Procedure of holding oil or decoctions in the buccal cavity for certain period is known as gandusha. If plain or medicated oil is used In the procedure then it is referred as sneha gandusha. Quite similar to the other procedures, gandusha is indicated in both healthy as well as diseased persons.

Ayurvedic principal of pharmacokinetics state that, by virtue of rasa, the drugs can exhibit their local effects with in the buccal cavity. Coating in the mouth by the sweet taste, excessive salivation by the sour taste, increased taste perception by salt, irritation in the mouth by the hot substances, clarity of the mouth by the bitter taste, and stiffness of the tongue by the astringent taste all are the example of local effect of the drug in the mouth. Secondly the drugs having inherent qualities like vyavayi and vikasi gets absorbed from the mouth, and then gets distributed in the whole body. Therefore herbs used in the form of gandusha can show systemic pharmacological actions. This principal is best utilized in the formulation of gandusha therapy.

Mucous membrane of the buccal cavity is one of the local routes of drug administration. The medicines that are placed in the mouth have definite local action. And therefore it is useful in diseases of the buccal mucosa, tongue, teeth as well as gums. In spite of this, lipid soluble drugs get absorbed rapidly through this mucous membrane. Therefore the medicines given in the form of gandusha can procedure systemic effect and that too with in a short duration. The medicines administered through this route have an additional benefit, as the drugs directly enter into the systemic circulation bypassing the liver. It is worth mentioning here that, due to taste of the drugs appreciated during the administration it may cause little bit inconvenience to the clients.


Depending upon the variation in the therapeutic effect there are four types of gandusha. They are named as snigdha gandusha, shamana gandusha, shodhana gandusha and ropana gandusha.


In snigdha gandusha, oil used in the form of gandusha is processed with herbs having tastes sweet, sour and salt. Since unctuous medicine is used in the procedure of gandusha, this type of gandusha belong to the category of snehana treatment. Snigdha gandusha is effective in correcting the imbalances of the vata dosha in the mouth as it counteracts the dryness and other detrimental effects of the vitiated vata dosha.


Sweet and cool infusion or oil is used in to form of gandusha for the alleviation of morbid pitta dosha in the buccal cavity. This gandusha is referred by the name shamana gandusha. As the name itself suggests, this type of gandusha reduces the irritation due to the pitta dosha and has soothing effect in the buccal cavity. For the purpose of shamana gandusha the liquid medicine is prepared from herbs having bitter astringent and sweet tastes.


Gandusha may be performed by using warm irritant oil or infusions, and are capable of clearing the vitiation of kapha dosha in the mouth. Here the medicine is prepared from herbs having bitter, pungent and sour tastes. The administration of this gandusha induces excessive oro-pharyngeal secretions. This is how the gandusha can cause purification of the buccal cavity by eliminating the morbid kapha dosha along with the oro-pharyngeal secretions, and hence the name shodhana gandusha.


Herbs may be used in the preparation of oil or infusion that are astringent as well as bitter in taste and are capable of healing the ulcer. Due to the astringent quality, the medicated oil promotes healing of ulcers in the mouth. When such a medicine is used in the form of gandusha, it is called as ropana gandusha.


Hanvorbalam            * Gandusha improves the strength of


Svarabalam               * Voice becomes more effective and


Vadanopachaya      * Gandusha nourishes the mouth.

Param rasajnanam  * Capability of the tongue in perceiving the

Taste sensation is improved by the


Na chasya-kantha-  * Sneha gandusha prevents dryness of the

Shoshah                         throat.

Na oshthayoh           * By the regular practice of gandusha, lips

Sphutanadbhayam    never develop cracks.

Dridhamula danta  * Gandusha increases the stability of the

Teeth and gums and hence teeth do not

Fall even during the old age.

Krimi danta               * Gandusha prevents dental caries.

Na shulyante            * By the regular practice of gandusha one

Can prevent tooth ache.

Na hrishyante           *   By the use of gandusha there will not be

Any fear of developing dental


Kharan bhakshyam * Teeth become so strong to eat any hard

Bhakshayanti                food preparation.


To begin with the client is treated with abhyanga of face and anterior neck followed by svedana to these parts. Then the liquid medicine is hold in the buccal cavity for a desired period. This is the procedure of gandusha in short.

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