Snehana means Oleation or to make smooth. (मार्दव)

Also the procedure which produces Unctuousness (स्नेहन), Oozing (विष्यन्दन), Softness (मृदुत्व), and Liquidity (क्लेदन) is known as Snehana.

It is very important to make soft all the Doshas and Dhatus before selecting any cleansing procedure. Sources of these materials are

      • Animals
      • Plants

Though there are a number of Snehana materials in the nature, mainly Ghee (घृत), Oil (तैल), Muscle fat (वसा), Bone marrow (मज्जा) are the best among them. Ghee is considered to be the best among the above mentioned materials and in specific best for Pitta Dosha. For Vata Dosha, oil is considered to be the best.

Based on the mode of administration, this therapy is divided into two types:

      • External
      • Internal

External (बाह्य स्नेह)

Varieties of external usage of Sneha have been explained in Ayurveda classics, which can be selected in both healthy and unhealthy person. Some of them are:

  • Abhyanga (Oil Massage)
  • Pariseka (Pouring the oil over the body systematically)
  • Lepa (Application of oil)
  • Pichu (Keeping cotton (which is dipped in the leuk warm oil) over the affected area.)
  • Basti (Keeping oil over the affected area for few time with the help of reservoir made out of
  • wheat flour or blackgram paste)
  • Gandusha (like Gargling)
  • Karna poorana (Filling ears with medicated oils, keeping for few minutes)

Internal (आभ्यन्तर स्नेह)

For the internal administration of Sneha, one must be cautious about Agni (Digestive fire). For a person having good Agni and without any signs of INDIGESTION, Sneha can be given. Based on the need of the person / body, and capacity of AGNI, the mode of administration of Sneha & the dosage will be decided.
As per mode of action, it is divided into

      • Shodhana (For Dosha elimination)
      • Shamana (For Dosha palliation)
      • Brimhana (For nourishing)

Based on the requirement of the body, sometimes only one type of Sneha is selected; sometimes 2 or 3 or all the 4 varieties of Sneha can be mixed together.