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.