Benefits of Panchakarma

Panchakarma is a global medical term now. It is a prestigious component of Ayurvedic system of medicine and therefore one can describe it as a super specialty of Ayurveda.

Even though it is closely linked with kayachikitsa (General Medicine), yet it has its own identity as an independent specialty for all acharyas of Ayurveda.

Panchakarma is made of 2 words – ‘Panch’ means five and ‘Karma’ means procedure.

According to acharya Charaka the 5 procedure are,

  1. Vamanam
  2. Virechanam
  3. Nasyam

4 .Kashayavasti

  1. Anuvasana vasti.

According to acharya Susrutha  the panchakarmas are,

  1. Vamanam
  2. Virechanam
  3. Nasyam

4 .Vasti

  1. Rakthamoshanam

Prior to Panchakarma are  two procedures – Snehana (Unctuating Therapy) & Swedana (Sudation therapy  respectively)

Snehavidhi –  Unctuating  Therapy

It can be done both internally and externally. Externally it can be done in the form of abyanga (oil massage) either local or whole body, pizhichil etc. Interanally it can be given in a therapeutic dose or with food. It gives strength and stability to body tissues. It can be done both internally and externally.  For Snehana fat, oil, ghee and bone marrow fat is used.

Benefits

Snehana produce strength and stability to tissues. Medas (fat) and Majja (bone marrow) are directly fat based. Many vitamins are fat soluble so they yield energy directly.

Functions of nervous system are based on fat.

It can cure  skin conditions like dryness of the body. Helps  miraculously in vision defects and difficulty to open eyes.

Acharya Vaghbata concluded that “those who take fat are supposed to live a hundred years, blessed with profound digestion, clear gut, strengthened tissues, physical strength, good complexion, stability of senses and slow ageing.

Swedavidhi

Inducing thermal changes in our body is called swedana or sudation. It is again done prior to elimination procedures. The effect of heat can be for superficial  or deep tissue.

For external diseases superficial heat is given and deep heat for middle pathway organs, and  in case  of internal path way sudation is not necessary and can be done by drinking hot water.

Sudation is done locally or for whole body. There are different  types of sudation  like valuka (sand), leaf pottali  (cloth bag of leaves) Parisheka (Pouring  hot liquids).

The primary benefits of swedana is to reduce pain and stiffness . It is indicated in Asthma, cough running nose, constipation , weakness of voice, body pain, modular lumps, renal extraction  etc.

Both snehana and swedana comes hand in hand and usually snehana is followed by swedana. The main purpose of  unction snehana and swedana  before purification  is to create  utkleda  ie. Sectretions through the mucus of respective  cavity.

The simultaneous work of both gives results that gives miracles to the body.

Vamana

Vamana  is an emetic process (inducing vomiting) with the use of medicines. An excellent method to remove the vitiated kapha that is accumulated in the body and respiratory tract. This helps to loose the accumulated  toxins and finally eliminate them.

It is a method of removing metabolic wastes after being brought to GI tract. The commonly used  drug most is madana phala (Randia dumetorum)

Benefits

Fever of recent onset

Vitiated breast milk

Diarrhea

Disease of head and neck

TB

Skin disorder

Insanity

Cough

Dyspnoea

Virechana

It is a purgative therapy. This is done by the the use of medicine to induce  purgation to remove the toxins accumulated in the lower part of the body. It acts as a cleaner to the digestive tract and further detoxifies the liver and gall bladder.

Benefits

Piles

Hyper pigmentation of face

Jaundice

Chronic fever

Vomitting

Cataract

Diseases related to female genital tract and menstrual irregularities.

Diseases of semen and male genital tract disorder.

Vasti

Acharya  Charaka consider vasti as half of Ayurveda chikitsa. When vamana and virechana are considered as purificatory process, vasti is considered as both  purificative and  curative therapy. ie. It  serves dual purpose as an elimination of waste and according to ingredients.

Vasti  is usually  given through the rectal route.

Vasti is of 2 types mainly.

  1. That done throught ano rectal route
  2. Done through other orifices.

Again classified into 2 types

  1. Snehavasti (Use of fats)
  2. Kashaya vasti (use of decoctions)

Another type of vasti is uttera vasti (done other than ano rectal  route) ie. in diseases of vagina and uterus.

Benefits

  1. Acts as a healing, cleansing, sedative & nutritional.
  2. As a mode of parental administration of medicines
  3. Cleanse the colon before surgical procedures.
  4. Recent study shows that absorption through rectal mucosa is not only faster but safer compared to intramuscular injection.

Nasya

An elimination process by which wastes are eliminated through  nostrils. Nasya is especially for disease of parts above  neck. Nasya is the process of instillation of medicines through the nostril to remove the metabolic toxins accumulated  above neck.  Since nasal passage being the gateway of the head, it is permitted through this opening and thus curing such diseases.

Nasya is mainly  of  3 types

  1. Brihmana (Nourishing)
  2. Shamana (Palliative
  3. Virechana (eliminative)

Benefits

Related to face and neck

  1. Cures localized and extensive hyper pigmentation over face.
  2. Cures dryness of mouth and throat
  3. Lose of voice is cured.
  4. Eases difficulty in speaking
  5. Eases difficulty in opening eyelids

Related to Head

  1. Cures headache
  2. For frontal sinusitis
  3. For disease of hair
  4. Dullness of head

Related to whole body

  1. Treatment for
  2. Swelling
  3. Skin disorders
  4. Epilepsy

DR.PRAPANCH

BAMS,MD(AYU) MS(Psychotherapy and Counseling) Grandson of ayurvedic legend Edayadi kunhikannan vaidyar (known as Edayadi Vaidyar) who held the lamp of great wisdom of Ayurvedic Ashtavaidya System.Read More...