Udvartana (Ayurveda’s powder massage)

Powder made of herbs is used in body massage then it is called ‘Udvartana’. The word ‘Udvartana’ refers to elevation and upward strokes during this kind of massage. In this therapy, the rubbing during massage goes in opposite direction as compared to conventional massage. Dry herbal powders or herbal paste prepared with medicated oils is used in this therapy.

The main benefit of the Udvartana is to remove toxins through the skin. Ayurveda physicians mainly recommend it for reducing excess cellulite and fat accumulated under the skin. It also tones the skin and provides strength to the body. Other benefits include improvement in skin complexion, skin exfoliation, stress relief and relaxation.

According to action of the powder massage, it is a mainly two types:

1. Snigadha or Sneha (unctuous or oily)
2. Rooksha (dry)

Snigadha Udvartana:

It is a powder massage done with herbal paste prepared mixing herbs powder with medicated oils. This herbal paste is rubbed over the skin. This type of Udvartana helps improving skin texture, complexion, glow and tone. The main purpose of Snigadha Udvartana is to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin and to prevent skin diseases.

Charaka has described Snigadha Udvartana in weak people. It also includes people with sensitive skin who cannot tolerate rubbing of the dry herbal powders.

Rooksha Udvartana:

In this type, dry powders of herbs are used for rubbing. Herbal ingredients are rough and dry in nature and used to reduce excess Kapha. It is beneficial for reducing excess cellulite and fat under the skin. It is also beneficial for diabetic people with insulin resistance. Charaka has recommended it in obese people.

According to Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta has classified the powder massage into three main types:

1. Utsadana
2. Udgharshana
3. Udvartana


Utsadana is Snigadha Udvartana is a same thing. In this, medicated oils are used for preparing herbal paste.


Udgharshana is Rooksha Udvartana. Sushruta has specially described the ingredients of Udgharshana, which includes brick powder, Reetha (Soap nut) powder etc. This procedure may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin. The common side effect of using brick powder is rashes and fine cuts on the skin, which may cause pain and burning sensation. Using Reetha powder or Triphala powder is more likely to safe and useful instead of brick powder.


According to Sushruta, herbs used in this type have both actions of strengthening the body as well as reducing the fat. Its mixture is also prepared from powder of herbs mixing with medicated oils like Utsadana or Snigadha Udvartana.

Benefits of Udvartana:

In general, it tones and exfoliates the skin, reduces fat tissue and weight, makes skin radiant and glowing, improves skin complexion, removes bad body odour, removes toxins and cleanses the skin.

1. Increases skin glow – Opposite direction stokes that are performed in this therapy help to soften and exfoliate the skin and remove the dead cells from the skin, so give you a beautiful and lustrous glow on the skin.
2. Body stiffness – It removes body stiffness and helps to open blocked pores of skins. It facilitates absorption of beneficial oils in skin.
3. Removes toxins – It is one of detoxification Ayurveda therapies, which cleanses the body and removes bad body odour. It removes Ama or toxins from the body. It helps to prevent various diseases, which are caused by accumulation of toxins.
4. Cellulite Reduction and obesity – It is very effective in reducing cellulite and fat accumulation. Overweight people can also get benefits from this technique to control their body weight. Rubbing herbal powder helps breaking down the cellulite and increases the burning accumulated fat.
5. Abdominal fat accumulation – It helps to reduce subcutaneous fatty tissue and cellulite. It reduces body weight and assists other weight loss therapies.
6. Rheumatoid arthritis – It reduces Kapha and Ama. Ruksha Udvartana is more beneficial when stiffness with feeling of heaviness is the main symptom as compared to joint tenderness. If joint tenderness with redness is main symptom, then Snigadha Udvartana is more beneficial.

Indications of Udvartana:

1. Obesity – highly beneficial for fat reduction
2. Abdominal Obesity
3. Overweight
4. Cellulite breakdown
5. Preventing loosening of skin under weight loss program
6. After childbirth, if you are get some extra weight
7. Muscular weakness
8. Diabetic neuropathy
9. Decrease mobility to joints due to excess Kapha, Ama or rheumatoid arthritis.
10. Removing dead cells from the skin and increasing glow of the skin
11. Paralysis
12. Sclerosis of blood vessels
13. Sciatica of Kapha origin
14. Hemiplagia, cerebral palasy
15. Parkinson’s disease
16. Motor neuron disorders

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