Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments”. This is a process used to clean the body of toxic materials left by disease, poor nutrition and environmental toxins. Normally the body has the innate ability to efficiently process and remove these waste materials, including the vitiated doshas. However, due to one’s repeated dietary indiscretions, poor exercise patterns, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition, the digestive enzymes, metabolic co-factors, hormones, and agnis which regulate the body’s internal homeostasis become disorganized. This can lead to the accumulation and spread of toxins throughout the physiology resulting in disease. This waste matter is called ama in Ayurveda. Ama is a foul-smelling, sticky, harmful substance that needs to be completely evacuated from the body.

In this therapy vomiting / emesis is induced by administering medicines internally. This therapy is done usually for the cleansing of the upper respiratory and upper digestive tracts. It’s very useful in the diseases caused by Kapha Dosha and is also very effective in mental illness, skin disorders, etc..
Here purgation is induced by administering medicines for the cleansing of the lower gastrointestinal tract of the toxins. This is generally given in the Pitta Dosha predominant conditions and is also the simplest way to cleanse the body of the wastes. It is also effective in many skin ailments, rheumatic disorders, etc..
In this therapy medicines are administered through the nose either in the form of drops or powders. Most commonly Anu Thailam is used as drops for nasyam. It’s very useful in most of the disorders above the shoulder region. It also helps in conditions like migraine, hair fall, multiple sclerosis, etc..
This is a medicated enema in which unctuous materials like oil etc which are medicated are mixed with medicated pastes and salt and is administered through the anal route. In this there is another variant which is called as Matra Vasti in which a minor dose of the oil is administered and which is also the preparatory therapy for the main Vasti. The quantity of the oil in Sneha Vasti is determined based on the strength of the patient and his condition. This treatment is very useful in diseases caused by Vata Dosha like nervous disorders, joint pains, etc..
This is also an enema in which a decoction is prepared with a combination of medicated pastes, honey, salt, oils, etc.. This is also administered in the same way as the Sneha Vasti after having undergone Matra Vasti. This is also very effective in Vata Dosha disorders and also in gynaecological ailments, nervous disorders, etc..
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