The word Ayurveda is derived from two words Ayu meaning life and Veda meaning science or knowledge. Ayurveda means the science of life. It has originated and practiced in India for more than 5000 years. Ayurveda is considered as a part of Atharvaveda. It describes the way of life for a good health as a preventive method and also as curative system. For the four goals of life which are Dharma Artha kama and Moksha a person should be in a state of good mental and physical health which can be attained by following the way of life mentioned according to Ayurveda and helps to remain disease free.
All the matter in the universe is created from five elements or mahabhutas prithvi(earth), Jala(water), Vayu(air), Agni(fire) and Akasha(space). Man is a part of the universe and so is panchbhutatmak in nature. In man there are three doshas namely vata(air), pitta (fire) and kapha(water) and seven dhatus Rasa(the fluid circulating in the body), Rakta( blood), Mamsa(the muscle), Meda(the fats), Asthi(bones), Majja(bone marrow) Shukra(semen). The malas include Mutra(urine), Purisha(stool) and Sweda(sweat). The human body is a congregation of dosha dhatu and mala. The mental state is governed by the gunas satwa, rajas and tamas. When the doshas dhatus are in a state of equilibrium then the health is maintained and if the equilibrium is disturbed then disease is caused. The trayaupstambha are Ahara, Nidra and Brahmcharya.
Panchakarma means five therapies which includes Vamana(emesis) Virechana(purgation) Nasya(Instilling medicine through nose) Basti(Medicinal Enema) and Raktmokshana( blood letting). These are used for both purification of the body(shodhana) and rejuvenation.
Before performing the major panchakarma procedures the body has to be prepared with the purva karmas. They help to make the doshas in proper state to be eliminated. The purvakarmas help to mobilize the doshas in the body
Deepana and Pachana
According to Ayurveda most of the diseases are caused by the accumulation of Ama(undigested particles correlated with free radicals) in the body. The major reason for its formation is the decrease in the Agni (the digestive fire at the level of stomach) and the dhatvagni ( at the level of various dhatus in the body). Diseases are caused by the vitiation of Agni and once the agni is balanced health is regained. To carry out various panchakarma procedures firstly the agni has to be revived and the Ama condition has to be corrected.
Dipana and pachana are to done before going for panchakarma therapies. Dipana drugs increase the agni but do not digest the Ama whereas the Pachana drugs digest the ama but do not increase the agni. Deepana drugs are Agnimahabhoot pradhana and pachana drugs are Agni and Vayu mahabhoot pradhana.
Snehana(Internal and External Oleation)
The Snehana is of two types
When the Sneha is done on the external body which includes abhayangam, kati basti, janu basti, uro basti, karnapurna, akshitarpana etc
When the sneha is administered internally
It is of three types
When the Sneha is administered after the previous night’s meal is digested. This is given to expel the aggravated doshas from the body. This is given in increasing doses till the samyaka snigdha lakshanas are obtained.
In this the sneha is administered at the time when the urge for food is there. Food is not consumed.
This sneha is given to produce brimhana karma. It is administered with meals and soup.
Swedana therapy is used to reduce the stiffness, heaviness and coldness. In this ruksha swedana is done and snigdha swedana is done.
Potli Swedana/Pinda Swedana:
Swedana is a fomentation therapy that is given to induce sweating which helps in balancing the aggravated doshas. Pinda means bolus. Pinda swedana is fomentation performed by bolus. It is of two types’ ruksha and snigdha types. Ruksha Pinda swedana include baluka Sweda, ruksha churna pinda sweda and lavana pinda swedana. Snigdha Sweda include Patra pinda sweda, Jambeera pinda Sweda, Churna pinda sweda, Sashtishalika pinda Sweda and Kukkutanda pinda Sweda. In Potli Swedana the material used for swedana is tied inside a cloth and then heated and applied over the body.
Various leaves are used as a bolus and tied in cloth and used for fomenting the body. It is used for Vata Kapha disorders like Katishula(back pain), Gridhrasi(Sciatica), Amavata(rheumatoid arthritis),Pakshaghat(paralysis), Avascular necrosis
In this shastikshalik( known as navara rice) is used as bolus and is used to induce Sweda. In this the pottali is rubbed over the body.
Used in Neurological disorders, neuropathy, emanciation, vata disorders
The bolus is prepared from Jambeera(lemon) and used for swedana.
Used for purely vata disorders, avbahuka.
The bolus is prepared from kukkutanda(egg) and used to prepare bolus.
Used in Ardita(facial Palsy) and other vata conditions.
In this baluka(sand) is used to make potli and swedana is done.
This is used in Ama conditions, and in stiffness.
In vamana the doshas are expelled through the mouth. In this process the kapha and apakva pitta are forcibly expelled through the oral route.
Vamana is the main procedure to remove the excess kapha from the body. In this various preoperative procedures are done to bring the kapha and Pitta into the Amashaya from where they are expelled by Vamana.
In nasyam the medicine is administered through nose. It is useful in the disorders of head and neck and shoulder region. It is said that Nasa Hi Shirsodwaram, nose is the gateway to the brain. The medicines are given in the form of ghrita, fumes, taila, milk, swarasa etc.
Rakta is blood and Mokshana is to let out so Raktamokshana is a procedure of blodd letting. It is done by shastra(using instruments) and ashastra(using leech). This helps to remove the vitiated rakta from the body.
Basti is the most important procedure in Panchakarma. In this procedure herbal medicines in the form of decoction and oils is administered through anal route. Basti is the main modality in the pacification of vata dosha.
The procedures to be followed after doing the panchakarma procedures.
It consist of
Samsarjanam karma: it is followed post panchakarma where graduated diet plan is advised. This is usually advised after vamana and virechana. After which the digestive fire decreases and taking heavy diet would again lead to formation of ama which will lead to clogging of the channels again. So gradually the diet is increased from liquid to semisolid and solid food.
Rasayandi karma : Rasayana is the herbal preprations that are advised after the cleansing process. The help in rejuvenation of the body and provides strength to the dhaatus after going through the cleansing process.
Samana Karma: After the body is cleansed after the panchakarma the alleviated doshas that are left in the body are managed by samana chikitsa which are given in the form of internal medicines.
Pregnant women, Children below 7 years, Old aged (above 75), weak. Still in some conditions it can be done where it is contraindicated under the supervision of an ayurvedic doctor.
During the panchakarma usually day sleep is avoided.
At our hospital we perform Vamana, Virechana, Nasyam, basti, kati basti, greeva basti, potli sweda, pizichil, jaluka and many other authentic and age old therapies.
The various therapies involve the use of various oils and medications on the body so the patient can bring an extra pair of clothes and a towel along.
Supervised administration of panchakarma and patients following all the do’s and dont’s does not have any harmful effects.
During certain therapies and procedures not to touch cold water is advised.