Detoxification means removing toxins or harmful waste that produce disease from the body. Ayurveda, life science describes various detoxification methods to rejuvenate the body. Detoxification includes fasting to accelerate the elimination of metabolic or systemic waste from the body & impart lightness to the body. In Ayurveda, it is very exciting to know the herbs as well as different therapies that aid in the detoxification process.
Fasting is a very economical & reliable method to eliminate body toxins. After fasting or any detoxification therapies, it is always advised to consume light food & practice a healthy routine to benefit the body. It can be done in different ways. By minimizing the daily intake of food, Eating fruits &vegetables only, consuming fluids or juices or complete abstinence from solid & liquid foods.
Benefits of fasting
- Improves appetite & digestion
- Promotes immunity & longevity
- Reduces the accumulation of toxins in the body
- Maintains physical as well as mental equilibrium
Ayurveda for Detoxification- Panchakarma
Panchakarma or the 5 elimination therapies aims at removing disease toxicity or waste accumulation due to impaired nutrition & regimens. The main focus is to normalize the vitiated doshas due to disease or any debilitating conditions. Another interesting thing is that these therapies cannot be done all of a sudden or according to your wish.
This has to be done duly considering the strength of the individual, the digestive or metabolic capacity, dosha constitution, immune responses of the body, climate, etc. Before the therapies, there are certain preparatory processes to make the body ready to eliminate the waste. Elimination therapies are recommended when the doshas are in terrible imbalance.
What to do before panchakarma?
The preparatory therapies start with oleation therapy or applying medicated oils to the body. Usually, it is done in the order of 3, 5,7days depending upon the patient’s body response. It is done along with internal oil medications also. So by this process body is prepared. It is then followed by hot fomentation using herbs.
Through fomentation toxins or the metabolic waste, doshas tend to move from their locations & move towards the central body parts for the removal. The doshas may accumulate in joints, extremities, etc. All these are brought to a common area for elimination.
The next process is the main elimination therapies or the 5 therapies of treatment. They are Nasya, Vamana, virechana, vasthi, asravisruthi.
Nasya is the process of application of medicines through the nasal cavity. This is mainly done for the head & neck /region above neck diseases. This is very effective in conditions like sinusitis, headaches, clearing sensory problems, etc. As mentioned before, before Nasya, localized face & neck massage with medicated oil is done followed by slight fomentation of the area.
Before the application of medicine through the nose, the herbal paste is applied to the vertex region. After Nasya, the face & neck area is given a gentle massage to help spread the medicine. It is done normally for 7 days as a part of disease-specific purification. It can also be done daily to prevent diseases.
Vamana or emesis therapy is eliminating waste through the mouth by inducing vomiting. For this process herbal powders are taken in the empty stomach. This clears the toxins from different parts of the body accumulated in the stomach & respiratory organs. It is done considering the strength, health constitution of the body, metabolic strength, etc. If the individual is having any weakness or lacks strength, then it’s contraindicated. This is an effective method to eliminate the vitiated Kapha dosha.
Virechana or purgation therapy is a downward therapy for eliminating the accumulated pitta dosha. It is done using herbal oils, powders that induce defecation through the anal route. It is the best-recommended therapy for allergies, complex skin disorders, liver ailments, etc. It eliminates the impaired pitta dosha from the body. Here also the patient’s strength, disease, etc. are to be carefully considered before administering the therapies.
Vasti,Enema therapy-It is done by injecting medicated oils or decoctions through the anal/vaginal canal. This is done for alleviating vata dosha. This is otherwise termed as a medicated enema. It is given great importance in panchakarma as it is the treatment half. It has multi-system actions. It is highly recommended in vata specific disorders like arthritis, joint-related pain, spinal, neurological disorders
Rakta moksha/bloodletting therapy- It is the process by which blood is let to ooze out from the body part. It is done using leeches as well as puncturing the vein. It is indicated for diseases of the blood as well as in pitta dosha predominant conditions. It is observed that the toxin are eliminated through the blood.
Benefits of Panchakarma detoxification
- Disease cure with minimal recurrence
- It aids building up process of the body
Detoxification therapies should be advocated only under expert supervision. It is best to consult with your nearest Ayurveda consultant. There are chances of serious health problems if not properly followed. In addition to these, there are also chances to worsen your existing medical condition if therapies are improperly administered.