Pancakarma, Pañcakarma, Pamcakarma: 8 definitions


Pancakarma means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchakarma.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

[«previous next»] — Pancakarma in Ayurveda glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Pañcakarma (पञ्चकर्म) refers to an intensive detoxifying procedure with five components, and is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. The compound Pañcakarma is composed of the words Pañca (‘five’) and Karma (‘action, work’).

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Pañcakarma (पञ्चकर्म, “five measures”):—For śodhana, five measures are employed which are collectively known as pañcakarma:—

  1. Vamana (‘emesis’),
  2. Virecana (‘purgation’),
  3. Āsthāpana (‘non-unctuous enema’),
  4. Anuvāsana (‘unctuous enema’)
  5. and Śirovirecana (‘head-evacuation’ or ‘snuffing’).

It has been modified further by including Raktamokṣaṇa (‘blood-letting’).

Source: eJournal of Indian Medicine: Memoirs of Vaidyas (3)

Pañcakarma is a collective term for the five kinds of purificatory treatment in Āyurveda. There are some differences among the contents of Pañcakarma in each tradition and text. In the interviewee, Nair’s tradition, pañcakarma means

  1. enema (vasti),
  2. emesis (vamana),
  3. purgation (virecana),
  4. nasal insufflation (nasya),
  5. and bloodletting (raktamokṣa),
Source: Ancient Science of Life: Yogaśataka of Pandita Vararuci

Pañcakarma (पञ्चकर्म) is dealt with in the 10th century Yogaśataka written by Pandita Vararuci.—It describes Pañcakarma as one separate branch from Kāyacikitsā. This may be the only book which describes Pañcakarma as an independent branch.

In Pañcakarma section, there is one stanza and preparation described for each Karma. (1) Vamana: Paste of Indrayava, Pippalī and Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum Retz.) mixed with Yaṣṭimadhu decoction is described for Vamana. (2) Virecana: Powder of Dantī (Baliospermum solanifolium Suresh), Citraka (Plumbago zeylanica Linn.), Pippalī and Biḍlavaṇa mixed with Harītakī decoction made up from Sauvīraka is used for Virecana. Castor oil is also recommended for Virecana. (3) Nirūha: One yoga for Nirūha Basti (Decoction enema) and (4) Anuvāsana: two yogas for Anuvāsana Basti (oil enema) is described. (5) Śirovirecana: Nasya of jaggery and Śuṇṭhi (dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale), Saindhava and Pippalī is described for Śirovirecana (errhine therapy).

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

Discover the meaning of pancakarma in the context of Ayurveda from relevant books on Exotic India

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Indian National Science Academy: Annual Report 2015-16 (rasashastra)

Pañcakarma (पञ्चकर्म) is introduced (as a new set) in the Āyurvedaprakāśa: an exclusive text on Rasaśāstra the pharmaceutical wing of Ayurveda that concentrates on preparation of herbo-mineral medicaments, written in 17th Century AD by Mādhava Upādhyaya.

The pañcakarma for Rasaśāstra include:

  1. digestion (pācana),
  2. oleation (snehana),
  3. sudation (svedana),
  4. emesis (vamana),
  5. purgation (virecana).
Rasashastra book cover
context information

Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancakarma in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañcakarma (पञ्चकर्म):—[=pañca-karma] [from pañca] n. ([cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]) the 5 kinds of treatment (in medicine, viz. giving emetics, purgative medicines, sternutatories, and enemas of two kinds, oily and not oily)

[Sanskrit to German]

Pancakarma in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancakarma in Kannada glossary
Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Paṃcakarma (ಪಂಚಕರ್ಮ):—[noun] a treatment that includes emetics, purgative medicines, sternutatories and enemas of two kinds (oily and non-oily).

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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