What is Vamana in Panchakarma treatments?
Updated: Mar 10
Glad to see the interest generated by the previous post which made an attempt to introduce the basics of Panchakarma. We received a fair number of questions and requests for more information.
Before moving to each of the 5 therapies, I would like to mention another classification of Panchakarma.
There are 2 main schools of Ayurveda- the physicians and the surgeons.
The surgeon school (headed by Acharya Sushrutha) combines Niruha Basti and Anuvasana Basti as one therapy and includes Raktamokshana as the 5th one. Raktamokshana is therapeutic blood letting.
Panchakarma is a vast science described in great detail in all the major texts of Ayurveda. With proper understanding and planning, the physician can achieve preventive, preservative, promotive, curative and rehabilitative benefits from the therapies.
It is prescribed in Rutucharya, to be used in healthy individuals also, as per the increase in the doshas due to change in seasons.
What is Vamana?
The word ‘Vamana’ means Emesis or vomiting. Vamana is induced therapeutic vomiting to evacuate the ‘bahudosha’ (When the doshas are in large quantities). This is a controlled procedure wherein medicines are used to induce the vomiting for a particular period of time and then stopped.
Vamana is mainly used in cases of increased kapha dosha. It is also used when the increased Kapha dosha is mixed with vitiated Pitta dosha. It is mainly used for the elimination of doshas lodged in the upper part of the body.
What is the procedure for Vamana?
The procedure is started by prescribing digestive and carminative medicines or herbs to increase the agnibala in the patient.
After 3 or more days of taking them, once the physician ascertains that the agni is good, medicated ghee/oil is prescribed to be taken for 3/5/7 days. The dosage and the specific ghee is selected according to the ag