Navarakkizhi, Kerala’s unique contribution to Ayurveda, involves fomentation of the body with a bolus of cooked rice. Shastika or Navara, a particular kind of rice known for its medicinal value, is cooked in milk and a herbal decoction made of herbs like Kurumthotti (Sida Rhombifolia). Four boluses are made of this cooked rice and tied up in linen bags or Kizhis.
The fomentation begins with the patient sitting upright on the Droni with legs outstretched. The masseurs on either side perform the fomentation process in an identical manner. The movements of their hands during both fomentation and massage should always be down towards the body extremities.
The fomentation continues with the patient lying back on the Droni. A third attendant supplies new Kizhis, which are kept ready in a decoction of warm milk. It is very important to keep the Kizhis at a constant temperature. The treatment is over once fomentation has been carried out with the patient in all the seven standard positions.
Sometimes instead of one of the three supine positions the patient is made to lie face down. After the specified duration of treatment, the residual paste on the patient’s skin is removed with palm leaf scrapers. Suitable medicinal oil is applied all over the body before the bath.