Pre Panchkarma usually consists of two procedures :

  1. Snehan
  2. Swedan

The basic aim of Snehana and Swedana-karma is to bring forth the vitiated doshas to an elimination form.  From their latent state.  These are generally performed before application of Panchakarma. This type of Swedana-karma is said to be the purvakarma of shodhan.

Snehan (Oleation)

It refers to the administration of medicated oil internally or the massage of oil over the skin for a specific period. The use of Oleation results in unctuousness (Greasy in Nature) and softness of morbid doshas, which become easily ex tractable and ready to move from places where their occupation is undesirable and unwarranted.

Snehan is performed using substances of vegetable origin such as Til, Erand, oil as well as substances of animal origin such as milk, curd, Ghee. The use of a specific snehan substance also depends upon the season of treatment. Therefore, while the use of Ghee has been recommended during the fall season, oil is the preferred substance during winters.

A number of methods of Snehan therapy have been described in the Ayurveda texts. Snehan is given daily for three to seven days, as indicated. There are two types of Snehan:-

Internal Oleation (Abhyantar Snehan)

This comprises of consumption of warm herbal ghee. The ghee is given to be conumed by Ayurveda Doctor.. The dose varies depends on body's requirements. In order to prepare for the main eliminative procedures, the patient receives internal and external oleation each day. These treatments can continue for up to 7 days. 

External Oleation (Bahya Snehan)

This procedure employs a specific form of massage (abhyanga). The therapist applies herbal oil to the skin before starting the massage. There is great significance to the strokes used in bahya snehan, for they match the movements of vata's five different directional functions. It also improves circulation.


Swedana liquifies the doshas,clears the obstruction of channels of circulation and directs the doshas to selective places from where they can be expelled easily.

Acharya Charak has divided Swedana on the base of three different approaches. Sagni (thermal fomentation) and niragni (non-thermal fomentation) on the base of presence and absence of fire, 

This process is called "heating the body" and  broadly of two types:

Nir-Agni Swedan: In this  method body is warmed without giving any direct heat Common examples are heavy clothing, exercise, etc. 

Sagni Swedan : Sagni Sweda is peformed byu direrct heat usually by steam. Its performed by 13 different ways such as Sankara, Prastara, Nadi, Parisheka, Avagaha, Jentaka, Ashmaghana, Karshu, Kuti, Bhoo, Kumbhika, Koopa, Holaka. 

  1. Sankara-sweda (mixed fomentation)
  2. Prastar-sweda (hot-bed fomentation)
  3. Nadi-sweda (steam kettle fomentation)
  4. Parishek-sweda (afflusion fomentation)
  5. Avagahan-sweda (bath sudation)
  6. Jentak-sweda (sudatorium sudation)
  7. Ashmaghan-sweda (stone-bed fomentation)
  8. Karshu-sweda (trench fomentation)
  9. Kuti-sweda (cabin fomentation)
  10. Bhu-sweda (ground-bed fomentation)
  11. Kumbhi-sweda (pitcher-bed fomentation)
  12. Kupa-sweda (pit fomentation)
  13. Holak-sweda (under-bed fomentation)

This therapy is usually  given along with Snehan. An herbal concoction is added to the steam to loosen the toxins from the individual. Svedana liquefies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the gastrointestinal tract. After 3-7 days of Snehan and Svedana, the doshas become well “ripened.”

To know more about Pre Panchkarma and its benefits on your body, Pls book the appointment with Dr Shallu Garg