Panchkarma Therapies

Shamana Chikitsa

This is specially done after the shodhana therapy and in mild vitiation of doshas. Herbal medicines are used internally and externally to correct the derangement of functions of Doshas, Dhatus, Malas and Agni and also to increase body immunity. The restoration of normality is brought about without any elimination

Pre-purification Measures

Before the actual operation of purification begins, there is a need to prepare the body in prescribed methods to encourage the body to let go of the toxins. The two procedures are ‘snehan’ and ‘swedan’. Snehan is the oil massage. Oil is applied to the entire body which helps the toxins to move towards the gastro-intestinal tract. Oil massage also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple. Medicated oil and ghees are also given internally which are capable of softening of doshas. Snehan is given daily for three to seven days, as indicated. Swedan is sudation or sweating and is given every day immediately following the snehan. Steam of herbal decoctions is added to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Swedan liquifies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the gastro-intestinal tract. After three to seven days of snehan and swedan, the doshas become well “ripened”. A particular Panchkarma method is then given according to the individual’s constitution and disorder, Prakriti and vikriti, respectively.

Panchkarma

Five Basic Shodhanas – Cleansing Methods:

  • Vaman : Therapeutic vomiting or emesis
  • Virechan : Therapeutic purgation
  • Basti : Medicated enema
  • Nasya : Elimination of toxins through the nose
  • Raktmokshana: Blood Letting

Vaman - Emesis Therapy

When there is congestion in the lungs causing repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds, cough or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic emesis or vaman to eliminate the vitiated kapha causing the excess mucus. First, after the snehan and swedan, i.e the preparation of the patient, the emetic drugs which are specified for specific diseases are administered and vomiting is induced. Once the mucus is released the patient will feel instantly relieved. It is likely that congestion, wheezing and breathlessness will disappear and that the sinuses will become clear. Therapeutic vomiting is also indicated in chronic asthma, diabetes, chronic cold, lymphatic congestion, chronic indigestion, chronic skin disorders like extensive dermatitis psoriasis etc and edema.

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Indications for Vaman

Used for all kapha type disorders like headache, dizziness, nausea, Psychiatric problems, respiratory congestion, bronchitis, chronic cold, sinus congestion, asthma, lymphatic congestion, chronic indigestion, chronic skin disorders like extensive dermatitis psoriasis etc and edema.

Virechan – Purgation Therapy

When excess bile, pitta, is secreted and accumulated in the gall bladder, liver and small intestine, it tends to result in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic attacks of fever, biliary vomiting, gastric and duodenal ulcers and jaundice. Ayurvedic literature suggests in these conditions, the administration of therapeutic purgation or a therapeutic laxative. Virechan is facilitated with senna leaves, flax seeds, Psyllium husks or Triphala, cows milk, castor oil etc in a combination that is appropriate for the individual person and the disease the person is suffering from.

Indications For Virechan

Allergic rash, Skin inflammation, Acne, Eczema, Chronic fever, Ascites, Biliary vomiting, Jaundice, Urinary disorder, Enlargement of the spleen, Intestinal worms, Burning sensation of eyes, conjunctivitis, gout, acid peptic disorders and psoriasis.

Basti – Medicated Enema Therapy

Basti is one of the very effective panchkarma therapy among the five biocleansing/detoxifying procedures of ayrvedic shodhan Chikitsa. In Basti the medicated oil or herbal decoction is administered through the anal route. In modern medicine enemas are most commonly given to clean the lower bowel as a last resort for constipation treatment, when all other methods fail. But rather than this, Basti Karma mentioned in Ayurvedic classics is having broader therapeutic index on almost all the tissues of the body and have rejuvenative, curative, preventive and health promotive actions.

Indications For Basti

Basti is commonly used alone or along with Ayurveda medication, in all Vata Vyadhi (neurological disorders) & is also indicated in various diseases as Anaha(Distended Abdomen), Malavrodh(Constipation), Rajokshay(Amenorrhea), Adhman(Abdominal spasmodic Pain), Vatrakta(Gout), Pleeha(splenomegaly), Parshva graham(Slipped Disc), Prishta graham(Spondylosis), Akshepak (Paralysis) etc. It is also used for increasing weight in emaciated peoples( Brihan Basti), & to reduce weight in obese (Lekhan Basti).

Nasya – Instillation Of Medicine Through Nostrils

The word Nasya means ‘through the nasal route’. The nasal route refers to the administration of various herbal formulations in the form of oil, ghee, powder or fresh juice. Nasya is one of the important therapy among Panchkarma, in which medicated oil/herbs is administered through nostrils in order to eliminate vitiated dosha. It removes toxins from the sinuses, throat, nose or head parts. If these toxins are not removed for a long time they start irritating the local parts which creates disturbance in daily work. Later on, it gets converted into major ailments like allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma etc.

Indications For Nasya

  • It is mainly indicated to treat Kapha type of diseases such as headaches, heaviness, swelling, tumor or worm infestation in the head, cold, nasal congestion, eye disease, diseases of the throat, swelling, enlargement of glands, cysts, tumors, skin disease, ringworm infestation, itching and stiffness.
  • It is useful in the feeling that something is sticking to the head, excess secretions, excess salivation, anorexia, loss of taste, epilepsy, loss of smell and rhinitis. Vata predominant diseases like migraine, hemicrania, diseases of the head due to worms, constriction or tremors of the eyes, defects of the vision, toothache, earache, difficulty in getting up from sleep, loss of voice, sleep, dryness of the nose and mouth, difficulty in speaking, in opening of eyes, and in movement of the arm and frozen shoulder.
  • Pitta diseases like premature wrinkles, premature greying of the hair, hair loss, dandruff, redness of the eyes, blackish discoloration on the face, bleeding from the nose, blue patches or discolored patches on the skin and face, and diseases of the hair and eyes.

Rakat Mokshna – Blood Letting

Raktamokshan is the procedure of blood-letting. In this procedure we take out the impure blood, due to which a person is suffering from a disease. Hence this procedure detoxifies raktadhatu ( Blood). It is really very helpful & effective procedure though it sounds very primitive. Not more than 100 to 150 ml blood is taken out at one sitting. Sharad rutu (i.e. period between September to November) is a classical period for detoxification of your body through raktamokshan.

Indications For Rakat Mokshna

Raktamokshana can be used in the treatment of following diseases:-all types of skin diseases, psoriasis, lichen planus, leucoderma, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, hypertension, acne, gout, obesity, vertigo, herpes infections,general detoxification etc.

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