The word Panchakarma,’Pancha’ means five and ‘Karma’ means action or therapy. So Panchakarma means five actions or therapies. Panchakarma presents a unique approach of Ayurveda with specially designed five procedures of internal purification of the body through the nearest possible route. Panchakarma has been given a special place in all the ancient Ayurvedic texts.It is used in all the 8 branches of Ayurveda as major, supportive, or preparatory therapy.
Panchakarma is the specialty branch of Kayachikitsa, deals with five major therapies, as well as preparatory procedures and post-operative procedures. Panchakarma has full therapy role as promotive, preventive & curative procedure. According to ancient Ayurvedic scholars, the elimination of the waste products of the body is termed as Apakarshana, which means Sodhana. Panchakarma, not only for treatment of diseases but also for preventive & promotive health care.
Maharshi Charaka given first priority to Shodhana while mentioning the three modalities of treatment for all diseases, Shodhana, Shamana and Nidana Parivarjana. Panchakarma is not merely a Shodhana therapy as it is understood, but also has wider range of therapeutics such as Brimhana, Lekhana, Stambhana, Rasayana, Vrisya etc. The order of treatment according to the priority is Pachana, Snehana & Swedana, Which can be termed as Purvakarma, Pradhana Karma includes Vamana, Virecana, Niruha & Anuvasana Basti, Nasya, Paschat Karma includes Samsarjana Karma, Rasayananadi Karma & Shamana prayoga. Acharya Sushruta included Rakthamokshana under Pradhana Karma & merged Niruha & Anuvasana into one as Basti Karma.
Panchakarma not only eliminate the disease-causing toxins but also revitalizes the tissues. Some of the diseases like improper digestion, lack of sleep, allergies, heart diseases etc. diseases are caused mainly due to deeply seated metabolic toxins. Panchakarma eliminates these metabolic toxins from the body, allowing permanent healing of tissues and channels.
Vamana Karma: When there is excessive accumulation of Dosha in the Pranavaha Srotas causing repeated attacks of respiratory tract infections etc. then the treatment of choice is Vamana, to eliminate Kapha.
Virechana Karma: When excess Pitta is accumulated in Koshta, it results in gastritis etc then the treatment of choice is Virechana.
Basti Karma: It is most effective treatment of Vata disorders its highly beneficial in constipation, gynecological problems, backache etc.
Nasya Karma: The nasal administration of medication is called Nasya. It is greatly beneficial in CNS disorders.