Udwarthana is a treatment procedure which is described as a dry powder massage which helps in alleviating the Kapha.

In this article I would be describing the procedure Udwarthana in detail, its indications and contraindications, and how to perform udwarthana for anti-aging.

In Sanskrit, Udwarthana is explained as a bahirparimarjana and bahyarookshnana treatment. Bahir parimarjana, meaning to cleanse the body externally. Therefore, this procedure is explained under Dinacharya – or daily regimen by Acharya Vagbhata and Acharya Charaka.

Bahyarookshana – makes it ideal for Lifestyle disorders, which are classified under Santarpanajanya rogas associated with vitiation of multiple doshas (Bahudosha Lakshana)

In the present era, due to urbanization peoples are particularly prone for life style disorders which are mentioned under Santarpaniyavyadhies or vikaras mentioned by Acharya Charaka caused mainly due to Kapha dosha along with another dosha, dushya samsarga.

Ayurveda gives a detailed description about various modes of treatment include Panchakarma (Detoxification).

Among these treatment procedures, there is a classification of treatment explained, called as ‘Shad Vidha Upakrama’ The word Shad means six. Six treatment procedures or methods of treatment are explained. One among these is Rukshana – and udwarthana is such a treatment which gives rukshana or drying effect to the body.

Synonyms of Udwarthana

Vimlapana, Gharshana, Nirmalikarana

It is performed in the pratiloma gati (opposite direction to the orientation of hair).

Types of Udwarthana

  • Ruksha Udwarthana
  • Snigdha Udwarthana                                                                                                                                                        This classification is based upon the nature of the drugs used for the procedure.

Benefits of Udwarthana

1 Eliminates body odor
2 Burns away Fat
3 Strengthens the body and organs
4 Enhances skin texture
5 Pacifies aggravated Vata
6 Reduces itching and other skin issues
7 Regenerates skin cells, and is anti-aging
8 Lightens the body


In Ayurveda a group of diseases due to Over-nourishment are called as ‘Santarpanotha Vikaras’. The ,

  • Snigdha Madhura guru pichila navanna sevana – meaning Food which is oily, sweet and heavy for digestion
  • Diwaswapna meaning day time sleep
  • Mamsa sevana means over intake of meat

This group of diseases can be compared to chronic non-communicable diseases due to changes in lifestyle and behavioral patterns of people. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, Ischemic heart disease, atherosclerosis, varicose veins etc. are considered under chronic non-communicable disease.

Udwarthana Procedure

Pre-treatment procedures-

After examining the basic constitution (Prakriti) and morbidity of disease and symptoms present in the person (Vikriti) appropriate powder for Udwarthana is selected.

If planning for Snigdha udwarthana, oil suitable for Abhyanga (massage) is also selected.

Treatment –

The person should lie in supine position. Powder is rubbed over the body in reverse direction from below upwards in a synchronous way.

It is done in the same chronology of doing Abhyanga.

Sitting -> Supine-> Left Lateral position-> Prone-> Right lateral position-> Supine-> Sitting

After the procedure, the body of the person is cleansed with sterile cloth or tissue to remove the powder from the contact of the skin. Then a thin coat of medicated oil is smeared over the body. After that Swedana (whole body steaming) is done. The patient is made to sit on the steam chamber for 10-20 minutes.

If performed at home under the instruction of an Ayurveda Practioner. Swedana can be replaced by prolonged hot water bath.

After one-hour bath can be taken.

Are there any contraindications for Udwarthana?

Yes, there are. Pitta predominant or people with Pitta disorders like redness, inflammation and even in presence of burns and cuts. Udwarthana should be avoided by people with dry skin. Excessive dryness of skin can aggravate with Udwarthana.

Kids and infants, and pregnant women can avoid Udwarthana.

Doing Udwarthana at home …

Here’s a quick and simple utban for regenerating your skin.

Ingredients –

  • Red Lentils ground to powder (1 cup)
  • Dried Orange peel ground to powder – 1 tbsp.
  • Dried lemon peel ground to powder – 1 tbsp.
  • Dried rose petals ground to paste – 1 tbsp.
  • Sandalwood powder – 1 tsp.

You can store these dry ingredients in an airtight container. While doing utban or dry powder massage, se a choice of your fruit juice like pomegranate or orange juice, you can even add some aloe gel to the mixture. Make to a paste like consistency and massage your face for 10 minutes before shower.

This mixture helps in giving radiance and natural glow to face. Also, helps in removing the dead cells from face, and helps in rejuvenating and improving the skin texture.

Article prepared by – Dr. Arya Krishna, BAMS