The Sanskrit term Panchakarma translates five therapeutic procedures. Pancha refers to the number five, and the karma refers to the therapy that brings about homeostasis by way of the evacuation of accumulated morbid dosha. These Panchakarma procedures are carried out in three sequential steps. These steps are named as Purva karma, pradhana karma, and pashchat karma meaning preliminary procedures, primary procedures and follow up procedures respectively. For the easy, proper and effective administration of the shodhana karma it is essential to prepare the client by specific therapeutic procedures. To set an ideal stage for shodhana the client is subjected to certain upakrama or therapies. These preliminary procedures are referred by the name purva karma. Dipana-pachana, snehana and svedana therapies are enumerated as purva karma. Following the purva karma the client is then subjected to actual shodhana or evacuation procedures that are also the primary procedures which include vamana, virechana, asthapana basti, anuvasana basti and nasya karma. These five evacuation procedures are referred as pradhana karma. Shodhana procedures which come under the domain of the apatarpana chikitsa are likely to cause debility in clients. And even there occurs impaired functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Hence following the pradhana karma, it is required to restore the physical strength as well as the optimum functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This is achieved by specific dietetic regimens like samsarjana karma or tarpanadi krama. Even complete rest is advised for several days following the shodhana karma. These follow ups of the client in regards to the dietary or behavioral regimen is considered as pashchat karma. Thus panchakarma is carried out in these three sequential steps. To complete the treatment, depending upon the illness the client is then subjected to the specific shaman or rasayana chikitsa.
- Pachana :-
Morbid dosha may be present in two distinct states. These states are known as ama and pakva state. Ama refers to the incompletely formed state of the morbid dosha, and in this state it is inseparably adhered to the body tissues, hence can not be expelled out from the body. Pakva state of the morbid dosha refers to the formed state and in which it can be expelled from the body by different shodhana procedures. The pachana upakrama is the oral administration of the medicines in the form of powder, tablet or decoction to enhance the digestive power that renders the pakva state of the morbid dosha, so that later it may be expelled easily by the different shodhana procedures.
Imparting greasiness to the body by the administration of fat substances either through the internal route or external route is referred by the name snehana chikitsa. Before the shodhana this snehana helps in the mobilization of the dosha from the site of morbidity to the site of elimination.
- Svedana Panchakarma India
Induction of perspiration by different methods of applying heat to the body is the svedana procedures. This procedure also helps in the mobilization of the dosha into the gastrointestinal tract where from it is eliminated by the shodhana procedures.
- Vamana Panchakarma India
Induction of vomiting for expelling the dosha accumulated in the amashaya (gastrium) by oral administration of emetics is the procedure of vamana.
- Virechana Panchakarma India
Expelling the morbid accumulation of dosha from the intestines by way of inducing purgation is the virechana karma.
Expelling the morbid dosha from the colon by administering the evacuating enema is the procedure of Basti karma.
- Nasya Panchakarma India
The procedures of nasya karma include cleansing the head from any morbid dosha by way of administering the medicine through the nasal route.
- Raktamokshana Panchakarma India
Allowing the blood to bleed by different techniques for therapeutic purposes is known as raktamokshana.
- Samsarjana karma
The specific prescription of diet following the shodhana procedure to restore the functioning of the gastric fire, as well as physical strength, is referred by the name samsarjana krama.
- Tarpanadi karma
This refers to specific kapha alleviating diet advised after the shodhana procedures in clients in whom the samsarjana karma is contraindicated. Tarpanadi karma restores the functioning of the gastric fire as well as enhances the physical strength.
- Shamana chikitsa
Following the shodhana procedures to complete the treatment, palliative measures are carried out by way of administering the medicines and is unique and specific to different diseases. Such a palliative measure is known as shamana chikitsa and it clears the small amount of morbid dosha, which is left out after the shodhana procedures and also rectifies the damages caused by the disease process.
- Rasayana chikitsa
Certain diseases have a tendency to relapse even after the proper administration of shodhana and shamana therapy. This is said to be due to the persistence of abnormality in the srotas (body channels) or else the deficient immunity power. This relapsing tendency of the illness may be controlled by the administration of the rasayana chikitsa.
- SCOPE AND METHODS OF PANCHAKARMA
Following the diagnosis of the disease in a disease, effective treatment is planned to eradicate the illness. The thus planned regimen may have panchakarma procedures even. Among the different therapeutic procedures that may be carried out, it is true that few of the exclusive procedures are selected in a given client. It is a well-known fact that all the available therapeutic procedures can not be administered and even not necessary in every case. So to say depending upon the requirement, availability as well as desirable therapeutic affect some of the procedures are advocated considering their rationality. In this regard, some of the guidelines are laid down in Ayurveda pertaining to the prescription writing.