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Panchakarma Treatments at a Glance

The Ayurveda system of medicine has an undeniable acceptance worldwide. Among treatments,  panchakarma treatment procedures perform an essential and inevitable role. On account of this, Panchakarma is considered the best method to manifest the treatment.

Panchakarma, the word itself stands to represent the five therapeutic procedures, Vamana-Virechana-Vasthi-Rakthamoksha-Nasya. All of these are basically bio-cleansing in action, which means, it removes accumulated toxic particles from the body. The highlighting point is that it can be administered both in healthy and unhealthy people.

In healthy people, following a periodic panchakarma procedure according to the climate, will bring an immune boosted lifestyle. In the case of unhealthy people, it helps to eliminate the excessive dosha or toxicity from the body, thereby cure illness of the root.


1. Vamana (Emetic therapy) –

  • Vamana karma is mainly aimed to remove the vitiated kapha dosha from the upper part of body, via oral route.
  • As a seasonal regimen, it can be performed in the beginning of vasantha rtu ( march – april).
  • The selection of medicine and the type of  preparatory procedure strictly depend upon the condition of that person.
  • Eg: Skin diseases with discharge,  Depression, Asthma, Psoriasis etc.

2. Virechana ( Purgative therapy)

  • Virechana is the widely practised eliminative panchakarma therapy.
  • The purpose of the therapy is the elimination of the vitiated pitha dosha along with trace amount of vitiated kapha dosha, through the anal route.
  • The potency of the medicine (laxative/mild purgative/strong purgative) wil fix the number of per-rectal evacuation.
  • The selection of medicine and the type of  preparatory procedure strictly depend upon the condition of that person.
  • Eg: Skin diseases with exudation of pus, Diabetes, Fever etc.

3. Vasthi (Medicated enema therapy)

  • In Vasthi, the medicine (medicated oil or medicinal combinations) is administered into the intestine through the anal route.
  • The core purpose of this treatment is to  make a control over the vatha dosha and to alleviate the same.
  • Vasthi is considered as the prime treatment modality among the panchakarma procedures. Hence, it is highlighted as ardha chikitsa and in certain  conditions even gone to the extent of ascribing it as sarva/poorna chikitsa.

Eg: Lowback pain, Stroke, Diplegia, etc

4. Rakthamoksha (Blood letting therapy)

  • Rakthamoksha is a parasurgical procedure used to remove the asudha raktha (vitiated blood).
  • Rakthamoksha can be done by,
  • Siravedha (vein puncturing)
  • Jalookavacharana ( leech therapy)
  • Pracchanna (multiple pricking)
  • Nowadays cupping/hijama therapy also included under this.
  • It plays an effective role in diseases which are regionally concentrated.
  • Eg: Varicose veins ( siravedha/ jalookavacharana)

                  : Localised swelling and painful conditions ( jalookavacharana/cupping)                         

                  : Inflammatory skin lesions ( jalookavacharana)

                  : Alopecia (jalookavacharana/pracchanna)

5. Nasya (Nasal medication)

  • Nasya is the procedure of application of different types of medicated oils/ fresh juices of medicinal plants/medicinal powders into the nasal orifices.
  • It has a pivot role in the management of diseases affecting the head.
  • Eg: Seizures, Hair loss, headache etc.

Preparatory procedures

 In certain conditions of diseases, the patient has to be prepared for the treatment. For that, the following can be administered.

  • Snehapana – Intake of medicated ghee, oil etc for a period of time.
  • Svedana – Steam therapy

Why panchakarma is  important

Panchakarma has equal importance among all types of people.

  • In swastha or healthy person, it is a preventive measure from various seasonal diseases. So, including the panchakarma in daily regimen and seasonal regimen is a mandatory one.
  • For those who seek for a rejuvenative therapy, panchakarma is an unavoidable part. That means, preliminary to the exact procedure, the person must undergo the whole body cleansing, which is possible only through panchakarma.
  • In diseased groups, attainment of  complete cure of disease only attained by the complete removal of causative  factor. For that, the one and only  available method is panchakarma therapy. In certain cases, single procedure is enough to get the desired result. But in some situations, two or three types of procedures  are necessary, which purely depends on the state of a person.

Benefits of panchakarma

  • Flushes out toxins from the body
  • Cure for diseases
  • Balances tridosha
  • Normalises  physiological functions
  •  Lightness to both body and mind
  • Improves appetite
  • Improves the quality of sleep
  • Improves quality of life
  • Imparts glow to the skin
  • Rejuvenation