“Dhoomapana” or “dhoomapanam” is an Ayurvedic treatment method, which includes smoking the leaves or other parts of medicinal plants, mainly to cure respiratory or nervous disorders.In this article by Dr. Ankit Agarwal, we can understand how this procedure works, its benefits and precautions that needs to be considered before plunging into this process.
Dhoom pan or dhooma pan literally means smoking. Here, unlike using cigarettes for smoking, the patient inhales specific herbal medicines prescribed for specific disease conditions. Dhoompan helps to balance vata and kapha dosha and is used for both preventive and therapeutic purposes. A person conscious of his/her health should inhale this herbal smoke daily to treat or to prevent the onset of diseases from different parts of the body resulting from an imbalance in the kapha and vata dosha.
How it works:-
In this procedure different medicated fumes or dhoomavarthis are inhaled and exhaled based on the disease condition. Here, the patient is kept in a certain position and the dhooma varthis are fixed into the dhoomanethras and lighted up. The patient is usually required to sit straight, attentive, with his/her mouth open and then inhale the smoke alternatively through each nostril.
The fumes exiting out of the dhooma netras are inhaled through one of the nostrils while the other nostril is closed and this is then exhaled from the mouth. The same process is followed alternatively using the other nostril.
Inhalation should be done thrice – inhaling the smoke and letting it out together form one bout;three such bouts should be done each time.
The treatment “Nasyam” or nasal application of herbal oil is done prior to Dhoomapana and forms the initial part of this therapy. It is done to drain out the excessive mucous clogs. The next step after nasayam is the inhalation of dhoompan.
Benefits of Dhoompan:-
- Relief from allergies
- Combating sinusitis
- Reducing headaches
- Alleviating migraines
- Treat running nose
- Preventing other nasal infections
- Recurrent allergic rhinitis
This is a fine treatment for various sinus and respiratory diseases. Acute sinusitis, asthma, sneezing, infections of the lower respiratory tract, cough etc are treated using Dhoomapan. The removal of mucous toxins also rejuvenates the person’s mental status by giving him/her a total feeling of freshness. The smoke helps to dry the excess mucous, and also lowers the pain-causing inflammations of the sinus cavities and respiratory tract. The herbs and spices used in the procedure have special properties to act against the mucous wastes. It is indicated in shirashoola, kapha roga, sinusitis, nasal blockage etc.
While doing this procedure and also after the procedure,proper care should be taken to avoid attack of infections. For this, exposure to cold and intake of cold food and drinks should be avoided at all costs.
Herbal smoke inhalation is a very good treatment for all kinds of diseases related to ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat). Here, the smoke acts as the medicine that cures the disease. It is especially useful in the disorders of the nose and throat. The continuous application of this treatment shows positive results in controlling and stopping sinusitis and certain respiratory ailments. The treatment helps to reduce inflammations, prevent recurrence of the disease and stop the excess production of mucous.
- Madhya- Moderate
Snigdha Dhooma is indicated in certain vata diseases. It produces sneha of the head and neck region. This type of Dhooma is prepared with medicines like Gulgulu, Mustha, Usheeram, Yashtimadhu, and Taila.
Madhya Dhooma is indicated in vatha-kapha disorders. It is prepared with Padmarenu, Nalpamaraa bark, Lodhra, Yastimadhu and Kushtham.
Teekshna Dhoma is indicated in kapha conditions. It is prepared with Haridra, Triphala, Vacha, and Dasamoola.
Eight “kaala” or time period for using Dhoompan
- After bath
- After brushing
- After eating
- After vaman karm in Ayurveda
- After sneezing
- After nasya
- After sleep
- After anjana process
Signs of proper Dhoompan:
Heart , throat , sensory organs feels detoxed, head feels light, aggravated doshas becomes normal.
When dhoompan is taken in an inappropriate time or taken more than indicated it make cause deafness,blindness,bleeding, vertigo, or giddiness.
- After virechana process
- After vasti
- In aggravated pitta dosha
- Poisoned condition
- In pregnancy
- After exhaustion
- After alcohol or milk intake
- Head injury
Dhoompan should never be exhaled through the nose.If this is done it may affect the eyes of the patient and can result in total blindness.
Avoid cold drinks,cold food,exposure to cold, dust,smoke during treatment period.
Dr. Ankit Agarwal, BAMS