Saturday, 11 June 2011


The five methods of detoxification internal cleansing which are used to eliminate ama (undigested toxins) and excess levels of the doshas from the tissues of the body and GI tract. They are vamana (vomiting therapy) viechana (purgative therapy), basti (medicated oil or decoction enemas) , nasya (administration of medicines via the nose ) and raktamoksha (various forms of  blood-letting).
'Panchakarma' is one of the most powerful tools in Ayurveda's medicine chest. These five methods of internal cleansing purges the body of deep-seated toxins and restore the doshic balance. They are used to treat many serious, chronic and acute conditions including multiple sclerosis, asthma and stubborn skin complains, as well as to promote good health by detoxifying the mind and body.
Panchakarma works by drawing deep-rooted ama and aggravated doshas from the tissues of the bod and returning them to the GI tract ready fro elimination by one or more of the following five methods.

Vamana (emesis or vomiting theraphy) is used to treat conditions caused by excess Kapha dosha, such as bronchial asthma, sinusitis when Kapha tends to aggravate.

Virechana(purgative therapy) is the best way to eliminate Pitta dosha from the small intestine, pancreas, spleen and liver and correct the body's metabolism. It is one of the most energizing treatment and powerful cure for many deep rooted conditions including stubborn skin diseases, digestive upsets, allergies, vascular and gynecological problems. It is best given in late summer when Pitta is most intense.

Basti(medicated enema) removes Vata from the colon and is foten given after virechana or vamana to balance the system. A combination of nourishing and purifying enemas are usually given to lubricate the colon and remove specific  Pathogens. Basti is used to teat degenerative conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease as well as chronic constipation and sciatica.

The fact that most disease are due to some degree of Vata aggravation, and that the quickest route for medicines to be absorbed is via the colon, makes basti a potent treatment

Nasaua(nasal therapy) treats diseases of the head and neck including migraine, sinusitis and allergic rhinitis. After a short localized massage, a medicated liquid or powder is dropped into each nostril.

Raktamoksha(blood-letting) is used to treat conditions such as gout and blood disorders due to extreme Pitt a aggravation. Blood-letting with leeches is used in many parts of the world today and is even making a comeback in western medicine.

Before one or more of these powerful cleansing processes can be applied, the patient must be carefully prepared via a strict dietary regimen, the consumption of ama-digesting herbs, drinking / massaging the body with oily substances and using heat therapy such as stream baths and saunas. This process loosen deep-rooted ama and aggravated doshas from the tissues, and helps to return it to the GI treat, while lubricating and opening the channels of the body ready for purgation.

Panchakarma is unique to the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Its effects is to cleanse the system of disease-carrying agents and restore our innate mind-body balance.

Fasting as an alternative to panchakarma

If you don't have the time or access to a panchakarma specialist fasting is an effective alternative. It is best done at the turn of each session as it helps your body adjusts to changes in climate and dietary intake.

It is also essential to match your fasting methods to you constitutional type, which your can identity using the dosha-finder questionnaire.

Fasting purges our bodies of the toxins and residues that mount up over years of eating foods that are high in fat and protein, as well as sharping our mental faculties. It also helps to promote weight loss and reduces any swelling or water retention.

In ayurvedi terms, it corrects any digestive problems and helps to restore our innate doshic balance while cleansing the vital organs and channels of the body - such as the veins and GI tract - thus ensuring that our tissues are properly  nourished. In other words, fasting improves the overall function of our minds and bodies, providing tranquility, strength, energy and vitality.