Sweat Treatments (Swedana)
Sweating leads the doshas to fluidity, making it easier for it to flow out of the system. It opens up the pores and rids the body of impurities through the sweat glands.
There are two principal ways of inducing the sweat.
• External application of heat or retention of body heat such as by exercise, use of heavy clothes, or blankets, fasting, use of alcohol etc.
• Active heating done within a well heated chamber, medicated steam, sauna, hot water bottle, sunbathing, exposure to fire (or use of an infra red lamp), plasters of hot substances such as mustard, hot baths, or showers (especially with medicated oil or water), and hot packs.
Plants such as castor root, pnarnava, barley, sesame, kulttha, black gram, jujube and the drumstick plant all encourage the body to sweat more easily. However, this therapeutic sweating should not be used on persons who are pregnant, persons with bleeding disorders, who have used alcohol recently, persons who are very fat or very thin, persons with diarrhoea, jaundice, anaemia.
Patients suffering from fainting, dizziness, nausea, fever and similar ailments should not undergo the sweat therapy.
• The steam bath improves peripheral circulation. This in turn reduces high blood pressure.
• It also helps the absorption of medicinal particles present in the herbal oil and augments the elimination of impurities in the system through excretory and secretory outlets such as sweat glands, kidney and liver.
• Besides, the medicine used for herbal steam bath will help to reduce stiffness, pain and swelling.
• Due to the elimination of excess water from the body, the person experiences lightness.