shank prakshalana
Ayurvedic Medicine

Shankha Prakshalana, a deep colon cleansing technique

Intestinal cleanse using Water and Salt

Tantra practices go beyond tantric massage, ​​sexual yoga or sacred sex; Hatha yoga and Ayurvedic medicine are also a fundamental part of sadhana (the practice of Tantra). Shankha Prakshalana, also known as Varisara, is a very effective method of cleansing the digestive tract using just water and salt. The name Shankha Prakshalana means “shell cleansing”, as the water courses through the digestive tract as though it was a shell. It is a fundamental exercise in yogic practice and an excellent internal cleansing procedure that removes toxins from the intestines and can prevent a large number of diseases that accelerate the ageing process.

One of the main causes of ageing and senility is the accumulation of toxins in the body due to autointoxication, where the organism is slowly poisoned. The worst source of autointoxication is constipation, which causes poisons to leak through the intestinal walls, causing a multitude of diseases.

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Daily bowel movements do not rule out the possibility that the mucosa may retain a crust of sediments, and may cause the same problems as actual constipation. These putrid fermentations constantly diffuse toxins throughout the body. In addition they can cause irritation in the intestinal mucosa, which can cause several types of cancer (much more common in this part of the body than other types of cancer), and the number of cases in the West increases every year.

Cancer is not the only danger, other diseases directly related to intestinal autointoxication include:

Skin. Eruptions of differing types.

Nervous system. Insomnia, depressions, irritability, hysteria.

Legs. Sciatica, blood stagnations that result in varicose veins.

Lower Abdomen. Various blood stagnations, infections of the genital organs (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes), displacement of the uterus.

  • Colon. Haemorrhoids, cancer.
  • Stomach. Loss of muscle tone in the stomach, prolapses, ulcers, cancer.
  • Kidneys Lithiasis (renal calculi, aka kidney stones), nephritic colic.
  • Liver. Hepatic congestion, gallstones, liver toxicity
  • Blood. Anaemia, pathological changes in the composition of the blood (which influences all of the body’s cells and organs).
  • Appendix. Chronic or acute appendicitis.

The main problem with constipation caused by incrustation is that there are no purifying organs between the colon membrane and the blood vessels. So poisons can pass directly into the bloodstream and spread around the organism, before they can be expelled by the kidneys, skin or lungs. Imagine the havoc it causes in your body and the ageing effects this has. A great many medications are administered in the form of suppositories as they go directly into the bloodstream because the wall of the colon is highly permeable.

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of constipation. Yoga and good nutrition can solve many cases, but this is not enough to cleanse the colon properly. The Shankha Prakshalana method is uniquely effective because, in addition to cleaning the colon, it removes sediment from the entire digestive system, from the stomach to the anus.

The benefits of intestinal cleansing

The first beneficial effect is to totally eliminate sediments that are incrusted in the mucosa of the large intestine. It is amazing what can accumulate in our intestines. People who do not feel even remotely constipated have been surprised when they discover food remains such as a cherry stone that they had swallowed many months earlier.

Most diseases are caused by toxins that have leaked from the intestines. The practice of Shankha Prakshalana eliminates the sediments that accumulate in the digestive tract. The benefits manifest themselves progressively – for example, fresher breath, better sleep and the disappearance of facial or bodily rashes. Reducing meat consumption can also get rid of body odour, which can sometimes be very pungent. Perspiration becomes odourless and the skin complexion is noticeably clearer.

Varisara cleansing is not only an eliminatory process; it is also acts as a tonic to stimulate the liver and other glands connected to the digestive tract, especially the pancreas. It appears that the islets of Langerhans, located in the pancreas, secrete more insulin with general stimulation of this gland. Also, cleansing the digestive tract helps slim people gain weight and overweight people lose any excess kilos.

This purifying technique is also an extremely effective way to complete the treatment for pinworm infection. As the contents of the intestine are being evacuated, pinworms and their eggs are also expelled. However, the villi are so numerous that some eggs may persist after the treatment.

Contraindications of Shankha Prakshalana

Shankha Prakshalana does have some contraindications, so patients should abstain from this healing process if they suffer from any of the following: stomach ulcers, acute digestive tract conditions (dysentery, diarrhoea, pronounced colitis, acute appendicitis), or more extreme cases, such as intestinal tuberculosis or cancer. These are not absolute contraindications though as in some cases, where the process has been strictly supervised, significant improvements have been seen.

Receiving a tantric massage immediately after a cleansing is not recommended. However, after a 12-36 hour period, a tantric massage session is beneficial, especially if it includes prostate massage.

How to carry out Shankha Prakshalana (intestinal cleanse using water and salt)

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Before starting, heat approximately two litres of water and add one teaspoon of salt per litre. The water has to be salty to stop it being absorbed by osmosis through the mucous membranes and then evacuated as urine. This process is always carried out on an empty stomach, so the ideal time to do it is first thing in the morning. The whole treatment takes about an hour, but bear in mind that you should avoid doing any intense exercise on the same day, even yoga. So make sure you do it on a suitable day when you can have some time to yourself and peace of mind.


Follow these steps to cleanse your intestines:

  1. Drink a glass of warm salty water
  2. Immediately after, carry out the series of movements described below
  3. Then drink another glass of hot salty water and repeat the series of movements again. Continue alternating a glass of water followed by the exercises until you have drunk six glasses and done the movements six times.
  4. Then go to the toilet. If after five minutes you have not had a bowel movement you should repeat the series of movements, but without drinking any more water. If you have not defecated after another five minutes, administer a ½ litre enema to facilitate the first bowel movement.
  5. After the first bowel movement, you should continue this sequence (drinking a glass of salt water, doing the series of movements and going to the toilet) until the water comes out as clear as it was when you swallowed it. This usually takes between ten and fourteen glasses.
  6. When the water comes out sufficiently clear, you should stop drinking water and wait for half an hour.

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  • You should eat half an hour later and NEVER more than an hour later. You should never leave your digestive system empty for over an hour. The first meal should consist of boiled white rice (without the husks). It should be boiled until it is almost overcooked and the rice grains dissolve in your mouth. You can eat it with a little tomato sauce with a bit of salt but no pepper. It can also be accompanied by lentils or well-cooked carrots, and you should add at least 40 grams of ghee (clarified butter) which can either be eaten separately or melted on top of the rice. If you want, you can replace the rice with boiled wheat, oatmeal or pasta.

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  • Do not drink any milk or eat any yogurt for 24 hours after the cleansing. Also, you should avoid acidic foods and drinks, fruit and raw vegetables for the same period. In the second meal you can eat bread and hard or semi-hard cheeses (e.g. Gruyere or Edam). White or fermented cheeses (e.g. Brie or Camembert) are not allowed. After 24 hours you can return to your usual regime, but avoid eating excess meat.

Bear in mind that the absorption of salt water drains a part of the body’s fluids into the digestive tract by osmosis. This is part of the detoxification process, so it is completely normal to be very thirsty after the cleansing. Do not drink any liquid until you have eaten the first meal, otherwise you will continue to stimulate fluid expulsion through the anal canal. After the first meal you can drink still water or light infusions, but drinking alcohol is totally forbidden for 24 hours after an intestinal healing process.

It is quite normal to have no bowel movements until 24-36 hours after the cleansing. Stools will be a gold-yellow colour and odourless.

This intestinal cleansing should be carried out at least two or four times a year, preferably when the seasons change. If you want, you can do it every month, or even every two weeks. The time between one cleansing and another depends on how much time you have and when you want to do it. Despite the unpleasantness of drinking hot water with salt, the process is relatively simple if you follow the steps described correctly.

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Shankha Prakshalana Exercises:

To push the salt water through your digestive tract to the anus, simply do the following movements. Each movement must be repeated four times on each side alternately, in fairly fast succession. The entire series does not take more than a minute or so.

  1. Starting position: stand up and spread your feet at shoulder width, with your fingers interlocked and your palms upwards. Straighten your back well and breathe normally. Without turning your thorax, tilt it to the left and then, without stopping, straighten up and immediately lean to the other side. Repeat this double movement four times i.e. do eight inclinations alternately to the left and right. This takes approximately 10 seconds in all. These movements open the pylorus, so that each time you lean to the side some of the water leaves the stomach and goes towards the duodenum and the small intestine.
  2. The next movement helps move the water along the small intestine. Start in the same position, standing up. Extend your right arm horizontally and bend the left arm until the thumb and forefinger touch the right clavicle. Then rotate your upper body with your arm extended backwards as far as possible, whilst looking at your fingertips. Without stopping, go straight back to the starting position and repeat the movement in the opposite direction. Repeat each double movement four times, which should take about 10 seconds.
  3. The next movement is designed to move the water along the small intestine. Lay on your front and push yourself up so that only your toes and the palms of your hands are touching the floor. Your thighs should not touch the floor and it is important to keep your feet about 30 cm apart. Once you are in position, turn your head, shoulders and upper body until you can see the opposite heel (i.e. if you turn to the right, look at your left heel). Do not stay in that position – go straight back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Repeat each double movement four times, which should take about 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Once the water has reached the end of the small intestine, it should pass through the colon with the help of the fourth and last movement. This is the most complicated in the series of movements, but everyone should be able to do them, unless you suffer from knee or meniscus problems, in which case you should use the alternative described at the end.

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Starting position: a) start by crouching with your feet about 30cm apart and your heels positioned towards the outside of your thighs (i.e. not under your buttocks). Rest your hands on your knees, which should be about 50 cm apart b) turn your upper body and put your left knee down on the floor in front of your right foot. Use the palms of your hands to alternately push the right thigh to the left and then the left thigh to the right. This compresses each half of the belly and applies pressure on the colon. Look behind you to accentuate the twist of your upper body and put pressure on your abdomen.

In the previous exercises it does not really matter whether you start on the left or the right side, but in this case it is preferable to compress the right-hand side of the abdomen first in order to press on the ascending colon. As with the other exercises, this double movement should be done four times and takes around 15 seconds.

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If you are unable to do the fourth movement, this alternative exercise also works well. Sit down and put your right foot against the outer side of your left thigh. Lean your right shoulder in as close as you can to your bended knee and tilt your upper body back slightly. Then use your right arm as a lever to twist your spine and press your thigh against your lower abdomen. Avoid touching your ribs with your bended knee in order to facilitate compression of the lower abdomen. Repeat with the opposite knee and alternate until you have done both sides 4 times.


Shankha Prakshalana salt water intestinal cleansing is a wonderful purification, toning and healing method. Also known as Varisara, this technique eliminates toxins from the digestive tract, particularly from the intestines, thus preventing the toxins from becoming poisonous, which would increase diseases and accelerate the ageing process. It is very important to follow the steps correctly to benefit from all the beneficial effects. If in doubt it is best to consult with a Tantric teacher, Hatha Yoga instructor or Ayurvedic practitioner.



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