Panchakarma means "five therapies", it is the primary purification and detoxification treatment of Ayurveda. The 5 therapeutic ways of removing toxins from a person’s body are Vamana, Virechana, Nasya, Basti and Raktamoskshana.
- Vamana: Vamana is medicated emesis therapy that is given to remove Kapha toxins collected in the body and the respiratory tract.
- Virechana (Purgation): Virechana is medicated purgation therapy that is given to remove Pitta toxins from the body that have collected in the liver and gallbladder. Virechana completely cleans the gastro-intestinal tract.
- Basti (Enema or Colonic Irrigation): Basti (Enema) cleans the accumulated toxins of all the 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, via the colon.
- Nasya (Nose Cleaning): In Nasya medicated oil is administered through the nose to clean the accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region.
- Raktamokshana: Raktamokshana is done to clean the blood and is done rarely. Raktamokshana is usually not done during general Panchakarma.
The logic behind Panchakarma is that as a cloth needs to be cleaned, in the same way the body needs to be purified before it can be filled with new colors of youthfulness, health, vigor etc. Panchakarma is very useful to alleviate deep seated diseases and is beneficial for maintaining and improving physical and mental health.