What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a very powerful healing technique. To maintain
health and alleviate diseases, Ayurved advocates “Panchakarma”
as a powerful purification process to eliminate mental, physical
and emotional toxins.
Panchakarma literally means “pancha” meaning five and “karma”
meaning actions or therapies. It is a five-fold purification
therapy aimed at correcting the imbalance of bodily humors viz.
vata, pitta and kapha in order to maintain their health and
strength. This therapy is widely used to cure neurological
ailments like paralysis, arthritis, rheumatic pain, dermatological
problems, mental disorders etc. It is also used for rejuvenation.
Aacharya Charak, the author of the most important ancient text
on internal medicine, has described a wide use of Panchakarma
therapy for almost all the major diseases.
These five therapies (pancha karma) are Vaman (therapeutic
emesis/vomiting), Virechan (therapeutic purgation), Basti
(therapeutic enema), Nasya (therapeutic nasal therapy) and
Rakta mokshana (therapeutic blood cleansing). These main
therapies are preceded by some pre-treatments like snehana
(oleation) and abhyanga (medicated oil massage) and swedana
(herbal steam bath).
Some of the special treatments prescribed in ancient ayurvedic
literature, which are part of panchakarma, are very popular in
Kerala, a southern state in India. These are dhara, pizichil,
navarakazi, shirobasti etc. (various therapeutic massages /
therapies etc.) These treatments are very effective in
longstanding disorders like paralysis, rheumatism, arthritis,
spondylosis as well as in psychosomatic disorders like hysteria,