The term “Panchakarma” is a union of two words, “Panch” which means five, and “Karma” which means action. Thus panchakarma is the name given to a set of five actions. It is a process of cleansing and rejuvenation of the mind and the body. It is a profound ayurvedic treatment, a blessing for a healthy life, and has the capability to cure diseases that have no allopathic cure.
A person is called healthy when he/she has a toxin free body, fully functional organs, wastes efficiently eliminated, a calm and a happy mind, and a sense of well-being. However, in today’s busy world it is very difficult to have all of them together at the same time. Panchakarma helps by reversing these negative effects of daily living
To restore the natural health and the beauty of the human body and mind, Panchakarma treatment employs the coordinated use of five different detoxification processes. These five actions are :
1. Vamana (Medicated emesis)
2. Virechan (Medicated purgation)
3. Basthi (Medicated enema)
4. Nasyam (Medication through the route of nose)
5. Raktha Moksha (Blood letting)
This is the process used to cure Kapha doshas. It purifies the chest and the stomach by inducing medical emesis. Waste products and toxins (vitiated dosha) are thus eliminated through the upper gastrointestinal tract. It is highly effective in ailments such as anemia, chronic indigestion, sinus problems, cough and cold, asthma, nausea and food poisoning, psoriasis and skin disorders.
This is the process used to eliminate excess Pitta from the body. It purifies blood, by clearing the toxins from the body, along with the lower alimentary canal, by induced controlled purgation with the help of medicines. It is used to treat jaundice, chronic helminthic infestations, chronic fever, piles, abdominal tumors, worms, gout, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal problems and constipation etc.
This is the process used to cure the Vata disorders. In this procedure, a medicated oil enema is applied through the rectum. This is because vata is predominantly located in the colon. It is helpful in cases such as constipation, neurological ailments, paralysis, flatulence, lower backache, gout and rheumatism. It is also a good remedy for arthritis and paralysis.
During this treatment, medicated oil, ghee or herbal extracts is instilled in the nostrils and the therapist then massages the area around the nose, chest, palms and feet. It is an effective treatment for the nose, throat, sinus and head disorders. The treatment cleanses, purifies and strengthens the nasal passages, so the patient can breathe fully and easily again. This is highly effective in headache, migraine, cervical spondylosis and facial palsy.
Raktha Moksha or blood letting, is the last and the most complex procedure of body purification treatment under the Panchakarma. It removes the toxins from body through letting out the toxic blood with the help of venesection. It is highly effective in diseases like urticaria, rash, eczema, acne, scabies, leucoderma, chronic itching and hives, enlarged liver, spleen, hemochromatosis, gout, elephantiasis, alopecia, skin and blood disorders, pigmentation etc. It is further of two types:
b) Anushastra Prayoga