Pradhanakarma – Main treatments

When the preparatory treatments (purvakarma) are completed, the actual Panchakarma treatments begin. These are described in detail below. However, not all the eliminating procedures are applied during a Panchakarma cure. The respective therapy depends on the individual condition of the patient.


Virechana – the purging

Virechana is a therapeutically indicated cleansing method to remove excess of Pitta and Pitta-Ama, which accumulate mainly in the liver, small intestine and blood, from the body.
Before Virechana, the patient is prepared for several days with internal and external oleation and steam baths (Svedana).  When the Ayurvedic doctor concludes that the toxins have been released from the deep-seated tissues and have reached the digestive tract through sweating therapy, he will give Virechana.

Virechana is induced by the administration of herbal laxatives. These are administered orally, pass through the entire colon and eliminate excessive pitta. The therapeutic laxative is very helpful in the treatment of all pitta diseases as well as skin and blood diseases, malabsorption (disturbance of the absorption of nutrients), ascites (abdominal dropsy), urticaria, peptic ulcers, chronic headaches, ulcerative colitis, acne, hemorrhoids, hyperacidity, herpes, arteriosclerosis and many gynaecological diseases.


Vasti / Basti – the enema

There are two types of therapeutic enemas – sneha vasti (oily enema) and kaṣāya vasti (water enema).

Sneha Vasti
Medicated oil or ghee (pure clarified butter) is administered through an enema into the colon to lubricate the body. The oily enema is used to treat degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and is usually administered before Kashaya Vasti as a preparatory enema.

Kashaya Vasti
This enema is an important treatment for many chronic diseases. In Kashaya Vasti, a large amount of medicated fluids including decoctions, oil, salt, etc. is introduced into the large intestine.

When used in combination with preparatory treatments, the enema cleans much more than just the colon. In fact, the whole body can be healed and nourished through the colon.

The Kashaya Vasti is very effective in the treatment of chronic degenerative diseases of the central nervous system, osteoarthritis, hemiplegia (hemiplegia) and paraplegia (paralysis of both sides), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, back pain, sciatica, enlargement of the liver, Alzheimer’s disease, sensory disorders, enlargement of the spleen, infertility, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, impotence, chronic constipation and many neuromuscular diseases.


Nasya – the nasal therapy

Nasya is the cleansing through the nose. The excess doshas that have accumulated in the head, neck, nose and sinuses are removed by this treatment. The life force (prāṇa) flows into the body through the nostrils and controls the functions of the cerebrum, the organs of movement and the sensory functions of the body. Preparations applied to the nose go into the whole head including the throat, collect the excess doshas and discharge them through the mouth.

After a necessary preparation, medicated oil, ghee, herbal powder or fresh herbal juices are introduced into the nostrils to dissolve the doshas. Nasya treatments are extremely effective for trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy (facial hemiplegia), cervical spondylosis, nasal polyps, epilepsy, migraine, tinnitus, salivary gland enlargement, brain tumours, rhinitis and headaches of various origins.


Vamana – the medical vomiting

Vamana is a medically induced vomiting that drains excess Kapha and Kapha-Ama from the body. First, the body is prepared very specifically with internal oilings (snehana), e.g. with ghee, external oil massages (abhyanga) and heat treatments to moisturize the internal organs, dissolve and liquefy the excess Kapha and avoid possible complications. In addition, the patient should follow a Kapha-promoting diet during the preparation to increase Kapha in the system and to eliminate it easily with the Vamana. This treatment is very effective for bronchial asthma, herpes zoster, tumors, chronic allergies, hay fever, chronic digestive disorders, vitiligo, obesity, eczema, rhinitis, mental disorders and many respiratory problems.


Rakta Mokshana – the therapeutic bloodletting

Although Rakta Mokshana is the most limited of the five purification methods, it offers a rapid and sometimes dramatic reduction in symptoms for certain acute conditions, especially when time is a critical factor. There are several methods of medical bloodletting. The two most commonly used methods are the application of non-toxic leeches and venipuncture. Rakta Mokshana is very helpful for chronic migraine, non-healing wounds, leukoderma, chronic itching, weeping eczema and varicose veins.

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