Panchkarma – Ayurvedic Therapy


What is Panchkarma?

In the term Panchkarma  Panch means five and karma refers to therapeutic procedures.

Panchkarma is a super speciality of Ayurveda that comprises of five advanced therapeutical procedures done to expel out the vitated doshas (toxic materials) from the body.

Note: It may sound difficult to get these procedures done, but these are done under the supervision of experienced Ayurvedic Practitioner and hence can be conducted without any difficulty.

The five therapeutical procedures (panchkarma) are as follows:

Vamana – Therapeutic Emesis

It refers to detoxification of the body by the means of vomiting.

Firstly oleation (snehana) and fomentation (swedana) of the person is done with the help of some ayurvedic medicines and therapies. Then the person is made to vomit by administration of emetic medicines and decoctions. After which a diet plan (sansarjan krama) is followed for 3-7 days.

The optimum time for vamana treatment is vasanta ritu (march and april) and it is advised to people with high kapha (mucus or phlegm) imbalance.

Virechana – Therapeutic Purgation

It is expelling the toxins out of the body through Purgation (evacuating the bowels).

Just like vamana, in virechana too the patient first undergoes through oleation (snehana) and fomentation (swedana) procedures. Then the person is administered purgative medicine that clears the gut and removes toxins from the body. Once the body gets purified person has to follow a diet plan (sansarjan krama) for 3-7 days.

The optimum time for performing virechana is sharad ritu ( late september, october and mid november) and it is the best treatment for pitta (fire or bile) dominant conditions.

Basti – Medicated Enema

In ancient science of Ayurveda, basti is of utmost importance and is referred to as ardha chikitsa – half the treatment of all diseases by master Charaka.

This medicated enema is quite different form the regular enema given to treat constipation. It clears accumulated toxins from all the three doshas (predominantly Vata – wind and space ) and therefore it is treatment to a wide range of diseases.

The best time for basti treatment is varsha ritu (july and august)

Basti is of two types :

  • Basti with oil/ghee termed as Anuvasan Basti
  • Basti with herbal decoction termed as Asthapan or Niruh Basti

Nasya – Nasal Medication

It is administration of medicated oils or powders through the nasal route.

Firstly oleation (snehana) by massage and fomentation (swedana) of head and neck region is done after which medicated oil or powder is administered. It results in biopurification of head and neck region by removing the kapha accumulated toxins.

Raktamokshan – Blood letting

It is the process of removal of impure blood from the body with the help of surgical instruments. Through its cleansing action it results in curing the ailments caused by impure blood.

Why One Should Opt Panchkarma?

  • Completely detoxifies the body
  • Provides strength to sense organs
  • Enhances the metabolism of the body
  • Increases the digestive fire
  • Maintains stability of the tissues
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Has anti-ageing effect
  • Enhances immunity

Need of Panchkarma in Present Day Scenario

Pollution, long working hours and unhealthy lifestyle have a great negative impact on people’s health now a days. Panchkarma reinstitutes the state of well being and improves general health by freeing the body from accumulated toxins and by improving state of one’s physical and mental health.

In Ayurveda it is believed that Panchkarma is the cure for almost all ailments and it is normal to go for Panchkarma procedures once or twice a year according to the body type of the person.

Things Not to be Done During Panchkarma

  • Cold exposure
  • Sex
  • Mental stress
  • Day sleep
  • Sleeping late at night
  • Unhealthy food
  • Heavy exercise
  • Suppression of natural urges – sneezing, coughing etc.

Contraindications Of Panchkarma

  • Menstruation, pregnancy, lactation
  • AIDS
  • Tuberculosis
  • Morbid obesity, emaciation
  • Hyeprtension, Congestive Heart Disease, Angina
  • Cancer

Note: Panchkarma is a natural method of biopurification which can be opted by both healthy and diseased individuals. In healthy individuals Panchkarma works as a cleansing process to improve bodily functions and in diseased individuals it works by removing all the accumulated toxins from the body.

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