Experiment in Ayurveda: Vamana Dhauti

Vamana dhauti is a cleansing technique from India. Many yogis and householders there practice it every morning as a part of their normal routine, just like brushing their teeth.

The mucus produced in the gastrointestinal tract is a gift of nature, and it functions in the overall balance and harmony of physiological processes. Sometimes though, people swallow mucus into the stomach that comes from the respiratory tract.  It happens when they’re over producing it there because of a cold (or other viral or bacterial infection) or because of nasal allergies.  An excess of swallowed respiratory mucus can cause nausea, but there are no serious consequences.

Since I have had a ton of respiratory issues; pneumonia, sinusitis and drainage, asthma, excess mucus…I felt this may be a good experiment for me.  Well, not so much.  It was a bonding experiment between me and some of the other students in class that participated, but…I don’t think I will do this again anytime soon. 

The experiment itself wasn’t so bad.  I had no trouble puking…I have done this enough times throughout my life.  After the Vamana Dhauti, I felt super tired but fine.  When I got home, my asthma was really bad and I had a huge migrane.   I couldn’t calm my breathing down, even with my nebulizer machine.  I couldn’t relax and my migrane wouldn’t go away…it really scared me. 

I kept my partner close by, thinking I may need to go to the emergency room.  I called Santosh for support and he told me to get in the shower to calm my headache.  This helped, we checked in with each other every half hour.  I think having Santosh support by phone and Clay nearby rubbing my back and keeping me calm, helped ease my breathing enough where my body could rest. 

One suggestion for anyone doing this experiment would be to definitely not do it while on your moon.  Also, drink a ton of water immediately after you puke, maybe even drink some electrolytes.  I was having some reactive hypoglycemia issues as well as thyroid issues I wasn’t aware of at the time. 

On a positive note, I am glad that I did it.  I cleared a large amount of some pretty disgusting mucus out of my gut and that is not such a bad thing…it needed to go and feel it was part of my healing process.