The father of Ayurvedic internal medicine Charaka describes the five Panchakarma procedures as Vamana (Therapeutic emesis), Nasya (Nasal medication), Virechana (Therapeutic purgation) and two types of Basti (Therapeutic enema). Another great Ayurvedic surgeon Sushruta combined the two types of basti into one category and added Raktamokshana (the therapeutic withdrawal of blood from the body, blood letting) as one of the Panchakarma therapy.
Although Raktamokshana is the most limited of the five major procedures, it provides a rapid and sometimes dramatic reduction of symptoms in certain acute disorders, especially where time is a critical factor. When Pitta dosha is vitiated they get lodged in the blood. In acute conditions when you need quick relief, and there is no time for the various phases of Panchakarma like Purvakarma (Preparation for Panchakarma), etc. Raktamokshana can be helpful. Raktamokshana gives relief from acute symptoms very quickly. After that Panchakarma regimen and internal herbs can be advised.
Different types of Raktamokshana procedures are mentioned in Ayurvedic texts for treating various conditions. A properly trained Ayurvedic physician should do all the Panchakarma procedures especially Raktamokshana as it required close observation at every stage. Raktamokshana is performed individually for each person after analyzing his or her Prakriti (Body type) and medical condition.
Recently I happened to visit Dhanvantari Panchakarma Center in a small town Kopargoan near Shirdi where Raktamokshana was extensively practiced.What is exceptional about Raktamokshana among the Panchakarma is that it can be done even without Ayurvedic experience. Panchakarma has a systematic approach that includes pre-Panchakarmatechniques, a sequential approach of five methods and post Panchakarma procedures in the form of a complete package. It was giving instant results in pain relief if it is due to Pitta aggravation. Raktamokshana was done in many disease conditions such as: psoriasis, pemphigus, eczema, leucoderma and other skin problems, local pain, various eye disorders, Pitta predominant PMS and menstrual problems, some types of headache, hypertension and even in aneurysm. It is beneficial for the blood purification and the best solution for pimpels.