Dhumapana Therapy


Dhumapana Therapy

Dhumapana Therapy

Smoking for the therapeutic purpose using a specially designed instrument or pipe is known by the name Dhumapana. Using a special instrument the herbal powders are burnt and the smoke emitted is inhaled. The accumulation of the kaphadosha in the head, as well as respiratory system, is best cleared by this procedure. Following vamana karma and nasya karma therapeutic smoking is practiced as a follow-up procedure. In disorders like bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis therapeutic smoking is an effective treatment for relieving the symptoms by clearing the passages.

Depending upon the therapeutic effect following varieties of dhumapana is employed.

Prayogika Dhumapana Therapy

The therapeutic smoking administered to relieve the symptoms of certain disorders is called as prayogikadhumapana. For this herbs of eladigana except kushtha (Saussurealappa) and tagara (Valerianawallichii) is powdered. This herbal powder should be shaped into a hollow stick to carry out this therapy. This hollow stick is attached to the smoking pipe and its free end is lighted. The smoke emitted is then inhaled. Samanadhuma and Madhya dhuma are the synonyms of prayogikadhumapana.


Vaiirechanika Dhumapana Therapy

The different herbs like vaidanga (Embeliaribes) that have an ability to clear the accumulation of dosha in the head are used in the preparation of hollow sticks for smoking in the vairechanika variety of dhumapana. This type of dhumapana is specially indicated in diseases of the head due to the morbid kaphadosha. This dhumapana is also known by the name tikshana or shodhanadhumapana .

Snaihika Dhumapana Therapy

Snaihikadhuma relieves the dryness and the irritation in the respiratory passages. This is very effective in relieving the morbidity of vatadosha. The herbs like seeds of eranda (Ricinuscommunis), stem of devadaru (Cedrusdeodara), honey comb, dhupa (Shorearobusta), guggulu (Commiphoramukul) are used in the preparation of herbal stick. This stick is fixed to the smoking pipe, it is lighted and then the smoke emitted is inhaled to get the effect of snaihikadhumapana. This dhumapana is also known by the name mridudhuma, snigdhadhuma and brimhanadhuma.

Dhumapana Therapy

Kasaghana Dhumapana Therapy

Dhumapana when administered to cure the kasaroga (cough) is referred as kasaghnadhuma. The herbs like brihati (Solanumindicum), kantakari (solanumsurattense), pippali (Piper longum), shunthi (Zingiberoffcinale), maricha (Pipernigrum), Kasamarda (Cassia occidentalis), hingu (Ferula narthex), manahshila (Arseniidisulphidum), karkatakashringi (Pistaciaintegerrima) etc are used in the preparation of the herbal stick. This is used for the therapeutic smoking in kasaghnadhuma.


Dhumapana when administered to induce vomiting is called as vamaiyadhuma. For this purpose the smoking stick is prepared by using animal product like dried tendons, skin, horn, bone, dried fish, and dried meat. Also, herbs like madanaphala may be used in the preparation of the herbal stick for smoking.

Dhumapana Therapy


Dhumapana is indicated in many disorders and more particularly the diseases of the head. Further it is only advisable in clients between the age group of 12 to 80 years.Following list reveals the diseased condition where dhumapana is very much beneficial.

  • Shiro-gaurava            :-  Heaviness of the head.
  • Shirahshula                :-  Head ache.
  • Pinasa                          :-  Chronic rhinitis.
  • Ardhavabedhaka       :-  Head ache affecting half portion
  • Karnashula                 :-  Ear ache.
  • Netrashula                  :-  Pain in the eyes
  • Kasa                              :-  Cough.
  • Hikka                            :-  Hiccough.
  • Shvasa                          :-  Breathlessness.
  • Galagraha                   :-  Irritation and stiffness of the throat.
  • Dantachala                 :-  Lack of stability of teeth.
  • Praseka                        :-  Watering of the mouth.
  • Karnaroga                   :-  Diseases of the ear.
  • Nasaroga                      :-  Illness related to the nose.
  • Putinasya                    :-  Chronic infection of the upper respiration tract.
  • Mukhadaurgandhya :-  Halitosis.
  • Dantashula                 :-  Tooth ache.
  • Hanugraha                 :-  Stiffness at the sides of the neck.
  • Aruchi                         :-  Lack of taste in the mouth.
  • Manyagraha              :-  Stiffness of the mandible.
  • Kandu                         :-  Pruritus.
  • Krimi                            :-  Worm infestation.
  • Mukhapanduta        :-  pallor in the mouth.
  • Kaphasrava               :-Excessive salivation.
  • Galashundi                :-  Infective disorder of the throat.
  • Upajihvika                 :-Ranulla.
  • Khalitya                      :-  Baldness.
  • Pinjaratva                  :-  Premature graying of hair.
  • Keshapata                  :-  Hair fall.
  • Kshavathu                  :-  Sneezing.
  • Buddhimoha             :-Confusional state
  • Atitandra                    :-  Excessive drowsiness
  • Atinidra                      :-  Excessive sleep

Dhumapana Therapy


This is a special instrument used for the dhumapana. The instrument consists of a receptacle, shaft, water container, and a mouth piece. The rounded receptacle is mostly made up of metal or clay; where in the prescribed herbal powder is lighted and made to burn. Inside the receptacle at its depth there is a hole through which the smoke escapes into the shaft and then to the water container while in use. To prevent the herbal powder escaping into the shaft, this hole is blocked by a gauze piece so that only air and smoke can escape through this hole. The shaft is fitted to the water container, and when is in position almost reaches the bottom of the water container. The rounded water container has two openings; one is fitted with the shaft and the other with the mouth piece. 2/3rd of this container is filled with water so that the end of the shaft with in the container dips in water, and the opening of the mouth piece is above the level of the water. The mouth piece is made up of mental, wood or rubber and is fitted to the water container. While in use, the smoke is sucked through the mouth piece; the smoke from the receptacle through the shaft buddles through the water in the water container and then passes into the mouth piece. Thus it moistens and cools the smoke, as well as entraps some amount of the carbon particles. This instrument may be used for prayogikadhumapana, vairechanikadhumapana, snaihikadhumapana, kasaghnadhumapana and vamaniyadhumapana. For use during the dhumapana the instrument is prepared thus 2/3rd portion of the water container is filled with water. The shaft is fitted to this container and then the receptacle is fitted to the shaft. The hole in the receptacle is blocked with a piece of cotton gauze.

Few spoons of herbal powder are poured into the receptacle. The mouth piece is fitted to the water container. The free end of the mouth piece is wrapped with cotton gauze and is tied with a thread. A cotton piece soaked in ghee is lighted and is placed on the herbal powder in the receptacle. When the herbal powder catches the fire the burning cotton piece is removed. Now the instrument is ready for dhumapana.


The special pipe made up of any metal (gold, silver, copper and bronze) or wood used for smoking is called by the name dhumanetra. The pipe has the tow ends, the mouth end and the free end. Free end is for fixing the herbal stick and through the mouth end the smoke emitted by burning the herbal stick is sucked in and then inhaled. The hollow with in the pipe is not uniform rather tapering and is narrow at the mouth end and wide at the free end. The width of the opening at the mouth end is approximately 5mm and is 15mm at the free end. This pipe is also intercepted at uniform distance with three circular hollow chambers. While sucking the smoke during the therapy, these chambers generate turbulence in air flow and thereby reducing the speed of smoke reaching the mouth. Thus it reduces the possibility of discomfort and risk of evoking cough reflex during the therapy. Three different lengths of such pipe are used for different therapeutic utility. The length of the pipe for prayogikadhumapana should be 48 angula (94cm). 32 angula (62cm) long dhumanetra is used of the snaihikadhumapana. For vairechanikadhumapana the dhumanetra of the length of 24 angula (47cm) is used. And for the kasaghna as well as vamaniyadhumapana the length of the dhumanetra should be 16 angula (32cm). For the dhumapana the herbal stick is fitted to the free end of the pipe. The other end of the stick is smeared with ghee and lighted. When the tip of the herbal stick becomes red the flame is blown off. Now this pipe is ready for dhumapana.


This instrument is specially designed for the kasaghnadhuma. This consists of a rounded container with a lid, to which a tube is fitted. The container is approximately 10 to 15 cm wide in which one to two pieces of smokeless live charcoal is placed. The prescribed herbal powder is dusted upon this red hot charcoal. This container is then covered with the lid.

The smoke emitted from burning of the herbal powder escapes through the tube fitted to the summit of the lid. This smoke is inhaled for therapeutic effects.


Acharyacharaka has mentioned different eight times for the aministration of prayogikadhumapana. Following bath, following meals, following vamana karma, following sneezing, following brushing the teeth, following nasya karma, following application of anjana and after awakening from sleep are the eight ideal occasions for the administration of prayogikadhumapana. During the natural period of vata aggravation snaihikadhumapana is ideal; that is during the evening hours. Vairechanikadhumapana is indicated during the natural period of aggravation of kaphadosha i.e. during the morning hours.


Client is made to sit comfortably on a knee high chair. And the lighted dhumayantra is placed in front on a table. The client is asked to suck and then inhale the dhuma by placing the mouth piece of the dhumayantra between his lips. He should exhale the dhuma only through the mouth. This is repeated several times. If any sputum comes it should be spat out in a spittoon.

Following this the client is now asked to suck the dhumathrough one of the nostrils and then inhale. While doing so the other nostril is closed with a finger. And then the dhuma must be exhaled through the mouth. Dhuma should never be exhaled through the nose and is the rule. After repeating the procedure several times dhumapana is then continued through the other nostril.

In case of the prayogika and vairechanikadhumapana the inhalation of the smoke mostly through the nostrils is preferred. Inhaling the smoke both through the nostrils as well as mouth is ideal in case of snaihikadhumapana. Contary to this, the inhalation of smoke only through the mouth is advise in kasaghna and vamaniyadhumapana.

In general the smoke is inhaled three to four times through each nostrils and mouth. Inhalation of the smoke thrice is ideal in prayogikadhumapana. Snaihikadhumapana may be continued till there appear tears in the eyes. Vairecanaikadhumapana is continued for a longer duration till the complete elimination of the dosha.



Hritkanthendriya              :-Clarity of the chest, throat and head samshuddhi

Laghutvamshirasah          :-Feeling of lightness in the head

Urashchalaghuta               :-Feeling of lightness in the chest

Kanthalaghuta                   :-Feeling of lightness in the throat

Doshanamsamah              :-Remission of symptoms produced

dueTo morbid dosha

Kaphashchatanutam       :-Liquefaction of the sputum


RogaPrashamanah           :-Remission of the illness.



Avishuddhasvara              :-Lack of clarity of the voice

Sakaphakantha                 :-Provocation of the kaphadosha in the throat.

Stimitamastaka                 :-Stiffness in the head

Roga-aprashamana          :-No remission of the symptoms of the Illness



Shirahshoshaparitapa     :-Dryness and burning sensation in the head

Kantha-shoshaparitapa  :- Dryness and burning sensation in the throat

Talu-shoshaparitapa       :- Dryness and burning sensation in the palate

Trishyate                            :- Thirst

Muhyate                             :- Confusion

Raktasrava                         :- Bleeding from the nose

Shirobhrama                      :- Giddiness

Murchchha                         :- Transient loss of consciousness


Badhirya                     :-  Deafness

Andhya                       :-  Blindness

Mukatva                     :-  Inability to speak

Raktapitta                  :-  Bleeding disorder

Shirobhrama             :-  Giddiness



Panchakarma Treatments
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