Acharya Charaka, describes the five process of Shodhana under the heading of Panchkarma as Vamana (Therapeutic emesis), Virechana (Therapeutic purgation), two types of Vasti (Cleansing & nourishing enema) and Nasya, while Acharya Sushruta combined the two types of Vasti into one category and added Raktmokshana (Therapeutic blood withdrawal) – as the fifth major procedure used in Panchkarma. Raktamokshana is the blood cleansing & purification therapy in which the blood is expelled out from the body to reduce the quantity of toxic substances from the body and improve constitution of blood tissue. It provides rapid and sometimes dramatic decrease in symptoms of various Raktapradoshaja and Pitta Pradhana Vyadhi’s (disease caused by vitiated Rakta & Pitta) mainly resulting in skin and GI disorders. It is therapy of choice in some of arthritic complaints like sciatica, tenosynovitis and neurological conditions like diabetic foot ulcer.
Raktamokshana can be achieved through Shastra Visravana i.e using sharp metallic instruments or Anushashtra Visravana i.e using allied instruments like leech.
The patient should be subjected to Snehana & Swedana to enhance the mobility of vitiated Dosha.
In Shashtra Visravana, the lancet is inserted quickly neither too deep nor superficial in the middle of the affected vein without injuring the Marma points (Vital points). The maximum quantity of blood that may be let out should not exceed, one Prastha i.e 650 ml.
In leech therapy the leeches are applied directly to the affected part and covered with wet cotton over which cold water should be poured from above time to time.
After Samyaka Raktavisravana, the site is cleaned with normal saline & bandaging is done after sprinkling turmeric powder with bee honey to the bleeding site.
- Periodic blood letting bestows the person with below mentioned benefits.
- Excellence of colour & complexion
- Improved power of sense organs, and good perception of objects by sense faculties.
- Good digestive activity.
- Enjoyment of comforts endowed with good nutrition and immunity.
- Kushtha (Skin disease)
- Visarpa (Erysipelas)
- Pidika (Boils & Carbuncles)
- Vidradhi (Abscess)
- Dadru (Ringworm)
- Pama (Scabies)
- Arbuda (Tumours)
- Vicharchika (Eczema)
- Indralupta (Alopecia)
- Shwitra (Vitiligo)
- Kadara (Foot Corn)
- Nasarsha (Nasal haemorrhoids)
- Vyanga (Hyperpigmentation)
- Yakrit-plihavriddhi (Enlargement of liver & spleen)
- Gridhrasi (Sciatica)
- Galaganda (Hypothyroidism)
- Unmada (Pscychosis)