The word snehana simply refers to imparting greasiness. The therapeutic procedure by which greasiness is imparted to the body using different kinds of fat is called as snehana. Certain forms of fats like oil, ghee or animal body fat are administered internally or applied externally to add oiliness to the body. Internal administration means oral, rectal or other roots of administration where the fat is given to inside of the body. External administration refers to the application of fat on to the skin and may be followed by massage. Snehana is one among the shadupakrama, and is advocated as unique therapeutic procedures in a variety of diseases. Snehana is also performed as preparation of the client prior to the administration of shodhana procedures. In such situations, where the snehana is carried out as a part of shodhana procedure it is referred by the name purvakarma.
EFFECT OF SNEHANA ON THE BODY
By virtue of its unctuous quality, snehana or administration of the fat substances exhibits four distinct effects or functions in the body.
They are named as:
The wet and lustrous appearance of the body parts when treated with oil is known as snehana effect. The substances impregnated with oil like its solid nature and show a tendency to liquefy and is known as vishyandana effect. The softness imparted to the body parts when treated with oil refers to mardava effect. The wetness that increases in the body by the administration of the oil refers to kledana or moistening. These effects of the snehana in the body are used for the therapeutic benefit, both for the maintenance of healthy life in normal persons and for the cure of the illness in the diseased. In spite of this, the drugs used in the preparation of the medicated oil have got their own therapeutic effect and helps in the speedy recovery of the patient. Added to this the massage that follows the oil application gives non sexual pleasurable sensation, increases the blood circulation, improves the process of clearing the toxic substances from the tissues, also releases the stiffness in the muscles and cures pain.