समदोष: समाग्निश्च समधातु मलक्रिया:।
प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमना: स्वस्थ इत्यभिधीयते।।

Panchakarma is a very special Ayurvedic procedure requiring proper guidance from a well-qualified and skillful Ayurvedic practitioner. This should not be undertaken just from information in this article. One should consult with an Ayurvedic physician, not just someone with a modest amount of training. Each of the Panchakarma procedure is specific for each individual; depending upon his/her body constitution, type and chronicity of disorder to be treated, season, past medical history, present course of treatment, etc. Thus it should always be carried out under close supervision of a well-qualified Ayurved practitioner.

The word Panchkarma means five different actions (pancha = five; karma = action).

These are five broad groups of different specific procedures of Ayurveda. These procedures are unique purification procedure advocated for quick recovery from chronic disorders. Chronic ailments are the results of long term suppression of toxins inside the body.

By Panchkarma, the excessive level of toxic substances which are known as “Dosha” are expelled out of the body by various physical harmless procedures of Panch Karma. Thus a long-term and extremely profound purification of the body is achieved. It is quick acting therapy for the chronic diseases and have long lasting effect. For healthy people, there is a clear increase in zest, vitality, and performance.

Main 5 Panchkarma Procedures

Vamana or induced emesis is one of the five cleansing methods of Panchakarma Chikitsa.
It is performed to subdue augmented Kapha Dosha. Giving decoction of medicinal herbs for ingestion in large amounts induces emesis. Before the main procedure (Vaman), there are three preparatory procedures to be employed. They are: Paachan (Digestion), Snehan (Oleation therapy) and Swedan (diaphoresis).

It should be carried out in cases of…
1.Coryza, Asthma, Cough and other respiratory diseases.
2.Hyperacidity, Indigestion and other digestive disorders.
3.Chronic skin diseases and acute poisoning.

Vamana: Preparatory Procedure
After preparatory procedures, the medicated decoction is given to the patient in the morning followed by emetic drugs.
The main signs are nausea; excessive salivation and excessive perspiration. During the process of emesis; temperature, pulse and respiration chart is maintained. It should be carried out in close supervision of expert doctor.

Post Emesis procedures (Procedures to be done after emesis)
After a properly given emesis therapy, patient is asked to inhale the smoke of medicinal cigarettes. For diet, Sansarjan Krama is followed. Also, overeating and consumption of fried, and spicy food should be avoided.
It is drug induced purgation beneficial for all types of pitta dominant disorders.
1.Purgation is employed to people suffering from….
2.Chronic skin disorders.
3.Indigestion Chronic Constipation.
4.Diseases of colon.Intestinal worms.
5.GIT disorders.

Virechana: Preparatory Procedure
After the oleation therapy and diaphoresis is properly administered, a light diet at night, is advised, the purgative medicine depending upon the disease and Prakruti of the patient is given orally to the patient.
After this purgation or the elimination of toxins through stools begins. The frequency, quantity, and physical examination of stools, i.e., color and consistency is observed. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration chart is maintained to keep a check on dehydration.

Post Purgation Procedures
Diet should be on the lines of Sansarjan Krama which depends upon the Prakruti of patient, disorder to be treated and quality of Virechan carried out.
Basti Karma is one of the main procedures of Panchakarma Chikitsa.
Various medicated enemas are introduced into the large intestine through the rectum with the help of an enema pot or special bag made for this purpose.“Basti” literally means the urinary bladder. The extent of Ayurvedic Basti is very significant and hence cannot be compared with contemporary enema, which is used for bowel cleansing or nutritive therapies.
As per Ayurveda, treatment of Vata Dosha is mandatory in treating any disease, since Vata Dosha is known to be the main cause in initiating ailments. Basti chikitsa is the most important treatment to subdue the elevated Vata Dosha, hence it is considered as most important procedure in Panchakarma Chikitsa. If administered properly this therapy can cures most health complaints and promote good health.

Anuvasan Basti
Anuvasan Basti: This comprises of enemas given with medicated oils. It also works as rejuvenator (Balya and Brihan) and body bulk promoter.

Indications for Anuvasan Basti
2.Irregular bowel movements
3.Rigidity due to nervous disorders
4.Wasting and stiffness of various organs
6.Neuro-Muscular Disorders
7.Numbness of limbs

Preparatory Procedure
It is given like any other enema. The only difference is that Anuvasan Basti should be retained in the body, therefore patient has to lie down in the lateral position for 6-8 hours.
Administration of medicines through the nose either to subside congestion or to expel vitiated Doshas out of the body.
Since the nose is the main orifice, connected directly to brain, nasal cleansing is considered very effective for ailments of the head including the five sense organs (Indriyas). In this procedure, the aggravated Doshas above the region of clavicle (in the head and neck) are eliminated through the nose. Before beginning with the nasal therapy, the preparatory procedures such as localized Snehan (Oleation therapy) and Swedan (diaphoresis) should be applied on the affected area.

This therapy is specially advised for the disorders related to the upper part of the body i.e. above the clavicle region. Very effective in
1.Chronic Sinusitis
2.Hair Falling
3.Premature graying of hair
4.Facial Paralysis
7.Tension headache
8.Motor Neuron Diseases
9.Speech disorders

Nasya: Preparatory Procedure
After preparatory procedures, medicinal powders, oil or medicated drops are administered through the nose after making the patient lie down. The medicine, which enters throat, should be spitted out along with cough.

Post Nasya Procedures
After Nasya karma, smoking of medicinal cigarettes (Dhumra Pana) may be advised, if required. Patient is advised to gargle with warm water and eat light diet; to remain in a place, which is not very breezy.
Rakta Mokshan or Artificial Bloodletting was included in the Panchkarma therapy by Acharya Sushruta.
Rakta Mokshan is essentially extracting blood from specific blood vessels (veins), mentioned for specific chronic diseases. In past, it was done by using purified and sterilized horns of animals, gourd, by applying leeches or by puncturing veins (Phlebotomy).
At present only latter two methods are followed. However, since it is an invasive procedure, it should be administered by a licensed physician only. Before beginning with the bloodletting therapy, the preparatory procedures such as Abhyanga (external Oleation therapy) and Swedan (local fomentation) are usually carried out on the affected area. Rakta Mokshan is carried out in the cases of Alopecia, Eczema Leucoderma, Psoriasis, Skin Disease, eczema, Thrombosis, Varicose Vein, etc.

Patients suffering from :
1.Chronic edema and inflammations
2.Skin disorders
3.Gout, tumors, boils, abscesses
4.Disorders of liver and spleen

Rakta Mokshana: Preparatory Procedure
Before starting Rakta Mokshana, local fomentation is given. After that, leeches are applied at the desired site of blood letting. (Some times, it is simply extracted out through syringe and needle.)
When the procedure is carried out properly, the leeches leave the site naturally after sucking out all the impure blood, and bleeding ceases spontaneously. There is significant decrease in the symptoms of pain, and inflammation, the severity of the disease is minimized.

Post rakta mokshana process
After completion of the process of Rakta Mokshana, turmeric powder is applied on the site of bloodletting. This acts as hemostyptic, antiseptic and blood purifier.