"Panch" means five and "karma" means action. So, panchakarma means five different ways of treatment.
According to Ayurveda, diseases formed in the body are due to the formation of toxins, or ama. Regular cleansing of the body by removing this ama is recommended. Panchkarma is this cleansing process which helps in the elimination of ama from the body and thus prevents formation of disease.
It is a cleansing therapy to strengthen the body’s metabolic functions with herbal medicines and controlled food habits.
The basis of the therapy is elimination. As the wastes and excess of doshas are eliminated from the body the person becomes healthy.
Those who suffer from chronic disease are said to benefit by it tremendously. In Ayurvedic terms, it also helps those who undergo a seasonal imbalance of tridoshas.
This therapy is recommended for maintaining youthfulness and building immunity and resistance against diseases.
The panchakarma treatment is found to be helpful in chronic diseases where treatment with allopathic medicines has its limitations.
Rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, hemiplegia, polio, epilepsy, insomnia, hypertension, cardiac problems, intestinal diseases, peptic and duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and asthma are some of the conditions where this therapy proves of immense help.
Panchakarma - five types of techniques or treatment:
Emesis Therapy - Vamana
Among panchkarma, this therapy advised especially for ‘Kapha’ disorders. It is otherwise also known as UrdhwaMarga Shodhana. It is regularly done to cleanse the stomach and remove Kapha and Pitta from the chest. It is used for relieving pulmonary TB, and all lung conditions, skin diseases (e.g. eczema, psoriasis, leukoderma), diabetes mellitus, goitre, tumors, cough, asthma, obesity. The best season for Vamana is spring.
Purgation Therapy - Virechana
Virechana is indicated mainly for ‘Pitta’ diseases and can be used whenever we need to clean the small intestines. It is also recommended as a rejuvenation therapy for the tissues and organs of the abdomen and skin. Virechana is an excellent method to heal various conditions like abdominal tumors, hemorrhoids, skin disorders, jaundice, chronic fever, poisoning, spleen and liver disorders, abscess, colitis, eye problems, ulcers, gout and blood toxins .
Nasal cleansing - Nasya/Shiro virechana
Ayurveda suggests that the nose is the gateway to the head.
Medicated powders, decoctions, oil drops, pastes, plant juices, infusions, and even smoke as medication is administered into the nasal passages. This therapy is specially advised for diseases of the head and neck including the five sense organs (indriyas). It is used to treat migraine, chronic rhinitis and epilepsy.
The aggravated doshas above the region of clavicle in the head and neck are eliminated through the nose through this process.
Decoction or medicated oil enema therapy - Basti
"Enema is half of the medicinal therapy, or even the complete treatment." (charak sidd. Ch. 1/39)
Basti therapy is primarily used for vata excess, either alone or as the predominant dosha deranged. It is being practiced with a high clinical value. This process is not like modern enema, as different medications like herbal decoctions and herbal oils are used depending upon the condition being treated.
Basti is useful in chronic constipation, lower back pain, arthritis, sciatica, gout, and rheumatism. It also heals numerous neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, hemiplegia, osteomylitis, osteoporosis, muscle and nerve atrophy. It helps in mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, mental retardation, and sensory disorders. Basti has multidimensional utility; it can fulfill the purpose of elimination, palliation, nourishment and rejuvenation.
At KARE, we have experienced spectacular results for various diseases like arthritis, neurological problems and other ailments with the help of Basti treatment.
Bloodletting therapy – Rakta Mokshana
It involves releasing toxic blood from various body sites, although mainly from the back.
Bloodletting is useful when patients need immediate results with pitta disorders such as skin, liver, spleen, and conditions like gout, headaches and hypertension.
It is an invasive procedure administered by a licensed physician only. It is done either with the help of blunt or sharp instruments, or using leeches. When blood becomes impure it can cause and spread diseases. Removal of impure blood benefits the body.
Bloodletting is a helpful in removal of pitta dosha especially when it is in excess. When it is acute and it does not respond to the usual treatment then this therapy is helpful. It is considered an important method to treat blood related and pitta related diseases.
At KARE, we have had excellent results in treating patients of varicose veins by Rakta mokshana therapy.