Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Kuti Sweda is a type of sweating treatment in which the patient is made to sleep on the cot placed at the center of a specially constructed hut whose walls are coated with medicinal pastes and in the corners of which are kept small stoves emitting heat. Sudation is provided to the patient by the hot air created in the room.
Kuti means cabin, hut
Sweda (Swedana) = sudation, fomentation, sweating treatment, steaming treatment
Kuti Sweda is one of the types among the 13 types of Saagni Sweda. Since stoves having burning charcoal are used to induce heat within the hut to provide sudation to the patient, it is categorized under Saagni Sweda (Sa = with, Agni = fire).
The hot air produced due to the interaction of the heat coming out from the stoves interacting with the medicinal pastes applied to the inner side of walls of the hut produces sweating in the patient. Since the steaming occurs from the moist hot air in the room, it is categorized into bashpa sweda (moist hot sudation).
Since the entire body is provided with sudation at a time, it is considered as sarvanga sweda (full body sudation).
Construction of Kuti or sudation cabin
A cabin which is neither too high nor too spacious, i.e. neither too large nor too small (in terms of space) is constructed in an ideal land fit enough for a treatment cabin to be built. Alternatively a separate room shall be planned and constructed as per instructions in the modern day hospital also, either within the hospital building or separately within the premises.
The inner part (layer) of the walls of the cabin should be pasted with the paste of hot potency and fragrant herbs like Kushta (Saussurea lappa). The room should not have any windows. A cot should be placed at the center of the cabin. Over the cot a thick blanket or the skin of animals like deer or woolen cloth should be spread out.
4 stoves consisting of smokeless burning coal should be kept at four corners of the room.
The person who is to be given sweating should be given thorough massage and made to lie on the cot. The hot waves or air coming out of the stoves will interact (pass through) the walls of the room applied with the paste of medicines. This hot air carrying medicinal properties along with moisture will provide sudation to the patient and will cause sweating in him. This procedure of providing the sweating treatment to the patient inside the hut is called Kuti Sweda.
Materials needed for Kuti Sweda
Kuti – a specially built kuti or cabin to carry out the sudation to the patient is the first and foremost necessity and arrangement which needs to be done prior to treatment. In modern day hospitals it may be a part of hospital set-up. The construction of the kuti has been mentioned above.
Gist of kuti construction:
An ideal land for construction of kuti is selected. The land should be having even surface without stones, thorns and weeds.
Here a kuti, circular in shape is constructed; it should neither be too large or too small. It should not be too high or too spacious. The kuti should not have any windows.
The interior wall of the kuti is applied with a coat of paste of medicines like Kushta etc.
A cot is placed at the center of the cabin. The cot is covered with a thick blanket.
4 small stoves containing burning coal should be placed at four corners of the hut.
Shayya – a cot for the patient to sleep during the treatment procedure (as explained above)
Angara koshta – small stoves, 4 in number, to be kept at each corner of the cabin should be kept ready. Each stove is filled with burning hot coal.
Aushadha dravya kalka – paste of medicinal herbs like Kushta etc for applying over the inner layer of the walls of the kuti are kept ready.
Blankets – blankets for covering over the cot and to cover the patient during treatment should be kept ready beforehand.
Oils for Abhyanga – medicated oils for massage are kept ready, example – Mahanarayana Taila, Ksheerabala Taila, Tila Taila, Sahacharadi Taila, etc.
Man power – 2-3 attendants are needed to carry on the treatment. The patient can be left all alone in the kuti during the treatment or kept in supervision, though none is specified as in Jentaka Sweda.
Related Reading – Jentaka Sweda
Kuti Sweda Vidhi Vidhana (conducting cabin sudation)
Abhyanga – the patient is given a full body massage with medicated oils.
Swasthi Vachana – for the success of the treatment and for the welfare of the patient, prayers are offered to the God.
Positioning of stoves – the stoves are positioned one in each corner of the cabin. The stoves consist of smokeless burning hot coal in them. The room is heated up.
Kuti Pravesha – after knowing that the room is heated up thoroughly by the angara koshtas or stoves, the patient is advised to enter the cabin.
Positioning the patient and providing Kuti Sweda – The patient is now made to sleep on the cot on which thick blanket has been spread out. Another thick blanket is covered over the body of the patient for better impact of the treatment (since this is not explained in the treatises, the patient may sleep without covering herself with blanket). The heat coming from the stoves will heat up the air in the cabin. This hot air will come into contact with the inner walls of the cabin applied with medicinal pastes. The hot moist air carrying the medicinal properties will thoroughly provide sudation to the patient.
Duration of kuti sweda – Kuti Sweda shall be provided until proper signs of sudation or samyak swinna lakshanas are obtained.
Post-swedana procedures – after having obtained signs of proper sudation, the patient should be given rest for a while. Later he should be given hot water shower, light diet and disease modifying medicines (as and when needed according to the condition). Nitya Virechana or daily purgation works handy because it expels the toxins which have been released into the gut during the process of swedana. Vatahara tailas (vata alleviating oils) like Gandharvahastadi Eranda Taila etc can be used in small quantities for micro-cleansing.
Indications and Health Benefits of Kuti Sweda
Since specific indications and health benefits of Kuti Sweda are not mentioned in the treatises, the conditions mentioned as eligible for swedana should also be considered as eligible for kuti sweda. Apart from this, all conditions in which sarvanga sweda (full body sudation) is indicated are eligible for kuti sweda also. Example – Vata rogas, Kapha Rogas, Vata-Kaphaja Rogas, Aamaja Rogas (diseases caused by ama or immature essence of digestion in circulation), Sarvanga Vata, Pakshaghata (paralysis) etc.
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