Sveda * (calorification, fomentation, diaphoretic measures, etc.) may be divided into four groups such as, the application of direct heat (Tápa-sveda), fomentation (Ushma-sveda) poulticing (Upanáha sveda) and the application of heated fluids (Drava-sveda). All kinds of diaphoretic measures (Sveda) belong to one or the other of these groups. 2.


Of these the Tápa-sveda consists in repeatedly applying heat to (any affected part of the body of) a patient made to lie down (on a bed) with the help of the palm of the hand, a piece of brass, an Indian saucer, a piece of baked clay or sand, or a piece of cloth after heating them over a fire of Khadira wood, etc. 3.


A piece of stone, brick, iron, or baked clay should be made red-hot and sprinkled over with water or with sour gruel (Kánjika). The affected part of the body should be covered with (cotton plugs soaked in) Alaktaka † and then fomented with

the above-named (heated) articles. As an alternative, a metal saucer containing milk, curd, Dhanyamla, meat-soup and a decoction of the tender leaves of the Vayu-subduing plants (jointly or separately) should be heated over a fire. The mouth of the saucer should be covered (with a piece of blanket or such other cloth) * and the affected part of the body should be fomented with the vapours rising therefrom. As an alternative, another pitcher should be placed with its mouth downward over the mouth of the above pitcher (containing the above-named heated articles). Then an aperture should be made in the side of the upper pitcher and a pipe to the shape of an elephant's trunk should be inserted into it. The affected part of the body should then be fomented with the vapour escaping through that pipe. 4.

* The Sanskrit term "Sveda" is not properly rendered by the terms fomentations, diaphoretic measures or any other such word or phrase. Sveda is used to mean the application of heat in any possible way - it may be to cause or not to cause perspiration. Vapour baths, hot water baths, applications of warm poultices, etc., are also included in the meaning of the term Sveda. We have, however, for convenience sake, used the term fomentation as a synonym of Sveda in general.

† Jejjata readsUshma Sveda 200171 instead ofand explains that the cotton plug soaked in Alaktaka should be made wet and placed over the affected part before applying the fomentation.

Metrical Texts

The mode of applying heat to a patient suffering from any disease or affection of the bodily Váyu (disease of the nervous system, etc.,) is as follows: - He should be first anointed with oil, etc) and wrapped up in a thick cloth. He should then be made to sit in an easy posture. Heat should then be applied through a pipe shaped as an elephant's trunk. The advantage of this mode of fomentation is that the entire body of the patient may be easily fomented without causing him any serious trouble. The pipe should be made half a Vyáma † in length with three bends or turns ‡ in its body to resemble the trunk of an elephant, * The use of a pipe made of the materials (such as Kus'a, Kás'a, etc.) used in the making of a Kilinji (basket) and resembling the trunk of an elephant in shape is only recommended for the purposes of Sveda heat-application). 5.

* The mouth of the pitcher should be covered only to mitigate and regulate the heat.

† A Vyáma is the length measured by the outstretched hands of a man.

‡ The reasons for bending the tube are to make the fomentation delightful, in consequence of the vapour not passing in a straight course.

A plot of ground commensurate with the length of the patient's body should be dug and heated with fire of Khadira wood and then sprinkled over with milk, water and Dhányámla, The heated ground should be then covered with a layer of leaves (of the Váyu-subduing plants) and the patient should be made to lie down full stretched upon the (bed of) leaves and thereby fomented. † As an alternative, a stone slab should be heated and the fomentation (Sveda) should be applied similarly to the patient by making him lie down upon it after the ashes and cinders have been removed ‡. As an alternative, the patient should be seated inside a chamber with four doors (one on each side) and fomented by lighting up a good blazing fire (of Khadira wood) at all the doors (simultaneously §. Another alternative is that the patient should be laid on a mattress (made of Kus'a, Kás'a, etc.) or on a similar bed as before and fomented with the fumes of duly boiled paddy (and Masha-pulse, etc.) kept under the same mattress. In the same manner, Sveda (fomentation) might be applied with the help of heated conv-dung, ashes, husks of paddy, weeds, etc. 7.