Ilakkizhi is a sudation therapy using herbal leaves in the ancient medicinal system in Ayurveda. Ilakkizhi or Pathrasweda belongs to the Purvakarma performed prior to the Panchakarma therapy in Ayurveda. Literally, Pathra means leaf and Kizhi is linen bundle. In rheumatic pains and associated swellings, Ilakkizhi brings relief.
The procedure involves fomentation of the affected region using a fist sized bundle of linen filled with finely chopped herbal leaves warmed in medicated oil. The poultice also contains sliced lime, cumin seeds and scraped coconut in addition to herbs. The whole body is fomented in the usual seven standard positions.