According to the Charak Samhita, the body normally uses three routes to eliminate waste products and toxins: the mouth, anus, and pores of the skin. The three doshas act as the vehicle which carries ama either upward, downward, or out through the periphery. Through dosha gati, the doshas move these impurities from the deep structures to the G-I tract and from the G-I tract to the body's three main outlets. There are five PradhanKarmas : Vamana, Virechana, Basti, RaktaMokshan and Nasya.
Panchkarmas related to Direction of Elimination of Ama
• PASCHAT KARMA
The set of procedures that follow the main eliminative treatments of Panchkarma and assist this rebuilding process are called, collectively, PaschatKarma. They assure the re-establishment of healthy metabolic function and immunity. If these post-procedures are neglected, digestion does not normalize. Weak digestion generates new ama and the tissues continue to receive toxic material instead of nutritive, strenghtening substances. The body then finds it difficult to re-establish its natural immune function and is more likely to fall ill again.
While the digestive fires are re-kindling, it is important to respect the somewhat vulnerable state of the physiology. Energy resources are not at their full capacity, and as result, we cannot do as much as we will be able to do once the dhatus are rebuilt and up to the speed. It is therefore crucial for the success of Panchkarma that the patient follow a regulated diet and lifestyle immediately after treatment.
There are two procedures of Paschat Karma : Samsarjana Karma and Rasayan Chikitsa
SAMSARJANA KARMA (Graduated Diet)
Samsarjana Karma constitutes the primary post-treatment procedure for digestion. This term iterally means a "Graded administration of Diet". It consists of a specially prepared diet designed to re-establish full digestive capacity and prevent the formation of new ama.
Digestion is the first aspect of physiology that needs to be reconstructed. The Panchkarma treatments dramatically effect the digestive process because the G-I tract provides the primary route for the elimination of the toxins. The digestive fire is weakened by the process of ama being drawn back into the digestive tract and expelled from the body.
The diet given to the patient immediately after Panchkarma consists of nutritive and easily digested preparations of rice and split yellow mung dal (lentill). The diet is structured in stages, going from more liquid preparations to increasingly solid ones. These stages of digestibility are called manda, peya, vilepi, odana, yusha and kichari.
MANDA : RICE WATER
Manda, meaning "liquid", is the first meal after vamana or virechana. It is normally taken when the appetite returns, which for most people is about four hours after completing these procedures. Manda is mainly just the water in which basmati
rice was boiled. It should be eaten lukewarm with a little ghee and a pinch of black salt.
PEYA : RICE SOUP
The patient takes the next meal called, peya, two to three hours later. Peya means "soup" and is traditionally made with eight parts water to one part rice. The rice is cooked until it is very soft, so that it has the consistencyy of a thin, light porridge.
VILEPI : THICK RICE SOUP
Vilepi, or "thick soup", describes the third and fourth meals after vamana or virechana. Vilepi consists of a slightly thicker porridge of soft, cooked rice grains and is made with a ratio of four parts water to one part grain. A little black salt water and dried sugarcane juice can be added for taste. In order to add some strength to the digestive fire, one can lightly saute a little fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander or fennel in a small amount of ghee and add them to the porridge.
ODANA : COOKED RICE
Odana, which means "cooked rice" and has the consistency of normal, soft, cooked rice, is given as the fifth meal.
YUSHA : MUNG LENTIL SOUP
Dal is added to the sixth meal, which the patient eats on the second day after Virecahan and Vamana. Yusha or "soup mixture", is rice with some yellow mung dal added.
KICHARI : RICA AND DAL MIXTURE
The patient gets kichari for a number of meals. Kichari contains a mixture of basmati rice and spilt yellow mung dal coked together with a pinch of black salt and the sauteed spices. The nourishing food forms the basis of the traditionial purification, recuperation and rejuvenation diets in Panchkarma therapy.
• TIPS FOR HEALTHY BODY AND SOUL:
1) Only eat when you have appetite.
2) Do not eat to full capacity. Always leave a little room in your stomach at the end of each meal.
3) Avoid drinking cold liquids with your meals.
4) Eat your main meal at noon time when the environmental agni is strongest, and eat a lighter meal at night.
5) Eat in a calm atmosphere and sit down when you eat.
6) When possible, avoid snacks between meals and avoid eating just before going to bed.
7) Once every week or two, fast or eat lightly to give your digestion a much needed rest.
8) Avoid foods that are deep-fried or are too heavy.
RASAYANA CHIKITSA (Rejuvenation Therapy)
Rasayan Karma does not technically belong to Panchkarma therapy, but forms its own system withnin Ayurvedic System. However, the rasayan therapy increases the effectiveness of Panchkarma's rejuvenating processes. Rasayana actually means "that which increases the essence of each dhatu, starting with rasa".
When people hear about the rejuvenating properties of rasayanas, it is common for them to want to take them immediately, without going through the necessary procedures to make the body receptive to their influence. This will not work for three reasons :
(i) The rasayana are very refined and concentrated herbal and mineral formulas that take strong digestive capacity to metabolize.
(ii) Imbalanced doshic functioning impedes delivery of these substances to the dhatus.
(iii) The ama and mala stored in the dhatus block their ability to asimilate these special compounds.
As a result of these three factors, Rasayana doesn't achieve its desired effect. Digestion must be strenghened, the doshas must be balanced and impurities must be eliminated from the dhatus through Panchkarma therapy in order for the rasayanas to work.
Many herbs and herbal formulas are commonly given after Panchkarma to produce specific effects.
• Ashwagandha pacifies and balances vata.
• Brahmi and Manjistha pacify pitta.
• Ginger, black pepper and Pippali improve the digestive capacity of all the dhatus agnis and pacifies kapha.
• Amalki increases sattva, thereby improving the calrity, stillness and positivity of the mind. It also pacifies both pitta and vata.