Udwartan is a broad term for using various herbs to rub on the skin. As part of Dinacharya in Ayurveda, one should massage a the body with fine powder of various herbs of mainly astringent and pungent taste, after exercise in the direction of the hair only which is called anuloma gati.

If Kaphā pacifying herbs are used for weight loss, then it’s a therapy called udwartan. Udwartan is done in the direction opposite to the hair of the body called pratiloma gati, which is opposite to the direction in which Abhyanga is done. If Kaphā pacifying herbsare used for general wellbeing, then it is called udgharshana (dry).

When the herbs are mixed with oils, ghee, etc for snigdhtata/unctuousness and applied anuloma gati it is called utsadana. It is used for pacifying Vatā. When the herbs are mixed with cooling liquids and applied as a paste it is for pacifying Pittā. The same herbs can be used as dry powder-like sandalwood and are called udgharshana. Sometimes a paste of these herbs made with oil or water can also be used, which is called ubtan. All these methods act by opening the pores of the skin, dilate the blood vessels, igniting the agni at the level of skin tissues, and enhancing the function of Bhrajak Pitta which is seated in the skin.

Triphala, ushira, green gram powder, soap nut powder, nagarmotha, tagar, gotu kola are some of the herbs used. Sandalwood, turmeric, fuller earth, rose petals, vetiver/ushira, manjistha, sariva, licorice are some of the potent herbs used to make ubtan. In fact one can use these ingredients and make ubtan at home.

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