Panchakarma - Natural Method Of Purification

Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic method used for the purification and rejuvenation of the body. Ayurveda or Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of traditional medicine that originated in India.

According to Ayurveda, there are seven types of tissues in the human body. They are blood, plasma, flesh, bone, adipose, marrow and nervous as well as reproductive tissues.

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They are suffused with three types of elemental energies, air and space, fire and water and water and earth. Imbalances in these energies are what cause diseases.

Panchakarma is defined as five therapies. These five therapies are different ways of getting rid of all the toxins in the body including the deep seated ones that cause stress and illnesses. They also help to rebalance the three elemental energies or “doshas”.

The five different treatments have to be accompanied by a special Panchakarma diet for the detoxification to be effective. The diet needs to take into account the individual’s state of health and needs to be monitored by a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.

The five treatments of Panchakarma are:

  • Vamana – This is a type of emesis therapy that helps to remove “kapha” or water and earth toxins from the body including the respiratory tract. It is usually given to individuals suffering from a high “kapha” imbalance such as those suffering from respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma and nasal congestion, chronic allergies such as hay fever, skin disorders such as vitiligo and psoriasis, digestive problems such as chronic indigestion and acid reflux, edema, obesity and psychological disorders. Daily treatment helps to loosen the toxins and eliminate them.
  • Virechana – This is a medicated cleansing therapy that helps to remove “pitta” or fire and water toxins that build up in the gastrointestinal tract especially the gallbladder and liver. Virechana is helpful in the case of individuals suffering from asthma, diabetes, chronic fever, headaches, skin disorders like psoriasis, vitiligo and herpes, gynecological disorders, as well as digestive disorders such as constipation and acidity, paraplegia, hemiplegia and elephantiasis.
  • Basti – Similar to an enema or a colonic irrigation, this is known to be the most important of all other Panchakarma treatments since it removes the imbalances from all three elemental energies including “vata” or air and space energy. The enema uses oil, clarified butter or a mix of herbal extracts and helps to detoxify the colon as well as improve muscle tone. The procedure has to be repeated for at least a week and is said to benefit individuals suffering from hemiplegia, colitis, paraplegia, cervical spondylosis, sciatica, backache, hemorrhoids, obesity, sexual dysfunction, infertility and gastric disorders such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Nasya – This therapy is a form of nasal irrigation involving the use of medicated oil that is poured into each nostril individually.

    It helps to remove “kapha” toxins from the head and throat areas and may be repeated for up to a month depending on the individual’s condition. It is helpful in rebalancing the three “doshas” of individuals suffering from Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, poor vision, insomnia, nasal and chest congestion, nasal allergies, nasal polyps, sinusitis, headaches and neurological dysfunctions. It is also said to improve memory.
  • Raktamokshana – This therapy is used for the purification of blood and is only used on rare occasions and not as a part of general Panchakarma. This is due to the high risk of infection that blood cleansing entails.

The five methods of Panchkarma are a natural method of purification that are reputed to be successful in the elimination of toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides from the body. Studies conducted have shown that there is an almost 50% reduction in blood toxin levels in individuals who have undergone this therapy.

Some toxins such a lipophils are fat-soluble toxins and accumulate in the fatty tissues leading to diseases such as immune disorders, hormone disorders, allergies, liver and skin disorders, cancers, birth deformities and reproductive disorders. Substances such as clarified butter and herbal sesame oil that are used in Panchakarma treatment are reputed to be very effective in dislodging these types of toxins and removing them from the body.

In today’s world, where pollutants in the earth, water and air have the potential to cause so much harm, Panchakarma offers a safe way to protect our bodies from the deleterious effects of these toxins.

However, there is some concern regarding some of the ingredients used in Ayurvedic treatments. Studies conducted in the United States have raised concern over the high levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic that have been found in Ayurvedic medicines manufactured in India. In addition to this, there is concern over the lack of standardization and quality control of Ayurvedic products that have been manufactured in India.

For this reason you should only resort to Panchakarma treatment that is offered by reputed centers. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you are considering opting for this therapy to treat a specific condition and do not use this therapy as a substitute for medical treatment.

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