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What Is Panchakarma? 

The Sanskrit term Panchakarma translates five therapeutic procedures. Pancha refers to the number five, and the karma refers to the therapy that brings about homeostasis. Vamana, virechana, asthapana basti, anuvasana basti and nasya are the five procedures comprising Panchakarma. Vamana refers to the therapeutic emesis. Virechana means therapeutic purgation. Decoction enema is called by the name asthapana basti. Oil enema is referred by the name anuvasana basti. Nasya is the nasal administration of the medicine. According to Charaka school of thought these five procedures are considered as Panchakarma. A slight difference of opinion exists in the enumeration of Panchakarma in the Sushruta school of thought. According to this school, both the asthapana and anuvasana basti is considered as single procedure. To complete the number five raktamokshana is added to the list of Panchakarma. The treatment of blood letting is known as raktamoksand Thus vamana, virecana, basti, nasya and raktamokshana are considered as Panchakarma.

Ability of evacuation, superiority of efficacy and enormity of the procedures target of dosha eradication and multitude of action are characteristics of Panchakarma procedures.

Main Five Karma are:

  1. Vamana. Induction of vomiting for expelling the dosha accumulated in the amashaya (gastrium) by oral administration of emetics is the procedure of vamana.
  2. Virechana. Expelling the morbid accumulation of dosha from the intestines by way of inducing purgation is the virechana karma.
  3. Basti. Expelling the morbid dosha from the colon by administering the evacuating enema is the procedure of basti karma.
  4. Nasya. The procedure of nasya karma includes cleansing the head from any morbid dosha by way of administering the medicine through the nasal route.
  5. Raktamokshana. Allowing the blood to bleed by different techniques for therapeutic purposes is known as raktamokshana.


Following the diagnosis of the disease in a diseased, effective treatment is planned to eradicate the illness. Thus planned regimen may have Panchakarma procedures even. Among the different therapeutic procedures that may be carried out, it is true that few of the exclusive procedures are selected in a given client. It is a well known fact that all the available therapeutic procedures can not be administered and even not necessary in every case. So to say depending upon the requirement, availability as well as desirable therapeutic effect some of the procedures are advocated considering their rationality. In this regard some of the

guidelines are laid down in Ayurveda pertaining to the prescription writing