Our vehicles needs regular servicing for their smooth working and increased life span then don’t we think our body that is working continuously every day, each moment needs servicing for its better health. Ayurveda has compiled various concepts of disease free healthy life for all individuals. One prime concept among them is concept of “Panchakarma Therapy”.

Word “Pancha” means 5 and “Karma” means procedures. So, Panchakarma is group of 5 purificatory procedures. These are –

Vamana – Emesis Therapy
Virechana – Purgation Therapy
Basti – Medicated enema therapy
Nasya – Administration of drug through nasal route.
Raktamokshana – Bloodletting therapy

These 5 are called as “Shodhana” in classical literature.

Before administrating any of these 5 therapies, body needs to be prepared by snehana (oleation), svedana (sudation) therapies.

In snehana – a selective medicated ghee or oil preparation is administered according to the body constitution and disease from which the person is suffering. Oil molecules have the capacity to reach to the cellular parts of body and thus leads to movement of vitiated dosha or toxin from cells to the alimentary canal. Svedana means sudation therapy where in appropriate mode of sudation is selected to liquefy the doshas (toxins) selection of svedana therapy is done on the basis of constitution of that person. Snehana and svedana are called as preparation procedures.

5 Procedures coming under “Pancha Karma” are called as “Pradhaan Karma” as main procedures.

Vaman/ emesis therapy –
Through this procedure the viciated doshas especially (Kapha & Pitta) are expelled through oral route. It is administered particularly in months of Feb – May as kapha is dominant during this period.
It is done for diseases like – Acute fever, cough, allergic asthama,diabetes, skin diseases, dyspepsia, migraine, obesity, sinusitis etc. It is administered during 5am – 7am where in medicated decoctions are used for carrying out emesis.

Virechana karma / purgation therapy –
Through virechana vitiated doshas are expelled through rectal route and it is preferred in case of pittaya vikaras eg. Chronic fever,liver diseases, gastritis, poisoning, Hyper acidity, anemia, chronic constipation, heart disorders, gynaec diseases etc.

Basti Karma / Medicated enema –

In this purificatory process medicaments are introduced through rectal route with the help of enema can syringe.

Basti are of 2 types –

Niruha Basti / Decoction enema – where medicated decoctions are prepared, mixed with required quantity of honey, salt oils and certain herbs and proper emulsification oils formed and administered through enema can. It evacuates toxin and metabolic wastes from the body.

Sneha basti / Oil enema – here medicated ghee and oil preparations are used. It nourishes the body.

Basti is considered as more important and effective than any other purifactory procedure explained in Ayurveda. It is mostly practiced in rainy season and mainly indicated in vataja vikara like paralysis, parkinsonism, loss of strength, muscle atrophy, oligospermia, sciatica, arthritic pain, ureteric colic, hemorrhoids, loss of memory, for obese as well as emaciated patients.

Nasya / Shirovirechana –
Nasya is administration of medicaments in different forms through nasal route. It is mainly indicated for diseases of head and neck.

Ayurveda says that nostrils are portals of head, so only the drug administered through nose reaches each corner of head and mitigates the doshas. It is used in treatment of headache, sinusitis, migraine, hair fall, premature graying of hair, facial, paralysis, cervical spondylosis, dental problems, brachial neuritis, hoarseness of voice, stammering, thyroid dysfunction, loss of memory etc.

Rakta mokshana / Blood letting –
Here vitiated blood is allowed to let out of the body. Various methods of blood letting are adopted based on doshik predominance. Eg – siravyedhana (venesection).
Jalouka vacharana (leech biting), Alabu, shring (syringing ) etc.It is mainly administered when there is vitiation of blood. It eliminates the doshas from the circulating blood and cures the sufferings immediately.
It is indicated for skin diseases, abscess, boils, haemmorhagic disease, gout, inter vertebral disc prolapsed, alcoholism, alopecia, arthritic pain, headache and any inflammatory changes.
Other than these 5 fore – said procedures, there are many sub – procedures like –
– Lepa ( App. Of medicated paste)
– Dhara (pouring of oil or various medications over forehead or any other of body.
– Local basti – Kati Basti / Janu Basti is warm oil is kept over joints or affected part.
In general body massage is practiced in the name of panchakarma which is just a sub procedure or poorva karma. Panchakarma can be administered to healthy individuals based on their age, sex, constitution and season.

Panchakarma has wide range of advantages –
– It eliminates the vitiated doshas or toxin out of the body
– Maintains proper functioning of digestive system
– Helps in prevention as well as treatment of diseases
– Also helps for rejuvenation and boosts up the immunity
– Can act as pre-operative procedures for surgery
– Also acts as aphrodisiacs and enhances the fertility of men and women

As proper and timely serving leads to smooth working our vehicles in the same way seasonal panchakarma procedures brings new life to individual cell of our body

1. Dr.Sangeeta.H.Jahagirdar MD-Panchakarama
Asst Prof,
Department of Panchakarma
KLE Ayurveda Hospital,
Shahapur, Belgaum Karnataka

2. Dr.Hemant.D.Toshikhane.MS(Ay.)
Prof,& HOD Dept of Sanjnyaharana,
KLEU’s Shri.B.M.K.Ayurveda, Mahavidyalaya,
Belgaum. Belgaum Karnataka

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