Vaman: Emesis Therapy
When there is congestion in the lungs causing repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds, cough or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic vomiting, vaman, to eliminate the kapha causing the excess mucus. First, after the snehan and swedan, three to four glasses of licorice or salt water is administered, then vomiting is stimulated by rubbing the tongue which triggers the vomiting center through the gag reflex. Often times this also releases repressed emotions which have been held in the kapha areas of the lungs and stomach along with the accumulated dosha. One may alternatively take two to three glasses of salt water which will also aggravate kapha and then rub the tongue to induce vomiting. Once the mucus is released the patient will feel instantly relieved. It is likely that congestion, wheezing and breathlessness will disappear and that the sinuses will become clear. Therapeutic vomiting is also indicated in chronic asthma, diabetes, chronic cold, lymphatic congestion, chronic indigestion and edema.
Before vaman is administered, oil massage and fomentation are recommended on the night before the day of vaman. One to three days prior to vaman, the person should drink one cup of recommended oil two to three times a day until the stool becomes oily, or until he or she feels nauseated. The person should also eat a kaphagenic diet to aggravate kapha in the system. Vaman should be given early in the morning (kapha time). The person should eat basmati rice and yogurt with much salt early in the morning, which will further aggravate kapha in the stomach. The application of heat to the chest and back will liquify the kapha. The person should sit calmly on a knee-high chair and drink the concoction of licorice and honey, or salt water. This emesis preparation is measured and recorded before being drunk, so that at a later time the amount of vomitus from the decoction can be determined. After drinking the decoction the person should feel nauseated. He should then rub the tongue to induce vomiting, continuing until bile comes out in the vomitus. The degree of success in this treatment is determined by: 1) the number of vomitings (8 is maximum, 6 medium, 4 minimum), and 2) the quantity of vomitus (1 quart maximum, 1 1/2 pints medium, 1 pint minimum).
Emetic Substances: madan-emetic nut, madhuka-yastimadhu-licorice, neem-bitter leaf, bimbi, kutaj-kurchi- conessi bark, murva-clematis, triloba-devdaru-deodar, Cedrus deodara, Salt, NaCl, ela-cardamom, nux vomica.
After vaman, resting, fasting, smoking certain herbal cigarettes, and not suppressing natural urges (i.e. urination, defecation, gas, sneezing, coughing) is recommended. If vaman is administered properly, the person should feel relaxation in the lungs, will be able to breathe freely, will have lightness in the chest, clear thinking, clear voice, a good appetite, and all symptoms of congestion disappear.
After practicing vaman in the morning, the person should fast until 5 pm, then eat kitchari with ghee. He or she can drink cumin, coriander, ginger, fennel tea (equal portions). Steep in hot water and drink with one tsp. honey. Or he can drink honey lime tea, using one tsp. honey and one tsp. lime juice to one cup of hot water.
Indications for Vaman:
used for all kapha type disorders good for pitta headache, dizziness, and nausea will help to release blocked emotions respiratory congestion bronchitis chronic cold sinus congestion kaphagenic asthma
Contra-Indications for Vaman:
below the age of 12 or over age 65 menstruation pre-menstrual period (one week prior) pregnancy emaciation delicate or sensitive person with too much fear, grief or anxiety hypoglycemia vata prakruti vata diseases heart diseases during vata season acute fever diarrhea obesity