Panchakarma

Panchakarma is one of the unique therapeutic procedures in Ayurveda advocated for the radical elimination of disease-causing factors and maintaining the equilibrium of Dosas. The five-fold measures comprehended by therapy for internal purification of the body system are Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Anuvasana (Oil enema), Asthapana (Decoction enema), and Nasya (Nasa insufflation). The chances of recurrence of the disease are very rare in patients undergone Panchakarma therapy as it also promotes positive health by rejuvenating the vital body systems. It prevents the aging process and improves memory and functions of sense organs. Panchakarma therapy is very effective in the management of autoimmune disorders, chronic ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, G.I.T disorders, and mental diseases. Panchakarma is a method of cleansing the body of all unwanted waste after lubricating it. Panchakarma are 5 (five) in number; hence the term PANCHA (five) – KARMA (procedures). Panchakarma treatment is unique in the sense that it includes preventive, curative, and promotive actions for various diseases.

Five KarmasThe body can be divided on the basis of the parts that need cleansing. Head, GIT (gastro-intestinal system), upper and lower. The five main Karmas to cleanse the complete body are :

1. Vamanam (therapeutic emesis) – induced vomiting helps clear the upper gastro till the duodenum (end of stomach) and part of the respiratory tract.

2. Virechanam (purgation) – induced purgation clears the lower gastro from the duodenum (end of stomach) to the exit.

3. Anuvasana (enema using medicated oil) – Oil enema helps lubricate the rectal area and take all the lipid-soluble waste out through the anus.

4. Nasyam – nasal instillation of medicated substances helps clear the respiratory tract and paranasal sinuses.

5.  Astapana Vasti (Therapeutic Decoction Enema) – decoction enema cleanses the area from the transverse colon to the anus.

Diseases in which Panchakarma therapy has been successfully applied:

VatavyadhisTreatment
PanguSnehana, Svedana, Abhyanga, Sastikasali Pinda Sveda, Virechana, Basti, Nasya.
GridhrasiAbhyanga, Patra Pindasvedana.
Tamak swasAbhyanga, Sastikasali Pinda Sveda.
ParinamasulaVamana.
AmavataBasti Chikitsha, Rukshasveda.

Steps followed:

The complete process of Panchakarma consists of three steps.

  • Poorva Karma is the preparatory procedure required before the main procedure to enable a person to receive the full benefits of the main treatment. It consists of two main processes – Snehan (oleation) and Swedan (fomentation). These methods help to dislodge the accumulated poisonous substances in the body, thus preparing them for their complete removal.
  • Pradhan Karma or the main procedure. On completion of the first step, it is decided which of these are to be done depending upon the proximity of the waste. An increased level of upper respiratory tract waste shall call for Vamana. Similarly, a lower gastro accumulation of waste calls for a Virechanam.
  • Paschaat Karma or the post-therapy dietary regimen to restore the body’s digestive and absorptive capacity to its normal state.

Panchakarma is gaining more and more importance, but this Panchakarma treatment can be even life-threatening and fatal if it is not done by a qualified person and in a proper way and using proper precautions. As patient safety is of more importance,  National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers has come up with accreditation standards for setting up a Panchakarma unit or a Panchakarma Clinic.

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