Stambhana means to stop or to block. Stambhana therapy is adopted in Ayurveda, when there is excess flow, as in case of diarrhea, heavy periods etc. Astringent tasting herbs are more commonly used for this purpose.
स्तम्भनं स्तम्भयति यद्गतिमन्तं चलं ध्रुवम्|
stambhanaṃ stambhayati yadgatimantaṃ calaṃ dhruvam| Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 22/11
The therapy that prevents mobility and flow of mobile body elements and fluids is known as ‘ Stambhana’ or astringent treatment. It is also called as blocking treatment.
Qualities of Stambhana dravyas
Desired qualities in medicines, herbs and treatments:
Cold (sheeta) – coldness leads to solidification and blocking.
subtle (sookshma), soft (mrudu), smooth (shlakshna), sluggish (manda) – viscous, mildly flowing qualities tend to block the channel.
Dry (rooksha) – As long as there is oiliness (unctuous), the path is slippery, hence there is mobility, if the oiliness is dried up, the channel gets blocked.
stable (sthira) and light (laghu).
The drugs constituting Stambana therapy are characterized by liquidity, thinness, consistency, coldness, sweetness, bitterness and astringency.
Bitter is constituted by air and ether elements. Hence, it helps to dry the things up and block the channel.
Astringent taste is constituted by air and earth elements, because it is very solid, it helps to block the channel. – For example, when you chew a betel nut, you tend to have a chocked feeling in the throat. – Read more – Qualities and benefits of Astringent taste
Effect on Tridosha
Because it is against to movement, and movement is a Vata quality, Stambhana Karma decreases Vata Dosha.
Because of coldness, dryness etc, which are against to Pitta Dosha quality, this therapy decreases Pitta Dosha.
So, in Vata and Pitta conditions, this therapy is useful.
Diseases where Stambhana Karma is useful:
Patients afflicted with Pitta – such as nasal bleeding, cough with blood streaks, menorrhagia, etc.
Vomiting, diarrhea, poisoning,
Excessive sweating – in these conditions, Stambhana is useful.
Herbs with Stambhana quality
Astringent taste dominant herbs are Stambhana in nature.
Mango seed Kernel
Khadira – Acacia catechu
Rala – Sal tree resin – Shorea robusta
Fruit of Ashwakarna – Dipterocarpus turbinatus
Ayurvedic Medicines having Stambhana quality:
Mustarishtam – Useful in vomiting, diarrhea, IBS etc.
Ushirasav – Useful in bleeding disorders
Dadimavaleha – Useful in diarrhea, bleeding disorders, fever, ulcerative colitis etc.
Kamdudha Ras – Useful in gastritis, sour belching, diarrhea with blood discharge etc.
Proper Stambhana signs
Signs and symptoms of proper Stambhana treatment:
By the proper administration of Astringent treatment, the patient gains strength and the indicated diseases get subside.
Excessive Stambhana effects
The signs and symptoms of the excessive Sthambhana are
Shyavata – blackish appearance,
Stabda gatrata – stiffness of the body,
Udvega – upward movement of Vata,
hanu Sangraha – rigidity of Jaw,
Hrudaya nigraha – bradycardia and
Varcha nigraha – constipation
Remedy for excessive stambhana treatment is – Swedana – sweating treatment
As per Charaka Chikitsasthana 5/18, Improper Stambhana therapy in women leads to Raktaja Gulma (altered periods).