The word ‘Panchakarma’ means five karmas. The “Pancha” word is a symbol of the blessing of the god called “Mangalam” and this represents that all the procedures of treatment should require the presence of God.
All living and non-living things are a combination of pancha bhuta (prithvi, apa, thejas, vayu, akasa). To regulate the living body, Acharyas concise pancha bhutas into tri doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), and therefore the main aim of treatment is to stabilize the equilibrium among these doshas.
Panchakarma therapy is a comprehensive samshodhana regimen under which all other similar procedures may be included.
This is a foundation of Panchakarma, before the actual process of purification, there is a need to prepare the body to let go of the toxins.
It makes changes in vitiated doshas to mobilize them without trouble, and thus easily removed from the body tissues through the digestive system.
Purva-karma helps to achieve the best response of the main procedure of Pancha-karma; subsequently, the body develops sensitivity, to keep balance throughout the process of Pradhan- Karma.
Pre procedures of Purva-Karma consist of-
• Snehana Karma– It produces oiliness, liquefaction, softening, and moistening in the body To stimulate liquefaction of toxins those are fat-soluble and rooted deep in the tissues
• Swedan Karma– Ayurvedic massage and steam bathing in order for the opening of body channels to facilitate the digestive tract movement. It relieves stiffness, heaviness, and coldness of the body and produces sweating
These are the main procedures and may be applied as a single procedure or in different situations, these may use collectively. These procedures actually let off the impure material called “Ama Doshas” from their accumulation sites.
The five Karmas that compose the classic Panchakarma detoxification are the following:
- Vamana– It is a process in which vitiated doshas are expelled through the upper route. i.e. mouth. When there is congestion in the lump causing repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds, cough, or asthma, a therapeutic vomiting procedure is used to eliminate the Kapha. Once the mucus is released, the patient will feel instantly relieved.
- Virechana– The procedure in which, the elimination of morbid doshas (Bio-humour) occurs through the lower part is known as Virechana. When excess Pitta is accumulated in the gall bladder, liver, and small intestine, it tends to result in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic recurrent fever, biliary vomiting, nausea, and jaundice
- Basti– The procedure in which, formulation administered through the rectal canal reaches up to the small intestine and disintegrates the accumulated doshas. It relieves constipation, chronic fever, kidney stones, heart pain, and other pains in the joints.
- Nasya: The procedure in which, the medicated oil is administered through the nose to eliminate the vitiated doshas situated in the head is known as Nasya. An excess of mucus accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose, or head areas is eliminated by this means.
- Raktastrav: It is a procedure of removing the vitiated blood out of the body, in diseases caused mainly by Rakta and Pitta.
With changes in lifestyle and diet, one can experience the full benefit of Panchakarma treatment. Panchakarma is a very Ayurvedic therapy that requires proper guidance from a highly trained and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner.