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Potli Massage / Kizhi

Compiled by Dr. Njila Abhilash, B.A.M.S, D.Y.N. – Birla Ayurveda

POTLI or KIZHI is an ayurvedic treatment in which warm poultice filled with herbal powder, cereals, herbal leaves, Njavara rice, etc. dipped in particular oils is applied all over the body in a rhythmic manner, with pressure. By this treatment, the body expels toxins, through sweating.

This potli treatment comes under the Swedana treatment (sudation), which is a type of Shamana (pacifying) treatment.

Swedana or Fomentation treatment is very important in Ayurveda,asIt helps to provide unparalleled relief from pain, swelling, and stiffness. It is very helpful in curing many systemic disorders like –

Aamavata (Rheumatoid arthritis)
Sandhigatha vaata (Osteoarthritis)
Katishula (Lower back pain)
Mamsagatha vaata (Myalgia)

Ayurveda is a patient-oriented system of healing, focusing on the type of person and not the disease which the person has. Therefore, the content of the potli would depend on the prakruti of the person. An Ayurvedic doctor can prescribe the Potli accordingly.

Benefits Of Potli Massage

  • Prevents Aging
  • Rejuvenation
  • Improves Quality Of Skin, Adding Shine And Lustre
  • Decreases Body Weight
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Relieves Body Ache And Stiffness
  • Enhances Muscle Strength
  • Soothing And Relaxing

• Spondylitis
• Lower Back Pain
• Sciatica
• Sprain And Cramps
• Neuralgia

Procedure Of Kizhi :

Muslin cloth is used to make the Potli. According to the Prakruti of the person and disease, the content of the Potli differs.

Types Of Potli/kizhi

• Choornam Kizhi(Powdered Herbs)
• Dhaanya Kizhi(Cereals)
• Maamsa Kizhi (Flesh)
• Sand Kizhi(Sand)
• Njavara Kizhi (Njavara Rice)
• Elakizhi(Herbal Leaves)

1. ) Choorna kizhi: Different herbal powders like kottam chukkaadi choornam,kolakulathaadi choornam etc. are fried and then tied inside the potli.During the procedure, the potli is dipped in specificayurvedic oils like kottam chukkaadi orsahacharaadi, depending on the disease.

2. ) Sand kizhi: Purified sand (vaaluka) is used inside the Potli. Especially in Aamavata (Rheumatoid arthritis), where dry potli is used to reduce the swelling.

3. ) Njavara kizhi: Also known as Shashtika Shaali Pinda sweda. For this procedure, rice harvested in 60 days is used for the potli. The rice is processed with herbal decoction (Bala) and milk, which is tied in bolus and rubbed against the whole body in a rhythmic manner. This potli is especially used in Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular diseases. This potli gives nutrition to the tissues, which undergo depletion and degeneration.

4. ) Ela kizhi: Also known as Patra pinda sweda or Patra potli. Different herbal leaves like Shigru, Erandaetc are used along with garlic and coconut. Thecontentsarefriedin neem oil and tiedin a Potli. This potli will be dipped in heated oils like Dhanwantharam, Prasaarinyaadi, kottam chukkaadi oils. It gives good relief in arthritis and spondylitis conditions.


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