Smoke For Good Health
Medicated smoke has an important role in Ayurveda. It can be used to fumigate a room or it can carry the essence of herbs to an individual. Incense thus has healing properties. The smoke with its gandha or aroma activates the nasal system and changes the body and mind of the person.
The literary meaning of Dhoopa is smoke or fumes. Dhoopa is defined as Dhoopahthapeiti or that which comes out from the fire. The fumes from fragrant materials like Chandana (Santala album), Aguru (Aquarilla agurulocha), Kumkum, Ela (Eletarria cardamom), Kustha (Saussarrialapa), etc. give a soothing and pleasant sensation to the body and mind. Medicated fumes are used based on their dosha predominance. In Vata conditions a mild kind 0f smoke from Guggulu, Mustha, Vilwasmajja, Sarjarasa, etc. is beneficial. In Pitta conditions, fumes from Utpala, the bark of Nyagrodha, Kamala Lakshaetc are beneficial. In Kapha conditions strong smoke from Jyothishmathi, Nish, Triphala, etc. is useful.
During different seasons, different fumes are used. In the cold season fumes from Ushnadravy like Guggulu, Aguru can be used to overcome the chill. During summer fumes from drugs of cold potency like Lotus and Chandana can be used to minimize the heat.
Soothing and aromatic smoke gives a pleasant sensation and energy to the mind and body. Aromatherapy is highly beneficial for geriatric and post-surgical care. For example, as a daivavyapashrayachikitsa (divine treatment) conducting Homa with Sugandha (Aromatic) Dravyas like Karpoora, (Camphor), Sandal, Ghee, and Firewood made from Aswatha (Ficusreligiosa), Aguru (Aquilaria agallocha), Red Sandal. Vacha ( Acorus calamus) Swethasarsapam ( Brassica campestris), Neem leaves and Ajamodha will have a soothing effect.
The fumes from drugs like Sarsapa, Deva Dhoopam (Kundrika – Boswellia serrate) Haridra (Curcuma longa), neem, Dhattura seeds (Daturainnoxia), etc will act against microbes present in our body and environment.
During childbirth the fumes are used to help delivery in two ways:
The smoke helps during delayed and obstructed delivery and also as an antimicrobial drug.
Fumes protect the baby from evil spirits. Beneficial smoke is from drugs like Vacha, Hingu, Vidhangha, Saindhava, Patha, Prativisha, Vyosham, Gajapipplaitetc.
For Good Health :
In Ayurveda, medicated Dhoomapana (smoking) is mainly advised for ENT (ear, nose, and throat) diseases and as a post Pancha Karma therapy after Nasya, Vamana, to clear the obstructed channels.
Ingredients in incense and their effects: Sarva Gandha Oushadhas like Ela, Guggulu, Kusta, Aguru, Charla, Sarja Rasa, Chandana Coral, Parijatham, Vilwam, Khadiram, Devadharam, etc are generally used for incense.
By and large drugs with hot potency alleviate Kaphaja diseases. Those with cold potency alleviate Pittaja disorders and mild potency alleviates Vataja diseases.
Adulteration of hardwood and other medicinal products used in Dhoopa results in a bad effect on the atmosphere and the body. So one has to be careful when a Dhoopa Dravya is selected for fumigation.