Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala

Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala has a holistic approach to shed all the worries, anxieties and stress by means of authentic Ayurvedic medicines ,scientific therapies and procedures. Saatwika Ayurvedic Treatment Centre  offers  Best Panchakarma  Treatments in Kerala. Panchakarma treatments in Kerala is an oldest medical system for detoxification and renutrifying the entire body. Treatment or chikitsa in Ayurveda has been defined by Acharya as ” The measures by which the imbalanced doshas become balanced is termed as Chikitsa( Treatment)”. So far as the chikitsa or Treatment is concerned Ayurveda is unique to formulate such a wide range of principles relating to the alleviation of diseases that even diet and regimen have been also included in the realm of treatment on the basis of Tridosha principle. Panchakarma treatments in Kerala has various curing methods and procedures to treat thousands of diseases and helps in curing diseases as well as helps in maintaining proper health.The specialty of Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala is that it not only provides disease cure but also enhances the social, mental, physical and spiritual well-being of the people. It has developed many unique and highly successful devices of treatment. Solid principles and precision treatment methods are devised for both internal and external medication.

Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala

Panchakarma Treatment in Kerala is a unique approach of Ayurveda with five procedures for internal purification of the body through the nearest possible route. These treatments allows the biological system to return to homeostasis and to rejuvenate rapidly and also facilitates the desired pharmaco-therapeutic effects of medicines administered thereafter. Panchakarma has a full therapy role as the promotive, preventive and curative procedure.

 ‘Pancha’ means five and ‘Karma’ means action or therapy. So, panchakarma means five actions or therapies. It is the specialty branch of ‘Kayachikitsa’, that deals with five major therapies, as well as preparatory procedures and post-operative procedures. The following are the five karmas of Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala.

  1. Vamana Karma ( therapeutic emesis)
  2. Virechana (therapeutic purgation)
  3. Basti (rectal administration)
  4. Nasya (nasal administration)
  5. Rakta mokshana (bloodletting)

Let’s have a look at the five therapies or Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala and its procedure in brief.

  1. VAMANA: induced emesis using medicines is called as Vamana. Most efficient in pacifying the Kapha dosha (one among the Tridoshas or the three pillars of the body Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The balanced state of these three corresponds to health and imbalanced state means disease.)
  • Usually the treatment is done in early morning hours, the period when the Kapha dosha is elevated. The patient is made to sit in a chair in closed room. Mild massage using oils on head, face and body should be given followed by application of steam. Medicine given along with milk and makes the patient drink as much milk as he can. Kashayas also can be given instead of milk. When the patient starts vomiting hold the patient’s forehead and massage in upward direction on his back. Keep the patient relaxed always and check the vitals regularly. After complete emesis he should be given a medicated smoke called Dhoomapana.
  • Vamana duration is as long as the patient vomit completely.
  • Vamana is highly beneficial in treating a wide variety of diseases especially skin diseases like psoriasis.
  • Vamana is useful in respiratory and gastro intestinal tract diseases.
  • After Vamana patient should follow a specific dietary pattern called Peyadikrama. It is a diet pattern in which gradual progress to solid foods from light liquid rice gruel.
  • Extreme care should be taken during Vamana procedure to avoid complications.
  1. VIRECHANA: treatment of induced purgation using medicines. Highly useful in treating diseases caused due vitiation of Pitta dosha.
  • Medicine given in empty stomach to patient usually on morning time between 6 -8 am. Patient is made to lie on the bed, but do not sleep, till the urge to defecate appears. After proper purgation patient is advised to follow Peyadikrama.
  • Patient can smell lemon to avoid vomiting of the medicine taken.
  • Patient should take warm water in small quantities in regular intervals to aid purgation.
  • Vitals should be checked regularly.
  • Common medicines used are Avipathi Choorna, Gandharva Eranda thaila etc.
  • Virechana is used in diseases like ano-rectal diseases like piles, fistula etc., skin diseases, poisoning, cataract, gout, musculo- skeletal diseases, anaemia etc.
  • Usually a gap of 15 days is taken for next Virechana.
  1. NASYAM: application of medicines through nostrils is called as Nasyam. Application of two drops of medicated oil, usually ‘anuthaila’ can be practiced by people for maintaining their health of head, ears, eyes, neck, mouth etc. This type of procedure included in the daily regimen or Dinacharya is called as ‘Prathimarsha nasya’. Another type of nasya which is practiced in patients is called as ‘Marsha nasya’ in which drops of oil (or whatever the medication may be-it can be milk, medicinal extract, oil, or decoctions) instilled in the nostrils is in large numbers i.e. can be up to 10 drops in a nostril.
  • Nasya helps to eliminate the kapha dosha which is vitiated in the parts above neck.
  • Used in almost all the diseases of eye, ear, neck, mouth and head like cataract, deafness, rhinitis, headache etc.
  • Nasya is done usually in the morning time and for duration of seven days.
  • The best quantity is considered to be 10 drops in each nostril to eliminate vitiated doshas completely.
  • Patient is made to lie with his head slightly lowered to facilitate the medicine passage. Local abhyanga (oil massage) on head, face, shoulders and feet done and steam also applied before nasyam. Each drop of medicine (slightly heated by placing on warm water) applied alternatively in each nostril. After instilling the drops give slight massage on the shoulders and ask the patient to spit out the kapha and medicine through mouth in alternate sides. Patient is asked to take rest after the procedure. Do not bath head during the entire period of nasya.
  • Anuthaila, Dhanwantharam thaila, Ksheerabala thaila, Balaswagandhadi taila, Shatbindhu taila, Jeevanthyadi ghritha etc are commonly used medications.
  • Take care to avoid complications during the procedure.
  1. VASTHI: procedure of enema. Two major types are there-snehavsthi or anuvasana and kashaya vasthi or nirooha
  • Sneha vasthi is done using medicated oils.
  • Kashaya vasthi is done using special preparation based on kashaya, taila, medicine choornas etc.
  • For all vasthi, special enema equipment called Vasthinetra is used. Prepared medicine is filled in plastic bag and tied to the Vasthinetra.

Snehavsthi:  done by filling the Vasthinetra with slightly warm medicated oils and inserting the Vasthinetra through anal canal of the patient. Patient is made to lie in his left lateral position before doing vasthi. Local abhyanga and steam on abdomen and lubrication of anal canal using oils also done as a pre-procedure. The tube of Vasthinetra is inserted into the anal canal and the oils are squeezed slowly into the canal.  Instead of Vasthinetra, a glycerine enema syringe also can be used. Patient is advised not to take food until the given oils came out completely.

  • Dhanwantharam taila vasthipakam, Pipplayadi anuvasana thailam, Sahacharadi thailam, Sathahwadi anuvasana thailam etc. are commonly used for snehavasthi.
  • Usually done in skin diseases, ano-rectal diseases, musculoskeletal and joint disorders like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc.

Kashayavasthi: in this procedure specially prepared medicine combination is filled in the vasthi bag and applied to the patient.

Kashya vasthi is also of different types, viz. Ksheera Vasthi, Vaitarana Vasthi, Lekhana Vasthi, Erandamooladi Vasthi, Madhutailika Vasthi, Rooksha Vasthi, Ardhamatrika Vasthi etc.

Commonly used combination called madhutailika vasthi contains the following

  • Honey 200ml
  • Oil 200ml
  • Rock salt 15g
  • Grinded medicine of Sathapushpa 30g
  • Decoction (erandamooladi) 400ml

All the ingredients are grinded well in a mixer and filled in a plastic bag and tied to the Vasthinetra.

Patient is given local abhyanga on abdomen and then steam. Patient has to lie on his left lateral position. After lubrication of Vasthinetra and anal canal vasthi is done. After applying the whole medicine into anal canal, patient is made to lie in supine position and his feet and hands were rubbed. When the urge to defecate arises ask him to pass motion completely. After that take a bath in warm water and take food (rice and green gram) with no delay.

  • Kashaya vasthi is a great procedure as the route of administration is anal canal which has fast absorbing tissues.
  • Used to treat almost all diseases including musculoskeletal and joint disorders, skin diseases, mental illness, systemic diseases, urinary tract diseases, infertility etc.

Uttaravasthi: it’s a type of vasthi procedure in which medicine is administered through urethra and vaginal canal. It is used to treat infertility and gynaecological diseases.Commonly used for males to treat conditions like oligospermia.

  • Normally Kashyavasthi and snehavasthi are done alternatively up to eight days.
  1. RAKTHAMOKSHA:It is the procedure of removing the vitiated blood from the body. It is done in four methods viz. Jalookavacharana (blood letting using leeches), Sringavacharana (blood sucking from the skin using horn of some animals), Prachhana (pricking the affected area using surgical blade and letting the vitiated blood go), and Siravyadha (venepuncture using butterfly needle).
  • These come under the anusastra procedures of Salyathantra. Commonly used in diseases of eyes like cataract, venous diseases and skin diseases etc.
  • Usually done for a single occasion and after that proper interval is given usually 15 days for the next.

Apart from the Panchakarma therapies various therapies are described as pre-operative procedures of Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala. They mainly come under the headings Snehana (oleation) therapies and Swedana (fomentation) therapies. These are essential to make the body fit before doing the Panchakarma. Panchakarma is classified as Shodhana procedure i.e. to eliminate the doshas from the body. The pre-operative procedures are in fact the most diverse section of therapies in Ayurveda. The major therapies included in this are

  1. PINDA SWEDA: making the body sweat using various substances in the shape of a bolus tied into a ‘potali’ or bag of cotton cloth and applying over the body fully or on the affected part only. ‘Thalam’ or medicine application over the head to control overheating of the body is done usually before the process. Rasnadi choorna mixed with Ksheerabala taila is used commonly for this. Depending upon the materials used Pinda sweda can be of many tpes.
  2. Valuka Sweda: river sand is used to make potali. It alleviates vitiated Kapha and medas (lipid) Used usually for seven days in common conditions like Amavatha/rheumatic fever, Sandhigatavata/Osteoarthritis, and low back ache.
  3. Choorna pinda Sweda: medicine powders are used like Tripahala choorna, Kolakulathadi choorna etc. Used in Vatavyadhi or diseases due to vitiated vata dosha.
  4. Navadhanyakkizhi: using the navadhanya or nine cereals.
  5. Kadikkizhi: using Dhanyamla and Kolakulathadi choornam. Used in Vatavyadhi with kapha anubandha or association of Kapha.
  6. Jambeera pinda Sweda: using chopped lemons, rock salt, powder of Satapushpa, fenugreek, turmeric, scrapped coconut and suitable oil. These are fried in the oil to make a bolus and the potali is made and is applied over the body. Used in neurological and musculo skeletal and joint disorders like stroke, paralysis, osteoarthritis etc.
  7. Patra pinda Sweda: using chopped leaves of various plants like ricinus, tamarind, moringa etc. fried in suitable oil. Used in neurological and musculo skeletal and joint disorders like stroke, paralysis, osteoarthritis etc.
  8. Shashtika pinda Sweda:using a variety of rice called Shashtika, cooked in kashaya of Bala plant/ Sida cordifolia roots. Used in nourishment of the body and in conditions like muscle wasting, muscular dystrophy etc.

In all these procedures patient is made to lie on the Droni/ wooden or fibre cot. The process is done in seven positions of the patient. They are in the order -sitting upright, lying supine, left lateral, lying supine, right lateral, lying supine, and sitting upright positions.

After the Pinda Sweda, ‘Thalam’ applied should be removed and fresh Rasnadi choornam applied. The body should be covered with a blanket. Patient should take rest for 30 minutes. Later a luke-warm water bath can be taken.

  1. DHARA PROCEDURE: it carries out both Snehana and Swedana. In this various liquid medicines are poured in rhythmic manner over the body fully or locally. It is also of various types based on the material used.
  2. Dhanyamla dhara: Dhanyamla is used. A hot fomentation method which is highly useful to treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Kashaya dhara: warm decoctions are used. Kashayas /decoctions can be selected according to the disease condition.
  4. Takra Dhara: medicated takra or buttermilk is used. Mustha (Cyperus rotundus) and Indian gooseberry is used in the preparation of takra. Very much beneficial in skin diseases especially psoriasis.
  5. Shiro dhara: in this warm oil is poured into forehead in a narrow uninterrupted stream from a dhara pot filled with warm oil suitable for the condition. Dhara pot is tied from a dhara stand which is placed near to the droni. A cotton cloth should be tied over the forehead to prevent oil from leaking to the eyes and face. Apply the oil uniformly by swinging the dhara pot slowly and in a rhythmic manner. Wipe the oil with other hand slowly massage patient’s head too. Used in various neurological conditions, paralysis, mental disorders and in conditions like migraine, stress etc. One Shiro dhara can last for 45-60 minutes and is usually given continuously for seven days. Usually used oils are Dhanwantharam tailam, Ksheerabala tailam, Himasagara tailam etc.
  6. KAYASEKAM/PIZHICHIL: Warm oil is poured with one hand and simultaneous massage of the body. About 5 litres of oil is used. It is an extensive oleation procedure. Highly beneficial in treating Vatavyadhi and neurological disorders like hemiplegia, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis etc. Wide variety of oils can be selected depending upon the condition. Commonly used are Sahacharadi taila, Dhanwantharam tailam, Pinda tailam etc. usually done for 45-60 minutes duration and for a period of 7 days. Done in seven positions as in the case of Pinda swedas.
  7. UDWARTHANAM: massaging the body using powders of medicine. Done in seven positions. Commonly used powders or choornas are Kolakulathadi choornam, Triphala choornam etc. Used in diseases like Oorusthambha, obesity etc. It is highly beneficial in reducing the body fat and to give lustre to the skin and shape to the body.
  8. ABHYANGA: it is the simple oil massage. Suitable oils can be selected according to disease condition. Can be done as rejuvenation therapy also. Done in seven positions by making the patient lie on a droni. About 1000 ml of oil required for one day. Done usually for 45-60 minutes and for a period of seven days. It’s highly beneficial in various joint disorders, and for rejuvenation and cosmetic therapies. Abhyanga is a powerful pacifier of Vatavyadhi.

Abhyanga is of three types by local application. Shiro abhyanga (head masssage) and Pada abhyanga (foot massage).

Head massage: is beneficial in stress, insomnia and migraine related conditions. Head is massaged with warm oil. Usually Ksheerabala taila is used. Done usually for 20-30 minutes.

FOOT MASSAGE: massaging the foot using warm oils. Highly beneficial for eye health, rejuvenation and in neurological conditions. Sahacharadi taila and Ksheerabala taila are used commonly. Done for 20-30 minutes usually.

  1. UZHICHIL: it is a deep tissue massage in which full body is massaged with hands and feet. A part of Kalari Chikitsa in Kerala, uzhichil cures low back ache, increases flexibility and increases blood circulation. It helps in maintaining a strong and healthy body.  Usually done for a week period and a daily duration of 45 minutes.
  1. SHIROLEPA/THALA POTHICHIL: Covering of the head using medicines. Patient’s head should be shaved before the procedure. Medicine powder usually medicines selected according to the condition, mixed with a liquid medium, either a decoction or milk and applied over the head. It is then covered with leaves of lotus or cotton cloth and tied. Remove when the medicine starts to dry up. It is highly beneficial in neurological conditions and in autism disorders.
  1. NETRA SEKAM: washing the eyes by pouring liquid medicine usually a kashaya over closed eyes. The patient should be lying supine on a cot. A kidney tray should be placed on the side of the face to collect the liquid. Used in cataract and other eye diseases.
  2. ASCHOTHANAM: A treatment procedure in which medicine is instilled as drops in open eyes from a height of 4 cm. The patient should be sitting comfortably. Useful in eye diseases like cataract
  3. BIDALAKAM: pasting medicine over closed eyelids avoiding lashes. Mukkadi gudika is commonly used. Gudika is made into a paste with liquid media like Triphala kashayam and is applied. It should be placed as such till lepa dries.
  4. TARPANAM: Treatment in which medicated ghee is retained over the eyes. Patient is made to lie in supine position and a rim of 3.5 cm height is made using black gram flour around the eyes. Mild fomentation of face needed. Patient is asked to close eyes and medicated ghee melted by placing on warm water is poured in. Patient is asked to open and close eyes. 20-30 minutes duration is allowed for the procedure.After the procedure rim and ghee removed. Wipe around the eyes using cotton. Useful in treating blindness and cataract.
  5. ANJANAM:Application of medicine inside eyes by using finger or special instrument called ‘Shalaka’. Used in the treatment of various eye diseases. ‘Ilaneer kuzhampu’ is a commonly used medicine for anjanam. Usually done for seven days continuously.
  6. SHIROVASTHI: procedure in which liquid medicine usually medicated oil is retained over the head in a cap which is fixed around the head using black gram flour. Rexin sheet is commonly used to make the cap.Usually done for seven days continuously. Used to treat eye diseases and diseases of head like migraine.
  7. AVAGAHAM: it is a fomentation procedure in which patient is made to sit in a bath tub with warm liquid medicine. About 10-15 litres of liquid medicine usually kashaya is used. 15 minutes to one hour is the usual duration or up to good perspiration. Highly beneficial in diseases like urinary stone, piles, fistula and low back ache. Liquid medicine can be selected according to the condition.
  8. KATEEVASTHI: retaining medicine usually warm oils over low back in a rim made of black gram flour. 150-200ml oil needed for the procedure. Retained for 30-40 minutes. Patient should be lying in prone position. Beneficial in treating Low back ache.
  9. GREEVAVASTHI: similar to Kateevasthi, warm medicated oil retained over the cervical region/ neck is called as greeva vasthi.150-200ml oil needed for the procedure. It is beneficial in cervical spondylosis. Oils usually used are Dhanwantharam thailam, Sahacharadi thailam etc.
  10. JANUVASTHI: retaining medicated oil over the knee in a rim made of black gram flour is called as januvasthi. Retained for 15-20 minutes. 150-200ml oil needed for the procedure. Useful in treating osteoarthritis knee. Dhanwantharam thailam, Sahacharadi thailam, etc are used.
  11. KSHARASUTRA: it is a surgical method for treating piles and fistula. A cotton thread treated with the latex of ‘Euphorbianerifolia’ and turmeric powder is used to tie the haemorrhoids and fistula-in-ano. This thread is known as Ksharasutra. It is a unique and highly successful surgical procedure in Ayurveda.It is also useful in sentinel piles, pilonidal sinus and rectal polyps.
  12. UPANAHA:This treatment includes tying of medicated Choorna mixed with dhanyamla and rock salt over the specific body part which needs treatment, using a cotton cloth. Usually done at night and kept for 12 hours and removed. Useful in vathika diseases.
  13. SNEHAPANA: It is the intake of medicated ghee (ghritha) /oil (Taila) in required quantity for a specific period. It is intended to oleate and prepare the body for shodhana procedures like Vamana and Virechana. Ghee given in early morning in empty stomach. Stop all the medicines prior to snehapana. Give minimum dose of 25ml at first for Ghritham and 30 ml for Taila. Increase the dose gradually till he attains proper oleation. Patient should take warm water in small quantities to aid digestion of ghee. Use lemon to avoid nausea. After digestion of ghee when appetite felt, use rice gruel. Snehapana is of two types. Acchha snehapana in which large quantity of ghee is taken as described here. In Vicharana snehapana, the second type, small quantities of ghee is given along with rice gruel or milk. Snehapana can be done in most of the diseases ranging from jwara or fever to mental illness. Shatpala ghritha, Dhanwantharam ghritham, indukantham ghritham, gugguluthikthakam ghritham, dadimadi ghritham are some of the commonly used ghritha preparations used for snehapana. Thila thaila or sesame oil is also used for snehapana. Snehapana is having good Rasayana and aphrodisiac properties too. Many Rasayana formulations are in ghritha form. Snehapana enhances longevity, flexibility of the body and increases digestive power and intelligence.

All these Panchakarma Treatments in Kerala is to be done only upon the prescription and supervision of a registered Ayurveda physician. The careful and wise use of these Panchakarma Treatments can be the best natural means of disease cure and health maintenance.