Understanding Medical Smoking (Dhumapanam)


chandan stickPart of Ayurveda’s teachings is the practice of Dhumapanam. It has to be performed after Gandusha or Kaval. It is a form of medical smoking that must be part of a person’s daily regimen. It is the application of soothing or aromatic herbs like the chandan and kasturi. By performing the ritual of Dhumapanam, a person will be free from diseases that affect the udharv jatru gata roga or the organs that include the trachea.

One of the medical smoking practices performed daily is the Prayogika. It is moderate smoking that is advised for daily practice by people with kapha prakruti constitution while the other types are used after a doctor’s prescription.

How to Prepare a Medicated Cigarette

One grass stick is made up of 3-12 anguli (finger units) that are carefully chosen and stored in water solution for about one day. A person must use his middle finger for getting the stick’s measurement. It needs to be coated five times with a thick paste solution which is made after checking the person’s prakruti. The herbs are selected specifically. Remember that the second coating is only to be applied when the initial coating is dried. The cigarette stick is coated to make sure that the gorth of a person’s toe is in the center and the cigarette’s ends are tapered. When all of these are dried, the grass cigarette must be taken out. During this time, the cigarette must be coated with ghee. This is put on a pipe for medical smoking.

The pipe or the tube for smoking is made of bamboo or metal. It is made of three parts with an opening that would allow a person’s thumb or toe at the wider end. This person’s smallest finger must be at the narrow end.

Methods of Smoking

The Dhumapanam must be performed as the person sits straight while keeping his mouth open. He must start smoking through his nostrils alternately. He must do this three times in each nostril if the illnesses or doshas are found in the head or the nose area like sinusitis. For throat diseases, such as with the larynx, pharynx and the lower respiratory tract of one person, smoking must be drawn straight from the mouth. The Dhumapanam must be exhaled through someone’s mouth and not by the nostrils since it can irritate a person’s eyes.

Right Time to Perform Dhumapanam

This can be done after taking a shower, after rising up from bed, after tooth brushing, after lunch or dinner, or after inducing Anjanam or collyrium to the eyes.


Dhumapanam is not suitable for everyone. It must not be practiced for/by these conditions/people:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. Minors,
  3. People with head problems
  4. People with eye irritations
  5. Anemic or people with bleeding problems
  6. After purgation or virechan or enema
  7. People with fainting (moorcha) disorders
  8. People with dryness of the throat
  9. Injured people
  10. Emotionally disturbed individuals
  11. People who took in madd (alcohol), fish, or any poisonous substances

Effects of Dhumapanam

Dhumapanam affects the disorder of the nose, throat, mouth, and air passage located above the person’s clavicle. It also gives tonic effects on the larynx, sinuses and sense organs. Dhumapanam can also avoid the premature graying and falling of hair. In addition, it is also effective for people with excessive salivation, cold, sneezing, itching in the mouth, ear pains, eye, nose and ear discharges, toothache, teeth weakness, uvula and tonsil enlargement, neck and jaw stiffness, breathlessness, excessive sleep and drowsiness.


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