Virechana –Therapeutic Purgation

Virechana is the purgative treatment that cleanses the small intestine and associated Pitta dominant organs for, example liver, gall bladder and pancreas.  It works in the downward direction to eliminate Pitta related toxins and excess Pitta in the form of acidic and inflammatory secretions.  Virechana also helps to remove toxins and waste products from the blood.  Virechana herbs induce the purging process which removes these accumulated toxins from all over the body.  Virechana is administered for all Pitta related disorders, especially inflammatory conditions plus hyperacidity, urinary problems, acid peptic disorders, haemorrhoids, chronic headache, migraine headaches, skin disorders such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. It is contraindicated for those with weak digestion, ulcerative colitis, dehydration and acute fever, the elderly, babies and pregnant women.

The preparatory therapy is 5 to 7 days of oleation, both internal and external, and or heat treatment.  The internal medicated ghee is made with a decoction of 53 bitter herbs.  This works on the organs of pitta, as well as all the tissue types in the body. The patient’s constitutional type and gastrointestinal sensitivity determine the type and amount of purgative and medical oil required.

The Virechana herbs are administered in the morning and the patient is required to remain free from stress and refrain from physical activity.  Bowel movements will usually commence within one to two hours after receiving medication and the patient should note the following for the Physician:

  • Frequency of bowel movement.
  • Quantity of bowel movement.
  • Odour of bowel movement.
  • Colour of stool and presence of mucous.
  • Consistency of bowel movements – hard, soft, loose, watery.
  • Any cramping, pain or any unusual symptoms.

During the virechana therapy only small amounts of warm water should be sipped. Mild cramping may occur during the process.  The faecal matter will be solid at first, but will soften until entirely liquid, which will contain some mucous.  When this occurs the purging process is usually complete and the urge to go will stop.

Post Treatment – Virechana

After Virechana is finished, it is very important to completely avoid cold drinks and cold baths.  It is advised to rest, stay warm, and avoid exercise and sexual activity.  Drink warm herbal Tea.  Virechana is draining of the ability to digest robustly (digestive fire) and it is therefore, necessary to avoid all heavy food for three days after treatment.  It is vital to follow a special diet of easily digestible cooked foods to help the digestive fire regain its normal strength.    After successful Virechana, the patient feels clean, light and strong and the mind clears.  Abdominal bloating and heaviness dissipate.

Consult you Ayurvedic Physician / Medical Herbalist to clarify issues and follow instructions carefully.


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