Sliminess Quality – Pichchila Meaning, Action, Therapeutic Uses

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa B.A.M.S

Pichchila Guna means ‘sliminess’ quality. It is present in some substances and those substances are said to be slimy and sticky in nature.


Sliminess is one of the 20 gurvadi qualities. It is opposite to vishada guna i.e. clearness quality. Sliminess and clearness are opposite qualities. They also balance each other.
Read – Dravya: Meaning, Ayurvedic Explanation

Sliminess is that which causes coating in tissues and channels. Since sliminess enables things to get smeared in body channels and tissues it causes multiple blocks in several parts.

Clearness helps in removing the stickiness caused by sliminess. Sliminess causes stickiness and makes things to adhere to the walls of channels, organs and tissues thereby causing obstruction.
Read – Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation

Sliminess quality is defined on basis of the capability and strength of things to cause stickiness and make things to adhere to inner walls of cells and channels. It produces heaviness in body. Therefore, foods and medicines which cause stickiness in components of body and destroy clearness in body parts are considered as having pichchila guna i.e. sliminess quality.
Read – Understand Kapha Dosha By Its Functions

Sometimes when clearness quality increases, it tends to clear off sliminess from the body. Sliminess is very important for integrity and strength of the body. It helps in binding cells and structures in the body together. Sliminess, by causing stickiness acts as a natural glue holding the body components together. Sliminess can be compared to the concrete which holds bricks of building together and maintains its positioning and integrity,

Too much sliminess is harmful for body because it blocks cells, orifices and channels. Too much sliminess also increases kapha dosha. Kapha is also rich in sliminess and stickiness and induces same qualities in body. Increased sliminess and kapha causes blocks due to excessive stickiness they produce. This depletes body of its nutrition and essential ingredients and hampers transportation of necessary ingredients.
Read – Kapha Increase Symptoms – Kapha Vruddhi Lakshana

It also hampers excretion of wastes and toxins which further damages tissues. But sliminess in balanced proportions is needed for smooth functioning and for integrity of the body.

Excessive clearness increases vata. Increased vata and clearness produces more roughness and dryness in body which breaks integrity of tissues. Clearness is responsible for separation and destruction of structures of the body and tissues. This destroys the integrity of the body and makes the body weak.
Read – Symptoms Of Vata Dosha Increase And Imbalance – Vata Vruddhi Lakshana

To treat this pathological process caused by increased clearness, an antagonist quality which has capability to remove this clearness will be needed. To achieve this, intervention in the form of medicines, foods and treatments which have sliminess quality i.e. pichchila guna and can induce the same quality in the body should be administered.
Read – Lifestyle, Food And Factors That Cause Increase Of Kapha Dosha

Sliminess quality would remove excessive clearness, thereby removing roughness and dryness of tissues. Sliminess once again binds the detached structures and cells together and re-establishes integrity and strength in the body and treat effectively those pathological conditions caused by increased clearness.

Clearness is caused due to increased vata in body. Sliminess is caused due to increase of kapha. Also, sliminess causes increase in kapha. Kapha is antagonistic to vata. Sliminess caused by kapha antagonizes and balances clearness caused by vata.

When vata which has caused clearness is controlled by sliminess quality, clearness too decreases. Thus, sliminess quality antagonizes the activity of clearness quality and brings about stickiness and adherence of tissues and structures in the body. This will help in reestablishment of normal functions and restores strength and stability of the body.
Read – Activities And Diet For Kapha Balance

Salient features

Salient features of sliminess quality

Sliminess in terms of substances medicinal herbs and food substances – Sliminess is a quality which can be perceived by eyes and also by touch. Sliminess is determined by presence of fibers / thread-like / cobweb like appearance.

Inside the body, sliminess can be known through its action, i.e. its ability to stick and bring about stickiness. By the virtue of this quality, sliminess quality makes things to stick and adhere to one another.

It nullifies clearness quality, both being naturally antagonistic to each other. Absence of clearness and dryness or reduction of vata symptoms are the signs that depict presence and action of sliminess. Reduction of clearness is achieved by after consumption of foods, medicines and treatments which have pichchila guna i.e. sliminess quality in them.
Read – How To Balance Kapha Vata Dosha? 6 Factors To Consider

यस्य लेपने शक्तिः स पिच्छिलः।हेमाद्रि।

‘Those which on entering the body causes lepana function i.e. causes adherence of structures with each other are called pichchila guna. This quality has property of unifying and integrating the things. It also destroys clearness quality and causes heaviness in the body’

Sliminess quality may be introduced or induced in body by administering medicines, food or activities having sliminess quality predominantly.
Read – Kapha Dosha – General introduction

Elemental relationship

पिच्छिलत्वं आप्यं।र.वै.३/११२।

Sliminess quality is related to water element. Therefore sliminess quality is formed by predominance of water element in any substance. Not all substances having sliminess quality produce stickiness, but all those things which are slimy in nature and produce stickiness are rich in water elements.
Read – Relationship Between Doshas And Basic Elements (Pancha Mahabhuta)

Effect on doshas

Sliminess quality increases kapha and mitigates vata. Sliminess / stickiness is one of the qualities of kapha. Anything which increases kapha, also increases sliminess. Anything which increases sliminess also increases kapha.

Vata has opposite quality of sliminess, i.e. clearness quality. Increase in vata produces increased clearness in body. Clearness, being antagonist to stickiness causes dryness, increases vata, destroys kapha and causes tissues and structures to separate from each other.
Read – Vata Kshaya Lakshana: Symptoms Of Decrease Of Vata Dosha

Increase of vata and subsequent increase of dryness in cells, organs and channels of the body due to increased clearness quality will lead to destruction of tissues. This is because, clearness has capacity to scrap off tissues and deplete them. When this happens, there is further increase of vata and this vata further damage the tissues.

All these events lead to decrease in strength, endurance, stability and immunity. This forms a suitable background for manifestation of systemic diseases. Therefore too much clearness of structures and an environment of vata domination is harmful to the body.
Read – Decrease Of Tissues – Dhatu Kshaya – Reasoning, Symptoms

In such conditions excessive clearness and subsequent increase of vata should be effectively handled by administering foods, activities, medicines and therapies which has sliminess quality in them. Sliminess and stickiness being antagonistic to clearness and dryness quality reduces clearness and induces sliminess in the body.

Sliminess quality also increases kapha which is antagonistic to vata. This increased kapha and sliminess quality which subsequently increases will destroy increased vata, balances it and also reduce excessive clearness.
Read – ‘Heaviness’ Quality -Meaning, Action On Doshas, Therapeutic Uses

Effect on Tissues

पिच्छिलो जीवनो बल्यः संधानः श्लेष्मलो गुरुः।सुश्रुत।

Sliminess quality bind and bring integrity among the body components. Thus enhances tissues in a healthy way. It unifies broken and separated components and tissues of the body. By doing this, sliminess quality re-establishes strength and endurance in body.

Destroying clearness quality is also an important property of sliminess. Subsequently controlling vata, sliminess brings adherence of tissues and helps in tissue repair and cures damages caused by clearness and vitiated vata.
Read – Dhatu – 7 Body Tissues As Explained In Ayurveda

Sliminess quality is therapeutic in many conditions and is helpful to treat many vata disorders, excessive dryness and ill-effects of increased clearness in body.

But when sliminess quality increases, it is harmful to the body as it meddles with many functions causing multiple blocks in tissues and channels of transportation.

When there is excessive clearness in the body leading to increased dryness, increase of vata and destruction of tissues subsequently leading to the loss of integrity of body due to wear and tear and separation of structures and tissues, these dangerous events need to be tackled as early as possible.
Read – Vata Increase Caused Due to Tissue Depletion: Dhatu kshaya

Here, foods and medicines having sliminess quality should be administered. Sliminess being opposite quality of clearness quality, bring about unification of separated tissues and structures reestablishing integrity of the body.

Sliminess and stickiness quality increases with consequently increase in kapha causes increased adherence by the virtue of causing coating in cells and tissues . This causes multiple blocks in many channels of transportation in the body at many areas. Tissues and organs will be depleted of nutrition and important materials needed for their sustenance and survival. This causes tissue destruction. Wastes, excreta and toxins are also blocked which in turn causes many pathological conditions in the body.

Thus excessive build up of sliminess and kapha is responsible for stagnation and accumulation of unnecessary things. It also causes weakness of digestive fire and production of ama, the metabolic toxic byproducts which also causes blocks in tissues and channels and root source of many diseases. All these events lead to manifestation of many systemic disorders.

Sliminess causes unification and integration of broken bones, torn muscles and soft tissues. Therefore this quality i.e. the medicines having sliminess quality is used in treating fractures and tissue breakage.
Read – Veldt Grape – Hadjod Remedies: Fracture, Burns, Joint Pain

Sliminess quality brings about the strength and integrity of tissues.

Effect on Excreta

Sliminess, by inducing stickiness in channels of excretion and producing lubrication in excretory passages, enables easy excretion of waste products. Sliminess also adds softness of faeces. This quality can be used in treating hard bowel movement and conditions like constipation. This quality can be administered as treatment in the form of foods and medicines having sliminess quality. Sliminess also increases kapha. Increased kapha in healthy sense further makes elimination of excreta easy.
Read – Tri Malas – The Three Major Waste Matters Of Body

Effect on systemic functions

पिच्छिलः तन्तुलो बल्यः संधानः श्लेष्मलो गुरुः।भा।

Sliminess quality can be used to treat pathological manifestations caused due to excessive clearness quality and consequential increase of dryness in tissues, increased vata and subsequent destruction of kapha.

Sliminess is used to cause adherence of tissues and components of the body which have been broken or separated due to increased clearness quality and subsequent increase of vata, dryness and tissue damage. When the quality and quantity of tissues are restored and when their integrity is established, the body becomes strong.

Sliminess unifies broken bones and other tissues and enables in treating fractures and tissue damage. Sliminess enables easy clearance of excreta. This quality controls vata and thus is helpful in treating high vata conditions.
Read – How To Balance Vata Dosha? Line Of Treatment And Reasoning

Sliminess increases kapha dosha in body. This kapha is antagonistic to vata. Even in this way, sliminess is used to treat high vata conditions.

Excessive increase of kapha caused due to excessive sliminess is harmful because increased kapha will cause blocks in the body, slows down metabolism and other functions. To counteract the effect of excessive sliminess quality, foods and medicines having vishada guna i.e. clearness quality should be administered.

Effect of excessive consumption

If foods having sliminess quality are excessively consumed, it leads to excessive stagnation of things, increased stickiness and subsequent blocks in tissues and channels of the body. Also increases. Increased kapha further slows down the functions and causes more stagnation. Excessive sliminess may totally destroy clearness quality which is essential for some important functions. 


Examples of foods and medicines having sliminess quality

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