An alternative therapy developed in India that seeks to get rid of toxins and ‘doshas’ from the body, the Panchakarma Therapy or Panchkarma Therapy, which is in Sanskrit for five (panch) actions (karma).
Here is a brief look at the therapy which involves five purification procedures for the body to cleanse it of problems and imbalances:
- Vamana therapy involves emesis or cleansing by inducing vomit. This is recommended for those who have problems with their ‘Kapha’ or phlegm problems. Herbal concoctions, licorice teas, salt and calamus are generally used to induce vomiting.
- Virechan is the use of laxatives for purposes of purging the digestive tract, particular to eliminate Pitta or fire from the small intestines. For this rhubarb or senna are administered.
- Basti is the use of enemas that contain medications for purging of the system. The colon is thereby cleansed of Vata or air.
- Nyasa or nasal irrigation uses herbal formulations and medicated oils are used to clear the nasal passage of congestion and relieve the sinuses. This method is used to restore balance for the Prana Vata.
- Rakta Mokshana or bloodletting as a process of removing blood impurities is used very rarely now.