Do you often hear the word “Panchakarma” when seeing anything related to Ayurveda? We already saw What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma therapy involves a set of five actions:
In the literal sense, Vaman meaning is Vomiting. No doubt, that the first reaction on knowing this would be- Awful!! But the benefits of Vaman therapy are worth each minute of that uneasiness. Also, this is not the usual Vomiting you get out of indigestion. Vaman meaning is controlled Vomiting, which is planned, induced, and stopped. The reigns lie in our hands.
At first, all of this seems alien to an individual or a patient. But the process is very interesting and makes you think how Ayurveda must have laid down these concepts.
Certain simple procedures need to be done before and after Vaman treatment. In this post, we will know the following details of Vaman therapy in detail:
- Pre-Vaman procedure (before Vaman)
- Vaman process in Ayurveda
- Post Vaman treatment (after Vaman)
- Who can take Vaman therapy
- Who cannot take Vaman treatment
- Vaman treatment cost
- Vaman Panchakarma benefits
- Vaman complications
Before the day of actual Vaman procedure (that is the day of Controlled Vomiting), there is a set of actions to be done one week prior called Purva Karma.
Purva Karma includes three things-
- Abhyantar Snehan – Internal oiling
- Bahya Snehapan– External oiling
- Swedan– Herbal Steam
Now just look at how interesting this process is.
1. Abhyantar Snehan – You drink ghee early in the morning on empty stomach (many might drop the thought of Vaman therapy on hearing “ghee”, but I’ll advise you- WAIT). The amount of ghee starts from 25 ml and is gradually increased by 20-30 ml every day. This is done for 3 to 7 days.
The exact quantity and duration of Abhyantar Snehapan is entirely your Ayurvedic doctor’s call. They tell you to stop the intake once they observe some specified signs told in Ayurveda. But it is always in the above-mentioned range.
2. Bahya Snehan– This is a massage with oils that may last for about 30-45 minutes. It is also done for 3 to 7 days depending upon the duration of ghee consumption given to an individual.
3. Swedan– Massage is followed by steam. The entire body except the face and head is subjected to steam.
The ghee consumption is done at your own home and the second and third procedures are done at your Ayurvedic doctor’s clinic. There are some dietary restrictions during this one week of Purva Karma:
- You must drink hot water only.
- Avoid travelling as much as possible.
- Air conditioners are strictly prohibited.
- Wind, Fans, heavy work should be avoided.
Vaman Process in Ayurveda-
After the above set of procedures, there is a gap day where you will not take ghee. A Kapha-increasing diet including curd, fermented food is prescribed by your Ayurvedic doctor on this one particular day.
The next day morning, again there is massage and steam followed by the session of Vaman. You are given herbal medicines to induce vomiting. You vomit about 4 to 8 times over a span of about 45 minutes. And that’s all! This is the day of actual Vaman Panchakarma.
The right time for Vaman in Ayurveda-
Vaman is done once a year for an individual. It is preferably done in Vasant Ritu (spring season), which is the summer months. If there is an extreme need, your doctor may also do it in Sharad Ritu (Autumn), that is, the months after the rainy season and before winters.
Post-Vamana ayurvedic treatment-
After Vaman, you are given a herbal vapors inhalation to wipe out the Kapha accumulated in the upper body.
The next 7 days after Vaman are very crucial. This week is termed as “Samsarjan Kram” in Ayurveda. You are on a strict and simple diet of moong soup (green gram), rice gruel, etc for this one week to get the best results of Vaman and to avoid any ill effects.
With this, the digestive fire is set up with rejuvenated energy, ready to take care of your body with fresh vigor.
Who can take Vaman therapy?
- Kapha dominant body type
- Suffering from Kapha disorders
- Those with increased Kapha in Vasant (spring season)
- Cough, asthma, respiratory illness
- Indigestion due to Kapha
- Goiter, thyroid
- Mouth ulcers
- Tumor, abscess, swelling, fibroid
- Skin diseases like itching, white patches, urticaria
- Anorexia, loss of taste
- Mental disorders
- Bleeding through lower orifices
- Diseases involving the upper body
Who cannot take Vaman?
- Pregnant women
- Vata dominant body type
- Vata disorders
- Heart-related disorders
- Excessively obese
- Children, old people
- Those in grief
- Weak and fragile
- Those who are Fearful, coward
Vaman treatment cost-
The treatment cost differs according to every region, state, and doctor. Still, the average Vamana treatment cost in a well-equipped Panchakarma center in India can go anywhere in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs.25,000. This includes the entire pre-procedure and actual Vamana treatment.
The range is wide because some centers offer accommodation facilities, whereas those in hustling cities like Mumbai do not.
Also, some might raise their eyebrows on hearing the Vamana treatment cost. But a lot goes behind Vaman treatment that we already discussed above. Also, the benefits it offers are long term.
My father is an asthma patient for 20+ years. Every few months, he would have a slight dry cough which would get converted into long bouts of cough, asthma, and breathlessness. We finally started Ayurvedic treatment for him at my teacher’s clinic (I was still a student then). Medicines and Vaman Panchakarma were given. In that whole year, he did not have one single incidence of cough or asthma!
This is the power of the Vaman in Ayurveda.
Vaman Panchakarma Benefits-
- The list of people who can take Vaman panchakarma is already told above. All those patients can get rid of their diseases.
- The toxins are uprooted from the root. Oleation and steam perform a scratching action in the deep roots of our body. Vaman medicine brings all of these toxins in the stomach and flushes them out.
- You feel so relieved to have thrown out years of impurity outside your body.
- Lethargy vanishes
- Best for Kapha dosha dominant disorders
- Especially recommended for all in Vasant (spring season)
Vamana treatment complications–
Vaman complication can occur sometimes if it is done in less or excess amount, or if the post-Vaman regimen is not followed by the patient and other reasons. Some Vaman complication are:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Pain- pricking type
- Muscle stiffness
These are manageable at the clinic level but it is best to avoid them by giving our best to this treatment and taking proper Vaman precaution.
Difference between Vaman and Dhauti or Kunjal Kriya
Many times I see people mixing these two terms. Vaman and Dhauti are different in many ways. The only similar thing between the two is that they involve Vomiting.
• Vaman is mentioned in the original Ayurveda, in the classical texts as a type of Panchakarma.
o Vaman Dhauti is part of Shatakriya given by Hatha Yoga and is studied under Yogabhayas. It is not mentioned in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda and Yog are two different branches!
• Vaman involves pre and post procedures of 7 days each.
o Dhauti or Kunjal Kriya does not include these.
• In Vaman, Vomiting is induced by medicinal decoctions.
o Vaman Dhauti is of many types and vomiting is induced by water, air, etc.
Panchakarma treatment is a blessing to our bodies. All of this may sound weird when you hear it for the first time. But you will want to have it every year once you experience its benefits. Remember, it is just a few hours of uneasiness giving you a year of good health. Your body needs it. Do it, for it.666