“Purge, emerge and flourish. It’s natural,” said Tim Johnson Contact Us

 This quote remains true to its teaching even today when it comes to Ayurveda. To maintain good health and a clear state of mind, it is important to give the body a deep cleanse from time to time and also eliminate toxins from it. The only way to get rid of these toxins is through Purgation. Purgation enables easy bowel movement using laxatives and clears the waste from the body.

Virechana is associated with purging or any medium that has a purging effect on the body. Virechana not only heals the mind but also cleanses the body from within. It is a supervised and balanced process that brings all the toxins, also known as Ama, together in the small intestines and flushes them out. Doing this releases the amplified Pitta in the body. It also helps to reform the Pitta that later helps with digestion and metabolism.

Based on the intensity of the doshas, the process of Virechana is broadly distinguished into two categories:

  • Snigdha Virechana: Snigdha is an Ayurvedic synonym of oily. This treatment is either performed by castor oil alone or in combination with the Haritaki fruit. It is ideally performed for the ones with ailments related to Pitta dosha and Vatta dosha.
  • Rooksha Virechana: When the cause of the Pitta dosha in the body is due to Kapha dosha, Rooksha Virechana helps to balance it out. This procedure requires Trivrit Lehyam as a laxative medicine.

These are further categorized into 5 subtypes usually performed to support the treatment.

  1. Purvakarmayukta Virechana: Snehana and Svedana are two procedures under this sub-type that precede the main Virechana therapy. Snehana includes consumption of ghee, oil, or bone marrow soup for 3-7 days. It aids to dissolve the fat-soluble toxins in the body. Snehana, on the other side, uses heat to channel sweating. However, Svedana therapy makes use of heat to generate sweating in the body to dissolve the fats.
  2. Rutu-Anusari Virechana: It is an ideal way to aid the symptoms of flared-up Pitta dosha which are mouth ulcers, running nose, sleepiness, and digestive troubles, etc. Rutu stands for season, Anusari stands for according, hence, Rutu Anusari Virechana therapy and its herbs vary according to the seasons. Every season has its effect on our digestive system. This seasonal therapy aids to bring balance. 
  3. Sadhyo Virechana: This is performed to flush out the fecal substances from the intestines in mild to moderate cases. Sadhyo stands for immediate, hence, the physician uses this method for quick removal of feces from the intestines for mild to moderate cases. 
  4. Nitya Virechana: Nitya means regular or everyday. It is a regular process done daily to keep the intestines clean using some medication. It is highly effective for skin diseases and neurological ailments.
  5. Punha-Punha Virechana: Just like stubborn fats, there are stubborn doshas too. Sometimes it is difficult to remove the doshas completely in a single go. Hence, it has to be performed again and again. The repeated procedure is called Punha-punha Virechana.

Virechana is beneficial for a lot of ailments from skin diseases to diabetes. It is a perfect therapy for those with disorders related to the imbalance in the Pitta dosha. Virechana can resolve something as simple as Hyperacidity to something as complex as allergies and more such as:

  • Skin diseases such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, leprosy, and leucoderma
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Ulcers
  • Abscess
  • Liver disease
  • Jaundice
  • Ascites
  • Splenomegaly
  • Anaemia
  • Urogenital disorders
  • Gout
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Bleeding disorders in the upper part of the body
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Colitis
  • Acid peptic disease
  • Chronic headaches 
  • Migraines 
  • Malabsorption

The list is long but surprising. These are all caused as a result of an aggravated Pitta dosha. There are several red flags to watch out for to understand when the Pitta increases in the body. 

  • Red skin or irritated Rosacea
  • Burning or bloodshot eyes
  • Indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux
  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • Inflammation
  • Painful menstrual cramps

Virechana and pitta are closely associated with each other. Pitta dominates in the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Pitta also closely exists in the intestines and Virechana therapy uses purging to flush the pitta out from the body using laxatives. Hence, Virechana is about the right to treat the excess Pitta in the body. 

Apart from being beneficial to treat a truckload of ailments, Virechana also 

  • Deep clean the blood and tissues
  • Flushes out the toxins from the skin and the reproductive system
  • Purifies the blood
  • Helps to have a clear and regulated gastrointestinal tract
  • Aids a decongested liver, bladder, and gastrointestinal tract 
  • Enables better fat digestion and improved metabolism
  • Builds up immunity 
  • Slows down the process of ageing 

Virechana comes with certain limitations particularly for the pregnant. It cannot be performed for those below the age of 15 years and those above 70 years. Fever, diarrhea, dysentery, bleeding rectum, being underweight are a few more check posts that do not clear one for the therapy. 

With all the given, Virechana is a safe and easy way to shrug off the excess Pitta from the body and lead a healthy and happy life.

Ayurvedic Virechana Treatment

 In Ayurveda, Virechana is one such procedure that is a part of Panchakarma therapy, If you are looking for more information on booking a Panchakarma Treatment do visit https://balanceboat.com/category/ayurveda/ayurvedic-panchakarma

As quoted by

B.K.S. Iyengar, “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit.”

Frequently asked questions about Virechana treatment:

What is purgation therapy? 

Purgation therapy is a treatment that extracts the toxins and excess Pitta that is gathered in the liver and the gallbladder. Using various medicines or herbs are used as laxatives to flush these toxins out of the body clearing the gastrointestinal tract.  

What is meant by Virechana? 

Virechana is one of the five procedures of Panchakarma. It is a supervised process that gathers all the ama or toxins from the body in the small intestines. Through regulated purgative medication, decongestant herbs like Haritaki, Vibhitaki, Amalaki, Katuki, Trivrit, etc. are some of the herbs that serve as laxatives that help the body to eliminate the harmful toxins and excess pitta from the body. 

How do you do purgation? 

Purgation is the final procedure performed after the toxins have gathered and the doshas have softened a bit. It begins with a general check-up to look for signs of a weak digestive system. After that the purgation medication or drug is regulated, its portion depending on the need of the patient. There are different herbs for soft intestines, hard ones, and for ones with excess pitta. After the monitored herb, medication, or drug intake, the process of purgation starts. 

How is Virechana done? 

On the day of performing Virechana, the patient first undergoes a basic checkup to find out the signs of a weak digestive system. They are also checked for any remains of undigested food from the previous meals. If found, they are asked to fast for a couple of hours. It is ensured that they have had a good night’s sleep the night before the therapy. The process then starts at around 9-10 am in the morning after the Kapha time has passed. It is not that the Virechana drug, herb, or medication is given to the patient. The quantity and type of it depend on the type or category their bowels fall in, body type, pre-existing diseases, and lastly, the imbalance in their doshas. After this, the process of purgation or Virechana starts. During the time when the process takes place, the patient is directed to consume lukewarm water to support the therapy and avoid dehydration. 

 What should we eat in Virechana? 

The toxins find their way into our bodies through the food we consume. Virechana is the process of eliminating toxins, that make the body healthy with good immunity and less pain. To support the therapy it is important to watch what is consumed. Food items like chicken and meat, egg, soya sauce, vinegar, chocolates, bakery items, noodles, fried food, food fermented from the previous day, and spicy food hamper digestion and result in poor metabolism causing toxins to collect. It is also advised to avoid fruits, milk, and milk products, as they are heavy to digest and stop the body from absorbing the nutrients. Hence it is mandatory to follow the diet that is customized and prescribed by the doctor to avoid complications and make the most out of the treatment.

Does Virechana help in weight loss? 

Virechana is said to be highly effective for weight loss. Obesity is a commonly known metabolic disorder. The whole purpose of Virechana is to regulate metabolism and improve the process of digestion by flushing the toxins out of the body. It nourishes the good gut microbiome and hence it supports weight loss and enhances immunity.

How is Ritu Anusari Virechana performed?

The best Ritu’s or seasons as per Ayurveda to perform Virechana are Varsha Ritu (rainy season), Sharad (Autumn) and Vasantha (Spring). 

Proper Ayurvedic assessment is required for fixing the dosage of Virechana medication. The best time to perform Virechana is the middle period of the above mentioned months. In case of Vata disorders like joint disorders or lower back disorders, Snigdha virechana or Virechana with oil can be done in Grishma ritu or Summer as per medical advice. 

The Ritu anusari Virechana depends highly upon the prakruti (constitution) and Vikruti (dis-balance) of an individual. Always make an Ayurvedic assessment before planning a Virechana.

Answered by Dr Varun Ram Raj

What are the symptoms of high Pitta? 

There are several red flags that have high pitta written all over them. Knowing about them can help to understand it. Excess aggravated Pitta in the body can cause: 

  • High amount of heat generation in the body
  • Severe acid reflux, gas, and indigestion
  • Swollen joints 
  • Extreme diarrhea or constipation 
  • Constant nausea 
  • Unexplained anger and irritability 
  • Foul-smelling body odor
  • Bad breath 
  • Excess sweating 

What happens after Virechana? 

After the completion of the purgation procedure, the face, hands, and feet of the patient are washed with warm water and are made to lie in a room that is clear of the wind. There are also a few other things they are asked to follow like Moderate eating, speaking in a low voice, moving from time to time, take short walks and avoid traveling, feelings of anger, and grief, and steer clear of going out in the sun or wind. It is important to sleep well at night and avoid daytime naps and follow the diet regime to support the weak digestive system. 

Who should not undergo Virechana therapy? 

Virechana therapy has its own boundaries and limitations. It is advisable to see if one falls in any of these categories before opting for it. People with the following conditions cannot undergo Virechana:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Age below 15 years and above 70 years
  • Bleeding rectum
  • Extremely weak digestive system 
  • Underweight
  • During menstruation 
  • Recent origins of fever or diarrhea


**The benefits of Ayurveda vary from person to person and the results may vary immensely based on the quality of the herbs, oil concoctions and medicines. BalanceBoat.com is not responsible or liable for the effectiveness and outcome of the Ayurvedic treatments. The information above is shareable purely for educational purpose it is not to be considered as a replacement for medical advice. Please always consult a certified specialist/Doctor before you embark upon a treatment.