Panchakarma literally means ”five therapies”. These procedures, along with their preparatory treatments (poorva karma) and the post-procedural treatments (pashchat karma) form the essence of ayurvedic healing.
For the safety and effectiveness, at Heritage Kerala Ayurveda, Panchakarma therapies are conducted as per doctors’ advice only. A consultation with the doctor and clinical assessment is mandatory, prior to Panchakarma.
The five therapies under Panchakarma are:
1. Vamana Karma (Therapeutic emesis)
Vamanam is advised in Kapha predominant diseases. After preparatory procedures for 5-7 days, vomitting is induced with emetic ayurvedic drugs along with medicinal liquids / milk in large quantities. This treatment is very good for treating bronchial Asthma, Sinusitis, Cough, Psoriasis, Eczema, High cholesterol etc.
2. Virechanam (Therapeutic purgation):
Virechanam is advised in Pitta predominant disorders. After proper preparation of the individual through purva karmas for about 5 to 7 days, Virechanam is done by oral administration of purgative herbs. This treatment is very effective for treating Skin diseases, Acne, Hyperacidity, High blood pressure, Dermatitis etc.
3. Vasthi (Rectal administration of medicines):
Specific medicines in liquid form are administered through anal route under doctor’s supervision, in a wide range of diseases, mostly Vatha predominant. They are of two categories based on the contents:
Kashaya vasthi / Niruha vasthi:
Combinations of herbal pastes along with decoction, salt, honey, oil etc. are administered as per prescription for the patient’s health condition. This treatment is effective for treating arthritis, neurological ailments, paralysis, chronic constipation, flatulence, low-back ache, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, rheumatism, sciatica etc.
Thailavasthi / Sneha vasthi:
This is medicated oil enema, beneficial for neurological ailments, paralysis, lower backache, chronic constipation etc. The treatment nourishes the body tissues (Dhatus), restores and fortifies the body’s immunity. This promotes better nutrition while removing accumulated toxins (Malas) from the colon. Prior to this procedure the individual’s body is prepared by massage and steam bath especially for the stomach and lower back.
Uttara vasthi, though not categorized under Panchakarma, is beneficial in genitourinary and gynaecological disorders. In Uttara vasthi,
medicinal liquids are administered through vaginal / urethral route, under medical supervision.
4. Nasya (Nasal administration of medicines)
Prior to the instillation of medicine, face, shoulders and chest are massaged with specific herbal oil and steam inhalation is done to open up the channels. This treatment cleanses and strengthens the nasal passages, allowing full and easy breathing. This procedure is effective for treating Sinusitis, Headache, Bronchial asthma, allergies, migraine, facial paralysis, Cervical spondylosis, Neuralgia, Hyper pigmentation on face, dark circle around the eyes etc.
5. Rakta mokshana (Bloodletting)
Bloodletting is done with needles, leeches or suction cups. This treatment offers good recovery in Eczema, Psoriasis, Gout, Sciatica and in cases of stagnant blood causing local inflammation etc.