Shamana Chikitsa

Definition - What does Shamana Chikitsa mean?

Shamana Chikitsa is an Ayurvedic form of palliative care, used in cases where Shodhana Chikitsa is contraindicated. It helps to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of a disease as opposed to treating its root. Shamana Chikitsa therapies focus on balancing the doshas (functional energies) in a gentle way, rather than using the more intensive treatments commonly found in Shodhana Chikitsa.

Yogapedia explains Shamana Chikitsa

Shamana Chikitsa may be used in cases where it is not possible or necessary to treat the underlying cause of an illness or disease. As such, the focus of these therapies tends to be alleviating pain or addressing symptoms.

Shamana Chikitsa may also be used when:

  • The disease or illness is not severe or deep-rooted
  • The problem is acute or of recent origin
  • The patient is weak
  • The patient is below eight years old or above 70 years old
  • The patient is pregnant
  • Doshas are in small quantity (known as alpha dosha)

Shamana Chikitsa therapies most commonly use medicines such as Kashaya (Ayurvedic drinks), Churna (powdered compounds), Vati (tablets), Ghrutas (ghee preparations), Tailas (oil preparations) and Lepas (ointments) as the course of treatment.

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