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Treatment >> Panch Karma
Introduction to Panch Karma :
Panchkarma is a purifying therapy to enhance the metabolic process through
food and herbal medicines. It is used in deep rooted chronic disease as well
as seasonal imbalance of tridoshas. As the wastes are eliminated from the
body the person becomes healthy. Literally Panch means five and Karma means
action. So Panch Karma means five types of actions or techniques or
treatment. These types of therapeutics are based on elimination therapy.
Elimination is a natural instinct of every living creature. Human body is a
complex type of wonderful machine, which has millions of functions, majority
of them are voluntarily controlled and some of them are involuntary or self
controlled. Millions of cells in the body are working day and night to
produce energy and maintain the life. Lot of wastes are produced in this
process at the level of cells.
It is natural that some toxins accumulate in the body as a result of
various metabolic activities. It is necessary to eliminate these toxins from
the body, which the body is doing to the great extent, but some toxins still
remains in the body and causing many disease when their quantity increases
beyond a certain limit. These wastes should always be eradicated from the
body, otherwise they stick into minute channels of the body known as
'srotas' and start producing diseases. That is why, if we want to be
healthy, it is necessary to eliminate wastes from the channels and no room
should be given for accumulation of these waste products.
Doshas and waste materials accumulate in the body as a result of following
improper diet and living style. The seasonal accumulation of doshas is also
described in Ayurveda. For example, Kapha doshas accumulate in winter. So to
eliminate these excess doshas or impurities from the body, various Panch
Karma treatments are used.
Infinite number of unwanted toxins and unwanted metabolic substances
accumulate in our body in due course of time, which is against the law of
nature. These unwanted toxins and unwanted metabolic substances have been
accumulated for the major reasons being the air pollution, the chemicals
that we eat through our food, lack of body movements. In this 20th Century
man is following a life pattern which is totally against the principles of
nature. At the formation of Universe, is was considered, that the universe
was free from any pollutants. Man is the cause for this pollutants. The
question of accumulating of toxins was not arising at that time because the
resistance of the body was strong enough to eliminate all the toxins in the
natural form. As now days the life being artificial we disobey the laws of
nature, as a result wastage gets accumulated in our body more easily. When
the wastage in our body reaches to uncontrollable limit our bodies
resistance is helpless and we become an easy prey to disease. As a human
being advances in age by the time he or she is 40 these signs are clearly
seen. The body resistance becomes weak and the human being unexpectedly
suffers from minor or major disease. At this point Ayurveda says that body
is not in equilibrium with nature and it needs immediate correction. The
process of correcting is called panchakarma and is explained below how it is
What is Panch Karma?
Panch Karma includes five types of treatment which are as follows:
Vamana - Use of Emetics
Virecana - Use of laxatives
Basti - Medicated Enema
Nasya - Nasal administration
Rakta Mokshana - Blood letting
Most of these treatments are used in chronic and deep rooted diseases.
Before actually doing the Panch Karma some preparatory treatments are done.
These are called the purva karma. These include:
It is the olation therapy. It is of two kinds:
Internal Snehan : In this treatment medicated oils and
ghee (clarified butter) etc. are given for internal use. These sneha are so
subtle that they can enter into minute pores of cell membrane. They have a
tendency of pushing or mobilising the impurities from there so that their
elimination becomes easy. Ghee (clarified butter) prepared from cow's butter
is best for this use.
External Snehan : This comprises of different kinds of
massage. Medicated oils are applied on the body and different methods are
used for that. These massage techniques are many times used in the treatment
of muscular fatigue, loss of motor functions, arithritis, paralysis,
migraine, spondylitis and bodyache. They also induce sound sleep by relaxing
the nervous system, increase immunity of the body and are beneficial to
increase skin's lustre.
It is the second purva karma. It means fomentation or heating therapy.
Different types of fomentations like steam bath and poultices are used on
specific parts of the body. Many kinds of warm medicated oils, water, milk
and herbal decoctions are also used. They are either used in a bath tub or
are poured on the body. These types of fomentation treatments are very
beneficial in diseases like pains in the joints, neck, lumbago, hemiplegia,
urinary disorders, renal diseases, muscular dystrophy, common cold, asthma
and loss of muscle functions. Swedana or fomentation liquifies or digests
the doshas and opens the mouth of blocked channels and pores of cell
membrane. This makes the elimination of wastes easy when the actual Panch
Karma are performed. So after doing these purva karma or preparatory
treatments the main karmas (panch karma) are done.
Paschat Karma :
After doing the Panch Karma, it is normally followed by:
1. Samsarjan Karma : After the Panch Karma treatments are
done the patient feels light and the digestive power becomes weak. A special
diet and life style are prescribed for about two weeks. Thus in this therapy
the digestive power and strength of the person is restored by starting a
light diet and gradually going towards a heavy diet. The patient need not be
admitted for this karma. Shamana In this part internal medicinal treatment
is given for the disease for which panch karma was done. This is to give
permanent relief from the disease. So in case some cause of the disease is
left in the body even after the cleaning process, it is finished by giving
2. Rasayana : This
means rejuvenating therapy. The best results of rejuvenation can be achieved
if it is taken after doing the Panch Karma If rejuvenation therapy or
Rasayana are taken without cleaning the body we may not get best results
because the effect of the Rasayana is reduced due to the presence of toxins
or wastes in the body. It has been observed by clinical research that Panch
Karma treatment is very effective in diseases like hemiplegia, polio,
rheumatoid arithritis, skin diseases, epilepsy, insomnia, hypertension,
cardiac problems, intestinal diseases, peptic and duodenal ulcers,
ulcerative colitis and asthma. Besides this, it produces immunity and
increases youthfulness of our body.
Have you made up your mind? So start cleaning today. And remember not only
external but also internal cleaning.