Swedana (Svedana) – Ayurvedic Method of Sudation

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Swedana (also spelled as Svedana) is a Sanskrit word, which means perspire or sweating. The various techniques that induce sweating are known as Swedana karma. Swedana can induce hemodynamic changes in the body. First, it increases blood pressure and heart rate or pulse rate. These changes are just for a short period. After that, it can also reduce systolic blood pressure. It also improves blood circulation and removes toxic substances through sweating.

Therapeutic Indications

Swedana is beneficial in following health conditions.

General Symptoms

  • VATA disorders
  • KAPHA disorders
  • Heaviness in body
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Chocking sensation in throat
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Rigidity of any part (flanks, abdomen, back, lockjaw etc.)
  • Contraction
  • Pain
  • Rigidity
  • Heaviness
  • Numbness
  • Inflammation
  • Body ache

Lungs & Airways

  • Cough
  • Rhinitis
  • Hiccups
  • Breathlessness
  • Asthma

Pain Disorders

  • Earache
  • Neck Pain
  • Headache
  • Pain in foot, leg, knee and thigh regions
  • Pain with cramps in ankle, knee, wrist, hip Joints

Brain & Nerves

  • Facial palsy
  • Monoplegia (Paralysis of a single limb)
  • Generalized paresis
  • Paralysis
  • Sciatica
  • Tremors

Muscle, Bones & Joints

  • Kyphosis
  • Lordosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Rigidity of spine
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Stiffening of thighs
  • Sprain of ankle

Abdomen

  • Abdominal distension
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal lump

Others

  • Dysuria
  • Enlargement of scrotum
  • Rigidity in foot, leg, knee and thigh regions

Contraindications

Swedana (sudation therapy) is not appropriate in following cases and conditions.

General Contraindications

  1. Thirst
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Anger
  4. Hunger
  5. Grief
  6. Weakness

Note: Swedana (sudation therapy) is not suitable for following body organs and you should cover these parts with towel, flowers or leaves etc.

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  • Eyes
  • Heart (cardiac region)
  • Scrotal region

Special Contraindications

  • PITTA Disorders (Strong sudation is always contraindicated. In some cases, mild sudation is suggestible if required.)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Diabetes mellitus +
  • Haemorrhagic disorders
  • Proctitis
  • Rectal prolapsed
  • Alcoholism
  • Poisoning
  • Extremely Obese
  • Burning micturition
  • Jaundice
  • Ascites
  • Liver enlargement
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Cirrhosis of Liver
  • Acute abdomen
  • Lung injury
  • Gout
  • Gastroenteritis or Cholera
  • Excessive weakness
  • Low immunity
  • Incipient cataract
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Multiple Sclerosis

+ Note: Mild Swedana is reported beneficial in diabetes mellitus complications including diabetic neuropathy. Therefore, we can use mild sudation for diabetic patient with good diabetes control, but strong sudation is always contraindicated. In uncontrolled diabetes, mild sudation is also contraindicated.

Possible Complications

Excess sudation or excessive use of Swedana therapy can cause following complications.

  1. PITTA Disorders
  2. Burning sensation
  3. Syncope
  4. Ill health
  5. Weakness in whole body
  6. Joint pains with burning sensation
  7. Pain with burning sensation
  8. Eruption of blisters
  9. Thirst
  10. Fatigue
  11. Fever
  12. Heat burns – black or reddish discoloration of the skin

Management of Complications

The management of complications of Swedana involves.

  • Symptomatic treatment according to predominance of humours and symptoms involved
  • First, treat severe complications.
  • Use of herbs or measures that brings coolness in the body
  • Use of herbs or remedies having sweet taste, cool potency, and unctuous in nature

References

  1. Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 14, Verse 20 to 24
  2. Ashtanga Hridayam, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 17, Verse 25 to 27
  3. Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 14, Verse 16 to 19
  4. Ashtanga Hridayam, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 17, Verse 21 to 24
  5. Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 14, Verse 14
  6. Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Chapter 32, Verse 24
  7. Ashtanga Hridayam, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 17, Verse 16 to 17
  8. Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 14, Verse 15
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