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‘Panchakarma’, as the name indicates is a method of treatment, which includes five (Paanch) basic procedures (Karma). Through these different procedures are put under the umbrella term ‘Panchakarma” different medicines are used for the different procedures depending upon the constitution of the patient. The physician determines the kind of procedure and the types of medicines to be used after examining the patient. It is not necessary that a patient should undergo all the five procedures of treatment used in Panchakarma. Panchakarma should not be administered to those below seven years and those above 80 years. If it is done properly healing of the disease treated, along with clear intelligence, alertness of the senses, stability of the body, efficacy of digestion and absorption, prolongation of youth are all achieved.
The panchakarma method of medication mainly involves two processes- anabolic (reduction) and catabolic (building up).
Medicated emesis (vamana), medicated purgation (virechana), nasal medication (nasya), medicated enema (vasti) and blood letting (raktamoksha) are the five purification procedures for removing accumulated toxins and other waste materials in the body. The different procedures are Purvakarma, Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Nasya, and Rakta Moksha.