Takradhara is an effective Ayurvedic sudation therapy performed using medicated buttermilk. The word “Takra” means buttermilk and Dhara mean pouring, so Takradhara is the procedure of pouring medicated Takra either as Shirodhara (pouring the medicated buttermilk over the head) or as Sarvanga Dhara (over the entire body). The treatment is considered to be one of the most effective Ayurveda treatments for Hypertension and stress.
Indications of Takradhara
- Chronic Insomnia
- Ear & nose diseases
- Pitta aggravated diseases
- Vata predominant diseases
- Diabetic neuropathy
What is Takradhara?
Takradhara is a unique Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy where buttermilk mixed with medicinal herbs is used as the liquid that is poured on your forehead. A stream of buttermilk will be poured on your forehead in a specific way. Takradhara is mainly availed in case of psychosomatic disorders. There are different types of Takradhara depends on what condition you wish to tackle.
Various Kinds of Takradhara:
Ekanga Takradhara – The word Ekanga means isolate. So in this particular kind of Takradhara, the therapy is done on a particular area, isolate that is and apply the liquid. In the case of Psoriasis, a limb is affected then the treatment is done only at that certain area.
Sarvanga Takradhara: Sarvanga means complete or whole in Sanskrit. This type of Dhara is also called Kaya Takradhara. Dhara is conducted on the whole body, unlike Ekanga Takradhara. This is done to relieve stress and release tension from the body and mind. People who take this up are usually experiencing fatigue or lack of sleep.
Shiro Takradhara: Shiro means head in Sanskrit and as the name suggests, It is done on the head of a person. It is good in cases of hypertension and migraine etc. Takradhara is mainly exercised when it comes premature greying of colours, fatigue, when the doshas are not aligned, skin on your heel cracking, even your palm as well.
Materials required for Takradhara: Milk, amala, oil, Rasna chuma.
Once the materials are gathered, take a half litre of milk and mix it with four times the water. Mix approximately 100gms. Once the blend is ready, it is filtered out and thus keep the mixture out to get it soured the next day.
Amalaki Kwatha: It is prepared by drying the sour fruit Amla which is then boiled 16 times with water and reduced to very small quantity. This is kept aside to wash the head after the Dhara. Quite often these gooseberries are dried outside for the period of a year. Caution should be exhibited while picking the Amalaki as it should not be infected or contaminated. The Amalaki should then be made in coarse powder form. Seeds should be discarded. Several other herbs will be added to the milk before churning the milk with Amalaki.
How to Prepare for Takradhara Ayurvedic Treatment?
The patients will be prescribed a diet by the vaidya and that diet will be based on the analysis they do on the patient. Once the patient is under this diet, he or she should not entertain exposure to dust, wind, sunlight and rain. The diet post-treatment is a different one which will be suggested by the Vadiyan once the therapy is over.
When Should One Do Takradhara?
According to ancient traditions, the treatment is conducted during the early hours of the day when you have just waken up. It is usually done for a period of 7- 14 days and each session will be approximately two hours.
A specialized Ayurvedic physician carefully evaluates the Prakriti, Vikruti and dosha imbalance of the patient before prescribing the herbs to medicate the buttermilk for Takradhara. On the day of the procedure, the patient is asked to either lie in the supine position (for Shirodhara) or sit (Sarvanga Dhara) on the Droni, it is usually a slab or a wooden cot where one can lie down comfortably and will have the aid of a pillow that shall be placed under the neck. Then steady flowing and lukewarm medicated Takra is poured either on the forehead or on the whole body of the patient. The falling Takra is collected and poured again into the vessel without interruption. The procedure is repeated for about 30 to 45 mins and is followed by a mild massage.
The head will be massaged with slight pressure so that there is a relaxing effect from the physical standpoint. The Dhara pot will be left hanging right above the forehead in such a way the buttermilk will flow uninterrupted. The procedures are almost in line with Shirodhara but in this case, the Takradhara cannot be boiled.
Post-Takradhara Procedure Care:
Once the Dhara is poured on the forehead and the desired effect is achieved, then the head is wiped using the Amalaki Kwatha in addition to warm sponging. After which, your head will be dried and Rasnadi powder will be applied on the head. The Rasnadi is rubbed for the reason it shall fight any virus that might initiate a cold or a cough after all at the end of the day your head is wet for more than an hour or so. After resting for a brief amount of time, the patient can take a bath.
There will be a few lifestyle guidelines to follow after the treatment which will include you to not stuff yourself with food, trying to be conscious of what you eat, vegetables and fruits etc. Only fresh food should be consumed. It is optional that the patient should only drink hot water after the treatment. After the whole therapy, the patient should not engage in smoking, drinking and all that stuff. The patient should also concentrate on exercise, some running or swimming. However, the people who are undergoing this ordeal should be ready to stay hungry and keep away from exhaustion.
How does Takradhara work?
When the takra is poured on the forehead or the respective part where the treatment is being conducted, the liquid will flow in through the pores and reach places called the marmas, these are the pressure points in the body and your prana essentially flows through these points. So when the liquid flows in you are rejuvinated. It improves the circulation of blood, reduces the body temperature. There are claims that these treatments activate the autonomous nervous systems.
It reduces the stress when you are realaxed and you will understand that when the liquid seeps in.
No side effects have been observed after all these years of this therapy. There are a few expections where the patient was suffering from cold and no rasnadi was rubbed on his head.
Panchakarma is the sum of five unique procedures of detoxifying the body and mind. The added benefit of Panchakarma is the fact that it can be administered in both healthy people and those who could be suffering from a condition. When you are suffering and you undergo panchakarma, it will help you detoxify and release some stress-free hormones, whereas if you are a healthy person, you are receiving a preventive effect on the body. One of the procedures of Panchakarma is to pour buttermilk on the head in a continuous manner. Takradhara has several benefits such as Psoriasis, hypertension, Psychosomatic disorder, anxiety and fatigue.