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Elakizhi - How “Ayurveda” heals?

Introduction to ELAKIZHI

All of you are quite familiar with the widely used ayurvedic procedure named Elakizhi. And while speaking about Elakizhi, we are directed towards the Panchakarma therapies. The most eminent branch of Ayurveda is Panchakarma. Panchakarma therapies are the 5 main procedures through which Ayurveda deals with the wide spectrum of diseases.

  1. Vamanam
  2. Virechnam
  3. AnuvasanaVasti
  4. NiruhaVasti
  5. Nasyam

These are the 5 procedures through which Ayurveda heals

In other words, Panchakarma healing technique is a pillar on which majority of Ayurvedic techniques stand.

Then you all may be wondering,

What about elakizhi?

Before doing any panchakarma procedures, 2 pre operative procedures should be done.

  1. Snehana karma (Oleation Therapy)
  2. Swedana karma (fomentation Therapy)

Elakizhi comes under the Second Category i.e. under fomentation Therapy

What is Elakizhi?

Application of heat and thereby inducing perspiration using heated pack of specific “Vatahara” herbal leaves is known as elakizhi

In ayurvedic classics it is called as

“PatraPottalipindaSweda” The terms:-

  • Patra means leaves of medicinal plants
  • Pottali means Bundle
  • Pinda means Bolus
  • Sweda means ? As I have already described before that it is a subcategory coming under Swedana karma i.e fomentation therapy

Mainly elakizhi acts on UpasthambhithaVyadhiAvastha

Benefits of doing Elakizhi:-

  • Reduces pain & inflammation in joints (due to analgesic & anti inflammatory properties of the leaves used)
  • Reduces Swelling
  • Produces rejuvenating effects in joints
  • Improves range of movements
  • Reduces heaviness felt on body parts
  • Removes stiffness
  • Reduces coldness of body
  • Produces anti-degenerative effects in joints
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Increases strength of muscles
  • Complexion of skin is improved
  • Detoxification effect produced. (By sweating, wastes are removed)
  • Cures Vataja&Kaphaja diseases (mainly)

Elakizhi Preparation:-

While considering the other types of Kizhi; In Elakizhi ? it is the various Vatahara leaves used here, plays the key role.

Depending upon the various conditions & various stages of diseases, the leaves included in the Kizhi also differs.

The Leaves Mainly used in preparing Kizhi:-

Name Botanical name
Nirgundi Vitexnegundo
Chincha Tamarindusindicus
Arka Calotropisgigantea
Eranda Riccinuscommunis
Vasa Adathodavasica
Dattura Daturametel
Agnimantha Premnaserratifolia
Shigru Moringaterrigosperma

Other Indredients used

  • Grated coconut
  • Sliced lemon
  • Saindhava
  • Vataharataila

Various Vataharatailas used in Elakizhi:-

  • Nimbatailam
  • Kottamchukkaditailam
  • Pindatailam
  • Mahanarayanatailam
  • Mahamashatailam
  • Sahacharaditailam
  • BalaashwagandhaLakshaditailam
  • Ksheerabalatailam

Preparation of Elakizhi:-

The herbal leaves (based on the condition of disease) are cut into small pieces & taken in a vessel of round bottom. By adding suitable vataharataila in appropriate amount, kizhi should be prepared.

  • Ingredients should be added by considering the rogibala. (strength of patient) & rogabala(how deeply the disease affected the dhatus and deeper layers).
  • The whole procedure of preparation of elakizhi should be done in mrduagni.

Procedure of applying elakizhi:-

  • At first, Abhyanga [Oleation therapy based on disease] should be done in all the 7 positions advised in Ayurvedic classics
  • After that kizhi is applied either in whole body or in specific part of body by the therapists equally consideringthe precautions needed for this procedure.
  • Procedure is done till the patient gets the SamyakSwinnaLakshana.
  • After the procedure, several post procedure activities are also involved for the better result.

Duration of procedure ?35-45 mts

7 days or 14 days or 21 days of procedure is prescribed by the doctor/vaidya for healing of body from toxic agents based upon the disease condition

Maximum days an elakizhi can be used - 3 days

Diseases/conditions where Elakizhi Indicated

  • IVDP (IntervertebralDisc protrusion or prolapse)
  • Sciatica (gridhrasi)
  • Osteo Arthritis
  • Chronic stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Hemiplegia
  • Neurological disorders
  • Myalgia
  • Sports Injuries
  • Post traumatic dysfunctions
  • Sprains
  • Stroke
  • Lumbar spondylitis
  • Chronic backpain
  • Joint pain
  • Detoxification
  • Cramps

ContraIndicated Conditions of Elakizhi

  • Acute fever (Tarunajwara)
  • Hemorrhagic disorders (Raktapitta)
  • Diarrhoea (Atisara)
  • Psoariasis
  • Infective eczema

Conclusive Opinion

The real concept regarding Magical healing of Ayurveda:-

Ayurveda is one of the traditional system of medicine that practices holistically primarily focused on personalised health. Prolonged use of Ayurvedic medicines by people has also led to several home remedies for common ailments. The holistic concepts of Ayurveda give emphasis to health promotion, disease prevention & early diagnosis.

Although common people are familiar with the medicines widely used in Ayurveda, they are ignorant regarding the procedures or therapies.

This was a humble effort to make the public aware about the procedures/therapies practiced in Ayurveda both conceptually & Clinically.

Here in elakizhi, the UshnaGuna produced by the kizhi stimulates our sympathetic Nervous system and performs vasodilation. The Sara&Sookshmaguna of SwedanaDravya liquefies the linadosha in our body and they come out from our body through the Micropores present over the Skin. The Sweat glands also results in more excretion of liquefied Vitiated dosha from our body. This is the real concept applied in Elakizhi.

Ayurveda can do wonders or I can say that it is just magical to experience such holistic therapies by the support of well known Ayurvedic experts.

Ayurveda also strongly hold the concept of “Prevention of diseases, before its origin.”

As these procedures helps to remove our internal wastes, by equally considering the life style that is adopted by the public nowadays; Ayurveda strongly recommend you to experience these holistic Science & moreover

Stay healthy.
Stay Calm
Create healthy habits

ayurveda dr amritha jestas author

Written by: Dr. Amritha Jestas
Ayursopanam Physician

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