Mayu ~ Veda
Evolving Ayurveda
Why Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic meaning of Health
Definition of Health
Aim of Ayurveda
Branches of Ayurveda
Globalisation of Ayurveda
Pancha Karma
  Consultation and examination of patient  
  Concepts (Fire, Earth, wind, water, space)  
Pancha means five and Karma refers to therapy. These five therapies are used for bio purification or detoxification of the body so they are collectively known as Pancha Karma. The five-detoxification/purification measures are Vamana (Emetic Therapy), Virechana (Purgation therapy), Asthsapana Basti (Decoction Enema Therapy), Anuvasana Basti (Oily Enema Therapy) and Nasya (Errhine Therapy).

Prior to under taken of bio purification therapy, it is necessary to make a patient biologically ready to expel the accumulated morbid material and this process is known as Purva Karma (Preparatory Measures). For preparation of the patient mainly two measures, Snehana (Oleation Therapy) and Svedana (Sudation Therapy) are under taken. Undergoing of these measures by the healthy persons as per of the seasonal regimen promotes their health and longevity and retards the aging process. Further for the promotion of health two therapies, Rasayana and Vajikarana are there. But prior to administration of both of these therapies, it is mandatory to purify body by Panchakarma to get the optimal benefits of these health-promoting measures.

In this way Pancha Karma holds the equal importance for both the aims of Ayurveda, promotion of health of healthy persons and cure of the diseases of the patients.

Ayurvedic Concept of Systemic Detoxification

According to Ayurveda, Vamana therapy is not merely a gastric lavage as done now a day to empty the content of stomach, but it is a complete management of systemic diseases caused by Kapha. Similarly, Virechana and Basti are not merely to open a constipated bowel but they are the complete management of systemic disorders of Pitta and Vata respectively. Looking to the special importance of head, Nasya is a treatment of internal diseases of head and organs situated above the clavicles.

Panchakarma therapy is considered better than any other therapy because it completely eliminates the vitiated Dosha out of the body, so there is a little chance of recurrence of disease. On the other hand, the Dosha pacified by Shamana treatment in situ may lead to its recurrence. Due to this reason Panchakarma therapy is preferred to treat the chronic diseases.

Moreover, all the Panchakarma measures have dual action, systemic and local. For instances, Vamana is best for the elimination of vitiated Kapha situated anywhere in the body but at the same time it also purifies stomach through its action of emesis. Similarly, in addition to their effects on Pitta and Vata respectively, Virechana and Basti also purify intestines. Nasya in addition to elimination of vitiated Dosha from the head purifies upper respiratory tract and sinuses also.

Panchakarma-A Rapid Acting Therapy

Panchakarma is a rapidly acting therapy. For instances, in Vamana Karma vomiting must start within 48 minutes of administration of drug and Niruha Basti should also come out within 48 minutes. Similarly, the process of Virechana is completed within few hours and whole process of Nasya is completed within one hour.
2009 All rights reserved.
Mayu - Veda, 467 Great Horton Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD7 3DL, England,   Email: