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Snehapanam- Procedures, Side effects, Recovery time, Costs and alternatives

What is Snehapanam? How is this treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long doesit take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is Snehapanam?

Snehapanam is an Ayurveda treatment, that is used to cure a number of diseases like arthritis, urinary problems, skin diseases like psoriasis and gastroenterological conditions such as peptic ulcers, indigestion, bowel problems, diarrhoea and constipation. It also works in flushing out toxins from all parts of the body. In this treatment, purified medicinal ghee made from cow milk (or medicinal oil in some cases) is given to patients to be consumed orally on empty stomach. The treatment process lasts from 7 to 14 days, the exact time duration depends on the patient’s condition and physiology.

In this duration, the medicinal ghee has to be consumed once each day and the quantity will be decided as per the digestive ability of the patient. All other medicines are prohibited during the course of Snehapanam treatment, unless allowed by the Ayurveda doctor or practitioner. The diet will also be monitored by the doctor who is handling the treatment, and the patient will need to strictly follow the suggested diet.

The ghee, once consumed and digested, prevents the overproduction of gastric juices and provides relief from gastroenterological problems. It also provides lubrication in different parts of the body. The ghee saturates the cells in the body with excess fat, which causes the cells to flush out the extra fat and this also leads to the flushing out of toxins along with the fat. Snehapanam is a form of treatment in itself, but it is also done as a preparatory measure before other Ayurveda treatments like Panchakarma.

How is this treatment done?

This treatment is done under the supervision of a trained and qualified Ayurvedic doctor/ practitioner. First, the doctor will observe the general condition of the patient, the ailment for which the treatment is being used, and other factors like medical history, habits, addicitions and general lifestyle of the patient. Once the observation is done and the treatment proceeds, the steps involved are explained below:

  • The doctor determines the quantity of medicinal ghee/oil to be consumed by the patient.
  • The patient is asked to take moderate amount of warm, liquid foods one day before the ghee consumption.
  • The ghee is heated to a lukewarm temperature.
  • Patient is asked to sit comfortably on a chair. The ghee is given to the patient on an empty stomach, usually in the morning hours.
  • After the patient drinks the ghee, the doctor will check for signs of complete digestion, to understand the time needed for the ghee to be digested.
  • In the same way, the ghee is consumed once everyday by the patients for the entire course of treatment. Once there are signs of improved bodily functions, the treatment will be stopped by the doctor.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anyone suffering from gastroenterological disorders, arthritis or skin rashes can avail this treatment and are eligible for it. Even people who aren’t affected by such ailments can undergo the process of Snehapanam solely for detoxification and rejuvenation. It will be up to the Ayurvedic practitioner to decide if this treatment is suitable and beneficial for the patients.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Lactose intolerant patients (who cannot digest milk/milk products) may not be eligible for this treatment as it involves the consumption of ghee. But substituting the ghee with medicinal oil may be an option for such people. This treatment is also not recommended for obese and overweight people. If there are other conditions that could prevent a person from getting this treatment, it will be determined by the Ayurvedic doctor.

Are there any side effects?

The ingredients used in the medicinal ghee/oil are mostly natural herbs and organic materials. As such, this treatment rarely causes any side effects in people. A possible side effect is that it may cause indigestion in some patients due to consumption of ghee, thus resulting in burping, belching and flatulence. It may also cause nausea, headache and vomiting.

Another factor that can be considered as a side effect is that people who need immediate surgical treatment may get a false sense of healing from Snehapanam and this may delay the required treatment.

If positive effects of Snehapanam for any disease is not visible within 8 to 10 days, patients should approach allopathic treatment as soon as possible.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Some instructions need to be followed during and after the course of this treatment. These guidelines are listed below:

  • Patients may need to drink warm water at regular intervals everyday after consuming the medicinal ghee.
  • Cold water should not be used at all during/after the treatment. Hot or warm water must be used, for drinking, bathing and cleaning, even after excretion.
  • Natural urge to urinate or defecate should not be controlled.
  • All addictive habits must be stopped, and sexual abstinence is also required. This is to be done mainly during the treatment process, and also for some days after the treatment is complete.
  • Patients should not sleep during the daytime.
  • Diet should generally include warm, mushy food like porridge or oatmeal and liquids like soup.
  • All unhealthy food items are to be avoided, along with milk products except ghee, like sweets and curd.
  • Sour food should not be consumed. Following all these guidelines effectively will improve the chances of best results.

How long doesit take to recover?

As this is an Ayurvedic procedure and not a surgical method, the patient will not need to go through any recovery period and can indulge in their day to day activities immediately after the treatment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The expenses associated with Snehapanam treatment includes cost of ghee and medicines, which, along with consultation charges, can be covered within Rs.1000 – 3000. But a lot of other factors will affect the cost. For example, if you need to visit another city for the treatment, you will also need to manage the cost of lodging and food until the treatment is complete. Also, many patients may require other Ayurvedic procedures along with Snehapanam. Patients should take all such factors into account while estimating the total cost.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

There isn’t enough data to medically analyse the long-term benefits and effects of Snehapanam treatment. Some patients claim that the results of treatment are permanent, while it has failed to produce necessary results in some patients. The effectiveness of Snehapanam is debatable, as is the case with most Ayurvedic methods.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

This Ayurvedic process is used to treat different types of diseases and conditions. So the best alternate for Snehapanam is allopathic or surgical treatment for whichever disease the patient is affected with.

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Written By
Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
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