Ghee Day has arrived (Snehana)
And so, on Day 6 of my Panchakarma treatment, the dreaded ‘Ghee Day’ arrives – the day to face my fears with drinking medicated ghee.
Before my visit to Mountain Top Clinic I honestly hadn’t known much about what Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments involved. Panchakarma was just something that I intuitively knew I needed to do for my health, to hopefully help towards purifying my body.
All the stories I had heard from people who had previously done a Panchakarma treatment focused on drinking the ghee. This was followed by a look of disgust on their faces. From this, I wrongly assumed that the drinking of the ghee was the actual Panchakarma treatment. I also thought that it was just regular ghee that was drunk, just like what you would buy at the supermarket.
So little did I know!
Preparation for Panchakarma
Drinking the medicated ghee is actually part of the preparatory Panchakarma therapy, which is called Purvakarma. Purvakarma involves several procedures that help the body move the toxins to the gut for removal during the following Panchakarma process. Purvakarama is essential, because if the body is not properly prepared, toxins (ama) lodged deep within the tissues, will not be removed when the five actions of Panchakarma are administered afterwards.
During Purvakarma, two main therapies are undertaken. Snehana, which includes internal and external oleation. Drinking the medicated ghee is the internal oleation which is carried out along with specific herbal oil massages for the external oleation. This is accompanied by Swedana which is sweating therapy. A simple Ayurvedic diet and lots of rest are also prescribed.
Ghee is used due to it’s oily warming nature. It is an excellent aid in bringing Vata and Pitta doshas back in balance. It transports the properties of the herbs to the deep tissues, helping the body to assimilate them and enhancing the digestion and absorption of the herbs. It moves the deep seated toxins drawn from the blood, muscle, bone and marrow into the gut ready for their removal during Panchakarma. Ghee also has a saturating effect, called oleation, on the body.
Dr Sundara suggests that for my treatment I will need to drink the medicated ghee for 4-5 days (I was hoping on only 3 days!). This will depend on how quickly the ghee reaches through the layers of my system to my bone marrow. He will monitor me each day just by taking my pulses (both right and left) to see how far it has reached. It first has to reach my blood, then muscles, then bones, and then the marrow! Let’s hope it gets there quickly! Come on body, absorb, absorb, absorb.
Before drinking the ayurvedic medicated ghee a small ritual is performed, raising the goblet to the sun whilst a chant is performed
The ghee drinking process begin