General Overview

Panchkarma is basically a detoxification procedure which removes excess acid and toxins out of the body and through five procedures .They are Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Niroohavasti (Decoction enema), Anuvasan basti Nasya (Instillation of medicine through nostrils) .

The History

Though Panchkarma has been mentioned in the Vedic literatures though the research work and de-velopment has been done through Ayurveda .

For example, to treat infertility nasya is done with root juice of white flowered Brihati (Solanum anguivi) collected on Pushya nakshatra (Tewari 1992:72). Even though some of these techniques have been described in vedic period itself,Panchakarma as a comprehensive system of therapy took shape in Caraka Samhita period. We also follow the same guidelines from Charka Samhita to design our Panchkarama . Panchakarma is a unique contribution of Ayurveda. One can see extensive ref-erences to Panchakarma in the earliest classical texts available on Ayurveda. Charka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hyridayam . Various research is also going on about Panchakar-ma and associated therapies. Various other medical system like catharsis in the greek medicine is a method of purgation . In western bio-medicine there was practice of medicated enemas for condi-tions like arthritis, asthma described in the form of high rectal or low rectal enema. Even recent pharmacological books had explanations on how these get absorbed into the body through lymphat-ic or systemic circulation and their effects.

Even in other medical traditions some of these techniques are used for purification purpos-es.Treatments like emesis or purgation are techniques that support or activate body's natural pro-cesses. One can see techniques like induced vomiting being used by animals as well. When sick cats, dogs and other animals eat grass and induce vomiting. Even in the local community specific oral traditions of India, one can find some of these treatments widely prevalent . For instance, a com-mon treatment of mental disorders in these traditions is based on Vamana (emesis). Depending on the person , his strength , diseases the panchkarama plan has to be modified to suit the league of todays patients. Panchakarma is not only used as curative treatment but also as preventive and pro-motive. Panchakarma is used in treating broad categories of diseases like – arthritis, rheumatism, neurological system, neuromuscular, musculo-skeletal disorders, other degenerative conditions, men-tal disorders, insomnia, depression, menstrual irregularities, infertility, obesity, asthma and other res-piratory conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, gastro-intestinal conditions, other chronic condition.

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