Panchakarma in day to day Paediatric Practice

Dr. Shrikrishna Rajagopala (IND)

Panchakarma i.e. fivefold therapy based treatment procedures of Ayurveda has become the most fascinating subject. It mainly focuses on Shodhana i.e. purification of the body from biological impurities getting accumulated due to natural physiological functions within the body over a period of time, or due to imbalance in the Dosha architecture of the milieu interior. It is to be done prior to Rasayana Therapy in general, but each of the five major therapies as well as the associated sub therapies by themselves act as treatment modalities for many chronic ailments. As a general rule, Panchakarma is contraindicated in children, but when it comes to management of disease conditions, physician is free to use them with suitable modifications considering the age, strength etc. of the patient. Thus each of the Panchakarma procedure can be advised to children too!

Different Panchakarma procedures i.e. Vamana, Virechana (emesis and purgation under medical supervision), Basti (medicated enema), Nasya (Nasal administrations) and Raktamokshana (blood-letting) have shown promising results in day to day paediatric practice. Purva Karma such as Snehana and Swedana with their variants have become therapies of choice in many neurological diseases, Vamana in respiratory conditions, and Virechana in skin aliments in children. There are ample of evidence based studies and publications too in support of these. Physician should be careful while administering the Panchakarma as any these are very much sensitive procedures which may go wrong any time, leading to complications too! There are some special therapeutic procedures indicated for children only and also modifications in the procedures for children. However, Panchakarma procedure based therapies can be utilized effectively in childhood disorders too, but with proper modifications especially in the dose and duration, care and caution.

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