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Snehana in Ayurveda

Snehana therapy is also known as the Oleation therapy in the field of Ayurveda. This therapy is basically a pre-operative or Poorva karma procedure of Panchakarma. It is basically a type of lubrication system for the human body. It works by administering the fatty products externally or internally. The internal process of administering the oil or the sneha is known as Snehapanam. Sneha is defined as the soft, lubricating and oily substance and the procedure, which makes use of the sneha is known as the Snehana. This internal procedure is extremely mandatory for Panchakarma. This therapy is used prior to the detox therapy. This process of the body makes use of the oils and Ghees by consuming them or using them externally as well.


When Should One Opt For Snehana?

Snehana is opted especially to get rid of the following conditions:

  • Vata disorders
  • Too much thirst
  • Dried skin
  • Urticaria
  • Physical weakness
  • Joint ache
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Burns
  • Mental unbalances
  • Anemia
  • It is also used prior to carrying out the detox therapy

There are mainly 4 different types of medicines, which are also known as the Snehana dravyas. These are the following:

  • Ghee or Ghritha
  • Oil or Taila
  • Fat or Vasa
  • Bone marrow or Majja

Classification of Snehana

Snehana is basically classified into two major categories:

  • Internal oleation or Abhyanthara Snehana
  • External Oleation or Bahya Snehana

Internal Oleation

This process is also known as the Abhyanthara Sneha or Snehapanam. It is further classified into the following categories.

  • Achapana Snehapana
  • Vicharana Snehapana

Achapana Snehapana is the consumption of Sneha (ghee), non-medicated or medicated form. This is not mixed with any other medical preparation or food items. It is used for lubricating and softening the tissues of the human body before carrying out the Sodhana therapy of Panchakarma.

Vicharana Snehapana is the consumption of oil with other Ayurvedic medicines and other food products. It is also used for the lubrication purposes of the various parts of the human body.

This can move through the rectal pathway, known as the Vasthi or the nasal pathway, known as the Nasya.

External Oleation

This process is also known as the Bahya Sneha. Externally, the treatment is carried out in the form of Siro Abyangam or Head massage, oil pulling or gargles, Abhyangam or Oil Massage and Lepa.


Purpose of Snehana

  • Helps in eliminating the toxic materials from the body of the individuals.
  • Detoxifies the body and its various vital organs
  • Eliminates the various Vata disorders effectively.
  • Provides a wonderful lubrication of the various parts of the body.

Attributes of Medicines or Sneha dravya

The impact of Sneha dravya on the human body is based on certain important qualities.

These are given below:

  • Snigdha Guna - It helps to diminish the Vata dosha.
  • Guru Guna - It acts as anabolic substance and a nourishing agent.
  • Sita Guna - It provides cooling impact to the body of the individuals and has a pacifying impact on the feeling of thirst, burns and others.
  • Drava Guna - It provides moistening impact on the body.
  • Pichila Guna - It provides integrity, firmness, etc.
  • Manda Guna - It slows down the impact of the sneha dravya
  • Sukshma Guna - It helps to bring about a quick action on the body.


A day prior to applying Snehana, liquid foods or light foods must be consumed. The next day morning, it is suggested to consume the medicated ghee in empty stomach. It shall be consumed along with some medicines, based on the dosha persisting in the body. The individual may sip in some lemon juice or warm water in between these procedures. Then, it is essential to wait for the proper digestion of the entire thing. Once, it is digested, go for the consumption of meat soup or rice or soup containing green grams. After completion of the Snehana therapy, Swedhana therapy is carried out, which is followed by the detox therapy.

Medicines in Snehana

Ashwagandha Ghrita, Dadimadi Ghrita, Panchatikta Ghrita, Tila Taila and Bala Taila are some of th eessential medicines in Snehana. These provide essential relief from the various disorders and help to relieve stiffness, pains to a huge extent.


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