Patram and Ila mean leaf. Kizhi means linen bundle. Ilakkizhi or Patrasweda is a kind of sudation therapy using herbs. Leaves of Arka (Calotropis Gigantea), Karanja (Pongamia Glabra) and Dhatura (Datura Metel) are chopped and mixed with grated coconut, mustard and rock salt. The proportion of the ingredients varies according to the symptoms of the disease. The mixture is warmed in a pan smeared with coconut oil and then tied up in linen bundles to be used for fomentation. Prior to fomentation, oil is applied to the patients crown. As sudation is the primary aim of fomentation, the Kizhis have to be kept at a constant high temperature by warming them every now and then.
Ayurveda suggests this for health problems like rheumatic pains and associated swelling of the joints, fomentation and massage with Ilakkizhi (bundles containing leaves) bring relief.