The term Shodhana means “to go away.” Our food habits, hectic routines and unhealthy habits cause the accumulation of toxins in the body that can lead to an imbalance of the tridoshas. Shodhan Chikitsa, also known as the waste elimination therapy, is done when the body accumulates excessive toxins and is unable to excrete these toxic substances naturally. Then, with the help of Panchakarma, Snehakarma and Swedanakarma methods of treatment, these toxins are driven out from the body.
Shodhan chikitsa helps to purify and detoxify the whole body with the help of massages with medicated oils and herbs, along with a comprehensive diet program. This treatment is given for 15 days, and includes, apart from body massage, Snehapanam (medicated ghee, eaten on an empty stomach), Nasyam (medicated oil administered through the nose), Virechanam (medicated purgation), Snehavasthi (herbal oil enema), Dhara (continuous stream of mildly warm oil applied to the body parts), Pizhichil (combination of heat treatment and herbal oil massage), Njavarakizhi (massage with a concoction of rice, milk and herbs, wound up in a warm bolus bag), Karnapooranam (application of medicated fumes to the ears for 5 to 10 minutes), Tharpanam (eye cleaning process), Sirovasthi (keeping lukewarm oil on the head), steam bath, herbal drinks and internal herbal medicines.
It is essentially a body purification therapy which eradicates toxins and re-furbishes the Tridhoshas, namely, Vatha, Pitha and Kapha, to a balanced condition.