Avagaha Sweda is a type of Swedana (Svedana) therapy used in ayurveda. It is ayurvedic method of inducing sudation and removing toxins. In the vast field of ayurveda, Avagaha Sweda is one of the most divine forms of treatment to cure many diseases.
Submerging the patient’s body into medicated liquid or decoction up to the neck is known as Avagaha Sweda.
Meaning of Avagaha & Sweda
- The term Avagaha means submerging.
- Sweda means to induce sudation.
- AVAGAHA SWEDANA
- AVAGAHANA SVEDA
Avagaha Sweda is a type of sudation therapy, which involves sweat glands of a skin secreting salty fluids. In this therapy, the patient is made to sit or lie down to immerse his body in a medicated liquid (herbal decoction) also termed as DRAVADRAVYA. This process helps in fomentation to the body. Avagaha Sweda gives relief from pain and inflammation. Patients experience immediate sense of relief from pain and body stiffness.
Procedure & Technique of Avagaha Sweda
To execute the treatment with Avagaha Sweda, different types of materials/equipments are required, as given below:
- Bath Tub: Dimensions (L 60″, W 30″, H 14″) –
- Vessels: 2 – Required for the preparation of DRAVADRAVYA.
- Herbal Decoction or Medicated Liquid (DRAVADRAVYA): 60 to 100 Litres
- Ayurvedic Massage Oil: 100 ml – Dhanwantharam Thailam, Ksheerabala Thailam, etc. – as per disease
- Thalam Churna: 5 grams – Amla Churna, Rasnadi Choornam or Kachuradi Choornam, etc. as per requirement according to disease
- Thalam Oil: 5 ml – Ksheera Bala Thailam, Nimbamritadi Eranda Tailam, Rasnadasamooladi Thailam, etc. as per requirement according to disease
- Towel (or cotton cloths): 1
Preparation of Medicated Water
Every patient requires a suitable DRAVADRAVYA, herbal water or medicated water prepared according to ayurveda principles. Generally, herbs are selected according to the disease and body type of the patient and boiled for 10 to 15 minutes in about 100 litres water. This liquid is called DRAVADRAVYA.
Temperature of DRAVADRAVYA
After taking a suitable DRAVADRAVYA, it is poured into the bathtub at the temperature in between 38 to 42 degree Celsius. This temperature should be maintained throughout the procedure by removing the liquid from the tub and adding more warm liquid in the tub.
Step – 1: Thalam
In Avagaha Sweda, the pre-operative process includes keeping of Thalam over the head of the patient along with suitable Thalam oil and Thalam Choornam.
Step – 2: Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Now, Oil Massage (Abhyanga) is performed. It can be full body massage or massage of certain parts (from umbilicus to thighs). However, massage around umbilicus is always beneficial for many patients, but it may be skipped in patients with obesity and in people who want to lose weight.
Step – 3: Sitting in Herbal Water
After completing above two preoperative steps, the patient is seated in the bathtub containing the medicated liquid termed as DRAVADRAVYA. Patient should sit in bathtub at least 15 minutes or more as per recommendation.
Half Tub Bath (ARDA AVAGAHA SWEDA): The lower body part of the patient, i.e. up to the level of an umbilicus is immersed into the medicated liquid.
Full Body Tub Bath (SARVANGA AVAGAHA SWEDA): It should be noted that SARVANGA AVAGAHA SWEDA is only completed when the body is fully submerged into liquid i.e. up to the level of neck.
Gradually after some time, the temperature of the medicated liquid in the bathtub falls down. Some amount of this liquid is then replaced with warmer medicated liquid to maintain uniformity in the temperature.
Step – 4: Cleansing
After the completion of the prescribed time of the above procedure, the patient is told to come out of the bathtub and wipe off the liquid with the help of towel or tissue paper. Even Thalam is removed with the help of a dry towel.
Step – 5: Churna Application
Applying Rasnadi Choornam or Kachuradi Choornam is a final step. Generally, one of these herbal powders is applied on the head.
Step – 6: Rest & Bath
Patient should take rest for at least 45 minutes and then he should take bath with lukewarm water.
- In case the patient is getting a good amount of perspiration, the therapy can be stopped to avoid dehydration.
- The temperature of the medicated liquid in the bathtub should be in between 38-42 degree Celsius.
However, complications with Avagaha Sweda are rare when taken under administrated under ayurvedic physician. Some complication may occur due to unwise administration and over use of the therapy.
- Fainting: Fainting may occur due to increased body temperature. It can occur either due to using medicated liquid with high temperature or patient’s low heat tolerance threshold. In such case, immediately stop therapy and cold water should be sprinkled on the face. Patient should also be advised to drink water. In severe cases, Drakshadi Kashayam should be used.
- Burns: Burns can occur due to excessive heat of the herbal liquid. It is avoidable complication and temperature should be maintained at patient’s tolerance to heat. In case, burns occur, Clarified Butter (Ghee) should be applied. Shata Dhauta Ghrita application is more beneficial and it provides immediate soothing sensation and stops burning sensation.