution and imbalances will determine the choice of herbs and medicines and the type of Virechana recommended.

    Some commonly used herbs and medicines for Virechana are:

    Triphala

    A popular Ayurvedic formulation made from three fruits: Amalaki (Indian gooseberry), Bibhitaki (Bahera), and Haritaki (Chebulic myrobalan). 

    It is known for its detoxifying properties and gentle laxative effect, making it a key ingredient in Virechana preparations.

    Trivrit

    Also called Indian jalap, it is a powerful purgative herb used in Virechana treatment.

    It promotes bowel movements and the elimination of toxins from the body. Trivrit is commonly mixed with other herbs to create effective formulas.

    Senna: 

    A popular herb in Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems due to its laxative properties. 

    It helps to relieve constipation and promote regular bowel movements, making it a useful herb in Virechana treatment.

    Castor oil: 

    Castor or eranda is a versatile herb used in many Ayurvedic treatments. 

    It has been used as a laxative since immemorial, detoxifying the body and promoting overall health. 

    Castor oil is frequently used in Virechana formulations to support the body’s natural healing process.

    These are just some herbs and medications used to treat Virechana. 

    Ayurvedic practitioners carefully choose and combine these ingredients to create tailored formulations that address individual imbalances and promote optimal results.

    Medicines used for Virechana

    • Triphala churna
    • Avipathi Churnam
    • Trivrit churna and lehya
    • Gandharvahastadi tailam
    • Ichhabhedi Ras

    How to do Virechana Karma – Step-by-Step Treatment Procedure

    Virechana treatment involves a comprehensive procedure that includes preparing and administering cleansing substances and post-treatment care. 

    The following is a step-by-step guide to the Virechana procedure:

    Preparation

    Before undergoing Virechana treatment, the individual must undergo a preparatory phase called Purvakarma. 

    This phase involves internal oleation (consumption of ghee or medicated oils), external oleation (abhyanga massage), and steam therapy to prepare the body for the cleansing process. 

    The duration of the preparatory phase may vary depending on individual needs.

    Before the Virechana karma procedure, the person may or may not go through Vamana, which involves vomiting treatment.

     After that, they follow a specific diet plan called Samsarjana and undergo oleation therapy called Snehana. 

    Depending on your health and Ayurvedic dosha type, this phase can last several days or weeks. 

    The preparation includes consuming ghee or oil for three to seven days and sweating therapy (Svedana) to release toxins from your tissues.

    You should avoid heavy, oily, and spicy foods during this time. 

    On the treatment day, it’s important not to eat anything in the morning. Virechana treatment uses purgative substances primarily composed of earth and water elements, which help move doshas downward. 

    These substances are designed to eliminate excess or imbalanced Pitta Dosha from your body.

    During The Procedure

    On the day of Virechana, patients are checked for signs of poor digestion. If the symptoms indicate inadequate food digestion, they should fast for a few hours. 

    They must have gotten a good night’s sleep before therapy. 

    The Virechana treatment usually begins in the morning, around 9-10 a.m., after the Kapha time has passed. 

    A Virechana drug is prescribed based on the individual’s bowel nature, physical constitution, dosha imbalance, and any existing health issues.

    Administration of Cleansing Substances

    Once the preparatory phase is complete, the individual is ready for Virechana treatment. 

    The Ayurvedic practitioner will determine the specific cleansing substances and dosage based on individual needs. 

    The individual consumes the cleansing substances under the supervision of the practitioner.

     People with Pitta disorder are given purgatives that are both astringent and sweet. 

    Those with Kapha issues receive pungent herbs, whereas those with Vata issues receive hot, oily, and salty condiments. 

    People with skin problems, trauma, poison exposure, inflammation, jaundice, anaemia, or diabetes may benefit from purgative therapy involving mild oleation with fatty substances such as castor oil.

    However, if they have already undergone Oleation therapy, dry and non-fatty purgatives are advised.

    Monitoring and Observation

    During Virechana treatment, the individual is closely monitored for adverse reactions or discomfort. 

    The practitioner records the frequency and nature of bowel movements to ensure the cleansing process is progressing as expected.

    Samyak Virechana Lakshana -Symptoms of Adequate Purgation

    Proper Virechana treatment is characterized by specific signs and symptoms that indicate its success. 

    These signs include tiredness, slimness, lightness of the body, regression of diseases, clarity in the heart and skin, timely hunger and thirst, proper digestion and metabolic activities, and the expulsion of Kapha dosha. 

    These signs confirm that the Virechana treatment has been properly administered and has achieved its desired effects.

    Virechana Heena Lakshana -Symptoms of Inadequate Purgation

    Inadequate purgation may result in certain symptoms that indicate incomplete expulsion of doshas. 

    These symptoms include frequent spitting, chest discomfort, lack of clarity, nausea, bloating, anorexia, vomiting, weakness, stiffness of the hips and thighs, and a sense of organ tiredness. 

    If these symptoms arise during Virechana treatment, it is important to take appropriate measures to address the incomplete evacuation of doshas and prevent excessive purgation. 

    Virechana Atiyoga Lakshana -Symptoms of Excessive Purgation

    Excessive purgation, known as Virechana Atiyoga, can adversely affect the body. 

    Signs of excessive purgation include the excretion of excessive fecal material, Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. 

    This can lead to symptoms such as thirst, fainting due to vitiated Vata, and the expulsion of black-colored blood without Kapha or Pitta.

     It is crucial to monitor the patient closely during Virechana therapy to prevent excessive purgation and manage any complications that may arise.

    Post-Treatment Care

    After the completion of Virechana treatment, the individual undergoes a post-treatment phase called Paschatkarma. 

    This phase includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations to support the body’s healing process. 

    The individual is advised to follow a specific diet, avoid certain foods, and engage in gentle activities to aid recovery.

     After the Virechana procedure, it’s important to allow your body to recover properly. 

    The process begins with staying hydrated – aim to drink half to one glass of warm water every half hour and after each bowel movement. 

    Rest is equally important, so spend time in your room to relax.

    Avoiding heavy, oily, and spicy foods during this recovery phase is best for optimal results.

    Duration of Virechana treatment

    The duration of Virechana treatment can vary depending on various factors, including the individual’s health condition, toxin load, and the specific type of Virechana recommended. 

    Generally, Virechana treatment lasts 5 to 7 days, including the preparatory and post-treatment phases.

    The preparatory phase, Purvakarma, typically lasts for 3 to 7 days. 

    During this phase, the individual undergoes internal and external oleation and steam therapy to prepare the body for cleansing. 

    The duration of Purvakarma may be adjusted based on individual needs and the specific requirements of the Virechana treatment.

    The actual Virechana treatment, which involves administering cleansing substances and subsequent bowel movements, usually lasts 1 to 3 days. The duration will depend on individual response, the type of Virechana recommended, and the desired level of detoxification.

    After completing Virechana treatment, the individual enters the post-treatment phase, Paschatkarma, which typically lasts 3 to 7 days. 

    During this phase, the individual follows a specific diet and lifestyle regimen to support the body’s healing process and ensure a smooth recovery.

    It is important to note that the duration of Virechana treatment may vary from person to person. 

    The Ayurvedic practitioner will assess individual needs and determine the most appropriate duration for optimal results.

    How Does Virechana work in our body?

    Virechana treatment stimulates the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms and eliminates accumulated toxins. 

    The cleansing substances used during Virechana help to liquefy and mobilize toxins, which are then expelled through the bowels.

    The main mechanism of action of Virechana involves the stimulation of peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions of the intestines that propel food and waste material through the digestive tract. 

    The cleansing substances used during Virechana induce strong peristaltic contractions, promoting the elimination of toxins and waste.

    Combining these mechanisms helps cleanse and purify the body, improve digestion and metabolism, and promote overall health and vitality.

    In modern science, while explaining, laxatives induce limited low-grade inflammation in the small and lower bowel to promote the accumulation of water and electrolytes and stimulate intestinal motility. 

    From the above view, Ayurvedic shodhana dravyas are mild irritants to the stomach and intestinal mucosa that cause inflammation. 

    Due to this, the permeability of the membrane changes, and those substances come out due to the changed permeability which cannot come out in normal conditions. 

    This medically produced mild inflammation facilitates quick absorption of the drug’s active principles (Virya) in the initial stage. 

    Later on, it facilitates the excretion of morbid matters, which are generally not supposed to be excreted out through the mucosa of the gut. 

    It is possible only because inflammation increases the permeability of the capillaries, which in turn allows the absorption and excretion of such substances, which are not permitted in normal conditions.

    Virechana and Glycoprotein

    The human body is made of approximately 600 trillion cells. 

    There must be a form of communication for all these individual cells to work together and function properly in our body. 

    When we look at cell-to-cell communication nutritionally, we can find that it involves specific structures called Glycoproteins. 

    Glycoproteins are built by the body by combining amino acids and eight specific saccharides or sugar. 

    Of these, two are glucose and galactose.

     To build those others, the body has to take raw materials, break them down, and reassemble them. 

    These saccharides form the letters to create the word that carries a cell-to-cell communication message. 

    These communication structures are incredibly complex, consume much extra energy and many different enzymes, and involve many different steps for creation.

    Some communication structures last a month while others last only 10 seconds. 

    This implies that every 10 seconds, each of these body cells needs to manufacture new ones to resolve those used up. 

    The body works all day long, every year, in and out. 

    If it cannot manufacture the quantity or quality needed, the result may be developing a bad genetic code and further function breakdown.

    Formations of these communication structures are damaged by toxins of the body and due to indigestion. Virechana can remove these toxins

    In Ayurveda, Kaphanta Virechana, where the kapha may be correlated to the mucus secreted by goblet cells of the intestine, has been appreciated. Mucus is nothing but a glycoprotein. 

    We can assume that Dushita Kapha Dosha or glycoproteins come in from the goblet cells during Snehana and Svedana, and they are excreted during Virechana. 

    The removal of morbid communication structures may improve whole-body function.

    Precautions Before and During Virechana Treatment

    Before undergoing Virechana treatment, it is essential to take certain precautions to ensure safety and optimal results. These precautions include:

    Consultation with an Ayurvedic Practitioner: 

    It is crucial to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before undergoing Virechana treatment. 

    The practitioner will assess your health condition, individual needs, and any contraindications to determine the suitability of Virechana for you.

    Preparation Phase: 

    The preparatory phase, Purvakarma, is an integral part of Virechana treatment. 

    It involves internal and external oleation and steam therapy to prepare the body for cleansing. 

    It is important to follow the instructions provided by the Ayurvedic practitioner during this phase to ensure optimal results.

    Medication and Supplements: 

    Inform your Ayurvedic practitioner about any medications or supplements you are currently taking. 

    Some medications may interfere with Virechana treatment or require dosage adjustments. 

    The practitioner will guide you on how to manage your medications during Virechana.

    Hydration: 

    It is important to stay hydrated during Virechana treatment. 

    Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day to support cleansing and prevent dehydration.

    Rest and Relaxation: 

    Virechana treatment can be physically and emotionally demanding. 

    It is important to allow adequate rest during the treatment period. 

    Avoid excessive physical or mental exertion and engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being.

    During Virechana treatment, it is important to follow the Ayurvedic practitioner’s instructions closely. 

    Report any discomfort or adverse reactions to the practitioner immediately. 

    It is normal to experience increased bowel movements during Virechana, but any severe discomfort or unusual symptoms should be communicated to the practitioner.

    By taking these precautions and closely following the guidance of your Ayurvedic practitioner, you can ensure a safe and effective Virechana treatment experience.

    Diet Restrictions During Virechana 

    Diet before Virechana

    Before Virechana, one has to consume a specific diet that should not increase the Kapha.

    DAY 1-DAY 2

    • Breakfast: Ragi/ Vegetable soup/ Upma/ Oats, muesli
    • Lunch: Millets/ Broken Wheat/Daliya/ Brown rice with boiled vegetables and dhal.
    • Dinner: Cooked veggies/ Broken wheat with veggies/ Chapathi with less oil and cooked veggies/ Millets with veggies/ Vegetable soup ( any vegetable soup )
    Do’s
    • Drink lukewarm water/ regular water only
    • 30-45 minutes of brisk walk or exercise for better results
    • Breakfast between 7 am – 9 am
    • Lunch between 12 noon – 2 pm
    • Dinner before 7 pm – 9 pm
    Donts:
    • Avoid junk foods, paneer
    • Avoid all maida items
    • Avoid eating heavy foods during the night
    • Avoid potato, brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower
    • Avoid spicy, oily & deep fried items

    Day 3 – Day 5

    Snehapana –Internal lubrication with Medicated Ghee / Medicated Oil

    • Drink 30 ml on 3rd day with warm water on an empty stomach by 7 am (once daily)
    • Drink 60ml on 4th day with warm water on an empty stomach by 7 am (once daily)
    • Drink 90ml on 5th day with warm water on an empty stomach by 7 am (once daily)  
    • Breakfast: Ragi/ Vegetable soup/ Upma/ Oats, muesli
    • Lunch: Millets/ Broken Wheat/Daliya/ Brown rice with boiled vegetables and dhal.
    • Dinner: Cooked veggies/ Broken wheat with veggies/ Chapathi with less oil and cooked veggies/ Millets with veggies/ Vegetable soup ( any vegetable soup )
    Do’s
    • Drink lukewarm water/ regular water only
    • 30-45 minutes of brisk walk or exercise for better results
    • Breakfast between 7 am – 9 am
    • Lunch between 12noon – 2 pm
    • Dinner before 7 pm – 9 pm
    Donts:
    • Avoid junk foods, paneer
    • Avoid all maida items
    • Avoid eating heavy foods during the night
    • Avoid potato, brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower
    • Avoid spicy, oily & deep fried items
    • Avoid fruits and milk till the last day

    Day 6 – Day 8

    • Snehana – External Ayurveda treatments based on your body type and complaints.
    • Breakfast: Ragi/ Vegetable soup/ Upma/ Oats, muesli
    • Lunch: Millets/ Broken Wheat/ daliya/ Brown rice with boiled vegetables and dhal.
    • Dinner: Cooked veggies/ Broken wheat with veggies/ Chapathi with less oil and
    • cooked veggies/ Millets with veggies/ Vegetable soup ( any vegetable soup )
    Do’s
    • Drink lukewarm water/ regular water only
    • 30-45 minutes of brisk walk or exercise for better results
    • Breakfast between 7 am – 9 am
    • Lunch between 12noon – 2 pm
    • Dinner before 7 pm – 9 pm
    Donts:
    • Avoid junk foods, paneer
    • Avoid all maida items
    • Avoid eating heavy foods during the night
    • Avoid potato, brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower
    • Avoid spicy, oily & deep fried items
    • Avoid fruits and milk till the last day

    Diet during Virechana

    Day 9th Day – Last Day

    Snehana – External Ayurveda treatment based on your body type and complaints

    Virechana: Medicated purgation to expel toxins from the body; purging will start after 45- 90 mins.

    Following Snehapana till the day of Virechana, i.e., on the eighth day, the Patient is given unctuous, warm, and probably liquid foods. 

    Meat soup, rice, and sour fruits may be given for food. 

    On the day of Virechana, no food is allowed before the administration of purgatives. 

    After Virechana, the patient has to follow a strict dietary regimen where a gradual increase in the quality & quantity of the food is carried out. 

    This period varies depending upon the quantitative shodhana & can be from 5-7 days.

    Following Virechana therapy, a specific diet regimen known as Samsarjana Krama is prescribed to reintroduce regular food gradually. The diet begins with a like-warm gruel (Manda) prepared with well-cooked old rice and progressively progresses to thicker Gruel, followed by porridge prepared with rice and a thin green gram soup. 

    Subsequently, well-cooked porridge and meat juice are introduced. This gradual transition allows the digestive capacity to adjust and prevents discomfort or imbalance.

    Samsarjana Krama:- 

    By being subjected to virechana karma, the digestive power is likely to be weakened. 

    Therefore, a regular diet is not advisable for several days following Virechana karma. 

    Only liquid food is advisable immediately after the karma, as the digestive power is weak. 

    As the digestion power shows a gradual increase the food is also slowly changed to solids or regular foods. 

    This helps in the complete recovery of the digestive ability. Considering this aspect of digestion, the common formulation of diet prescription for lunch and dinner is detailed here.

    • Dinner on the day of virechana = only a liquid portion of the Gruel (peya)
    • On the first day after Virechana, only a liquid portion of the Gruel (peya) is served for lunch and dinner.
    • Lunch on the second day after Virechana: Gruel with a small solid portion (vilepi) added with a small amount of salt and ghee
    • Dinner on 2nd day after Virechana = Gruel with a little solid portion (vilepi) added with a small amount of salt and ghee
    • Lunch on the third day after Virechana = Gruel with a small solid portion added (vilepi), with a small amount of salt and ghee
    • Dinner on the third day after Virechana is rice (prepared from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee.
    • Lunch on the fourth day after Virechana is rice (prepared from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee.
    • Dinner on the fourth day after Virechana is rice (prepared from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee
    • Lunch on the fifth day after Virechana is rice (prepared from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee.
    • Dinner on the fifth day after Virechana Rice (made from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee
    • Lunch on the sixth day after Virechana Rice (prepared using 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee
    • Dinner on the sixth day after Virechana Rice (made from 160 grams of rice) with green gram soup (yusha), salt, and ghee
    • Lunch on the Final 7th day after Virechana – Vegetable soup / Meat soup (rasa) with salt
    • Dinner on the final 7th day after Virechana – Vegetable soup or meat soup (7asa) with salt.
    • Lunch on the seventh day after Virechana: Vegetable or meat soup (rasa) with salt.
    • Dinner on the 7th day after Virechana – Usual diet from now on

    The above diet course of seven days, beginning on the day of Virechana, includes four types of food: liquid Gruel, rice, and soup. 

    Each type of food is repeated for three meals. 

    This diet course is for patients who have completed the highest level of shodhana. 

    For patients who have demonstrated a moderate degree of shodhana, each type of food is given for two meals. 

    As a result, the diet course is completed in 5 days, including Virechana Day. 

    Similarly, each type of food is given for only one meal time in patients with a low degree of shodhana. 

    And diet courses for such patients are completed in three days.

    Do’s and Don’ts
    Do’s
    • The doctor will ask you to drink either normal or warm water depending on the medicine prescribed for purgation. Drink half to one glass of water every half hour after taking the medication and whenever you pass stools.
    • Rest, and stay in your room.
    • Take frequent walks around your room.
    • Inform your doctor about the progress.
    • Rice water will be delivered to you by noon or earlier if necessary. You can have it when you are hungry or exhausted. When you feel hungry again, you can eat rice gruel or porridge.
    • If Virechana does not begin within 4 hours, please notify the physician. He may decide to give you another dose of medication.
    • If you feel tired or dehydrated, please notify your doctor.
    • Examine the stool and inform the doctors about its quantity, colour, and consistency.
    • After the process is completed, take a complete rest.
    Don’ts
    • In case you vomit, call your doctor immediately
    • Count the number of times of loose motions passed
    • Drink warm water when thirsty
    • Drink buttermilk if the loose activities are more than 12-15 times
    • Avoid eating heavy foods
    • Note: Eat a light and liquid diet only   

    Diet post panchakarma therapy

    Day 10- Day 13

    Agni / Digestive Fire will be weak post-Panchakarma treatment

    Please switch back to your regular diet in 1-2 days.

    Activities to Avoid
    • Certain activities should be avoided during and after Virechana therapy to ensure optimal results.
    • Speaking aloud
    • Excessive eating
    • Strenuous physical exercises
    • Travelling and exposure to sun, dew, or stormy wind
    • Cold exposure or consumption of cold food substances
    • Tobacco use and alcohol consumption
    • Sleeping excessively and waking up at night
    • Sexual intercourse
    • Forcing the body’s natural urges or reflexes, such as defecation, urination, hunger, thirst, sleep, sneeze, and so on,
    • While sleeping, use high or low-level pillows.
    • Anger, grief, and stress
    • Long-distance walking and prolonged sitting
    • Maintain a stress-free and pleasant state of mind

    What are the Benefits of Virechana?

    • Improved digestion and metabolism
    • Relief from skin disorders
    • Detoxification of the liver and blood
    • Balancing Pitta dosha
    • Weight management
    • Enhanced mental clarity and focus
    • Improved vision
    • Disease prevention

    Contraindications

    While Virechana therapy is generally safe and beneficial, certain contraindications should be considered. It is not recommended for individuals with

    • Fever of recent origin
    • Poor digestive activity
    • Bleeding diseases of the lower body
    • Diarrhea, dysentery, or those who have undergone previous decoction enemas (Kashaya Basti)
    • Additionally, Virechana therapy should be avoided in individuals with emaciation or those who have undergone excessive oil treatments. It is always advisable to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before undergoing Virechana therapy.

    How to manage if the bowel movements are high during Virechana

    Excessive purgation, known as Virechana Atiyoga, can adversely affect the body. 

    Signs of excessive purgation include the excretion of excessive faecal material, Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. 

    This can lead to symptoms such as thirst, fainting due to vitiated Vata, and the expulsion of black-colored blood without Kapha or Pitta. 

    It is crucial to monitor the patient closely during Virechana therapy to prevent excessive purgation and manage any complications that may arise. 

    Addressing the specific symptoms or discomfort associated with Virechana Atiyoga is the key. 

    Herbal formulations or treatments to alleviate digestive disturbances, dehydration, or electrolyte imbalances may be given as needed.

    Virechana Treatment for Weight Loss

    Virechana can help you lose weight by eliminating toxins and balancing your metabolism. 

    It should be part of a comprehensive plan that includes dietary and lifestyle changes.

    During preoperative procedures, when the patient consumes only taila or ghrita with a small amount of food, fat utilization for energy increases in the absence of carbohydrates. 

    The lack of carbohydrate replenishment promotes the mobilisation of fatty acids from adipose tissue. Thus, Snehapana has a weight-reducing effect on the body.

    Slowdown the stomach emptying

    When the stomach is saturated with food, it suppresses signals to the feeding centre; a small amount of fat is enough. 

    When fat enters the stomach, it produces cholecystokinin, which suppresses appetite. 

    It also stimulates the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, resulting in complete satiety.

    When fat-containing chyme enters the duodenum, the pylorus pump’s activity is reduced, and the pylorus sphincter closes slightly. 

    As a result, stomach emptying occurs more slowly.

    Negative Energy Balancing

    Based on this, there is a negative energy balance during the Snehapana process, which promotes starvation. 

    This demonstrates that Sneha administered for Shodhana impairs the Agni, resulting in a negative energy balance.

    Excess fat elimination

    Ketosis is induced because the diet contains fewer carbohydrates. 

    As a result, medically induced ketosis occurs during the Snehapana process. 

    This can be explained by the fact that during the Snehapana process, the energy source is changed to proteins and then to fat, resulting in ketosis. 

    Steatorrhea is the process by which excess fat is eliminated following digestion. 

    Shodhana Chikitsa relies on the secretory action of the mucous membrane.

    Burn fat during preoperative procedures of Virechana

    Preoperative procedures also include a hot water bath, which causes hemoconcentration and aids in calorie burn.

    Following the preoperative procedures, Virechana is done to help drain the cellular fluid to the interstitial fluid, which is drained into the vascular compartment and then into the GIT for elimination. 

    Thus, Virechana is intended to cause a biochemical alteration by modulating the body’s fluid compartments.

    During the Virechana process, approximately 2 liters of body fluid containing dissolved biochemicals are drained. Thus, Virechana operates in three ways.

    The drugs stimulate secretion by irritating the mucous membrane of the GIT. 

    Second, it prevents nutrient absorption, and finally, it stimulates gastrointestinal motility.

    Thus, Virechana is intended to cause a biochemical alteration by modulating the body’s fluid compartments.

    Improved Gut Health and Metabolism helps to manage weight

    Virechana reduces E. coli colonization and promotes healthy gut flora.

     Metabolite Changes have been observed across various pathways, including phospholipid biosynthesis, choline metabolism, and lipoprotein metabolism. 

    The observed plasma metabolomics changes may be due to Panchakarma-induced metal-type modulation. 

    Panchakarma causes statistically significant increases in plasma levels of phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, and other compounds. 

    It influences immune responses by regulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, immunoglobulins, and T-cell function.

     

    FAQ

    Is  Virechana a complicated treatment?

    Virechana is not very complicated. 

    It is a specialized Ayurvedic treatment that requires careful planning and monitoring by a trained practitioner. 

    It involves pre-treatment preparations, the administration of specific herbal formulations, and post-treatment care. 

    Careful planning and implementation help to avoid complications and benefit you greatly.

    What are the side effects of Virechana?

    Virechana is a therapeutic purgation treatment in Ayurveda, typically safe under a qualified practitioner. 

    However, it may cause dehydration, weakness, digestive discomfort, electrolyte imbalance, skin irritation, temporary Pitta symptoms, and changes in bowel habits. 

    It’s crucial to consult a practitioner to assess individual constitution and health conditions, tailor treatment plans, and make informed decisions about well-being.

    How to do Virechana Treatment at Home?

    As mentioned in the types of Virechana, nitya Virechana can be done at home safely with avipathy choorna, sukha virechana churna, triphala churna, castor oil etc in small doses. 

    When done regularly, 

    it can effectively manage minor health issues, particularly those involving digestion. 

    It can help to maintain a healthy digestive system, boost metabolism, and promote overall wellness. 

    Furthermore, it can help to reduce inflammation and improve skin health caused by Pitta aggravation.

    However, home-based Virechana treatments should not be used as a substitute for a full Virechana therapy administered by an Ayurvedic practitioner. 

    This is especially true for those who have severe or chronic medical conditions.

    Always consult a certified Ayurvedic practitioner before beginning any Ayurvedic treatments at home.

    Can everyone undergo Virechana?

    Virechana is the most effective treatment for Pitta dosha-related conditions. 

    As a result, this procedure can be used to treat pitta-related gastrointestinal disorders (constipation, worm infestation, jaundice, etc.), dermatological disorders like eczema, allergies, and diseases such as fever, hemiplegia, bronchial asthma, and so on.

    Virechana is a potent treatment, and not everyone can withstand the effects. 

    Pregnant women, weak patients, tuberculosis patients, and others should avoid this treatment.

    Is Virechana Therapy Painful?

    The administration of purgative substances during Virechana may cause some discomfort, but it is generally not considered a painful procedure. The pain is temporary, and practitioners take measures to minimize any potential discomfort.

    How long does Virechana take to work?

    Virechana treatment in Ayurveda is effective and can take a few days to work, with immediate effects like improved digestion and relief from Pitta dosha symptoms. 

    However, full benefits may take weeks. 

    The treatment is part of a broader Ayurvedic approach, and the post-treatment phase, including dietary and lifestyle recommendations, is crucial for long-term success. 

    Individual responses and duration depend on a commitment to a balanced lifestyle, dietary adherence, and underlying chronic conditions. Consultation with a qualified practitioner is recommended for personalized guidance.

    How many days are needed for Virechana treatment?

    The duration of Virechana treatment can vary based on individual needs, health conditions, and the severity of dosha imbalance. 

    It is typically performed over several days, and the Ayurvedic practitioner determines the duration. 

    However, the main procedure requires only one day.

    How many bowel movements are required during Virechana?

    Virechana aims to induce controlled and therapeutic bowel movements to eliminate excess Pitta and toxins. 

    The number of bowel movements can vary, but practitioners monitor the process to ensure it is within a safe and beneficial range.

    What if bowel movement is less after Virechana?

     If there are fewer bowel movements than expected after Virechana, it is important to consult the Ayurvedic practitioner. 

    However, the number of purgations is only one of many indicators of adequate, moderate, or excess Virechana. 

    Virechana’s ability to relieve your disease is more important than the number of bouts. 

    If the bouts are few, your Ayurvedic doctor will prescribe stronger medicine during the Virechana period to ensure its success. 

    If the Virechana is over, stick to the diet and medication prescribed by your doctor. Make a note of the Virechana medicine given. 

    If the disease does not improve, another Virechana treatment can be scheduled after a month with a stronger dose of better medicine

    Conclusion

    Virechana therapy is a powerful Ayurvedic technique that offers numerous benefits for detoxification, disease management, and overall well-being. By carefully preparing the body, administering appropriate medicine, and following a specific diet regimen, Virechana therapy effectively expels excess Pitta dosha and restores balance to the body. 

    However, it is essential to consult with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the suitability of Virechana therapy and ensure its safe and effective implementation.

    It is crucial to stress that Virechana and other Ayurvedic treatments should only be undertaken with proper guidance from a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. 

    Self-administering these therapies without supervision can lead to complications and may not be effective. 

    Always consult with a healthcare professional before considering any Ayurvedic treatments.

     

    References

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685265/

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sachin-Chandaliya/publication/350063149_IJAAR_March_April_2020_4_types_of_virechanapdf/data/604f238a458515e529abf6b3/IJAAR-March-April-2020-4-types-of-virechana.pdf?origin=publication_list

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