Panchakarma in mental disorders

Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing.

1, Nasya karma, also known as Sirovirachana, which means the purgation of head. In this, medicines are administrated (either liquid or powder form) into the nostril. This preparation is regarded as useful in many cases pertaining to the ‘Urdhva’ Part of the body.
2, Vamana Karma, It is the process of administrating the emities. It is the Sodhanakarma and purifying operation with regard to Kapha doshas, it is not meant just to relive the content of the stomach but according to Ayurveda this karma is administered after the preliminary treatment with Snehana and Svedana, when kaphaja symptoms are produced and when this doshas affect the amasaya or uras. Charaka described 600 recipes for emities
3, Virachana Karma, It is a process related to the administration of purgatives, virachana means purgatives and it is given particularly to eliminate the doshas of Pitta. It should also be given after proper performance of Snehana and Svedana.
4, Niruha vasthi–also known as Asthapanavasthy, in which certain substances are administered as enemata. It includes the enema of decoctions of drugs or milk or meat Juice etc, in which Vasthy sanchy shows urinary bladder of animals like Goat or Pig.
5, Anuvasana vasthi – also known as Snehavasthy because it consists of Oil, Ghee, or animal fats medicated. It is administrated after a gap ofa week, after Virechana Karma. It is not advised in Leprosy and Obesity. It is specially indicated for persons who have the complaints of various appetites or Ruksha or suffer from Vata.

An application of Panchakarma process in a systemic way in the mental diseases has also given encouraging results.
Besides the Panchakarma following Upakarmas are been described.

  1. Brimhana – Promoting growth
  2. Langhana – Effecting reduction
  3. Snehana – Increasing fat content of body
  4. Rukshana – Promoting dryness
  5. Swedana – Promoting swetting
  6. Sthambhana – Promoting contraction
    Besides these methods, we find surgical technique like “Sira – bhed” (Venesection) was also advocated by Charaka and Susrutha – in the treatment of Mental disorder and Hysteria.
    In modern Psychiatry, the methods of treatment of mental diseases are generally described into two broad head lines (1) Treatment by communications (2) Treatment by transformation. The latter method may be called the Modern Physiological and pharmacological methods.

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