Different types of Panchakarma treatment in Ayurveda

a) About panchakarmas

The main goal of Ayurveda medication is to cleanse the body of undigested food called ama, which can produce severe ailments. The cleansing process are called panchakarmas. It is used to reduce many symptoms and restore harmony and stability. Patients should be thoroughly diagnosed and cared by a qualified and skillful Ayurveda practitioner before and during the treatment. The patient should seek panchakarma treatment only from trustworthy clinics having adequate staff and facilities. However, certain panchakarmas methods are not appropriate for specific health problems, and some should not be performed on children, pregnant women, and the old aged people.

b) Poorva karma, pradhana karma, paschat karma.

• Purva karma - preparatory procedures that help the body to discard the toxins present in stomach and tissues. These procedures facilitate the removal of toxins from body tissues and Drains them to the alimentary canal.

• Pradhana karma - main treatment which is designed as per the needs of individual by the expert physician

• Paschat karma - post treatment care includes diet regimen and life styles to be observed for getting enhanced result out of the treatments.

c) Description of vamana, virechana, nasyam, snehavasthi and kashaya vasthi, raktha moksha, Utharavasthi

• Vamana - inducing vomiting specially for kapha related illnesses like asthma, coughs, chronic colds, psoriasis, acne, arthritis, diabetes. This is a painless, Drug-induced emetic process.

• Virechana - inducing purgation especially for elimination of Pitha related toxins from the body. Here, Drugs that stimulate bowel movements are induced for the expulsion of excess Pitha.

• Nasya - nasal cleansing by the application of medical oils or powders. The nostrils are considered the Doorway to the Brain and nasal application of oils is helpful in conditions like allergic sinusitis, migraines and epilepsy. If the nasya therapy has been carried out effectively, kapha related toxins from the paranasal sinuses are eliminated and the region nourished. Due to this, the patient feels great relief in the head and clarity of the sense organs. Breathing becomes completely unobstructed which gives sound sleep at night. Olfactory improvement is also felt. Nasya is excellent for chronic sinusitis, headaches, throat diseases, chronic colds, chest congestion, epilepsy, catarrh, migraine, voice constraint, eye diseases and cervical spondylitis.

• Vasthi- medicated enema is particularly good for alleviating excess vatha. The effects of vasthi are directly felt in the colon, the prime site of the vatha. With the application of a series of purifying and nourishing vasthis, the morbid doshas and other toxins trapped for long in the tissues are eliminated. This restores the equilibrium of the dosha. Vasthi is good for spleen disorders, colic, calculus, kidney stones and many other diseases due to a vatha disorder. It helps in chronic constipation, low back pain,
rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, sciatica, various neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, dystrophy and atrophy of nerves and muscles.

Sneha vasthi - enema using medicated oil which remains in the colon and rectum for a short period of time will absorb the toxins and eliminate them out of the body.
b) Nirooha vasthi- enema using a special combination of herbal decoctions, paste, powders and oils. It is having an effect on the nervous system. It helps in normalizing functions of vatha.

• Rakthamokshana -Blood-letting
To remove impurities from the blood through leech therapy or other methods

Uthara vasthi

It is a method of douche. In male it is conducted through urethra and in females through vagina. It is highly effective in uterine disorders, bladder disorders, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia and primary infertility.

d) Different views of Acharya about panchakarmas

There is a difference of opinion among classical authors on the techniques that come under Panchakamas. Some included vamana (emesis), virechana (purgation), two types of vasthis (enemas) and nasya (nasal medication) in the procedures of panchakarmas. Here it is to be noted that some of the classical authors like Vagbhata included raktamoksha (bloodletting) in panchakamas apart from the other four techniques.