The word Ayurveda is derived mainly from 2 words Ayu (life) and Veda (science). In Ayurveda, the word Ayu (life) signifies a harmonious balance between body (sharir), mind (mana), senses (indriya) and soul (atma). Thus Ayurveda is a science in which almost all the aspects of Ayurveda are touched. It is one of the oldest health care system available in the world. Its origin can be traced from vedic period as Ayurveda is also known upveda of Atharvaveda. The main aim of Ayurveda includes both prevention as well as cure. Other than that Ayurveda’s uniqueness is that it says –
which means that every individual is different from other and so, for same ailments treatment varies according to the patients which is not the case with other system of medicine. Its main principles includes 3 shaaririk doshas i.e physical elements ( Vata, Pitta, Kapha), 3 mental elements (Satva, Raja, Tama) , 7 dhatu (Rasa ,Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja , Shukra), 3 mala (Purish, Mutra , Sweda ) , 5 mahabhoot (Aakash, Agni, Vayu, Jala, Prithvi ) etc, almost every thing revolves around this basic principles in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda a 6000 year old Indianscience is now again gaining its glory due to the fact that scientific literature written so many years back still holds true for modern diseases irrespective of not mentioning the names of so many newly emerging disorders. Not only this it has all the answers for living a healthy life and not falling into prey of diseases. It has not only mentioned curative aspects but has also emphasized more on preventive aspects. Apart from this it has mentioned a detail range of daily regime (Dincharya), seasonal regime (Rutucharya), Pathya –Apathy (does and donts in diet and behavior) etc. and many more concepts which are very rare to find in any system of medicine.
In Ayurveda treatment is mainly of two types i.e Shodhana (purificatory ) and Shaman (curative and palliative ). Shaman treatment includes use of external and internal herbal or herbomineral medicines whereas Shodhana treatment is unique treatment mentioned only in Ayurveda. It is done when the doshas in the body exceeds a particular limit where only medicine does not help much or also it can be done when instant relief is expected. It basically eliminates all toxins and obstruction which ensures cleaning of that strotas enabling the medicines also to work well for that system. Shodhana treatment is commonly known as Panchakarma in Ayurveda. It includes various procedures among which 5 procedures are main, hence the name Panch= 5, karma= procedures. In general, Panchakarma at times is considered as massage and steam but that is not the scenario but actually it is apart of Panchakarma and mainly considered as purvakarma to main Panchakarma procedures and also done as allied procedures for various disorders.
A. These 5 main procedures are -
1. Vamana (medicated emesis or vomiting) - for kaphaja disorders like asthma, skin disorders chronic cough , obesity etc.
2. Virechana (scientific purgation)- for pitta disorders like urticaria , skin disease ,paralysis , gynecological disorders etc.
3. Nasya (instillation of nasal drops) – for sinusitis, paralysis, migraine ,hair problems etc.
4. Basti (medicated enema) - spondylosis , paralysis, obesity , constipation
5. Raktamokshan (blood letting)-by venous puncture (siravedhana ),leech therapy (jalukaavcharan).
B. Purvakarmas ( prodromal treatments to panchakarmas)-
1. Snehana (massage) – bring glow to the skin, backache ,osteoarthritis etc.
2. Swedana (steam)- obesity ,softens skin etc.
C. The other procedures, commonly can be termed as upkarmas or allied procedures are -
1. Manyabasti (keeping warm oil stagnant over cervical vertebrae) for cervical spondylosis, spondylithiasis.
2. Katibasti (keeping warm oil stagnant over lumbar vertebrae) for backpain, sciatica.
3. Janubasti (keeping warm oil stagnant over knee joint) for osteoarthritis etc.
4. Netratarpan (keeping warm ghee stagnant over eyes) for computer eye syndrome, hypermetropia, dryness of eye etc.
5. Shastikshaliswedana – For muscular pain, emaciation etc
6. Patrapottali swedana -For spondylosis , frozen shoulders
7. Shirodhara – Insomnia ,hypertension, stress.
8. Shirobasti – Hairfall ,
9. Mukhabhyangam( facial) – For rejuvenating skin
11. Udvartana and many more treatments are done according to the patients conditions and disorders.
Even latest scientific researchers have proved that purificatory procedures like Panchakarmas can detoxify the body by eliminating toxic substances like polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and pesticides from the body. Other than this it eliminates upto 50% of detectable toxins from the body according to the study conducted at Colorado university. They mainly help in eliminating fat soluble toxins from the body.