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What is Virechana in Panchakarma?

Updated: Mar 10

Virechana in Panchakarma | Shreshtha Ayurveda

Virechana means removal or downward expulsion of excess doshas through anal route by taking medicines. Virechana is chosen when the bahudosha (excess dosha) is predominantly ‘Pitta’.

It is also done when the excess Pitta is along with vitiated kapha dosha and also if any other dosha has occupied the location or seat of Pitta dosha.

What are the classifications of Virechana?

There are 3 classifications of Virechana.

Based on the strength of the medicine

  1. Sukha virechana– Laxatives (which are mild and do not cause any discomfort) Eg., Trivrt (Operculina turpethum) Used in Kapha-Pitta conditions

  2. Mrdu Virechana: Bowel softeners, herbs like Aragwadha (Cassia fistula)

  3. Tikshna Virechana: Drastic purgatives like Jayapala (Croton seeds)

Based on the targeted dosha

  1. Anulomana: Herbs given to expel Pakva mala (In cases, where the patient needs to push out well formed digested stools) Dosha affected: Vatha; Example: Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

  2. Sramsana: Herbs given to expel apakva mala (In cases, where the patient needs to push out undigested stools) Dosha affected: Vatha, Kapha; Example: Castor oil

  3. Bhedana: Herbs given to expel both the pakva and apakva mala (Without diluting). Doshas affected: Pitta, Kapha; Example: Katuki (Picrorrhiza kurroa)

  4. Rechana: Herbs given to expel mala in pakva or apakva form by diluting and pushing out forcibly. Doshas affected: Kapha, Pitta; Example: Sonamukhi (Cassia angustifolia)

Based on diseases:

  1. Snigdha Virechana: These are oily purgatives usually chosen in Vata conditions like lumbar disc prolapse. Example: Castor oil

  2. Ruksha Virechana: There are dry purgatives used in Pitta and Kapha conditions like Skin diseases, Swellings, Jaundice, Ascitis, Herpes, Anemia