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What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word made up of of 2 words ; Pancha : meaning ‘five’ and Karma: meaning ‘therapies’. These are the five main procedures used in Ayurveda to detoxify the body.

These five therapies are

Vamana : Meaning emisis ( Vomiting)

Vamana consits of detoxifying the body through emisis, where persons having problems associated with KAPHA will find a relief.
Relief to some of the conditions pertaining to Indigestion, Food poisoning, Skin disorders , allergies , epilepsy, Herpes, Obesity etc can be obtained.

Virechana : Meaning purgation

This is an effective therapy where purgation is induced in the patient to get relief from problems associated with PITTA and VATA.
Persons suffering from fever, migraine, abdominal tumor, hemorroids, fistula, diseases of spleen , chronic constipation , arthritic conditions , menstrual irregularities etc can benefit from this therapy.

Nasya : Meaning cleansing through the nasal cavity.

In this therapy , different medicated oils are administered to the nasal cavity of a person to relieve problems associated with head and neck
Diseases like migraine, sinusitis, cervical spondylitis, insomnia, excessive sleep, hair loss, ear problems, eye problems, chronic stress ,nervous disorders can be treated.

Aasthapana Basti : Refers to cleansing through oil enema

Anuvasana Basti : Refers to cleansing through herbal decoction enema.

Both the above are very effective in treating abnormal VAATA conditions.

‘Rakthamokshana’ or Blood letting procedure is also considered to be a part of Panchakarma by some authors.

This is an excellent procedure for problems associated with the blood like non healing ulcers, pimples, gangrene.
What are the effects of Panchakarma ?
Panchakarma is preventive as well as curative, mainly helping in the elimination of accumulated body toxins through the above mentioned procedures.

Although one should remember that the random and indiscriminate use of these therapies can lead to severe complications. These therapies should be recommended by an authorized Ayurvedic doctor after assessing the person.
Who is eligible for panchakarma therapy ?
According to Ayurvedic texts, a disease is a manifestation of accumulated body toxins. Hence any person suffering from diseases can be prescribed with a single or a combination of the above procedures.

These procedures can also be recommended to healthy persons as a preventive measure against the accumulation of toxins.
Who is not eligible for Panchakarma ?
Panchakarma procedures are not recommended to physically weak, aged people , children, people with strong emotional disturbances, people who have just traveled or who are to travel.