Virechana Panchakarma: An Ayurvedic Detox For Pitta Dosha 

Virechana is the second form of Panchakarma by the virtue of which Pitta dosha is removed from the body system, particularly the GI tract.

[pullquote]The shlokaVirechanama Pittaharnama’ mentioned in Charaka Samhita implies that Virechana Karma is the best medicine or cure for treating the diseases emerging from vitiation of the Pitta dosha.[/pullquote]


What is Virechana Panchakarma?

Virechana is prescribed after properly judging the type of disease and tolerance of the patient. Normally this particular karma is performed in the diseases of Alimentary canal like chronic constipation, indigestion, anorexia, worm infection etc. Purgation is given with care in specific amounts accordingly.


The purgative medicines are: Laxatives, Simple purgatives, Drastic purgatives, Hydragogues purgatives and Cholagogue purgatives.

Virechana Karma (Purgation Therapy)

In this method of detoxification and purification, the doshas are removed in the form of faeces through the rectum. The purgative medicines given to the patient are heavy in action (and therefore help to bring down the doshas) and have a tendency to produce heat which aims in eradication of the doshas. Virechana karma is basically a medicated purgation therapy which removes Pitta toxins from the body that are accumulated in the liver and gallbladder and completely cleanses the gastro-intestinal tract. It is a safe procedure without side effects.


Procedure of Virechana Karma

First of all Virechana Karma starts with internal oleation. This is termed as Snehpana Karma (Oral intake of Medicated Ghee) wherein the digestive power or the agni is at first evaluated and then little amount of medicated ghee is given to be ingested. This process is generally started with approx. 30 ml and gradually the dosage is increased until the complete digestion of the ghee has taken place. This is followed by Abhyanga (full body massage) and swedana (steam bath). Then Virechaka herbs and medicine is given on empty stomach. The client is then observed till the stools become watery.

Types of  Virechana Karma

1. Anulomana – These are the carminatives.


2. Sansarjana – These are the laxatives.

3. Bhedana – These are the drastic purgatives.


4. Rechana – These are Purgatives.

Herbs and Ayurvedic Drugs used in Virechana Karma

Generally the herbs used for Virechana karma are Amaltas, Kutki, Danti. Snaya, kutki, milk, trifla, Draksha, isabgol, marodphali, Gulkanda, Hareetaki etc.


Sukh virechana – Herbs used for easy purgation.

Mridu – Herbs used for soft purgation.


Teekshana – Herbs used for strong purgation.

Oil – The best oil used for this Ayurvedic detox is Castor oil

Fruit – The best fruit used for purgation is Hareetaki

Properties of Herbs and Ayurvedic Drugs used in Virechana Karma

Ayurveda specifies few properties for Virechana karma medicines as –

Prithavi and Jala ( Earth and water elements) should be prominent.

Ushana – It must be hot and be able to melt the Kapha toxins.

Teekshana – It must be sharp to cut down the rigid Kapha toxins.

Sookshama – It must be subtle i.e. spread deep and minutely.

Vyavayi – It must work before digestion.

Vikashi – It must be able to remove the built in sticky toxins.

Benefits of Virechana Karmas

At the Ayurvedic Centres, a number of diseases and disorders have been treated as well as cured by providing the Virechana karma or the Purgation Therapy like Chronic Fever, Diabetes, Asthma, Skin disorders such as Herpes, Paraplegia, Hemiplegia Joint disorders, Digestive disorders, Constipation, Hyperacidity, Vitiligo, Psoriasis, Headaches, Elephantiasis, Gynaecological disorders.

Contraindication Condition for Virechana Karma

Virechana karma needs to be avoided in small children, the elderly, those suffering from diarrhoea, depression, Tuberculosis and also if the gastric fire is very weak.

Diet Indications After Virechana Karma ( Sansarjana Karma)

After the procedure of Virechana karma, the Samsarjana Karma or specific diet indications are followed for a period of 3 to 7 days.

This consists of starting with Manda (rice water), the Peya (thick rice water), then Vilepi (thicker rice water) and finally Akrita Yusha and Krita Yusha (vegetable soup).

This entire process may take from 3 to 7 days.

Reference from Ayurveda text – Ashtanga Sangraha (Sootrasthana)

It has been mentioned that when the aggravated or imbalanced doshas are removed from the lower part of the body, it is called Virechana Karma. It has also been narrated that in comparison with Vamana Karma or the Emesis Therapy, the Virechana Karma is more comfortable with less complications. It has been specified in Ayurveda text that generally all types of Pitta diseases may be relieved by Virechana karma. Also, when the Kapha dosha mixes up with the Pitta dosha, or else when the Kapha dosha takes the place of Pitta dosha in the body, at that time also Virechana Karma is recommended.