Panchakarma is the specialized therapeutic procedure in Ayurveda by which the toxins (ama) and diseases accumulated inside a body is rooted out.
Based on the stages of the process, Panchakarma is classified into Poorva Karma, Pradhana Karma and Paschata Karma.

Poorva Karma:

Panchakarma therapy begins with Poorva Karma (Pre Therapy procedures) or preparing the patient for the main treatment. Different stages of Poorva Karma are.

  • Snahaha Karma: Snahanarefers tooleation therapy. This involves the internal and external application of oil to the patient’s body. Oil loosens the toxins. Next step can beAbhyangam, or body massage in which the blood circulation is increased. The toxins are moved from various tissues and organs to the main gastro intestinal tract and into the liver and kidneys.
  • Swedana Karma: Swedana means fomentation therapy. The toxins that are water soluble are brought out through the skin by perspiration.

Pradhana Karma:

  • The main treatment protocol includes the five-fold karmas / Panchakarma. They are as under:
  • Vamanam: Vamanam is induced emesis or vomiting.
  • Toxins are brought out from the stomach by this process. These toxins may be in the form of phlegm and mucus present in the stomach.
  • Virechanam: “Virechanam” is induced purgation. The toxins in the small intestine and bile are excreted through the process of virechanam.
  • Vasthi: “Vasthi” involves the administration of hypertonic enemas. Based on the base liquid, Vasthic can be either Oil based or Decoction based. There is no safer method to evacuate the toxins that are accumulated in the large intestine or colon.
  • Nasyam: “Nasyam” refers to nasal instillation of oils / medicated fumes / herbal powders via the nostrils

Paschata Karma:

The third and final stage in Panchakarma treatment is the Paschata Karma or Post Therapy procedures.Paschata Karma is just as important as the first two stages as it is here, the ‘Agni’ or the metabolic fire of an affected individual is reignited so that he/she can get back to leading the regular diet and lifestyle.

This, hence includes slowly bringing the dietary changes for the person till he/she attunes himself / herself back. After this a set of instructions are also given to lead a healthy and disease free life

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