Ayurveda the Indian system of medicine has been in existence from times
immemorial to impart natural healing for various ailments.
Panchakarma increases the acceptability of the body to various therapeutic
regimens like Rasayana (Rejuvenation) and
Vajikarana (Aphrodisiac). Thus, Panchakarma therapy is believed to impart
radical elimination of disease causing
factors and maintain the equilibrium of Doshas.
The five fold measures comprehended as Panchakarma are -
- Vamana (Therapeutic emesis)
- Virechana (Therapeutic purgation)
- Anuvasana Vasti (Medicated oil enema)
- Asthapana Vasti (Medicated decoction enema)
- Nasyam (Nasal insufflation)
Description of these five procedures is available in Charaka Samhita(Kalpa
Sthana), Sushruta Samhita (Chikitsa
Sthana) and Ashtanga Hridayam(Sutra Sthana).
Acharya Vagbhata in Ashtanga Hridayam has enumerated five types of samshodhanas
Prior to these five Pradhan karmas(main procedures), the Purva karma(preparatory
measures) given to the patient are -
- Pachana(Ama Panchana or digestive)
- Deepana or appetiser medicines like Shunthi Kwatha
- Snehana ( oleation )
- Swedana ( sudation)
After the main procedures, Pashchat Karma (Samsarjana Krama), a special diet and
life regimen are advocated as
post-operative measures. Panchakarma therapy plays a definite role in the
management of diseases especially of
neuromuscular, rheumatological and gastrointestinal origin.
In addition to this, panchakarma procedures are utilised for the purpose of
preservation, maintenance and
conservation of health and the enhancement of longitivity.