Panchakarma is an ayurvedic treatment for healing mind and body by detoxifying the body from impurities and reviving energy. It is a five action process to clear the body of toxic elements arises due to diseases and poor lifestyle patterns. It is also a recommended seasonal treatment for a regulated body metabolism and for maintaining physical being.
The Panchakarma treatment comprises of five stages which are:
1. Snehana: This is the first step of evacuating the body of toxic materials. It is of two types,
- Bahya Snehana, it is the application of medicated oils on the body to impart smoothness and regaining the lost moisture.
- Abhyantara Snehana, it deals with the internal detoxification of the body dealing with the immune system, digestive status and others issues.
People suffering from obesity, indigestion, diarrhea, ascites, and also pregnant women are not eligible for this therapy.
2.Swedana: This process releases sweat out of the body. It is of two types:
Saagnisweda: The body gets heated with the help of fire. This includes various processes which are:
Sankara sweda; The heat is passed to the body using medicinal herbs. The herbs are heated it in a liquid medium, tied in a cloth and are, they are placed on the body.
- Prasthaarasweda; the person is made to lie on a long rectangular stone slab covered with heated medicines under a cloth or leaves.
- Naadi sweda; the sweat is produced by warming the affected body part from the vapors of herbal concoction.
- Baashpa sweda; Steam Bath, it opens skin pores making the skin breathe.
- Parishekasweda; a medicated liquid is flown all over the body.
- Avagahasweda; the person is allowed to sleep in a bathtub which contains medicated liquid.
- Kutisweda; the person sleeps in a room covered with medicinal pastes all over the walls which are vaporized by heat produced by burning coals.
Anaagni sweda: This process conducts Swedana without using fire. This includes various processes which are:
- Vyaayaama and Aahatah; it involves releasing of sweat by physical exercises and wrestling.
- Ushnasadana; a person is made to sit in a home in a very hot place.
- Guru praavarana; the body is covered with a blanket so as to releases heat out of the body.
- Kshudha, Bhaya and Krodha; it involves rising hunger, fear and anger respectively.
- Upanaha; thick medicinal packs are applied on the body.
- Aatapa; the body is exposed to early morning sun rays.
The toxicities move towards the stomach after the above two processes. It is the stage whereby these impurities are expelled by induced emesis. It is recommended for heart and chest diseases.
This is the process of removing the left toxic elements out of the body, after the above processes, by induced purgation.
Basthi is divided into two types
- Niruha Whereby herbs are used of water based preparations.
- Anuvasana whereby herbs are used of Oil based preparation.