Panchkarma (shodhana) chikitsa includes Vaman (emesis), Virechan (Purgation), Basti(enema), Nasya (elimination of toxins through nose), Raktamokshan(elimination of impurified blood).
Vamana specifically aims at the elimination of excessive kapha dosha from the body. Kapha is brought to amashaya(stomach and duodenum)from all over the body by pre operative procedures and then eliminated out by inducing emesis.
Virechan specifically aims at the elimination of excessive pitta dosha from the body. This is induced by herbal medicines.
Basti specifically aims at the elimination of excessive vata dosha from the body. It is an enema of herbal oils and decoctions. Vata is a very active principle in pathogenesis. It is the main etiological factor in the manifestation of diseases. If vats is controlled,we have gone a long way in going to the root cause of the rest majority of diseases.
Nasya-Excess of vata,pitta and kapha accumulated in the sinus,throat,nose or head areas is eliminated by means of the nearest possible opening,the nose.
Raktamokshan-Pitta and blood have a very close relationship. Increased pitta goes into the blood causing toxicity. Extracting some amount of blood from a vein relieves of the disease.
During any step of panchkarma therapy,plenty of rest is advised. No strenuous activity is allowed. One has to keep oneself warm and away from the wind.
A small diet of khichdi(seasoned mixture of rice and moong dal) with ghee is recommended. The reason for this diet is that during the panchkarma therapy,agni(digestive fire)is at rest and khichdi is easy to digest.
Panchkarma therapy should be done only under the close observation of ayurved vaidya.